Intoduce self Case study of Moodle at Unitec. Currently Unitec are part way through the process of shifting from Blackboard to Moodle as part of their elearning and living curricula strategies. In this presentation I will give a brief history and then show examples of how they are using Moodle to support students in vocational and applied professional education in hope that this might help other tertiary institutes.
Unitec NZ's largest Institute of Technology 4 campuses in Auckland mostly face to face delivery increasing demand for flexible courses
Blackboard purchased license 1998 used as repositories setup manual enrolment rules for teachers to enrol students in courses sporadic use of Web 2.0 tools throughout institute links to youtube videos vox wikispaces blogs no strong institutional commitment to elearning and a lack of clarity in strategic direction in this area More recently, connections to other tertiary institutes meant there was a simmering interest in Moodle
MoE requested TEC establish an ITP benchmark to review expectations of ITPs in regard to the Tertiary Education Strategy 2007-2012 In 2008 the report was published with 19 of 20 ITPs assessed in respect to five dimensions Delivery Planning Definition Management Optimisation This gave Unitec a map of its strengths and weaknesses
The assessment shows strengths in delivery across the dimensions, planning and definition adequate, but found weaknesses in management and optimisation. It was clear which areas needed to be developed.
Meanwhile, an LMS evaluation was carried out with a project team made up of Elearning team members IT staff Business analyst Academic advisors Lecturers They used a Moodle course to coordinate the evaluation project. A Moodle pilot was carried out in three departments Education Computing Natural Sciences Unitec confirmed the move to Moodle and that Bb will be discontinued at the end of 2012.
As a result of a large change project the “Living curriculum” was developed, and within that is embedded the elearning strategy. Note the driver for change; this was a pedagogical decision. Moodle fit better with the changes in pedagogy Unitec were looking for. The Manger of Te Puna Ako, Robert Ayres said &quot;The shift to Moodle facilitates changes in learning and teaching through our elearning strategy framed within the living curricula&quot; A member of the elearning team, Nicoletta Rata-Skudder said &quot;The focus is on teaching not technology&quot;
There has been lots of internal publicity of the living curricula and elearning strategy. There are faculty and department workshops, and the CEO talks about these strategies in his open forums. A high profile is also given to the Moodle pilots. The key for Unitec was the Commitment & Communication necessary to get institute support for both the elearning strategy and living curricula to be a success and to change teaching practice. Last year started with a five day workshop by Etienne Wenger & Bev Trayner on communities of practice attended by elearning community coordinators appointed in each department at Unitec. This year started with a follow up three day workshop for the elearning community coordinators.
There are one or two elcc's in each department who are given time release and charged with the development of department elearning communities. Unitec aims to facilitate pedagogical change through these communities and recognises the potential in distributed leadership and distributed knowledge. This makes better use of expenditure as we develop our internal capability. What do elcc's do? They have regular informal and formal events coffee catch ups and workshops they have regular mini symposiums where they share what they are doing, give tips and tricks they have picked up, and talk together about the challenges they have been facing some also attended moodlemoots and iMoots
This is the accounting and finance department community of practice moodle page. You can see they have designed their own theme - they will use this for their courses with students too. The pictures are of their building and the surrounding area with pukekos and pohutakawa trees (native birds and trees). They are using poll everywhere to focus their community on trying new things.
Internally we support the elearning strategy through not only the elcc's who support each other as well as their departments, but also through Te Puna Ako who provide technical and expert dedicated support not only in the form of the elearning team but also in academic and literacy support, as well as supporting the learners through our learning centre. The leadership team have appointed full time faculty elearning development advisors to complement the elearning community coordinators. Principles of teaching and learning have been developed extending the living curricula programme. Additional support documentation has been developed as required. We have a roll out plan in which each department has forecast their shift to Moodle, but where lecturers are eager to move ahead of time we support them in this to reduce load on the end of the roll out project.
I mentioned some went to moodlemoots. I recommend participation in the moodle community to not only learn but give back and help other education providers learn. First timers, congratulations for attending iMoot, this is a great first step in getting involved in the Moodle community. Welcome. Events like these moodlemoots are a great way to share best practice, but also use the Moodle documentation wiki and Moodle.org forums.
For the sys admin types in attendance... moodle server Moodle 1.9 My SQL Apache 2 PHP Decomissioning of blackboard JSP Oracle Apache 2 Perl for customization Peoplesoft Automated enrolment Students have Google accounts which they access through a Google Education apps setup for them. Note that this limits the google apps that they can use, surprisingly Google Scholar is excluded, so in some courses they have created gmail accounts too. They also don't get blogger access currently, another reason many use gmail accounts. We are hoping to increase the google apps available to them soon.
Total Unitec courses 2436 Moodle courses 1236 Blackboard courses 1607 You can see we have about half of courses on Moodle in some way (please don't think this chart is an indicator of quality, it is early days!) Some courses are not on either LMS but use google apps or wikispaces or some other Web 2.0 technologies to support the learning during the course.
We now see a lot more Web 2.0 technologies being utilised, including microblogs, eportfolios, google apps, blogs, wikis, and RSS feeds. The use of mobile technologies has also grown as we use phones, netbooks and ipads to support learning. Unitec run well supported pilots of mobile devices in courses with students. mini blogs: twitter, identi.ca eportfolios: Mahara, elgg google apps, youtube Link google scholar to library Blog: blogspot, wordpress Wiki RSS Mobile TXT
I think we are about ready to look at some courses These are design students who used mobile phones as part of their course
Business Studies Communication Studies Design and Visual Arts Performing and Screen Arts Sport Travel and Tourism
Since we started with a picture of design students, here is one of the design courses This group used the Moodle text capability. Assessment was an online Blog or eportfolio documenting and showcasing their design processes They collaborated with worldwide peers and potential employers/clients. They used instant messaging, microblogging, and VODCasts.
This is a Communication studies course. They use great imagery in their courses, they use Moodle blogs (which is quite unique as most departments have opted for external blog sites so students can continue them when they leave Unitec)
Performing and Screen Arts students use this course as a home base. The pictures link to the courses they are studying. Moodle allows you to change the name assigned to a role, so students can be called &quot;actors&quot; or &quot;crew members&quot; which extends the theme we see here. We have seen enormous value in offering student support areas at department and programme level, we create the course and allow students to enrol themselves, or we use the metacourse facility.
Applied Technology and Trades Architecture and Landscape Construction and Civil Engineering
This is an architecture course. They use google sketch up with their students. You see a library block on the top left - the Unitec library have integrated into Moodle courses, and the block is tailored to give the appropriate subject guide, in this case architecture. This department are particularly fond of twitter, and often have tweet feeds.
You see further integration of Web 2.0 tools with the use of a Vox blogroll in this architecture design studio course. The students are blogging on Vox, but the teacher has added html block to aggregate their blogs in the course. As the video image at the bottom shows, they are making vodcasts too.
This is a Carpentry course. All the courses in carpentry have used a table with the same easily identifiable images being used to guide the students around their courses.
They have also started excellent glossaries for the students to build upon.
Community and Social Practice Foundation Studies Health Language Studies Maori Education Natural Sciences
This is a particularly interesting side effect of Web 2.0 technologies being adopted at Unitec. This is an English Course that is going to be taught in semester two. The image is of Unitec automotive students with &quot;the flying kiwi&quot;, the owner and rider Athol Williams brought in to show the students. The automotive students made videos at the event as part of their course eportfolios and here is another course in an unrelated department using the student created material. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLVyYqboHa0 You can also see a random glossary block displaying terms from the course glossary at the top right, and an RSS feed from TV One. This course uses a lot of audio files created by students and teachers, they currently use Audacity for this. This department uses hot potatoes quite a bit too.
Natural sciences was one of the pilot departments. They created a template for all their courses that included using a colour for each new topic heading, all courses have a folder with course info in it, have a forum in topic 0, a banner at the top and have photos down the side of each topic. Most of their courses have an RSS feed to relevant material. They have used an html block to create a lecturer block - allowing all students, in face to face or distance courses to see their lecturers photo and contact details. This is a support course where students can help each other and get programme information.
Get Leadership commitment Communicate more often, and then some more Setup communities in each department so you have distributed knowledge and leadership across your institute. Setup an overall support framework to ensure stories, tips and tricks make it across all departments. Get departments buy in by getting them to design their own department look and feel. You could go so far as department themes. Plan for semesters - end of semester means exporting grades and student work, before the new semester begins Look at how you support students too - we have a &quot;learner support&quot; role across the Moodle site so learning support staff can assist students.
1. <ul>Moodle in Vocational and Applied Professional Education </ul>