So there is still much to admire about Moodle's ability to present an alternative path to the proprietary systems, but gee I was sick of the word Moodle by the end of this moot. I may be just a grumpy old man romanticising the past but my memories of WebCT conferences are that they were more about e- and online learning than they were about a product.
Moodle now seems to be enveloped by something akin to religious zeal and has become synonymous with elearning. It is however encouraging to see many new and younger users at Moodle moots, and to see the obvious enthusiasm for the product and the Moodle community that has evolved around it.
Martin Dougiamas began proceedings with his customary keynote.
- there is now a database of Moodle plugins
- drag and drop is now possible in 2.3
- he urged everyone to get on board with Moodle 2.0 as 1.9 will only be supported to the end of 2013.
Snippets from other sessions:
Migrating Offline Pedagogy > Online (the inimitable Julian Ridden)
"the room you're in matters" - so does the online learning space
online often tends to cater to the LCD - lowest common denominator
PEER ASSESSMENT USING WORKSHOP TOOL (Mel Worrall)
seem to use the workshop module to upload plans and reports; requires setting phases/timelines - peer assessment (need to follow up on this)
MOODLE WITH OPEN 'COMPANION' WEBSITE (Jenni Parker)
- Her research: 'Breaking free using real-life tasks'
- offers a 4 wk course in PD for staff on designing elearning
- most content is on open companion website - so that content remains available indefinitely
- believes synchronous communication more suited to meet personal needs, and asynch - professional
VET PANEL (Grant Beevers, Jayne Batchelor (Wollongong), David Drinkell (QLD VET); Francis Kneebone (eLearning Consultancy)
- should Moodle have a competency module? or do the Rubrics and Marking guides in Moodle 2.0 do the job well enough?
- maybe double handling by a human is just as efficient and cheaper than a large scale integration with student management system????? (good point!)
- Cert 3 in Electrical has made good use of eportfolios (Box Hill TAFE) - individual lecturer I think (check with Pauline Farrell)
- Mahara eportfolios can be exported /zipped
- Shaggy (Peter Shanks) has developed tool to suck all competencies into various formats - can be imported into Moodle (see http://www.trainingo2.net/to2.2/index.php)
DISCUSSION FORUMS, COMMUNITY AND LITERACY (Jill Margetson)
- Southport School - implemented Moodle and Mahara; use forums in yrs 8-10
- Do forums cater for boys? It seems she is saying yes - quite a positive experience - built relationships and a level of maturity; AND...they love to compete and see who had posted most!!!
TEACHING WITH PARTICIPATON FORUMS (Brant Knutzen; Uni of Hong Kong)
- guarantees to raise participation rate to 90%!
- Transactivity: responding to and building on each other's contributions
- have multiple small groups with no more than 6 in a group
- initiate with oral/class intro face to face
- set open ended/challenging questions
- grade posts - via rubric
- use active verbs when formulating questions (list, classify, compare, hypothesize, etc) and grade level of difficulty
NEW TOOLS FOR LANGUAGE LEARNING (Uni of Alberta)
1. OWLL (Moodle plugin but needs Red Five server); allows listen and repeat exercises
2. Speech Coach - speech analysis tool
3. Text to Speech block
One of the highlights was Stuart Mealor's presentation on Free Moodle.org - http://www.freemoodle.org/ Speaks for itself. Hosts free Moodle courses for suitable applicants. And can be a place where you can donate your Moodle courses to the open web
FINAL KEYNOTE - TOM COCHRANE
Can mobile transform pedagogy? http://dl.dropbox.com/u/9114924/MobileWeb2/index.html
- new hierarchy of needs include net/phone
- using Airserver you can share/show screen of participants' mobile
- WIKITUDE - makes it easy for students to create content???
- mobile learning puts the focus on the learner - how???; this can be done without mobile.....
- 'reclaim social media for education'; 96% of NZ students polled have not created or uploaded a YouTube vid - find this hard to believe......
Technically very impressive but didn't really make a case for how mobile will change pedagogy other than these tools are cool and different so everyone will just have to change. Not very compelling or convincing. Disappointing from this point of view.
My own presentation:
ADDRESSING GLOBAL TRENDS IN EDUCATION: Can it be done in Moodle? Presented in an open Moodle site at http://try.brightcookie.com/course/view.php?id=88
(For another perspective see Kerry Johnson's post.)