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Moodleposium 2013 (ANU)



This week I have the opportunity to attend the moodleposium 2013 at the Australian National University. There are 5 streams which means choosing the topics most relevant to my work and interests, so I plan to attend the following:

Keynote from Dr Kate Bowles. Questioning whether or not there is actually a "crisis" in Higher Education or more a needed correction in response to student needs and changes in technology and technology use. Lots of other great points including on design thinking and letting students and staff design their spaces - this image highlights why very well (notice the path pedestrians would rather take over the path urban designers put in place):


  • Choose your own adventure: On-line Engagement in a Masters Organisational Behaviour Course - Jason Mazanov & Fiona Honeyman
    • UNSW Canberra
    • Teaching military students so require high degree of study flexibility
    • Need to do more than overwhelm with discussion boards
    • Now students can choose own (learning) adventure from:
      • assessable blogs/forums remained but a much smaller component of the interations
      • peer to peer feedback on drafts
      • Wiki pages - based on the task of students contributing to a collective intelligence resource.
      • Live Q&A sessions (good way to address knowledge gaps and misconceptions)
      • Twitter conversations - though students feel it's not for in depth conversations.
    • Challenges
      • Learning new tools e.g. wiki - and didn't work as expected with students
      • some activities need to be limited in numbers e.g. QA sessions - using group selection for pre-commitment and gets them to plan their participation early.
      • BB Collaborate can be a bit flakey and had issues trouble shooting student audio and video issues (microphones etc).
      • Unit convener needed to learn possibilities and constraints of the technologies.
      • Settings in various systems can be complicated and exist accross all these systems and need setting/checking at various times.
    • Course convener reflections
      • Scaffold wiki and other technology use with guides, instructions, templates - e.g. creating a wiki is very different from reading one.
      • Get them engaged in the technology use early.
      • Social media Doesn't work for people in sensitive positions e.g. in the military.
      • Decided to use twitter because it was used in sports management education at a conference. Convener wanted students to engage with social media and understand what it is (building digital literacy).
  • Engaging Students in Assessment: Workshops and Rubrics - Tim Turner (ADFA)
    • Teacher developed rubrics in the moodle workshop tool together with students in class. Students start to think about how they are going to be evaluated and what is "good" and what is "bad" eary early on. Give some detail - e.g. what you think is important - in the rubric and get students to fill in the other details. Doing this takes a lot of time.
    • could have introduced exemplars of assessment items to compliment a tight rubric.
    • Assessment was a short essay on one technology
    • Students read and evaluate the essay of 3 other peers.
    • Students evaluate own work in a workshop - where teacher can help work through how to evaluate work (as these were first year students)
    • Convener marks submission where their evalaution differs from student evaluation of own performance..
    • Great for Peer assessment review - but not for grading. (ran a simulation with dummy students to see how grading would work)
    • issues (workshop tool may have been upgraded since this experience)
      • many students had not seen a rubric before
      • was a challenge to judge work against an individual indicator
      • indicators that students came up with were quite simple and needed development e.g. "Ok sentence structure", "better sentance structure" etc.
      • many students had not formerly assessed any other students work before.
      • Rubric in moodle workshop has serious limitations, so went with the accumulative grading form.
      • Tim has to manually assign all the students and assign himself as a grader of all workshop submissions.
      • Grades broken into submission grade 80% (average of all reviewers grades) and assessment grade 20% (multiplied by 16 fold, which is the max moodle allows). submission grade is what students give each other - and assessment grade is what the teacher gives. submission grade is given less significance the further away it is from the teachers score.
      • The algorithm used in "accumulative grading" is unfair but can be worked around.
      • Completely impossible to differentiate between peer and teacher grades - it is designed as a peer assessment tool.
      • Can't be used with text matching software.
      • Students see all student grades when grades are released with this tool so screenshots were taken to other student grades blotted out.
  • Open badges in Moodle 2 - Julian Ridden
    • used for formal and informal courses
    • used for hard (e.g. using a drill) and soft skills
    • can be used regardless of teaching methodology because they are about rewarding achievement.
    • Can capture achievement of learning wherever and whenever.
    • meta-badges represent more complex literacies or competencies
    • can be used a prerequisites in a way that they unlock higher levels of achievements (gamification using badges).
    • making learners aware of their learning and OWN their achievements in their learning.
    • Could use effectiveness from over use - e.g. too many rewards can lessen the reqard effectiveness. (avoid carpet bombing)
    • an open badge is a universal standard where badges can be validated and issued by any number of systems, not just understood by one system, in a way that cannot be copied.
    • How does it work: organisation creates a badge and awards to student, student adds badge to backpack at http://backpack.openbadges.org, the backpack can be added to any number of other systems so students can pick and choose who they share their badges with e.g. Moodle and Mahara. Badge reveals what the skill is and where they got it from.
    • creates an ecosystem created around the learner.
    • Badges consist of
      • an XML file with
        • image
        • description
        • criteria (what was awarded for)
        • who issued it (with contact details)
        • evidence (what evidence did student provide)
        • expiry date
        • tags
    • Moodle 2.5 with a badges module demonstrated generating and enabling badges that students can earn. Works with task completion. Can set roles as allowed to issue badges whenever they want to. Badges appear in students profile screens. can be shared with openbadges.org by clicking on them in moodle and sending to backpack.
  • From implementation to enhancement: The Moodle Quiz at Macquarie - Alexandra Thackray
    • Macquarie University
    • Quizzes for formative feedback (students wanted more diagnostic quizzes)
    • Quizzes for summative feedback
    • Quizzes to support different time zones
    • staff worried that students will share quiz questions - so our solution was to provide individual feedback to students on their quiz attempts.
    • staff want i
      • mproved question bank management. e.f. drag and drop order, move questions between banks etc.
      • Link quiz performance to learning outcomes and 
      • new questions types.
    • other recommendations from feedback:
      • finer controls for release of quiz feedback and results
      • want the STACK question type for maths and stats
      • autosave
      • Top Hat integration (web based clicker for polls and clickers - company is active with their marketing)
      • larger field for students to enter formula for calculations.
      • staff ability to click on student profile to see quiz and other analytics
  • Cultivating autonomous behaviour & a student-centered environment through blended learning - Mark Gibeau & Jun Imaki
  • Moodle MOOC's at UNE - Minh-Tam Nguyen
  • What is Moodle Boostrap and why would I use it? - Julian Ridden
  • Are your students turning up to class? Implementing the Moodle Attendance Module - Andrew Cram
    • Custom plugin 
    • still in development
    • needs access to a PC in the teaching session (a given when teaching online synchronous sessions)
  • Moodle Challenges in a Flipped Classroom - Chris Browne
  • Moodle analytics - Mark Drechsler
  • Enriching Moodle as a Visual Learning Environment - Chris Blackall
Over the next two days my take home points will be added to this post.

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