SMS to LMS Breakout


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Breakout presentation on SMS to LMS Interoperability using Musac, KnowledgNET and Moodle. By Robin Eyre at the KnowledgeNET Conference on 21st September 2012 at Takapuna Grammar School, Auckland.

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  • Welcome everyone. As we get settled can you please tweet your answer to the Starter question.
  • Title
  • Starter results
  • In late 2010 we started thinking about our need for a VLE. This was driven by our Business Manager who realized it said in our Pandemic Plan that we would set work for students electronically if we had to close, but had no functionality to do so!People asked colleagues in other schools what they did about this.
  • Identified the main options as being Moodle or UltranetIn November 2010 we decided on Moodle, since UNITEC uses it, and that’s where the majority of our students go.We had Mark Osborne come and show the staff what it could do at an End of Year Teacher Only Day. This was my first experience with Moodle!
  • At the end of summer, I got a phone call I knew was coming…Mark Shanahan, asked me to lead the group setting up and implementing e-Learning in Waitakere College, focusing on the Moodle systemNever say no to the Principal (especially if he offers an interesting job that’ll provide good career experience, time allowance to do it and some money!)
  • Shortly after the start of the year we got an email from Dataview, telling us our Moodle site was established.We thought we were getting a tried and tested system. To be told it was *.0 was a surprise, and I knew I was in for a rougher ride than I’d bargained for.But always up for a challenge, I put on a brave face and went to see what it was all about
  • It was… interesting!Took a month to get data exporting from MUSAC up to DataviewI discovered the golden rule of computer systems “crap in, crap out”. Had some in depth conversations with my Student Records manager about little things like making sure students gender is correct.Once that was done the student accounts in Moodle made much more sense!
  • These became my new home screens. Many hours watching these in case it hit a glitch which needed fixing. Early batches took up to a week to upload and process! So it was very annoying when the data at the end of the batch was bad and caused the whole thing to fail.And then I’d have to start again…
  • On the first day we actually got the data going up from MUSAC to Moodle, Andrew Cowie arrived to train us.Had to use temporary teacher accountsas the real ones were still being created around usThe Cross-curricular group of 12 Teachers were enthused about the possibilities, even though were all at different technical and pedagogical positionsVarious resources were created, and methods of delivery planned…
  • But… the Moodle provisioning didn’t work.ManyCourses had over 100 students enrolled, and some of these were also given teacher rights n the course.Teachers wouldn’t buy in, couldn’t be sure the right students were actually present in the course.Even in a virtual classroom, class size DOES matter!
  • Around this time Dataview merged with WatchdogWas this Clark Kent turning into Superman? Maybe!Resulted in a New company, with new staff, and new motivation to provide a decent product.Most importantly for schools, there was more support!
  • Rohan the new MD came to see us. Maybe because I was getting really grumpy and talking about giving up and switching to UltraNet?An Action Plan was put in placeThe software Developers start developing fixes!And more training planned which involved…
  • …Pete Potter flying up from Christchurch to “Train the Trainer”This was One-on-One Training of the e-Learning Facilitator (Me!)Since I was in school the whole time and could help teachers at any time, we focused on getting me as skilled as possible, rather than up skilling 12 teachers a little bit in a whole day session.Pete also introduced me to ParentPortal and MyPortfolio
  • The big Whole Staff roll out was planned for Wednesday 13th JulyThere were two plans in place, depending on if we were ready…But Watchdog came through and fixed the Course Enrolments database the day before.Just in time, Phew!
  • Basic activities I recommended teachers start with wereUploading the Course Outlines (already created) so students know what they are learningCreating Glossaries for collaborative vocab work and Forums for student discussions, both minimum teacher effortMake Quizzes for formative assessment – quite a bit of teacher effort
  • What did we find? Students wanted more!Best Staff Quote ever.“My students asked me why I don’t use Moodle. They say they use it in their other classes and say it helps them learn. Can you help me set it up?”I start a campaign to get the kids to pester their teachers to use it! Kids think it is hilarious!
  • With the system running well, thoughts turned to the end of year rollover.What would happen to all our wonderful resources in 2012 when the 2011 courses ceased to exist?This prompted the “Moodle Users” meeting at Albany Senior, in NovemberHow to preserve existing stuff whilst setting up new courses.Lots of ideas shared
  • February 2012Students re-enrolled in physical classesMUSAC exports data to MoodleMoodle creates the new courses and enrolls exactly the right people in each course.The roll over works perfectly…But then MUSAC breaksNo new enrolments or option changes can be processed by Moodle.This makes Moodle’s course enrolments nonsense!
  • It takes almost 3 months for Musac to fix the bug…but now Moodle can’t understand the data!Watchdog make tweaks and data starts flowing smoothly again! We sort out the Scheduled Batch Uploads, so now I don’t even need to keep watching my old home screens!
  • So after 18 months, Moodle is all set up (touch wood…) so what’s next?Wireless is going in now, in 6 core learning areas at the end of Term 2, with future expansion plannedSNUP due in Term 4Ultra Fast Broadband by next JulyBYOD plans MyPortfolioGoogle Apps for EducationSingle Sign OnAnd various other stuff…
  • Changes to teacher thinking means e-Learning is now developing at Waitakere College, and is now unstoppable. We have a Ministry Funded Blended e-Learning PD Contract with Te Toi Topu.So what did I, as the e-Learning Facilitator, do next?
  • I change schools!I have just been appointed the Science Faculty Leader of Lynfield College, starting in Term 3.New Challenges. New Focus. New Leadership.They have Moodle, so that’s alright.But not interoperability, so I can start it all over again!
  • Make sure all classes that are timetabled are on the option lines in TAS.
  • This might include classes that aren’t “taught” classes, but you still want a Moodle course for, e.g. Mentoring, Scholarship, Counselling… Use outside of normal years and lines to fiddle it. They won’t appear on student timetables, but will be recognised as a class, and you can enrol students and teachers into it.
  • Every class you want to make a Moodle course for needs to be listed in the Subject Details page of Student Manager. The “Option Code” box is where Moodle gets the name of the course from, so make sure it makes sense to you, your staff and students! And must be the same as on your timetable
  • The ELMU package is activated from the Student Manager menu screen. Your Data Manager will be familiar with it for NCEA uploads (if in as Secondary School!)Name a folder where the batch will be created. This is CM\\ELMU\\Work Folder by default.Here you can force a full upload if you want to send every piece of data, rather than just an update. This can take a very long time, approx. 38 hours for Waitakere College with 1250 students
  • Choose what data to send. Best to gradually increase the data with each batch upload until you have everything included you want. Then if you hit a problem, it’s is most likely to be the latest box you ticked. You also tell Musac where to put the files when it has finished making them.
  • Can select which ever national assessment method you use and enter into MUSAC
  • Once reports have been processed into a .pdf and transferred to Quickfind, you can include them in the batch. Just select it from the drop down menu.
  • LMS Upload is where you select students to be uploaded and activate the batch generation. Any students with data errors will be automatically removed from the selection, so I simply tick the root box, Y10 is greyed out as one student has an error. This is often a missing NSN due to a new student who hasn’t been fully processed yet. When their data is completed, they will be added to the selection. You can also force a full upload from here.Upload is the magic button. Hit it and then take a break, hopefully nothing to do for several hours!
  • However, I often find myself watching the Work Folder to make sure it hasn’t stopped. This one took 3 hours to generate.Once it has finished, Musac will copy the files into the Upload Folder you specified earlier.
  • WebSYNC will come with instructions for your institution from Watchdog. You just need to tell it where to look for the batch files Musac produced.
  • WebSYNC just sits in the background, and as soon as it sees a complete batch in the Upload Folder, starts sending them up to ParentPortal (KnowledgeNET)
  • Once you have data flowing smoothly from Musac to ParentPortal you can schedule batch uploads. This is the Server Component of ELMU which you can download from the secure area of Musac. I schedule batches to start every evening at 5pm when the days data is more-or-less entered, and it generates, uplaods and processes overnight. This means that any new student gets into Moodle the day after they enrol in the school, with no effort from me, and with all the same details as the Data Manager entered them with. This runs on my Terminal Server, but needs a live session. So my TS session is set to never time out, otherwise it would interrupt the batch and I’d need to re activate the scheduling. Which is a pain if I didn’t know it had been reset until I noticed that the data was out of date!
  • When your data comes through to ParentPortal you can select where you want the courses to be sent in Moodle
  • Activate KN-to-Moodle Synchronisation on the fly and your data should stay the same between the two systems.
  • In Moodle in the Add/Edit Courses menu set up your course structure. This can be by Year Level, Whanau groups, Subject Areas or whatever. All your courses will appear in which ever category you selected as the default in ParentPortal
  • Go into that category, select courses and move them to the right category by using the drop down box. This is when careful naming of course back in Musac comes in handy, as they are all listed alphabetically, but that might mean you have to do a lot more clicking
  • When you are finished, your users will see all the classes they are timetabled for in their “My Moodle” home page. Teachers will see students appear in their Moodle course the day after they appear on their roll, students will have their Moodle courses automatically adjust when they change options. This can remove all the headache of administrators creating student logins, and teachers or students having to enrol themselves in courses. This allows teachers and students to focus on the learning potential in Moodle, rather than the administration of the system.
  • SMS to LMS Breakout

    1. 1. A journey of implementing SMS to LMS InteroperabilityStarter - What systems do you use?Tweet the following:Musac but not Moodle: 1 #smslmsAMoodle but not Musac: 2 #smslmsAMusac AND Moodle: 3 #smslmsANone of these: 4 #smslmsA
    2. 2. There and back again… an e-Learning Facilitators tale by Robin Eyre Email: Twitter: @robin_eyre
    3. 3. Learning Intentions• What are the opportunities of using interoperability between my SMS and LMS?• What are the hurdles in setting up interoperability?
    4. 4. Starter - What systems do you use?Tweet the following:Musac but not Moodle: 1 #smslmsAMoodle but not Musac: 2 #smslmsAMusac AND Moodle: 3 #smslmsANone of these: 4 #smslmsA 1 – Musac but not Moodle 2 – Moodle but not Musac 3 - Musac AND Moodle 4 – None of these
    5. 5. Why do we need an LMS?• Modern Learning Environment• Anytime, Anywhere learning• Engaging learners• Pandemic Plan!
    6. 6. or???
    7. 7. The phone call, 21st January 2011 Have I got an offer for you…NewMark ShanahanPrincipal, Waitakere College
    8. 8. Oh crap…
    9. 9. First Moodle Training SessionAndrew Cowie11th March 2011
    10. 10. Second Moodle Training SessionPete Potter12th July 2011
    11. 11. Focus on:Course outlinesGlossariesForumsQuizzes
    12. 12. Please, Sir, can I have some Moodle?
    13. 13. February 2012: difficult
    14. 14. 27th April 2012:MUSAC
    15. 15. What’s next? SNUP SSO
    16. 16. Advantages of interoperability• Auto creation of new students and teachers accounts.• Appropriate roles assigned to each user.• Synchronise students timetable to Moodle courses.• Comes with ParentPortal, to inform caregivers of student’s Achievement and progress.• Allows teachers and students to focus on learning, rather than administration.
    17. 17. Disadvantages of interoperability• Complicated set up• Relies on multiple parties to function properly• Requires in depth knowledge of school timetable structure
    18. 18. Steps in setting up interoperability• TAS - Timetable option lines• SM - Subject details• ELMU – Configuration settings• ELMU – LMS Upload• WebSync – Configuration• WebSync – Connect• ELMU – Scheduled Batch Upload• ParentPortal – MoodleSync• Moodle – Add/Edit Courses
    19. 19. TAS -Timetable Option Lines
    20. 20. Student Manager - Subject details
    21. 21. ELMU – Configuration settings
    22. 22. ELMU – LMS Upload
    23. 23. Work Folder – Batch Upload
    24. 24. WebSYNC - Configuration
    25. 25. WebSYNC - Connect
    26. 26. ELMU – Scheduled Batch Uploads
    27. 27. ParentPortal – Moodle Configuration
    28. 28. Moodle – Add/Edit Courses
    29. 29. User View
    30. 30. Guide to setting up MUSAC• MUSAC ELMU Utility setup guide:
    31. 31. Many thanks to:MarkAntsJeannieShonaCarlKarlChristiaanKyleRohanBartSianAlisterAndrewPeterand all the staff and students of Waitakere CollegeWithout whom this journey would have never happened
    32. 32. Have you found this session useful?Tweet:Yes 1 #smslmsBNo 2 #smslmsBEmail: @robin_eyre