It was wonderful to have Chad Outten on site at the College for three full days of consulting.
We revisited out Moodle installation which as been running “in various guises” since 2007 when it was first installed at our College.
The scope outline was to achieve the following.
- Conduct a technical audit of your Moodle system using our 33-point checklist;
- Prepare a technical report with recommendations to improve data security, information privacy and site performance;
- Conduct an e-learning audit of your Moodle system using our 47-point checklist;
- Prepare an e-learning report with recommendations to improve usability, engagement and learning experience
We expanded the scope and agreed that we would also include and address at the following.
- (re)configure moodle site settings to improve data security, information privacy and site performance
- (re)configure moodle course settings to improve usability, engagement and learner experience
evaluate teacher practice on the current moodle site based on key metrics: learner experience, course design, communication & collaboration, assessment and web responsiveness
- deploy moodle to a test environment and build a proof of concept for the ‘new’ moodle
- identify moodle knowledge/skill gaps and facilitate a practical workshop for staff which targets a specific area eg. assessment, reporting or mobile learning design
Draft Proposal and Recommendations
Based on the aforementioned challenges and objectives, the recommended course of action is as follows:
Administration. Streamline administrative workflows for course creation, user enrolment, group assignment, teacher role assignment. To improve efficiencies, these processes can, at the very least, be manually batched on a periodic basis or automated to some extent.
Simplification. Reduce system complexity for teachers. This means disabling features/functions in Moodle’s site configuration, that are not essential at this stage. On the same token, (re)setting the global defaults for course settings, activities and resources – will reduce the unnecessary decision-making for teachers. Moreover, creating a course backup as a ‘template’ which can be restored as a new course,
Baseline. Establish a baseline for Moodle best practice. And mandate this as a minimum expectation for all staff. For example, as a minimum standard, all teachers are expected to upload assessment sheets, setup assignments for electronic submission, enter grades and feedback directly via the LMS, track assessment completion, setup student feedback and issue badges for successful course completion.
Collegial approach. Form an E-Learning Team. This is a select group of highly capable teachers, across a range of year levels and KLAs, who are allocated time release, to meet as a team on a regular basis, champion e-learning best practice, deliver professional learning opportunities and 1:1 mentoring for colleagues in their KLA.
Time investment. Invest in structured release time for teachers to participate in regular professional learning opportunities delivered by the E-Learning Team. For example, Assessment: assignment, quiz and workshop; Communication & collaboration: forum, glossary and messaging; Grades: grade book, grading and feedback; Badges; Reporting; Mobile learning etc.
Reporting. Configure and utilise reporting functionality to better measure the outcomes of learning. This includes tracking key activities, such as assignments, in courses and aggregating said activities toward course completion. As a result, teachers will be able to view relevant reports and better gauge student participation and progress, and intervene with ‘at-risk’ students, in a timely manner.