Moodlemoot Ireland & UK 2012 – Pre-Conference Workshops

Having not blogged for some time, I figured that getting writing again whilst in the lovely city of Dublin would be a perfect opportunity to re-initiate my writing.

Having achieved both Certified Membership of the Association for Learning Technology (CMALT) and Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) over the last nine months or so, I’ve indulged in a fair amount of reflective writing recently. With both now completed and awarded, I feel strongly that I should return to this blog to continue reflecting as well as sharing practice with others.

As you might have guessed from the title of this post, I’m in the city for MoodleMoot Ireland & UK 2012, a conference based around the open source software, Moodle which we use at the University of Bath.

Whilst tomorrow sees the first of two days of the conference, I flew into Dublin yesterday evening in time for the pre-conference workshops that were taking place today. After some consideration of the workshops on offer, I decided to attend the following two.

#1 – Introduction to teaching with Moodle

Led by Mary Cooch (@moodlefairy), I was attracted to this workshop because of its introductory nature, despite having been a Moodle user since 2005.

With the University of Bath upgrading to Moodle 2.2 this summer, I was keen to get some ideas for both our own Moodle 2 Familiarisation seminars, and the longer term (new) Moodle Staff Development programme which will be rolled over over the next year or so.

Additionally, attending a(nother) Moodle 2.2. introductory workshops works too in getting me to polish those new skills – and paths through the environment – that are new to me.

Over the course of the three hour session, I picked up a range of ideas which I know that I’ll be considering when I’ll be leading development of the new Moodle Essentials workshop at Bath.

There were also some other items that I’ll be keen to explore after the Easter break:

  • With the Assignment activity changing for Moodle 2.3, the Online Text functionality, might be changing. This would be worth investigating given that we’re currently pushing this as an alternative to the Journal activity which we’re not installing.
  • The Lesson activity, and how to build an effective example within the Moodle Features Demo course I’m building as part of our staff development work. This holds tremendous potential for building branched learning activities.
  • The Workshop activity is another to explore, given that both activities have been re-developed completely since Moodle 1.9. This activity allows for both peer- and self-assessment based activities.
  • Develop thinking around default blocks that we should recommend users add to their Moodle courses. Talking of which, there are an increasing number available in the Blocks drop down menu when Turn Editing On has been enabled. Are all of these required, or can some be switched off?
  • When it comes to repositories available through the file picker – Is integrating with Picasa Web Albums essential? Or will Flickr be enough?

#2 – Adding Social to learning (SoMe Bootcamp)

Following lunch (no one at the conference was quite sure what the soup served was!), I headed to conference organiser, Gavin Henrick’s (@ghenrick) session on the making Moodle courses more social.

In turn, he took the group through a range of Moodle resources and activities to see how integrating with, or pulling feeds from, social media services could make Moodle courses less static.

One of the most useful parts of the session was Gavin’s insistence on actively encouraging audience participation and asking people to share their experiences. This in turn led to a much richer session.

Tomorrow, I’ll be keeping a look out for sessions in which Moodle/Mahara integration will be discussed, as I feel that there might be some discussion in this area at the University of Bath within the next six months or so.

During Gavin’s session, I was interested in a conversation about blogging functionality in Moodle, where one institution decided to switch off this functionality completely, and directed students to Mahara instead. Food for thought!

That’s it for today. I’m looking forward to more interesting sessions and conversations tomorrow, especially the remote keynote from Moodle  Founder, Martin Dougiamas, where I’m sure he’ll talk about the Blackboard-related news that shook the Moodle-world last week.

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About Nitin Parmar
I am a Learning Technologist within the e-Learning team in the Learning & Teaching Enhancement Office, University of Bath, UK.

2 Responses to Moodlemoot Ireland & UK 2012 – Pre-Conference Workshops

  1. Hi Nitin,

    Glad you found the session useful. A social learning discussion with no participation would not be too cool :) So was glad that people were so open to sharing their experience.

    Gavin

  2. Pingback: Ireland & UK Moodlemoot - Blogs and Stuff

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