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Moodling along or How I learned to stop worrying and love the VLE Nigel Gibson (R13) Anna Peachey (R03) – She’s the taller one.

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Presentation on theme: "Moodling along or How I learned to stop worrying and love the VLE Nigel Gibson (R13) Anna Peachey (R03) – She’s the taller one."— Presentation transcript:

1 Moodling along or How I learned to stop worrying and love the VLE Nigel Gibson (R13) Anna Peachey (R03) – She’s the taller one

2 2 Objectives To look at what we mean by “Virtual Learning Environment” (VLE) To look at some of the components of the OU VLE To consider how these and other online tools might be used in our practice

3 3 Introduction We’re here as ALs. We really can’t answer questions on “why” or “when” or even much about “how” the university will implement Moodle across all courses or what changes it might make to specific courses – we simply don’t know We’ve managed to keep this down to 73 slides

4 4 Note The bits in red are copied directly from a presentation prepared by someone else – we’re not trying to distance ourselves from those sections but simply explain any change in “voice” and any increase in vagueness quotient

5 5

6 6 VLE? “Virtual learning environments” are not new They are generally used in the provision of distance learning although most universities and colleges have a VLE now The term “VLE” is generally used to cover a range of different tools including content management systems (CMS) and learner management systems (LMS)

7 7 So what we got? At the moment the OU has a basket of different systems FirstClass, eDesktops, Course web sites, etc. Moodle offers a way in which we can bring all these things together

8 8 Moodle Open Source software Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment The largest single site has reported over 6,000 courses and over 45,000 students Available free of charge from

9 9 Where is it from? Moodle was created by Martin Dougiamas, a WebCT administrator at Curtin University Australia His PhD examined "The use of Open Source software to support a social constructionist epistemology of teaching and learning within Internet-based communities of reflective inquiry". This research has strongly influenced the design of Moodle, providing pedagogical aspects missing from many other e-learning platforms. (Source: Wikipedia – part of the entry was edited by Martin Dougiamas)

10 10 Can we have a look yet?

11 11 NewsNews Course calendar Links and resources

12 12 The calendar can support links to materials Checkboxes to allow students to keep track of progress

13 13 Students taking more than one course can display multiple calendars

14 14 What else? Wikis Forums Quizzes ePortfolio (MyStuff)

15 15 Wikis Collaborative Egalitarian (in theory) Constructivist approach Allow roll-back and an audit trail “Closed” to the outside world Freely available on the web - PBWikiPBWiki Wikipedia!

16 16 Forums Moodle forums are a great deal simpler than FirstClass The OU hasn’t decided which way to jump

17 17 Quizzes Formative assessment Summative assessment (CMAs)

18 18 OpenMark Questions answered sequentially with immediate feedback on correct answers - can’t do this in any paper- based mode

19 19 MyStuff Somewhere to store your digital resources Possibly an ePortfolio but….. Store images, video, documents, URLs, etc. Share stored items Tag items (Folksonomy)

20 20

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22 22 Coming soon The tools are planned to be available next year include: Audio recording tool Voting module Podcasting tool Blog Replacement for Lyceum (with added functionality)

23 23 Wider non-course use of tools Some tools – such as the quiz – will be used only within courses Other tools – such as wiki and blog – are planned to be made more generally available for use by students and ALs – outside course use Guidelines for the use of tools outside courses have been developed – if students use tools beyond what is specified as part of their course then you won’t be expected to look at this work

24 24 Some ideas from MfB “Wikis would be great for distant collaborative work. Quizzes and other exercises are good for checking what has been learnt” “I can see the use of a blog for student research diaries and a wiki for collaborative work/discussion” “I would use a wiki approach to encourage students to add material they find about course theories e.g. papers” “I would use the forums and wiki for collaborative learning, for example setting a tutorial task which would involve students discussing the task and producing joint output using the wiki”

25 25 Wikis elsewhere Howard Rheingold runs a course at Stanford and uses a wiki to manage it -

26 26 …. A project based wiki - Wiki/index.php/Main_Pagehttp://conclave.open.ac.uk/SLN- Wiki/index.php/Main_Page

27 27 Bloggers too Martin Weller’s blog -

28 28 Other VLE strands In all there are 10 project areas in the VLE. Others include: Federated search – the capacity to search across a range of databases Mobile learning – including developing a version of Moodle which can be run off line (Prisons?) Mathematical and scientific notation More information about these is available on the VLE intranet site at

29 29 What else is going on? Strange happenings in virtual worlds Second Life – the current virtual world of choice 29

30 30 Second Life for learners Anonymity (inc voice) Physical appearance Physical proximity Less established group roles (tutor/student) Absence of social cues Lack of RL expectations (eg doodling because bored)

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33 33 In summary Moodle is the OU’s VLE of choice It offers a wide range of new tools which can – when used properly – greatly extend learning and teaching opportunities Like all things we’ll probably all make mistakes as we learn how to use it properly If you’re interested, the opportunities to engage with students are getting ever more diverse

34 34 Any questions? Thanks for listening (if you have) We recommend reflecting on the morning with a nice cup of tea – it makes it all seem so much even better.


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