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Moving forward with Moodle


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NetSpot presentation at ascilite 2010 conference.

Published in: Education
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Moving forward with Moodle

  1. 1. Movingforwardwith MoodleMark DrechslerSenior Consultant, NetSpot Pty Ltd
  2. 2. Why this presentation?Anecdotally – most Moodle courses useonly a fraction of the available features. Why?
  3. 3. Method• Series of questions given to six unis• Five using Moodle at an enterprise level• One using Moodle for a trial of around ¼ of its students
  4. 4. Caveats• Not intended as a rigorous analysis• Small attempt to gain perspectives from those who have already made the move to Moodle
  5. 5. Moodle usage?How many Moodle courses in your Universitywould be classified as little more than document repositories and drop box holders? Image cc from
  6. 6. Responses … probably 70% - 80% A majority of courses… Less than 50% …most of our sites... About 10% - if that.
  7. 7. Why so… high?“…staff adopt LMS features along acontinuum beginning with … contentdissemination and … moving towards …discussion…”
  8. 8. Why so… low?“… because the pilot participants self-selected based on their course teachingrequirements”
  9. 9. Why so… low?“…we introduced a set of minimumstandards…” Image cc via
  10. 10. What things have helpedsupport the change?
  11. 11. “… strong culture of academicsupport for pedagogicimprovement”
  12. 12. … teaching staff wereforced to redesign theironline courses and tookthe opportunity todevelop newapproaches… Image cc via
  13. 13. “… reasons are not related to theproduct but the training andprocess changes associated withthe move…”
  14. 14. “introductionof peer review of courses…”
  15. 15. “…the passion and drive of thecentral/local Moodle support teamsmeans that attention is paid to currentresearch, methods and best-practice.”
  16. 16. “… possible it was the change itself,not necessarily the change to Moodlespecifically that was responsible…” (forimprovements)
  17. 17. “…vast community at…”
  18. 18. But has Moodle helped?• All six said yes, Moodle had helped educators in their University improve their teaching practice.• One did say „yes and no‟.
  19. 19. What part has Moodle played insupporting positive transformation?
  20. 20. Supporting collaboration“… allows them to do more of what they want to do, particularly with respect to community building & collaboration…”“… involving students more in doing the work (wiki, forum, database) rather than the lecturer providing more…”
  21. 21. Power tools“… the database tool has been a huge bonus…”“… some tools such as databases & wikis have been invaluable (in a small number of cases) to inspiring collaboration & engagement…”
  22. 22. “… flexibility in role and permissionshandling…”“… profile feature has encouraged andengaged students (and thus lecturers) insocial networking…”
  23. 23. What were the biggest challenges in moving to Moodle?Image cc via
  24. 24. “…we saw a number of staff attempting to implement Blackboard like interfaces to their courses in Moodle…”Image cc via
  25. 25. “Workload!” “…time and effort to actively engage with your course, site and content can be a significant effort…” “…shortage of time…”Image cc via
  26. 26. “… IT department had little to noappreciation of the teachingacademics context and tried toimplement Moodle in the same waythey would any other IT system…”
  27. 27. “… challenge is how to use thefunctionality appropriately for the bestpedagogic outcome.”
  28. 28. “… working withor (effectively)againsttopics/weeksstructure…”
  29. 29. “„Fixing‟ something that you‟ve beenusing for years… can be confronting”
  30. 30. What Moodle things were „big winners‟ with academic staff?Image cc via
  31. 31. Databases……as a formative student group peerreview tool.…as a student viewable videosubmission tool.…as an exhibition tool.
  32. 32. Blogs in Moodle (BIM)• Plugin developed by David Jones of CQU - blog aggregator/assessor• Now being used in other Universities – great example of collaboration in the developer community!
  33. 33. Meta Courses“…allows students to be aggregatedinto program basedcommunities…”
  34. 34. Subject A Subject B Subject CMoodle Course Moodle Course Moodle Course Enrolments automatically flow into… Metacourse: - Collaboration - Announcements - Support
  35. 35. One telling comment: “… requires less work to do the minimum”Image cc via
  36. 36. Summing up?Moodle will not be a magic wand forimproving teaching practice withoutsuitable resourcing for support and goodchange management in place
  37. 37. Over time, many will experience:- Initial shock – why!?- Replication – how do I…?- Extension – maybe I could…?- Collaboration – why don‟t we…?
  38. 38. If part of a broader change strategythen Moodle has appeared to:• Lower the work for simple courses; and• Provide more flexible tools for advanced teaching requirements.