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Moodle at the ou moodle moot 2010

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Keynote presentation at UK MoodleMoot 13th April 2010

Keynote presentation at UK MoodleMoot 13th April 2010


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  • 1. Moodle at the OU Ross Mackenzie The Open University
  • 2. In the Beginning
  • 3. Before Moodle
    • May 2005
    • Major review of OU learning and teaching systems
  • 4. Before Moodle
    • May 2005
    • Major review of OU learning and teaching systems
  • 5. The Big Decision
    • 6 th July 2005
    • “A momentous day for Britain”
    • “The most fantastic opportunity to do everything we ever dreamed of”
  • 6. The Big Decision
    • 6 th July 2005
    • “ A momentous day for Britain”
      • Tony Blair
    • “ The most fantastic opportunity to do everything we ever dreamed of”
      • Seb Coe
  • 7. The Big Decision
    • 6 th July 2005
    • “ A momentous day for Britain”
      • Tony Blair
    • “ The most fantastic opportunity to do everything we ever dreamed of”
      • Seb Coe
  • 8. The Big Decision
    • 6 th July 2005
    • Also the day when the OU decided we could go with Moodle
      • it did lots of what we needed
      • we could make it do what it didn’t
      • it would scale to our traffic levels
  • 9. Initial Plans
    • Formal decision in November 2005
    • Initial (pilot scale) launch in May 2006
    • Full launch in February 2007
    • Follow-up release in February 2008
    • All developments would be released back to the Moodle community
  • 10. Initial Plans
    • Formal decision in November 2005
    • Initial (pilot scale) launch in May 2006
    • Full launch in February 2007
    • Follow-up release in February 2008
    • All developments would be released back to the Moodle community
  • 11. Initial Plans
    • Formal decision in November 2005
    • Initial (pilot scale) launch in May 2006
    • Full launch in February 2007
    • Follow-up release in February 2008
    • All developments would be released back to the Moodle community
  • 12. Roadmap 1
  • 13. OU - Moodle.org developments
    • OU funded/part-funded several major developments
      • Roles & Permissions (in 1.7)
      • Accessibility improvements (in 1.8)
      • Gradebook (in 1.9)
    • In each case we went live with beta releases
  • 14. OU In-house Developments
    • ForumNG
    • OU Blog
    • OU Wiki
    • ResourcePage
    • Study calendar course format
    • Shared activities system
    • Newfeed
    • MyStuff
    • Dataplus
    • And more
    • Most available via Moodle contrib, others elsewhere
  • 15. Quiz developments
    • Quiz Module development and maintenance
    • OpenMark
      • http:// www.open.ac.uk/openmarkexamples /
      • http://openmark.dev.java.net/
  • 16. Other stuff…
    • Elluminate
      • Bridged link between Moodle and Elluminate
    • Content Authoring
      • Structured Content
      • XML-based authoring via Microsoft Word
  • 17. Changes to Moodle 1.x
    • In addition to commissioned developments and local modules/blocks
    • In addition to changes to core
    • Localisations
      • 2000 changes to standard Moodle
      • remade each time we sync with a new Moodle release
  • 18. OU Development Model
    • Parallel Development Model
    • Quarterly releases – re-sync with stable Moodle release once/quarter
    • Three month development period / two month (two stage) test period ahead of each release
  • 19. Requirements Gathering Development Functional Testing Pre-release Testing In Service
  • 20. Craigellachie Fettercairn Knockando We Are Here
  • 21. Local OU releases
    • Annual/six-monthly/fourth-monthly
    • Quarterly
      • limited changes between releases
      • regular requirements gathering
      • regular re-prioritisation
  • 22. What have we learnt so far
    • Don’t go live with beta releases
      • Resist the temptation
    • Release early / release often
      • Annual cycles don’t cut it / Rolling releases hard to test
    • Your VLE is never finished
      • There’s always more to do
  • 23. What have we learnt so far
    • Keep soliciting requirements
      • People will keep coming up with good ideas
    • Never underestimate the traffic
      • There’s always another bottle neck
    • Keep evangelising
      • Sell, sell and sell again
  • 24. Where are we Now ?
  • 25. Moodle at Scale
    • 5330 sites on main VLE, 579 currently live
    • 648,000 users in database, 168,000 currently active
    • In 24h period 35,000 - 50,000 unique users
    • Concurrency? – maybe 2,000 – 2,500
  • 26. 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
  • 27. Webservers Database servers File servers Storage Area Network
  • 28. Multiple Systems
    • Live Systems
    • Acceptance Test – near mirror of Live
    • Technical Testing system – replica of development
    • Development systems – one (or more) for each developer
  • 29. Multiple Systems
    • Live Systems
    • Acceptance Test – near mirror of Live
    • Technical Testing system – replica of development
    • Development systems – one (or more) for each developer
  • 30. People
    • Development Team
    • Support Team
    • Testing Team
    • Evangelists
  • 31. Current Developments
    • Incremental Developments
      • Collaborative Tools (ForumNG, OUBlog)
      • Assessment (new quiz engine)
      • Structured Content (richer learning material)
      • Reporting systems
    • Working with Google Apps for Education
    • Associate Lecturer Dashboard
  • 32. Where Next ?
  • 33. Moodle 2
  • 34. Moodle 2
    • Raises lots of questions
    • We’ve already working on elements of Moodle 2
      • Conditional Activities
      • Quiz Engine (maybe Moodle 2.1?)
    • We’re not making any decisions until beta, and (this time) not doing anything until there is a stable release
  • 35. Moodle 2
    • We’re going to be working on migrating the modules we’ve developed (don’t yet know scale of problem)
    • We will be looking at the cost of remaking localisations
    • I’ve committed to understanding the costs of moving to Moodle 2 by end of June (beta permitting -  )
  • 36. Moodle 2 options
    • Ignore it – stick with Moodle 1.9 – and do our own thing
    • Adopt it – remaking our localisations
      • Likely to be expensive
    • Adopt it – but accept many fewer localisations
      • Do more the Moodle way / Less the OU way
  • 37. OU Learning and Teaching Systems Roadmap
  • 38. Further out
    • Life in the Clouds
    • Already exploring Google Apps
      • Initial light integration (SSO)
      • Later tighter integration (groupings level)
    • Cloud Hosting – more likely using e.g. Amazon EC2/S3 than full external hosting….
  • 39. OU at the MoodleMoot
    • Sam Marshall
    • Tim Hunt
    • Jason Platts
    • Anthony Forth
    • Phil Butcher
    • Tim Lowe
  • 40. Any Questions?
    • Ross Mackenzie
    • [email_address]