Thoughts on Life, Art, Photography, Technology, Teaching and Travel…..
I’m in Greenville, NC today getting ready to head out to Pitt Community College for a Moodle administrator’s workshop. I love teaching “online” with Moodle, but still have a lot to learn about how to administer it at the college level. Hopefully I’ll learn lots of new things about Moodle and how to look “under the hood” so to speak. Update later…. Click Here for my thoughts on Moodle as a course management system.
This is an informal information sharing session led by Jonathon Sweetin, Application Integrator Learning Technology Systems NC Community College System Office and Tina Farmer, Course Development Support Coordinator at Pitt Community College. We are exploring the many challenges of moving away from Blackboard and adopting Moodle as the primary CMS for our specified colleges. There are distance learning representitives from a variety of Community Colleges across the state. There are about 20 DL coordinator’s here at the workshop all with very different proficiency levels with moodle.
Challenges I see migrating to Moodle from Blackboard.
* Migrating Couses from BB to Moodle – Time it takes to migrate each course
* Batch Enrolling Students into Moodle Data Base
* Training Faculty (and students) (Professional Development)
* Student and Faculty Discontent
* Datatel Integration
There is no doubt that Moodle is more cost effective than BB. Most people (faculty) don’t like drastic change and there is no doubt that migrating courses from BB to Moodle is going to take a great deal of time – time that most faculty will not be compensated for – this creates some anxiety on our campuses.
Hard to believe its been 3 years since I attended my first Moodle workshop. Best thing I could have done was forcing myself to teach on Moodle. I’ve been teaching for Wayne and Pitt for 3 years now and feel very confident teaching on Moodle and don’t really enjoy teaching on BB anymore. Hopefully I’ll learn a lot about Moodle Admin. Click here to read my initial reactions to Moodle 3 years ago before teaching on it.
Moodle 2.0 coming out next month. Read more here!
Its important to establish a viable and consistant (standardized) workflow for everything you do with Moodle administration. Consistent naming conventions and standardized catagories for courses and other uses for moodle such as continuing education courses, clubs, training courses, etc.
Here is another good Moodle Admin Tutorial.
Creating Blocks using HTML is a very cool and creative feature of Moodle. Instructor's can add or delete blocks or create their own course specific blocks to their classes. Great feature!
Always test modules and plug-ins before launching them on your actual Moodle site. Go to Moodle.org to get modules and plug-ins for free such as for podcasting and Itunes. Moodle administrator can set all the instructor defaults under settings when you have that settings link. Design a basic template with all the settings and blocks you want standardized (like library acces and online tutoring and then have faculty add their content to that template.
Faculty can go back in and modify that template based on their instructional design scheme. You really need to think hard about exactly what universal sticky blocks you want all students to see because you are competing for scren space with instructor content and his/her blocks.
Many levels of back-ups and course archiving. Depends on how many courses you need to back-up. Larger the college the longer back-up can take. Your remote host (remote learned for example) can help schedule back-ups and will handle disaster recovery. Should get faculty backing up their courses on the instructor level for insurance.
Remote learner is willing to design (at no cost) a Datatel / Moodle integration – this is key if Moodle is going to be ready for “prime time”. This has been the biggest concern for the Blackboard colleges.
Moodle now has the option to tie in learning outcomes with grades. With all the emphasis on learning outcomes I can see this option being a selling point for migrating to moodle.
Bottom line to moving over to Moodle is for college administration (and dl advisory) to establish a well thought out (researched) plan for designing a global template and decide what the global defaults for the entire system is going to be.
on a side note…I always try to get a little creative photography in when traveling and the road to Greenville always has some great little photographic gems tucked off the side of the highway – I stopped and grabbed this shot outside of New Bern, NC. Enjoy! These little gas stations are disappearing rapidly so I try to document them before they are all gone.