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Delivering e learning at large scale - final



Keynote presentation at 5th National and 2nd International conference on e-learning and e-teaching (ICELET2010) held on December 1-2, 2010 in Tehran, Iran.

Keynote presentation at 5th National and 2nd International conference on e-learning and e-teaching (ICELET2010) held on December 1-2, 2010 in Tehran, Iran.



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    Delivering e learning at large scale - final Delivering e learning at large scale - final Presentation Transcript

    • Delivering e-learning at large scale Dr Ross Mackenzie The Open University, United Kingdom International conference on e-learning and e-teaching (ICELET2010) Tehran December 2010
    • Outline
      • The Open University
      • Learning & Teaching Online
        • OU Virtual Learning Environment
      • OpenLearn
        • Open Education Resources
    • Dr Ross Mackenzie
      • Lead the team that develops and supports systems for online learning at The Open University
      • Have been at The Open University since 1995
      • Previously at Oxford University and at Cornell University in New York.
    • The Open University
      • The OU is the biggest university in the UK with:
        • more than 250,000 students
        • more than 7,000 tutors
        • more than 4,500 academic/support/admin staff
      • Since launch in 1969 more than 2 million people worldwide have studied with the OU
      • Headquarters in Milton Keynes (80 km north of London)
        • Regional Offices throughout the UK
    • The Open University
      • Distance Learning / Supported Open Learning
      • Technology Supported Learning
        • Always using new technologies
          • TV & Radio in the 1970’s
          • Personal Computers in 1980/1990’s
          • Online in 2000’s
    • OU/LTS image
    • Learning and Teaching Solutions
      • OU Media and Learning Systems development house
      • Produce and deliver all the learning materials used on OU courses
      • 400 staff
        • editors / instructional designers / software developers
    • OU VLE
      • Based on Moodle
        • open source learning management system
      • Scale of Activity
        • 24 x 7 operation
        • More than 1M transactions/day
        • More than 50,000 students/day
    • OU OpenLearn
      • Freely distributable learning materials
      • 800 study units
        • Drawn from across OU curriculum
        • Study time 3 – 30 hours
      • OpenLearn platform also based on Moodle
    • Moodle
    • Moodle
      • Originally launched in 2001
      • Recently (this month) updated to version 2.0
      • Used by 50,000 organisations in 212 countries, and in 82 languages
      • Estimated 40,000,000 users
    • Moodle – Open Source
      • Distributed under a GNU General Public License
        • source code is always available
      • Gives the ability to any organisation to modify Moodle to meet their own needs, and if they wish to share developments back with the community
      • Moodle is PHP-based which means it is relatively easy to modify
    • Adopting Moodle for use at OU
      • Adopted by the OU in mid-2005
      • Didn’t do everything that the OU needed, but were able to modify it as needed
      • Established a development team in Milton Keynes to allow Moodle to be developed for use at the OU
        • all OU modifications shared back with community
    • Extending Moodle
      • Authoring Learning Materials
      • Collaborative Tools
      • Online Assessment
      • Portfolio
    • Learning Materials
      • Authored in XML – using Microsoft Word
        • OU custom module allows authors to create learning materials with embedded
          • Images
          • Videos
          • Quizzes
        • Don’t need specialist web authoring skills
        • Aligned with OU print production processes
    • Collaborative Tools
      • Key to much of the OU learning experience
      • Forums
        • Allows dialogs between students and learners
      • Blogs
        • Personal web log – can be limited to OU community or made open to the outside world
      • Wikis
        • Collaborative working environment
    • Forum
      • Threaded discussion environment
      • Groupings can be limited to tutorial groups, whole course or entire OU community
      • OU rewrote forum to ensure that it would be able to handle very high traffic levels
    • Blog
      • OU enhanced standard moodle blog to allow comments to be added
      • Can be set up within the context of a course or as a personal tools for students to use
    • Wiki
      • Original Moodle wiki had lots of functionality
      • OU use indicated that this overhead was distracting students from their learning activity
      • OU Wiki is a ‘minimalist’ tool tuned to the needs of the learner
    • Online Assessment
      • OU has invested heavily in the assessment elements of Moodle
      • Re-engineered Moodle Gradebook
      • Have redeveloped Moodle quiz engine (for Moodle 2.1)
      • Developed an extension to the quiz to allow richer question types (OpenMark)
    • Portfolio
      • Tools to allow students to
        • Store
        • Save
        • Share documents
      • Initial version had too steep a learning curve, later simpler version had better adoption
    • OU Moodle Architecture
      • Three layer architecture – Red Hat-based
      • 5 webservers – 4 load-balanced serving users, 1 running cron
      • Database cluster – postgreSQL 8.3
      • NFS cluster
      • Storage Area Network
    • Webservers Database servers File servers Storage Area Network
    • OU VLE - More than Moodle
      • Real time collaboration via Elluminate (now Blackboard Collaborate)
      • Google Apps for Education – providing email and other collaborative and storage facilities
      • Assignment Handling – document tracking and handling movement of assignment between students and tutors.
    • Elluminate/Blackboard Collaborate
      • Real time collaborative tools – audio / video / whiteboard
      • Tightly integrated with Moodle
      • Used with c. 12000 modern language students
      • Trial use in most areas of the University
    • Google Apps for Education
      • Being introduced for all students to provide
        • email
        • large storage capacity
        • collaborate document authoring environment
    • Assignment Handling
      • Much of the OU’s continuous assessment is based on essays – almost all students now submit electronically
      • Handling system relays essays to correct tutor
      • Returns to student after marking
      • System handles over 1 M assignments / year
    • Supporting Users
      • Critical in deploying e-learning at scale
      • Learners
      • Teachers
    • Moving to Moodle 2.0
      • Will be moving to Moodle 2.0 over the next 12 months
      • Taking the opportunity to re-engineer and improve a significant number of elements of the OU VLE
      • Adding new functionality to improve personalisation, support for user generated content, mobile devices
    • More Information
      • About The Open University
        • http://www.open.ac.uk
      • About Moodle
        • http://moodle/org
      • About OpenLearn
        • http://www.open.ac.uk/openlearn/
      • My Work blog
        • http://bit.ly/rossmac
    • Any Questions?
      • Dr Ross Mackenzie
      • [email_address]