MoodleMoot UK 2011-The dog that didn’t bark


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The dog that didn’t bark: ‘total Moodle’ at a research-led institution

Last year UCL (University College London) embarked on an ambitious quest , and one some said was impossible in a research-led university, to ensure all of our 4500 modules have an associated Moodle presence by September 2011. As the deadline approaches how are we doing? And what will we do afterwards?
The ‘total Moodle’ project, led by a fairly small central learning technology team, has uncovered surprising changes in the way the VLE is now perceived and supported in the College which has forced us to re-think our own support strategy. The predicted academic resistance did not materialise and instead we have seen institutional adaptation of new technologies with astonishing enthusiasm, staff adapting in unexpected ways to Moodle, the emergence of a new and enthusiastic cadre of VLE supporters and all this in the framework of growing student expectations and demands.
We are now considering how we promote Moodle when (if?) we reach totality, what comes next in a technical and pedagogical sense and what new models of support and consultancy we should offer in the future.

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MoodleMoot UK 2011-The dog that didn’t bark

  1. 1. the dog that didn’t bark ‘ total Moodle’ at a research-led institution "To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time." "The dog did nothing in the night-time." "That was the curious incident," remarked Sherlock Holmes .
  2. 2. <ul><li>Clive Young & Jessica Gramp </li></ul><ul><li>Learning Technology Support Service (LTSS) </li></ul><ul><li>UCL </li></ul>
  3. 3. The dog that didn’t bark <ul><li>Watch the first 20 seconds of this video: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  4. 4. UCL <ul><li>research-led university </li></ul><ul><li>22,000 students </li></ul><ul><li>2,500 teaching staff </li></ul><ul><li>3 schools </li></ul><ul><li>10 faculties </li></ul><ul><li>70 teaching departments </li></ul><ul><li>4,500 taught modules </li></ul><ul><li>all modules on Moodle are manually created </li></ul>
  5. 5. minimum requirements <ul><li>consistent set of information to support face-to-face teaching: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>organised </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>accessible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>copyright considered </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. minimum requirements <ul><li>must include: </li></ul><ul><li>staff contact details </li></ul><ul><li>module outline </li></ul><ul><li>module handbook </li></ul><ul><li>reading lists - ideally using the Library Block to link to the online reading list service </li></ul><ul><li>discussion/news forum </li></ul>
  7. 7. minimum requirements <ul><li>should include: </li></ul><ul><li>timetable/course calendar </li></ul><ul><li>lecture notes </li></ul><ul><li>presentation slides </li></ul><ul><li>handouts </li></ul><ul><li>glossary of key terms </li></ul><ul><li>links to external resources </li></ul><ul><li>additional texts and resources </li></ul>
  8. 8. Sept 2011 deadline <ul><li>“ All modules to have a Moodle presence at baseline level by Sept 2011” </li></ul><ul><li>(email to all staff from Academic Committee, Spring 2010) </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>we prepared a template response for the impending backlash… </li></ul>Dear Sir/Madam, Thank you for your email about the intention that all modules use Moodle from academic year 2011/12 onwards. The target does put an onus on departments to engage with Moodle, but we would like to reassure you that this is only at a modest level. The baseline requirement is really just for handbooks, timetables and the like to be made available to students, together with contact details for getting in touch with staff. The aim is to provide a standard set of basic administration material for all courses, so that students across UCL get a more consistent and productive experience. We appreciate that not everyone at UCL will be keen to follow this guidance immediately. However, with nearly half of all modules already on Moodle it's clear that this has very quickly become a standard - and popular - online teaching and support resource for very many staff and students. Of course some staff already do much more with Moodle, and we hope others will join them when they see what it has to offer. Equally there will also be existing rich e-learning resources which currently live outside of Moodle. It is possible - and indeed may be desirable - to combine the use of Moodle with that of other tools in a broader 'virtual learning environment' and we would be happy to advise and support you if this is of interest. You may be interested to know that the requirement for all courses to adopt a standard web-based approach to providing basic course information and resources was first set out in the 2006 E-learning Strategy ( with a target date of Sept 2009 so the timescale has already slipped somewhat. The intention of the requirement is genuinely to improve the consistency of the student experience and to encourage innovation. We do not see it being used as a 'stick' or as overriding common sense decisions, rather we hope to work with colleagues within this general spirit of using technology to enhance teaching, learning and student support. Kind regards, LTSS
  10. 10. what actually happened?
  11. 12. why? <ul><li>The institution ‘adopted’ Moodle </li></ul><ul><li>Support staff ‘supported’ Moodle </li></ul><ul><li>Departmental staff ‘adapted’ Moodle </li></ul><ul><li>Students ‘demanded’ Moodle </li></ul>
  12. 13. Institution (adopted) <ul><li>email from Academic Committee showed institutional commitment </li></ul><ul><li>other related systems integrated with Moodle: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Turnitin plagiarism detection system ** </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Echo360 Lecture capture system * </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Library reading lists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Common timetable </li></ul></ul>
  13. 14. Support staff (supported) <ul><li>summer ‘09 started promoting the scheme well before formal announcement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>many staff already prepared </li></ul></ul><ul><li>targeted late adopters & new staff early on </li></ul><ul><li>identified groups of staff to work with </li></ul><ul><li>produced levels of Moodle use: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Baseline & Enhanced </li></ul></ul><ul><li>training mapped on to levels </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1 3h training course to get to Baseline </li></ul></ul>
  14. 15. Department staff (adapters) <ul><li>changes in department structures happening simultaneously </li></ul><ul><li>departmental Administrators emerged as key Moodle adapters </li></ul><ul><li>DAs of today </li></ul><ul><ul><li>new staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>highly skilled and organised </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>understand management benefits of VLE </li></ul></ul><ul><li>content migrated from websites into Moodle </li></ul>
  15. 16. Students (demanders) <ul><li>“ all courses should be on moodle , and lecture notes and homework problems uploaded on to it ” </li></ul><ul><li>“ [Moodle] use varies enormously by module/by lecturer: some make excellent use of these technologies, some don't use them at all” </li></ul><ul><li>“ It's a good start, but could be so much better. Consistency and more control in Moodle would be good ” </li></ul>
  16. 18. <ul><li>adopter </li></ul><ul><li>+ </li></ul><ul><li>supporter </li></ul><ul><li>+ </li></ul><ul><li>adapter </li></ul><ul><li>+ </li></ul><ul><li>demander </li></ul>no backlash =
  17. 19. what’s happening now? <ul><li>systematic review of Moodle courses </li></ul><ul><li>supporting the late adopters </li></ul><ul><li>working with DAs to clarify their role </li></ul><ul><li>identifying good practice ‘hot spots’ </li></ul><ul><li>progress report to Academic Committee in September 2011 </li></ul>
  18. 20. what happens after totality? <ul><li>quality review </li></ul><ul><li>enhance training & guidance – esp for DAs </li></ul><ul><li>enhance existing courses, rather than new </li></ul><ul><li>improving service (e.g. archiving, Turnitin) </li></ul><ul><li>integrating further technologies: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lecture capture (Echo 360 social commenting) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enhanced reading lists (Talis Aspire) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Portfolio (Mahara) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Moodle 2 (September 2012) </li></ul>
  19. 21. Any questions?