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Moodle: using an open learning management system to support student learning


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2010 SUNY Freedonia Teaching and Learning conference - "Universal Design for Learning: Accessible and Assistive Technologies to Enhance Student Learning"

Session description: Over the past 18 months, Purchase College has migrated from Blackboard to Moodle for our campus learning management system. Our decision was partially driven by the lower total costs for Moodle as an open source product and our desire to avoid the risks and lack of control associated with commercial applications. Our primary consideration however was that Moodle provides a pedagogically stronger learning platform, and its openness allows us to integrate it with other learning applications that faculty would like to use to promote student engagement.

This session will focus on the pedagogical aspects of Moodle as a learning platform. We will briefly discuss the process and findings Purchase College used to develop a consensus among faculty, students and technology staff to switch to Moodle. Participants will then spend the bulk of the session in a directed exploration of the diverse learning activities in Moodle that promote student engagement and learning, to facilitate discussion of how Moodle compares to ANGEL and Blackboard. We will examine examples of how Moodle’s open architecture allows it to integrate with external Web 2.0 applications, and finally discuss options for no-cost hosted Moodle solutions that will allow participants to evaluate Moodle for their campuses.

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Moodle: using an open learning management system to support student learning

  1. 1. Moodle: using an open learning management system to support student learning Keith Landa Purchase College
  2. 2. LMS future(s) for SUNY Overview of LMS usage in the system LMS developments DOODLE task force
  3. 3. What is Moodle? The world’s most widely used open source LMS <ul><li>49,000 Registered Moodle Sites </li></ul><ul><li>35,000,000 Registered Users </li></ul>
  4. 4. Do LMS’s have a future? <ul><li>Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) – LMS no longer needed? </li></ul><ul><li>LMS advantages: home base; institutional authentication and data; FERPA </li></ul><ul><li>LMS openness and integration with outside tools </li></ul>EDUCAUSE ELI – 7 Things You Should Know About LMS Alternatives LMS Web 2.0 ?
  5. 5. Background – Purchase – 2008 Liberal Arts and Sciences plus Arts Conservatories ~4200 FTE Web enhancement of F2F courses ERes electronic reserves
  6. 6. LMS review @ Purchase Fall 2008 : faculty task force established; faculty survey; discussion of selection criteria (functionality, technical requirements, costs) Spring 2009 : Moodle production system established; pilot Moodle courses (~20); student survey (key driver); ongoing communication; development of general sense among faculty that ‘we’re going with Moodle’…. Context : faculty dissatisfaction with Blackboard; superficial use of LMS; escalating costs Summer 2009 : summer faculty workshop series (new); course conversion and course prep; consolidation of electronic reserves into Moodle courses Fall 2009/Spring 2010 : transition year; immediate termination of ERes; one more year of Blackboard; faculty assisted to move courses to Moodle; ongoing Moodle workshops; termination of Blackboard at end of year
  7. 7. Student ratings, pilot study
  8. 9. Why Moodle @ Purchase? Focus on teaching & learning - Robust set of activities & resources - Add-on modules from the community - Moodle development pathway Costs - No licensing costs - Similar support costs Risk management - Risks of open source - Commercial products have different risks Integration - Other systems - Web 2.0 world Flexible open architecture
  9. 10. What is Moodle? <ul><li>Created by Martin Dougiamis </li></ul><ul><li>v1.0 Released in 2002 via GPL </li></ul><ul><li>Open Source </li></ul><ul><li>Accessible (508 compliant) </li></ul><ul><li>Scalable </li></ul><ul><li>Standards Based </li></ul><ul><li>Feature Rich </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible </li></ul>The world’s most widely used open source LMS Standard Moodle Features
  10. 11. What is Moodle? Notable Statistics <ul><li>49,000 Registered Moodle Sites </li></ul><ul><li>35,000,000 Registered Users </li></ul> <ul><li>82 Languages Supported </li></ul><ul><li>Used in 213 Countries </li></ul>
  11. 12. 7 Principles of Good Practice <ul><li>Encourages contact between students and faculty </li></ul><ul><li>Develops reciprocity and cooperation among students. </li></ul><ul><li>Encourages active learning. </li></ul><ul><li>Gives prompt feedback. </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasizes time on task. </li></ul><ul><li>Communicates high expectations. </li></ul><ul><li>Respects diverse talents and ways of learning. </li></ul>
  12. 13. Community of Inquiry model <ul><li>Student engagement </li></ul><ul><li>with content </li></ul><ul><li>with instructor </li></ul><ul><li>with each other </li></ul>
  13. 14. Moodle orientation Integrated set of resources and learning activities; main page sections, blocks; pages
  14. 18. Building a learning module in Moodle <ul><li>Workshop site – </li></ul><ul><li>Login instructions </li></ul><ul><li>My Courses listing – workshop course (mostly empty) </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty and student role </li></ul><ul><li>Claim section corresponding to log in </li></ul>
  15. 19. Setting up your module <ul><li>Defining your module </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Using the section summary </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Module learning objectives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Add a resource -> Compose a web page </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Name and Full text fields </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Window options </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Creating organization: use of Labels </li></ul>
  16. 20. Providing resources <ul><li>Context & student engagement w/ the content </li></ul><ul><li>Files: your private staging area </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Linking to specific files </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Displaying a directory (folder) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>File links in Moodle text </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Linking to web sites </li></ul><ul><li>Integrating with Web 2.0 resources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>YouTube, Vimeo, VoiceThread, Google Docs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Moodle 2.0 changes </li></ul></ul>
  17. 21. Discussion forums <ul><li>Student engagement with peers & instructor </li></ul><ul><li>Student-faculty contact; feedback; active learning </li></ul><ul><li>4 forum types in Moodle </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ex: single topic format; YouTube discussion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Q&A forum; reading reflection example </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Rating discussion forums </li></ul>
  18. 22. Assignments in Moodle <ul><li>Feedback; student/faculty engagement/contact </li></ul><ul><li>Assignment types; configuration </li></ul><ul><li>Student and faculty views </li></ul><ul><li>Grading and providing feedback </li></ul>
  19. 23. Student collaboration <ul><li>Reciprocity and active learning </li></ul><ul><li>Wiki activity(ies) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Configuration and use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pedagogical considerations: combined use of group forum and wiki project </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Database activity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Structured contributions; activity configuration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commenting and rating </li></ul></ul>
  20. 24. Communication tools <ul><li>Course announcements (News Forum) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tie to Latest News block </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forum archive and email to class members </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Moodle messaging </li></ul><ul><ul><li>IM functionality within Moodle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Email notices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Permanent archive </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Chat activity (eg, office hours) </li></ul>
  21. 25. Activities by demand
  22. 26. Some options for free hosting Sign up:
  23. 27. Decision to Vendor-Host <ul><li>Go to to see the full list of 54 global partners </li></ul>
  24. 28. Questions? Keith Landa Purchase College SUNY 914-251-6440 [email_address] Thank You!