MoodleMoot 2019

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Matt and Olivia joined Moodle users from UK and Ireland at the annual MoodleMoot in April. If you look really hard, you’ll be able to spot us in the group photo in the far left of the shot!

 

Highlights

Adaptive Learning Workshop

We kicked off with a workshop about Adaptive Learning, which could be called Adaptive Teaching that enables Personalised Learning. The main tools used in this session was restrictive access based on group membership and activity results/completion, and the lesson activity. We learned that whilst there is a lot of flexibility in designing learning pathways and giving students control, the UI is not the best and it is not clear how things are setup without close scrutiny. It is highly recommended to design the flows before trying to implement them.

The focus of the workshop was on tools that enable this approach in Moodle, rather than a wider discussion on how or why you might want to engage with Adaptive Learning, which would have been great. Are branching but essentially linear paths that we put students on enough to represent different approaches to learning?

Plugins

The best thing about MoodleMoot is finding out about plugins and features that you didn’t know you needed until you heard about them. Two examples of this from the conference were the subcourse plugin and embedded quiz questions.

Focus on Accessibility

It was great to see that an accessibility checker in core Moodle was the top choice from our roadmap brainstorm. With the EU Web Accessibility Directive which makes explicit the need for digital content from public bodies (including university VLEs) this feature would really help lecturers ensure that their content is accessible and inclusive.

Continuing on the accessibility theme, Karen Holland from Learning Technology Services gave a great practical presentation on accessibility in Moodle.

Student Record Integration

The holy grail for Moodle installations is to enable integration between the grader report and student record systems to enable a seamless flow of student grades, to cut down on administration and double grade entry. It was really heartening to see a presentation from Michael Hughes, University of Strathclyde on how they had achieved just this. The presentation highlighted that this requires institutional change to define a core grader report structure and to set standard assessment types.

Moodle evaluation

Gavin Henrick talked about how to evaluate Moodle. He talked about the importance of thinking ahead about what our SMART criteria for success are, measuring at the outset of the project and then comparing our results later. It forces us to ask some hard questions about our technology, such as “What is our Moodle even for?”

Learning Analytics

The last workshop of the Moot was on Learning Analytics. Elizabeth Dalton, Moodle HQ, managed to engage us all in thinking about what we mean by quality learning and highlighted the importance of aligning our curriculum to our learning analytics models. We explored our ideas about what education is for, and how these might or might not match up to what our institutions are designed to do and what our students expect. These in turn drive what we want to measure and how.

City Presentation

We presented on using playful learning to engage staff (for those facilitating as well as those participating) in Moodle Refresher training. We talked about adopting role play as a playful technique. Participants worked in pairs through a deluge of emails and calls from students to fix a module, developed by the Ed Tech Team, that showcased all the worst elements of Moodle design.

Olivia is in full flow in this shot, getting really exercised about using non-descriptive titles for activities.

P.S

Also the band were on fire!Β Β Β  🎺πŸ”₯

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