Saturday, September 26, 2009

Moodleposium Notes

For what they're worth, my notes from the recent Moodle conference in Canberra. Least I now where they are!

Denise Kirkpatrick (Open Uni): Moodle @ OU

  • OU is now 40 yrs old; no campuses; 220000 students; 1200 central academics; 8000 associate lecturers
  • Open to people, places,methods, ideas
  • no prerequesites to studt at OU (people)
  • study from anywhere (places)
  • students do not to have to attend any f2f event/location; ie distance ed (methods)
  • Challenges for UK Higher Ed: more effective leadership
  • chose Moodle in 2004
  • couses at OU managed by a team of people; lecturer cannot operate independently (!)
  • all tools are piloted and tested for scalability
  • have developed a virtual microscope (excellent for geology for example)
  • OU has all admin tools in Moodle so staff become familiar enough with Moodle to teach with it
  • OU uses Elluminate
Social Networking
  • strong SL presence (doesn't using SL conflict with the philosophy of it must work for everyone?)
  • OU's version of Moodle is customised and particular
  • OU has students in all 5 socio-economic groups (UK) ie people at the top and people at the bottom; for students in lowest gp they will supply laptop and net BB connection!
  • 90% of students just enrol in the one subject they are interested in


Group Work – Fairly Assessable? Amanda Burrell (UC)
  • gets students to work fast (Thiagi like maybe?)
  • Students require strategic and creative skills
  • groups have private forums
  • each student allocates effort 'mark' for each gp member weekly
  • there is no guaranteed group grade

Kerry Trabinger – Getting them in and keeping them talking

  • (Kerry used to work with Qantas College Online); currently working at FlexEd as part of the Centre of Education and Excellence at CIT)
  • Context: class and community (separate)
Community Driven development towards...... (Martin Dougiamas)

  • check Moodle tracker for summaries of issues being talked about in the Moodle community

Moodle 2.0


increased modularity; other app access – eg iPhone


conditional release will be added

  • pushing and pulling content in and out
  • record straight into discussion forum and post!!
  • integration with Google Apps (SSO); (Google uses Moodle for its internal training)

  • consistent navigation
  • collapsible navigation menu (big tick!!!); configured as blocks

  • most people just focus on content, a passive forum, or quizzes/assignments2
  • how about collaboration, sequencing activities, active forums bring in the content from the Net? Or co-create content? Use survey tools?

courses can be sent to a Hub that makes course available to others!! you could choose, download, and self-install course on your Moodle server

Julian Riddle – Communicating in Moodle
  • the CHOICE tool
  • St Ignatius (Sydney) use this to run student elections – great idea!!
  • J recommends we use the Dialogue tool (but it's a plug-in); t can provide private feedback/commentary within a discussion post

10 minute presentations

1.Glossaries (Andrew Reid)

can be used in assessment activities; students get marks for adding entries

2. Margaret Robson (CIT) – Engaging Interfaces

some really good interfaces on some courses – quite customised (we need to improve in this area); done with CSS/style sheets

3. Minh-Tam (Uni of Canberra)

have customised 'my courses' view; this would be handy for me!!!

Julian Riddle – Adding Flavour to Moodle

  • “Moodle is elearning's Swiss Army knife”
  • Accordeon Format – helps collapse topics
  • Lightbox Gallery – image gallery/editor (like this one)
  • add Skype to your profile

Derek Chirnside – Lightwork

  • downloads all assignments to local PC, so they can be marked and resubmitted to Moodle
  • allows inline comments in Word, (and Adobe PDFs?)
  • looking for orgs to trial from October

Mark Drechsler

  • Utilising Web 2.0 – Tips and Tricks
  • Moodle wiki can be replaced by Ouwiki (from Open U)
  • Nwiki
  • no course blog currently in Moodle
  • tag feature drags content sharing that tag into one place
  • Mahara can be used for multiple blogs; better features and access control
  • using external tools means better features but increased risk and less control
  • Compare: feature set, usability, risk
Avoiding the Scroll of Death
  • use link to directory
  • use Book module
  • use Label or Summary Tool to break up lists
  • use Course Menu
  • use Wiki tool !


  I recently created a book of this blog. I must confess part of my desire to do this was based on the assumption that it might be of intere...