Friday, September 11, 2009

Moodleposium Day 2

The second day of the moodleposium was the moodlepracticum. It started brilliantly but went downhill from there - not really, I was the first speaker for the day. Nearly everything on Day 2 was really good.

I got good feedback on my 10 minute session on glossaries. As did the others - many asked if more of these 10 minute slots could be included in the future. Margaret Robson repeated her material from the Gaggle on templates. Minh-tam showed the work he had done on the home page.

The keynote for the day was presented by Moodleman - Julian Ridden. Julian talked about the advantage of FOSS vs proprietary. Proprietary systems include features which will help it sell to many users - do not customise for unusual applications. Moodle comes with less in the box but has numerous modules written by others to add to the vanilla. is where you find them.

The second session contained a talk on a Formative Assessment Tool by Derek Chirnside. I did not see any great value in this tool for UC. The second talk in this session was by Mark Drechsler from Netspot. He looked at the pros and cons of using external Web 2.0 systems, custom modules or moodle basic. The basic issue was one of features vs control. External systems eg Wordpress, Mediawiki contained much greater features but passed control to those organisations. Internal moodle features had fewer features but more control and fewer risks. Customised modules were in the middle. The final talk was by Megan Poore on the legal risks of external Web 2.0 systems. She raised EUAs, IP, compulsory use, safety, reliability of supply. Lots to think about.

The third session was a discussion chaired by Alan Arnold on what was good and bad in Moodle from a teacher's perspective. Good things was the ability to see the students' view and the forums. Bad points were the difficulties in assigning students to groups, the problems with themes and the lack of an email function.

The final session had a series of 10 minute talks. Matt Bacon showed how to use audio files in Moodle including the way it put in an audio control bar when you created a link to an mp3 file. Nifty trick of creating a link from a single space if you want to hide the download link. Graham MacKinnell showed the dialogue module and how to use it - hint - choose separate groups and send a welcome message to all participants to prime the system. Felicia Zhang talked about the reporting features and research available from the reports function. I will be talking to Felicia about how to capture and analyse that data.

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