iMoot: FreeMoodle-The Greek Effort

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Anna Krassa, Vasilis Palilis and George Chalatzoglidis presenting the GreekEffort in FreeMoodle.
Presented on iMoot 26-29 May 2012.

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  • Hello my name is Anna Krassa, I am elearning consultant and MCCC Mentor – Assessor working with HRDNZ MP. Among with my colleagues Vasili Palili (Educator and MCCC) and George Chalatzoglidi (also Educator and MCCC) we are going to present you the Greek Effort made in FreeMoodle.
  • Before we start talking about the Greek Effort in FM it would be nice to explain and define what FreeMoodle.org is and how it started. In simple words FreeMoodle is an organization that provides completely free Moodle hosting for completely free Moodle courses. Its motto and ultimate goal is to “Change the world for the better, through Moodle-enabled free education!”
  • This site is entirely funded and supported by Human Resource Development International, official Moodle Partner since 2005 based in New Zealand. HRD is a well known Moodle Partner, who offers among others online Moodle, Mahara and Moodle Theme training courses. HRD created also the Moodle Course Creator Certificate, the official global certification scheme available exclusively through Moodle Partners. Moreover, it's managing and supporting Moodle Partners around the world in its implementation. Our Managing Director Stuart Mealor is the global Moodle Certification Manager. But how FM occured from HRD?
  • FreeMoodle encapsulates and realizes the high value of “Free Education”. And as all high values it has been inspirate from a very special person: Haidee Mealor – Fowxell. On April 2011, HRD family and Moodle Community lost Haidee. She was the first Certified Moodler worldwide. Working for five years as Mentor – Assessor she had helped a lot of people -including me- to increase their expertise in Moodle and get certified. Haidee loved Moodle, she loved the spirit of the Moodle community, and she loved helping people. So this site exists to take forward the ideals she held dear. Now this site provides free Moodle hosting, for free courses. So anyone in the world can create courses to help others or benefited from it.
  • But who would expect to find a small team from Greece to get activated in a NZ's site? Specially now, that Greece is in the first line of the Word's Economic Crisis. Well, despite the picture of Greeks that media cultivate, there are here too, people who believe in Creation and Offer. So having met in the MoodleBites courses, and since FreeMoodle had already launched we thought to utilize some out-dated material. The material of e-courses that University of Macedonia had run few years ago.
  • Between October 2006 and March 2010 University of Macedonia (Thessaloniki, Greece) developed the Greek version of 5 modules of the Open ICDL, translating and updating the initial content that had been provided by the ICDL Foundation Africa, under the supervision of University Teachers K. Margaritis and V. Dagdilelis.
  • The Elearning Team of the Library & Information Center of the University of Macedonia run the five Modules for Windows and Linux groups separately for more than 3 years. Those courses were created and run with a great success for the Greek data, under the Ploegis project. Ploegis project was a project 75% co-funded by the European Union (European Social Fund) and 25% by National resources (Hellenic Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs/Managing Authority of OPEIVT). When the project ended the courses left unutilised -luckily- under a CC licence.
  • So our idea was to utilize and revitalize that content. Our work completed in four phases: - Firstly we updated the course content - Secondly we built the courses in FreeMoodle, quite differently than the University courses - Thirdly we announced the courses in places relevant to Open Source Software, (mailing lists, blogs, sites, FB). The call dued around 15 days and the one and only requirement for someone to participate in our courses was “to know how to use email”. Concidering that this is the minimum requirement for someone to participate in any Moodle course. - And then we run the courses.
  • The first course we run was the course about Spreadseets (LibreOffice.Calc). Vasilis was the one who updated the pre-existed content and created from scratch a new course in FreeMoodle. Hello from me....XXX In this screenshot you can see a typical module (this is the 2 nd one) of the Calc course. Course layout is quite simple: a small introduction, the studying material and the exerrcices.
  • The whole course dues 9 weeks, where the 1 st week is dedicated to know each other, help people download Libre Office and get familiarized with Moodle environment. Accordingly the last week is dedicated to the Assessment. From Moodle percpective this course uses: Labels, Pages, Lessons, Quizzes, Assignments, Choices and Feedback. The goal was to create an effective, quite self-studying course, that will demand low faciliation. If participants meet the requirements and complete the course successfully, then they are allowed to download their certificate.
  • Calc has already run twice. One during October – December 2011 and one early in 2012. In the first run we had 22 students, while 16 of them completed the course successfully. Our audience had a great diversity: the ages varied from 18 to 55 and they were from the whole country.
  • In the second run we had 10 actual students, while 6 of them completed the course successfully. Our audience again was patchy: the ages varied from 18 to 52, comming from different places of Greece. What was particularly interesting during this run, was that one of the students was Teacher and Trainner, conducting at that time a training for educators on the ICT. Part of the ICT trainning was the demonstration of Moodle LMS. So what could be a better demonstration, than joining him in Calc as students?! Around 20 teachers enrolled in course, not for take the course, but to see what is and how Moodle can work. It was a great experience, they had querries about the system and the method. They were curious and interested in it and they finally managed to understand the basics about Moodle and how an asychronous course works.
  • Here are listed the main points of the feedback of the actuall participants of Calc. The majority of participants: Found LO particularly interesting The course content and structure helpfull Moodle and Asynchronous eLearning method very effective Spent 1-3 hours per week/module Are interested to participate in more LO courses
  • As teacher of this course, I spend two months on updating the content and building the course, thouh I needed just 2 hours per week to facilitate it. Although the numbers are not impressing (yet), I felt satisfied from the overall work. When I started working on Calc I never though about the time I had to invest preparing the course, I just thought that this course could be my contribution to my country in these hard epoque.
  • As an overall feedback from my side I would say that, although I am 30 years in the field of education, I found the experience of (e)teaching particularly interesting. I definetely want to run another course in FreeMoodle and I highly recomend it to anyone else. That's all for Calc, now George will talk to you about our second course Impress.
  • Hello from me, I'm George and I'm excited to be participating in this online conference. In this screenshot you can see a typical module (this is the 2 nd one) of the Impress course. As you may noticed Impress is following the same general structure as Calc: a small introduction, the studying material and the exercices. I followed this design because it is effective, it relies on the basics of the adult education and e-learning. Specially the activities have been designed in a way that students will immediatly utilize the gained knowledge to their interestes.
  • The whole course dues 8 weeks, where the 1 st week is dedicated to know each other, help people download Libre Office and get familiarized with Moodle environment, while the last week is dedicated to the Assessment. Same as in Calc. From Moodle percpective this course uses: Labels, Pages, Lessons, Quizzes, Assignments, Choices and Feedback. The tools are actually the same as in Calc, although in Impress lessons have been used for content delivering and assessment. Also more assignments have been added, thus this course is more demanding on facilitation. Of course if participants meet the requirements and complete the course successfully, then they will be allowed to download their certificate.
  • Impress is a very new course. Actually iMoot finds us in the end of the 3 rd start of 4 th week. The open call for participation, gave us again a group of great diversity: 33 people from all over the Greece, between 20 and 55.
  • Since the course is underway we can't talk about official feedback. But few things are pretty clear from Students' side: - They seem to like Moodle environment and the interaction with the system. - They are very satisfied with the method of Asynchronous eLearning, specially with its flexibility (anytime, anywhere), given the general time frame - Luckily this seems to be a tied class. They feel confortable to express querries and participate in forums, and they feel confident that facilitator or peers will respond the soonest possible. So I would dare to say, given the data so far, that we managed to create a learning comunity, where students: participate more are able to work independently are motivated and engaged receive support access multiple methods of learning and have opportunities to collaborate, communicate and reflect
  • Like Vasilis, I spent two months updating the content and building the course. For facilitation though, due to many assignments, I need around 6 hours per week. Although Impress is still in the middle way, I feel satisfied from students' performance and their unbated interest towards the course. Also, I have to say that I am very impressed with their attidute, the seriousness and respect of the deadlines, the collaboration between them and with me.
  • To summarize my “so far” experience in FM, I would say that I am very happy that I'm facilitator in FM. That I have the ability to share my knowledge and help people increase their own. Students' great response and positive feedback in this effort is the only reward for us and gives us strength to continue. And we will. That was all for Impress, Anna will continue and conclude this presentation.
  • Voluntary work isn't easy. We all striving to deal with paid jobs, family and everyday routine. Inspiration and alliences are the ingredients that feeds the volonteers. Starting with the inspiration by Haidee's personality, Vasili's will to offer in a suffering country and George's entusiasm to maintain the offer, We are happy now to join forces with a great alliance: The GreekLug association. GreekLug is an association of the Greek Users and Friends of FreeSoftware/Open Source Software. It's a No Profit/No Governal association, for the adoption of Open Standards and the promotion of Free Software.
  • GreekLug is one of the most active Associations in Greece. It is located in Thessaloniki (North Greece). Just to give you an idea about what GreekLug is doing, we are listing here some of her most recent projects: Support work and donation to the 4th Elementary School of Pilea: recreation of the School PC Lab, with a n LTSP technology and using sch-scripts, so as to automate school class managemen t. Support work and donation to the Social Solidarity Clinic: set up their 4 PC's and installed a server, with the Electronic Medical Record Free Software OpenEMR . Also established a connection of all PC's in a local network. Donation and support activity to the Elliniko Pediko Xorio (Hellenic Children's Shelter): rebuild of the PC lab of a childrens' shelter , in Filiro Thessaloniki. Created the infrastructure , installed the systems and the network. Donated a PC in order to be used as a Server, a computer Screen, various peripherals, and a Switch. For the Server, a special installation was implemented, with DHCP Server, Squid Proxy Server and configuration of the protective filter DansGuardian. Connected the PC's over a LAN and to the Web, through the filter of the Proxy Server, so that children can browse the web under a protected interface. School seminar to present Free Software: Organized for teachers and students , held on 27/01/2012, in the "Euclid" 15th Technical High School, with large participation from both faculty and students.
  • I guess from the short introduction to GreekLug's projects it's obvious that we both -FreeMoodle team and GreekLug- share the same values and visions. So you can imagine our pleasure when a day, suddenly the phone rang and they asked us the old content of the openICDL that had been created from the University of Macedonia. All in all, we agreed to share the work of updating the old content and create and offer more courses. We expect the content to be ready sometime around the end of 2012. In parallel we'll be investigating ways to setup a regognized (in public sector) Certification, on the basic use of computers, using Open Source Software.
  • That was the story of three people stangers a year ago, met each other in the MoodleBites courses and boosted from the ideals of Openess, start creating and offering some courses, for three reasons: 1. To freely help people who might needed the specific knowledge 2. To activate more spirits in the same direction 3. To show in the world that despite Greek's difficult financial condidion, there are people who insist to be creative and use creation and offer as an antidote to the crisis.
  • iMoot: FreeMoodle-The Greek Effort

    1. 1. Free Moodle The Greek Effort Presented byAnna Krassa (E-learning Consultant, MCCC Mentor Assessor) Vasilis Palilis (BS in Physics and Education, MCCC) George Chalatzoglidis (Science Teacher Med, MCCC)
    2. 2. What is?FreeMoodle.org provides completely free Moodle hosting for completely free Moodle courses “Changing the world for the better through Moodle- enabled free education!”
    3. 3. Supported by?Human Resource DevelopmentInternational Limitedhttp://www.freemoodle.org - Free Moodle course hostinghttp://www.hrdnz.com - General company information (HRDNZ, Moodle Partner)http://www.moodlebites.com - Online Moodle training courses for Teachers, Designers andAdministratorshttp://dev.moodlebites.com - Public testing and demonstration of plugin moduleshttp://themes.moodlebites.com - Themes training and serviceshttp://mahara.moodlebites.com - Mahara training environment
    4. 4. The InspiratorHaidee Mealor
    5. 5. University of Macedonia Open ICDL Course Subject ICDL Foundation Africa Content Origin Creative Commons LicenseLibrary & Information Centerhttp://telemathea.uom.gr
    6. 6. University CoursesWindows Linux OpenOffice.org Suite Writer Calc Presentations Attribution NonCommercial Internet browser ShareAlike Mozilla Firefox Mail client Mozila Thunderbird Operating System Ubuntu Linux
    7. 7. FreeMoodle CoursesContent Update Course Setup Call For Participation Run eCourse
    8. 8. Course duration: 9 weeks 1st week: Get familiarized and Install LO 9th week: AssessmentContent delivering: Labels, Pages, LessonsLearning activities: Quizzes, AssignmentsFeedback activities: Choices, FeedbackCertificate http://www.freemoodle.org/course/view.php?id=20
    9. 9. 1 st run -Audience: 18 - 55 agesNumber of participants: 22Number of graduated: 16Location of participants: All over the Greece
    10. 10. 2 nd run -Audience: 18 - 52 agesNumber of participants: 10Number of graduated: 6Location of participants: All over the Greece
    11. 11. The majority of participants:Found LO particularly interestingThe course content and structure helpfullMoodle and Asynchronous eLearning method very effectiveSpent 1-3 hours per week/moduleAre interested to participate in more LO courses
    12. 12. Teacher:Spend 2 months to update the content and create the courseNeeded around 2 hours to facilitate each week/moduleFelt satisfiedWant want to run another course in FM
    13. 13. Interesting (e)teaching experience ~ Vasilis Palilis, Calc Teacher
    14. 14. Course duration: 8 weeks1st week: Get familiarized and Install LO8th week: AssessmentContent delivering: Labels, LessonsLearning activities: Lessons, Quizzes, AssignmentsFeedback activities: FeedbackCertificate http://www.freemoodle.org/course/view.php?id=132
    15. 15. 1 st run -Audience: 20 – 55 agesNumber of participants: 33Number of graduated: not yet, still runningLocation of participants: from all Greece
    16. 16. Participants seem to:Found LO interestingGet used Moodle easilyEnjoy the flexibility of Asynchronous eLearningFeel comfortable and confident with the (e)class feeling
    17. 17. Teacher:Spend 2 months to update the content and create the courseNeeded around 6 hours per week/moduleFeel satisfied
    18. 18. Students great response and positive feedback in oureffort is the only reward for us and gives us strength to continue. ~ George Chalatzoglidis, Impress Teacher
    19. 19. GreekLug Association of Greek Users and Friends of FS/ OSS A NPO/NGO for the adoption of Open Standards and the promotion of Free Softwarehttp://www.greeklug.gr
    20. 20. GreekLugRecent activity:Support work and donation to the 4th Elementary School of PileaSupport work and donation to the Social Solidarity ClinicDonation and support activity to the Elliniko Pediko Xorio (Hellenic Childrens Shelter)School seminar: a presentation of Free Software
    21. 21. Future plans:Update old contentInvent a Certification on OSS
    22. 22. Thank you!Questions?

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