MoodleMoot 2017 and the future of learning technologies
This year’s annual MoodleMoot conference in Australia was packed with showcases of engaging course designs, presentations of new plugins and innovative practices, and opportunities to exchange ideas with fellow teachers, developers and designers.
Moodle HQ kicked off the conference with masterclasses on ‘Mobile Learning’ and ‘Moodle Course Design’ as well as a ‘Developers Hackfest’, which gave everybody across different roles the chance to engage in state-of-the-art Moodle technology.
Moodle founder and CEO Martin Dougiamas opened the second day with an inspiring keynote addressing the power of the open movement and the Moodle community’s contribution to it. The news of the day was the announcement of a $6 million angel investment into Moodle Pty Ltd from Education For The Many – a subsidiary of the French-based Leclercq family office. The new investment will allow Moodle to accelerate established growth plans for its open source software and a number of associated initiatives.
Navitas was strongly represented and contributed with these three presentations from the Learning and Teaching Services team:
1. Didn’t We Just Do This? 7 tips in 7 minutes for a smooth upgrade – Meg James (Learning Technologist) shared her expertise about the process of upgrading and key strategies to keep staff engaged and up-to-date.
2. What do learners really want? Using Moodle to transform the student experience – Kristen Clarke (Head of VET Curriculum and Operations, ACAP), Christina Del Medico (Team Lead, Professional Development), and Jonathan Hvaal (Learning Designer) showed their achievements working with teachers to re-design their units in Moodle. This presentation received a lot of audience engagement and they are now re-sharing their popular presentation in an online webinar. Sign up here!
3. Virtual classrooms in Moodle with Zoom – Andrea Scheuringer (Learning Technologies Designer) and Nicolas Jourdain (Learning Technologies Developer) gave insider insights into the project to make the Zoom plugin fit Navitas’ requirements.
My biggest takeaways
From a technology point of view, three topics stood out in discussions at MoodleMoot:
- More sophisticated learning analytics through machine learning will provide a vast range of new opportunities to support students’ success. Moodle HQ’s development team is working on an analytics tool called Inspire, where machine learning is leveraged to train the tool to make increasingly smarter predictions.
- The ‘mobile first’ design approach will gain in importance for designing technologies as well as creating content. Students with short attention spans and ubiquitous mobile devices will need content and technologies that can deal with small screen sizes and low bandwidths.
- And virtual reality is making its way into learning design. Another glimpse into the not so far future of Moodle was given by John Okely from Moodle HQ who demonstrated an interactive quiz using VR.
On top of three days of sharing knowledge and networking, fun didn’t fall short. The appearance of Captain MoodleCloud, to promote the Moodle Cloud service and the Moodle themed trivia during the conference dinner added to a great conference experience that already makes one look forward to MoodleMoot 2018 in Brisbane.
Until then, please keep sharing what you’re experimenting with in Moodle via Yammer. It’s highly motivating to see the fantastic design challenges teachers and staff are setting themselves.