Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Moving to Moodle 2.0 workshop (Wed 14 July 2010)

Moving to Moodle 2.0 Workshop

Facilitated by Mark Dreschler

Beginning of workshop, we logged into a practice Moodle workshop area.

See Mark’s presentation about the Moodle workshop in Moodle 2.0

New features:
  • navigation is different - based on the left
  • navigation block makes screen much cleaner
  • can click between sections within various courses, without having to go in and out of courses via the breadcrumbs bar
  • setting block, by default, sits under the navigation block
  • Navigation block can be collapsed
  • Switch user at bottom
  • Page settings includes the turn editing on functione
  • blocks on the right can be moved to be tabs on the left - these remain constant as you scroll down the page
  • similar to other Moodle activities
  • requires a name and intro
  • different options include
    1) providing examples of students' work;
    2) whether or not you want this to be a peer review activity (generally workshops in Moodle are);
    3) should I be able to assess my own work;
    4) Grade for submission - what students get for their own work
    5) Grade for assessment - based on how well they have assessed the work of their peers (assessed as being an assessor, based on a comparison with other grades given by others' assessment grades)
    6) Grading strategy
    7) instructions for submission
  • The assessment form can be edited as in rubrics. Editing form can be based on aspects such as 1) accuracy 2) originality 3) English skills
  • Light globes indicate what stage you are up to in the workshop process - for students and teachers. Teachers' options are more complex. Students only see what they are supposed to see.
  • Can use “random allocation” to get various people to mark other students’ work. Can nominate how many reviews per submission. Or you can manually allocate students to mark other students’ work.
  • Students can mark other's work with numeric grades and qualitative responses. As they mark, the description of the marking criteria was also provided.
  • Markers can be made anonymous or otherwise.
  • Quality of the students' review can also be given a mark - this can be rated as very lax, lax, fair, strict and very strict. This means that students get a mark for their work and for their marking.
  • Grades given by students can be overruled by the teacher
  • Peer review can be given a lesser rating than a teacher's.
  • Students cannot be given grades unless the students are asked to grade three or more examples.

In general:

"Mark as complete" ticks are shown against each item in Moodle.

Enrolment in Moodle 2.0

Most asked for new function was the ability to create sitewide cohorts (or groups)

These cohorts are only seen in particular categories (e.g., to the physics faculty).

Users can be assigned into a course manually.

Types of enrolments can be turned on and off.

E.g., self enrolment (with a password – in Moodle 2.0 – one enrolment key for students and one enrolment key for students), manual enrolment, Guest access, metacourse link

A lot more options re enrolment (e.g., how long sts should be enrolled)

Administrators can choose what the defaults are.

File management in Moodle 2.0

Main change is that files are not stored in course silos any more.

There is no course files area any more.

There is a files area that may be shared across courses.

Files are attached to the resource or the activity in which they were first uploaded.

Lists of recent files can also be listed.

Activities in Moodle can be copied from one course to another.

"Display a directory" has been changed to "folder" via Add a resource/ Folder

Completion status

Grades can be set to pass level (e.g., students must reach at least 10 marks for a pass).

Resources and activities can be set so that students must complete to pass the course.

Additional support quizzes can be shown if the students get a grade less than a certain score.

Outcomes – assessment criteria which can go broader than assignment level. They can be allocated beyond the assignments. Same outcome can be measured across more than one course.

Final words from Martin Dougiamas Wednesday 14 July 2010

Moodle Moot will probably be in Sydney in 2011.

Martin congratulated all involved on a well organised conference with just the right amount of structure, allowed a lot of talking and collaborating to happen

Moodle sessions on Wednesday 14 July 2010

Embedding media in Moodle (9.00-9.30 session)

by Francis Kneebone from Scripture Union, Queensland

Link to his abstract

Francis described a few ways that media and plugins could be embedded as HTML code in Moodle items (especially labels). View needs to be changed to see the code using the HTML toggle button.

Here are a few tips from Francis about how to use media in courses:
  • ensure that the media engages but doesn't distract from the learning
  • work out where to build walls (where students don't need to go out to the internet) and where to build wells (encourage students to delve into internet resources)
  • ensure that there is a consistent structure within topics or modules so that students know where to find the media

Here are some examples of embedding media into Moodle courses:
  • creating a Facebook page and linking to it from Moodle
  • embedding HTML from a Youtube video
  • create your own Youtube channel and use this to distribute videos to your students
  • include an introduction/ welcome video from the instructor as well as a video from an expert in each of the topics/modules in a course

  • some HTML code can wreck the rest of the course
  • widgets from widgetbox.com can be problematic as they can bring spam and advertising with them which shows up in your course
  • Flash files won't work on mobile devicessome plugins don't work with some browsers

  • students using more mobile devices to access course materials
  • Moodle 2.0 may not need embedding HTML coding to show media

Here are a few places on the web that Francis shared with us from where you can find good media resources:


Glossaries and databases (9.30-10.00 session)

by Tabitha Roder from Unitec

Good way to encourage students to contribute to the Moodle course.

Link to her abstract


Think of glossaries as word lists – not as definition lists.

Main aim – get students to consider words in the context of their course.

See yourself as someone who points students in the right direction of finding the most appropriate words - not as the giver of definitions and key words.

In Moodle: Add an activity / glossary

Options to select:
  • Yes- duplicate entries are allowed (to enable the same word to be defined in different ways)
  • Yes to allow comments
  • Students can then print out the glossary later (can take it away from the course later)
  • Show “special” link so that the key words appeared linked in all sections of the course
  • No to approve by default if you aren’t sure of the students
  • Edit always – yes: so that the original author can rewrite the words after they have written it. They can also delete it.
  • Secondary glossary. Approved terms go to the main glossary. Or say that every entry has the right to be on the front page glossary.
  • Students can rate each others work or the teacher can rate them.
  • Restrict ratings – can happen at a later date, after students have edited and responded to comments.


Databases are the next level up from glossaries – use databases after you have created and used glossaries. Get familiar with glossaries first.

Some of the options on the database function in Moodle include:
  • Required entries – must contribute some before they see others.
  • Maximum entries - if you only want students to enter a certain amount of entries
  • Students can comment on each others entries if comments are turned on
  • Require approval if you are concerned about the content being added by your students - you will have to approve each one before they are published.
  • “Preset” – someone else made a database that you can use. Can also find some on Moodle.org
  • Fields – make your own fields, choose from a drop down list
  • Can export from Moodle
  • Templates – how you make the fields of the database look
  • Databases can be viewed as single entries or as a full list.

See examples on Moodle.org. see the modules and plugins section on Moodle.

Martin encouraged us to use images in the glossaries as well. Can also embed videos and/or audio clips.

Keynote by David Parkin - Wed 14 July 2010

This guy was a very inspiring speaker who spoke about the importance of a person's character and values first and foremost - teach them competencies and skills later.

Here is some information about David Parkin:

David is a well known Australian Rules football coach, was a player, and is also a previous primary school teacher. He now teaches lecturer in Sports and Exercise Science at Deakin Uni. He is interested in teamwork and leadership. He is passionate about teaching, leadership and teamwork.

The attitude that you bring with you determines what you get out of whatever you are doing.

Here are some of David's ideas

As in all other fields of life, people want things faster, better and cheaper.

Education – crowded curriculum, national curriculum doesn’t include all the important things that it used to. Mainly teaching to the test.

Stress levels are up. Teachers are more stressed than the police – increased breakdowns and suicide. Reduced fun and fulfilment. How are we going to make it better?

Ray McLean’s book on teams: Any given team

Too much emphasis on competencies and skills. Focus on values and personal qualities. Commitment to do the job. Focus on character first, teach competencies later.

Get rid of people who cause problems in the institution.

"If it aint broke, smash it" - always think about how we can do this better (opposite of "if it aint broke, don't fix it")

Difference between leadership and management

"Leadership is about getting the right things done."

"Management is about making sure that the right things get done right."

In the process of writing a book about teamwork and leadership recently, he found that good leaders really wanted to get the job done. The best leaders also cared about the team members beyond the capacity of what they were employed to achieve.

Share the knowledge and the power.

Give ownership whenever you can.

Despite your personality and preferred ways of doing things, you need to be flexible and don’t treat every situation and person the same way. Team needs to take ownership of what the team is doing.

Continually sell the vision.

Ideal size for a team is 5-12.

Mutual goal setting. Then work out how it will be measured and evaluated. "If it don't get measured, it don't get done."

Share the recognition and rewards - teams must do this. Acknowledge what people do well and their unique skills. Work out how to combine all as a team.

Encourage team members to have critical friends - must be open to feedback to improve.

Trust - essential within the team. Team players must be predicatable.

Sacrifice - working for others. Going beyond your own needs and assisting others in the team. Work hard for your mates.

Here are some ideas on working with a team:

  • Do you hear the language of blame and excuses or the language of responsibility?
  • Ask your team what they want to achieve and then work out together how to achieve it.

Finished with these questions:

  • Can I still make a difference as I am in the role that I’m on – or do I have to reinvent myself to make a difference?
  • Do I still have the passion and the health to do what I need to do?
  • Am I still respected by those that I serve?
  • How’s your attitude?

Moodle sessions on Tuesday 13 July 2010

Keynote Presentation – Martin Dougiamas
Plenary Room

Moodle being used in 215 countries, by 35M users in 85 languages

Biggest users are from non-English speaking countries

Huge development since 1999

Moodle 2.0 functions:
  • 20 new themes
  • Blocks - docked and undocked:
    1) navigation block
    2) settings block
  • 2 x homepagees:
    1) my home (customisable)
    2) courses/sites
  • All settings are listed together
  • Blocks can be added (like gadgets in Google)
  • privates files - block file repository (could also be available to students)
  • All files tagged with licence types
  • Much better file management/ saving changes
  • better messenging
  • blogs can be synchronised with other external blogs
  • comments can be added to each page
  • workshop much easier to use, for peer and self assessment, students can also mark examples
  • Hub - site for sharing courses or links to courses (see or download) e.g., mooch - open comm. hub qa.moodle.net (reset every hour)
  • Survey customisable in 2.1

Now: release is still a working version - will be ready in a couple of weeks.


Academic Analytics: Indicators of Engagement (11-11.30am)

by Colin Beer, Ken Clark, David Jones from Central Queensland University

See the abstract

Colin gathered data from the LMS and student information systems.

Main message of this presentation: number of hits correlated with grades. The higher the number of hits, the higher the student's grade.

This was a large study: n=91284

Mature-age students tended to use the LMS more frequently than younger students.

Colin described the teaching of flexible students as being removed from the "pollution of face-to-face teaching"

Students could be targeted for messages, depending on their click-count (less active students could be sent an encouragement message)

Purdue Uni - signals project, 67% improvement

There are many indicators of engagement but this study focused on one of these indicators (that is, the number of clicks students made online throughout the semester.

Colin is looking for collaborators for future research - I spoke to him later and he said he'd be happy for Avondale to be involved.

See Slideshow presentation on Slideshare


Suggestions for future Moodle analytics: conceptions of teaching, visibility and reflection (11.30-12)

by Ken Clark from Central Queensland University

See Ken's abstract

Introduction ideas:

  • Staff interaction with students in one of the key influences on students' engagement (Fresen, 2007)
  • Relationships with students in a key factor in a successful teaching-learning situation
Results of the study:

  • In the old LMS, 27% of units used forums, others didn't
  • When they changed to Moodle, there were only 11% who didn't use forums
  • also introduced "minimum standards" (compliance measures) during the move to Moodle - this didn't make much of a difference as it was a top-down strategy.
  • Result: greater use of interaction via forums one the uni moved to using Moodle

Other comments by Ken:

  • Malikowslei et al (2007) - showed that staff start using the LMS in stages, starting with content dissemination tools
  • More student interaction in forums - correlated with a higher grade
  • Quantity and quality of staff engagement (Dawson & McWilliam)

Check out:

Presentation on Slideshare

Project website: http://indicatorsproject.wordpress.com/


Moodle and the Scholarship of Teaching (12.00-12.30pm)

by Philip Marriott from University of South Australia

See Phil's abstract

Presentation based on these questions: How do we measure how good Moodle is? How can we measure effectiveness? Has teaching improved with the use of technology?

Background: Focusing on teachers and changes in the Scholarship of Teaching (SOT)

Phil's main points:

  • Russell (2005) showed that there was no significant difference - students didn't necessarily learn better or more
  • Whelan and Plass (2002) - no significant difference
  • Clark - media is not important
  • Cuban (1986) - stages of using technology include: from excitement through to disappointment (and other stages in between)
  • Many teachers become marginalised as teachers but Moodle puts them back in the link
  • Aim of scholarly teaching: makde transparent how learning was made possible.

Keynote Presentation – Helen Carter (1.30-2.30)

University of Canberra

Who manages the LMS?

Centralisation/ decentralisation of support

Presentation drew upon:

  • Business Readiness Framework from the Open University (Sclater, 2006)
  • White Paper Ballarat Uni (Pallet & Wright, 2009)
Moodle at the University of Canberra:

  • May 2008 signed with Netspot
  • Second university in Australia to adopt Moodle
  • Students and teachers responded very positively
  • Educause 2009 - 10 tips for successful implementation of Moodle
  • Had excellent support from the university hierarchy
  • Had Moodle mentors
  • Use of terms was important - for example, "partnering" rather than "outsourcing"

Incorporating Web2.0, Pedagogy 2.0 and Moodle 2.0 into your learning and teaching agenda: But just wait one sec (3.00-3.30pm)

by Michael Sankey from University of Southern Queensland

See Michael's abstract

76% study by distance
26 000 students

Conceptual shift to user participation

Mostly used for communication

Move from personal to shared

McLoughlin & Lee (2008) - "Pedagogy 2.0"

USQ do have minimum standards

Staff must add a welcome, be online at least 3 times a week, have a 48-hour response turnaround, must say how they plan to use the online environment

Over 130 web 2.0 sites that could be used for education

10 things to be careful of (Dufen & Bachytanya 2007)

Translating Learning Outcomes in Moodle (4.00-4.30pm)

by Srinivas Chemboli, Lynette Johns-Boast, Lauren Kane from The Australian National University (Engineering)

Based on John Biggs' constructive alignment

Created a self-guided study tour using this process:

  • select an outcome
  • identify characteristics
  • use online instrument
  • develop

Activities were made up of flowcharts and online lessons

See the abstract


Limits in developing innovative pedagogy with Moodle: The story of BIM (4.30-5.00pm)

by David Jones from Central Queensland University

BIM alllows students to create their own blog externally

Answer reflective questions

BIM creates a copy on Moodle

Integrates with gradebook on Moodle

Allows lecturer to see half-finished blog

"BIM" becomes an option in the "Dropdown menu" - add an activity

See David's abstract

Moodle sessions on Monday 12 July 2010

Getting Structured and Timely in Moodle (11.00-11.30am)

by Michael de Raadt, University of Southern Queensland

See Michael's abstract

Initiated by problem with paper-based marking

Wanted to do more teaching/ less marking, have more interaction and higher order thinking

Changed to more regular electronic assessment which resulted in higher retention

Created a peer assessment system (as a Moodle assignment type - available freely):
  • organises peer review relationships
  • double blind
  • students input mark but teacher moderates
  • can reduce marking levels
  • can be a one week turnaround (no delay between submitting and reviewing)
  • students said it was easy to use
  • develops a sense of community and ensured anonymity
  • reduced marking by about 50%
  • progress bar for students and teachers

Messages of Michael's presentation:

  • more regular assessment is better
  • progress bar was motivating
  • students liked it and wanted it in other courses

Final comment: This could be implemented in Moodle at Avondale

More than one right, three false: enhancing multiple choice questions (11.30-12.00)

by Oliver Bayerlein, Nanzan University, Japan

See Oliver's abstract

Context: language teaching

Message: use of media can enhance the power of MC questions in Moodle, also combined different types of media including:
  • audio - voice (not just your own voice)
  • video (with all options included)
Cloze exercises were converted into Moodle as MC questions

Audio questions - text or audio answers

Video and audio or text answers

More motivating for students if varied media were used in MC questions.

Lightwork – A New Moodle-Compatible Application for the Management and Marking of Assignments

Eva Heinrich, Massey University

Application works in Moodle. Application created by Eva and her team. They are keen for others to trial it.

Everything is available via lightworkmarking.org (including software downloads, forums etc.).

Lightwork 2 is currently being developed

Makes distribution of feedback to students quicker (instead of clicking and attaching to each student in Moodle, does this by bulk)

Aims - improved quality and more formative feedback for students

Rubrics are set up in Lightwork

Manages the marking team

Can monitor marking of other tutors

Includes a built-in PDF annotator (linking in assignment module with rubric comments)

Can work offline

Can use Lightwork for own teaching, apart from Moodel

PDF is created and given to students

See Eva's abstract


Let the students speak - Providing impetus for oral activities in Moodle environment (2.30-3.00pm)

Patricia Buchner, Nanzan University Nagoya, Japan

Ideas for speaking activities in Moodle without a teacher being present

Speaking is more challenging (compared to listening, reading and writing)

No add-ons needed

Students listen to audio recordings with text and translations

Listening and repeating exercise

Called the activity "text karaoke"

Allows students to compare own speech with the recording of a native speaker

Listen to audio impetus and reply to the audio

Students found these easy to complete and they were easy to create

Future plans:
  • embed a recording tool
  • online collaboration
  • anynchronous story telling
  • soundscapes
  • use Skype

See Patricia's abstract


Supporting students in a Learning Age - how Moodle is changing teaching and learning (4.00-4.30pm)

by Graham Taylor from Thebarton Senior College

School of 1400 - 1000 FTE

Blended learning environment

Started with a grant through Australian Flexible Learning Framework

0.6 person administers Moodle

Need access to PD budget

Uses book module in Moodle (set up in chapters)

atomiclearning. com (includes 1-2 minute video about $1-2 per student per year)

Geting to know you activity at the beginning


See Graham's abstract


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Moodle Master Class Sunday 11 July 2010

Today included a number of presentations by Curtis Bonk and Julian Ridden.

Online motivation

He presented 10 ideas that should be considered in online learning and Moodle:
  1. Tone/Climate: Psych Safety, Comfort, Belonging
  2. Encouragement, Feedback: Responsive, Supports
  3. Curiosity: Fun, Fantasy, Control
  4. Variety: Novelty, Intrigue, Unknowns
  5. Autonomy: Choice: Flexibility, Opportunities
  6. Relevance: Meaningful, Authentic, Interesting
  7. Interactive: Collaborative, Team-Based, Community
  8. Engagement: Effort, Involvement, Excitement
  9. Tension: Challenge, Dissonance, Controversy
  10. Yields Products: Goal Driven, Products, Success, Ownership

Hey there good looking

Presentation by Julian: Hey, there, good looking by Julian Ridden.

Main points from this presentation included:
  • engaging students
  • encouraging online teachers to consider given students choice
  • use of various tools in Moodle (e.g., Choice, Dialogue)
Addressing learning styles and diverse learners

Presentation by Curt Bonk

Best Practices 1 - Low-Risk, Low-Cost, Low Time

Presentation by Dr Curtis Bonk