My 1st contribution:
Just before Christmas 2013 the wonderful Sigi (@Networking_Lady) asked me if I was interested in doing a presentation via Skype about how Solent Uni uses Mahara and Moodle. Of course I said YES and was honoured to have been asked. My ‘paper’ was accepted almost instantly, and to my amazement going to the German MoodleMoot would be significantly cheaper than going to this year’s UK one! Anyway, I gave my presentation, ‘Mahara & Moodle Sitting in a Tree’ to quite a large audience considering it was late in the day and had a strong focus on Mahara.
My presentation and supporting materials can be found via this myCourse page: http://mycourse.solent.ac.uk/MootDE
I am pleased to report that it went down very well with many internationally renowned Moodle and Mahara users and developers in attendance! I asked them all to smile and wave for me:
As part of my presentation I asked for the worldwide Mahara community to help me with a project that I’ll be working on during the summer called “Sharing Stories: Call for Mahara case studies on employability-focussed assessments“.
My 2nd Contribution
I was sad to see that the only session on Moodle and Turnitin was cancelled, so for some daft reason I volunteered my services and said that I could facilitate a show and tell session of our system, resources and outcomes. Luckily Julian Ridden (@moodleman) from Pukunui Technology in Australia offered to co-present with me as he was very familiar with the technical aspects of the integration side of things. Although it was rather ‘ad hoc’ it seemed to go down well with lots of happy faces and table knocks at the end (instead of clapping they knock on the desks).
Being as most of the conference was in german, I only have a few notes and links to report back on:
Tim Hunt: Authentic Assessments in Moodle
Here Tim showed us what he’s been working on at the Open University. He shared with us a site which demo’s the assessment tools in Moodle which can be accessed and used by anyone (need to create an account)
The essential message was that ‘life isnt made up of multiple choice questions’ and therefore online quizzes should support this.
Julian Ridden: Moodle Bootstrap
- Bootstrap is an open framework created by Twitter that can be used for any website
- Allows for ‘responsive’ action where the website can adapt to accommodate any device
- Gives the lecturer more control on how their page looks
- See Julian’s ‘Essential Theme for 2.4‘
Kristina Hoeppner: Open Badges in Moodle & Mahara
- Great demo of how badges can be shared in Mahara
- Mahara badge plug-in (see forum)
Julian Ridden: Moodle ist ‘Hasslich’ (ugly)
- Moodle isn’t ugly – just blame the page owner!
- The room you teach in matters – so do the online ones!
- It can be wonderful – just need a little bit of time, enthusiasm and effort
Linda Pospisilova: An academic year with Mahara
- All students studying a degree at University of Pardubice have to learn English
- She had funding and spent a year to work out how to use mahara and to design activities
- Students were to create Mahara pages in English based on a specific topic
- You could really see how much students enjoyed the tasks as they put so much effort into their pages
The biggest benefit I got from attending this conference was the chance to meet with members of the Mahara and Moodle community who I’ve only ever spoken to online. It was great to actually see them in person and share knowledge, examples and experience. It was also an incredible opportunity to share all the great work the Learning Technologies dept at Solent have been doing with a new audience. I hope many of those who attended my sessions will take up my call for them to share their case studies with me, and for them to think of us when looking for international partners in any future projects.