Moodle 2 in UK HE event

Moodle 2 in UK HE event              20th June 2011

This event brought together UK HE Moodle users with a ‘strategic’ or ‘technical interest’ at the Open University campus in Milton Keynes.  Four City University representatives attended with a view to gaining information and contacts to contribute to our decision to pilot and implement Moodle 2 in the near future.

This was my first trip to Milton Keynes and the Open University and I was surprised by the scale of the campus.  The event had excellent organisation including signboards on the road advertising the event and a good canteen lunch.  We met in what appeared to be a sports hall on cabaret style tables.  I’d been more used to the WebCT and eventually BlackBoard events so it was really positive to meet so many London university converts to Moodle in this new setting.  On the downside, there were an excess of suited men in the BlackBoard familiar blues and greys.  The shift to 6 monthly releases including the impact of significant changes in Moodle 2.0 on institution customisations and more institutions moving to Moodle does make me ask how the Open Source ethos will adapt.

The OU has a huge and fascinating implementation task on its hands due to firstly its enormous quantity of students and secondly the fact that there is no downtime or quiet periods during the year to make changes.  Early testing has improved the speed problems first noticed with Moodle 2.0 and the OU will implement as soon as possible by putting new courses on the new system as they come to an end.  Those new to Moodle will shift straight to Moodle 2 and others in similar situations to City aim to pilot Moodle 2.1 during the forthcoming academic year, as we do.

There were plans discussed at this event to form a network of some kind to support HE UK Moodle users.  This may materialise as a number of themed face-to-face events and an online community or mailing list.

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