Moodle Presentation LCA2010

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This presentation was given by Jonathan Newman of Catalyst at LCA2010, Wellington, New Zealand on 19 January 2010.

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  • An open source course management system used by thousands of educational institutions around the world to provide an organised interface for e-learning, or learning over the Internet. Moodle allows educators to create online courses, which students can access as a virtual classroom.
  • It began with this man, Martin Dougiamus, who started out as computer science graduate student. He started work in 1986 on early internet and web applications at Curtin University in Australia. Part of his role involved supporting a popular proporietary course delivery software known as WebCT. Like a lot of developers and systems administrators, he was frustrated with the software and his inabilty to hack/extend blackbox. So he decided to pursue a PhD in education, and the title of his thesis was “The use of Open Source software to support a social constructionist epistemology of teaching and learning within Internet-based communities of reflective inquiry.” Developing Moodle was at the heart of his thesis.
  • Constructivism is a theory of knowledge which argues that humans generate knowledge and meaning from their experiences. Constructivism is not a specific pedagogy. Constructivism is often associated with pedagogic approaches that promote active learning, or learning by doing. Social constructivism encourages the learner to arrive at his or her version of the truth, influenced by his or her background, culture or embedded worldview. Distance learning
  • So how does Moodle support this model of learning by doing?
  • Louisiana State University with 21,000 undergraduates and 4,000 graduate students in 17 schools and colleges.
  • Albany Senior High School—credit to Mark Osborne
  • Elearning Guild 360degree report on learning managements systems from 1,250 members of the eLearning Guild (a member-driven online information center and Community of Practice).
  • VetLearn Foundation, a not-for-profit charitable organisation providing continuing education services to the NZ veterinary profession and related animal health and welfare groups. It was launched in February 2006, and close to 1000 students (vets and vet nurses) have participated.
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