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


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This was an invited talk given to the faculty at large at SUNY Plattsburgh, 20 January 2011

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  • This illustration was developed by the independent management consulting company, Delta Initiative, less than a year ago (late 2009) to summarize (quite well) how the landscape of the LMS has changed in roughly the last decade. This is a busy screen so let me attempt to describe what you are seeing: For each year displayed along the x-axis (or the columns at the top) you can see the amount of usage for each of the various LMS technologies used for that year. The thickness associated with each individual LMS demonstrates the number of users using that particular system. This illustration also identifies the mergers or acquisitions that have taken place over the years. For example we see when eCollege was acquired by Pearson in 2007 and when several systems including WebCT and ANGEL were acquired by Blackboard. A couple things stand out to me with this illustration: 1) Below the dotted line you can see that in the proprietary space there has been quite a bit of volatility primarily due to acquisitions. In fact, there is only proprietary system displayed that appears to have not YET been acquired by either Pearson or Blackboard. 2) Above the dotted line you can see the most notable open source systems. The story here is quite different. Here it is clear that the open source systems are experiencing slow, consistent yet substantial adoption by institutions. In a recent survey by the Campus Computing Project, Moodle is the second most used Learning Management System in the US behind Blackboard (or Blackboard’s suite of acquired systems). Not only does this illustration do a fantastic job of demonstrating where we have come from, but also signals the direction in which LMS technology adoption is headed.
  • Moodle is our learning management system platform. We switched from Blackboard to Moodle over the course of the 2009/2010 academic year.
  • 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. 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>
    3. 3. 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 ?
    4. 4. Faculty Blackboard uses <ul><li>Distribute materials </li></ul><ul><li>Library services </li></ul><ul><li>Integration with SIS </li></ul><ul><li>Course communications </li></ul><ul><li>Links to external web sites </li></ul><ul><li>One stop shopping for students </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion forum </li></ul><ul><li>Gradebook </li></ul><ul><li>New media (blogs, wikis, podcasts) </li></ul><ul><li>Drop boxes </li></ul><ul><li>Student collaboration tools </li></ul><ul><li>Course reports </li></ul><ul><li>Self-directed lessons </li></ul><ul><li>Online quizzing </li></ul><ul><li>Real-time tools (chat, etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Clickers </li></ul>LMS desired features No “killer app” tying us to Blackboard
    5. 6. 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
    6. 7. Student Information System Library Information Systems Academic Analytics Campus Repository The View from 30,000 Feet
    7. 8. 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>
    8. 9. 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>
    9. 10. LMS orientations <ul><li>Example ANGEL course </li></ul><ul><li>Example Moodle 2.0 course </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Main page sections </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blocks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Moodle 2.0 navigation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Course page mirrors class, integrated resources and learning activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Scroll of death” </li></ul></ul>
    10. 11. Setting up a learning module <ul><li>Defining the 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>
    11. 12. 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>Repositories in Moodle 2.0 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>YouTube, Vimeo, VoiceThread, Google Docs </li></ul></ul>
    12. 13. 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 (now 5 in 2.0) </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>
    13. 14. 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>
    14. 15. Quizzes / Assessments <ul><li>Question bank </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Question types </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organizing questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Question import </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Configuring quizzes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Formative vs summative </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Question selection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Feedback options </li></ul></ul>
    15. 16. 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>
    16. 17. 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>
    17. 18. Course reports <ul><li>Use of the Participants list </li></ul><ul><li>Course logs </li></ul><ul><li>Activity reports: what’s being used? </li></ul><ul><li>Participation reports: how has (or hasn’t) done an activity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tie to Messaging system </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Student profiles for individual reports </li></ul>
    18. 19. Questions? Keith Landa Purchase College SUNY 914-251-6450 [email_address]