Saturday, 25 April 2009

A New Term and More Moodling...

I spoke last time about my reasons for joining the Moodle Meet community on Ning. Since then we've had the Easter Break and the summer term began with beautiful weather. Much as I wanted to sit outside and enjoy the sun it was back to the business of developing our elearning resource bank on the VLE.

One of my main purposes for joining Moodle Meet was to learn how to achieve goals that come from tinkering, using the tools available to create a user friendly learning area. The user experience is at the heart of creating resource banks. As I read somewhere this week, if the content and the look of the site is not appealing, no one will use it. One of the issues to which I pay most attention is the number of clicks or the amount of scrolling it takes to reach a goal. It is one of the golden rules of web design and I think it is appropiate to consider this even if it is just for your VLE.

There is a link on the Moodle Meet page called Moodle Tutorials. It could be called Moodle TV!! There are channels with videos to show you how to achieve your goals and in the process develop new skills and knowledge. This is great for any moodler of any level. You can join but it is not compulsory to have access to the videos. If you do join then you can rate videos and make comments rather like YouTube or Vimeo.

I had posted a video from CommonCraft to our eLearning Forum. Well I posted a link to the video to be exact. While this was fine it meant that it would take require four clicks from selecting the main resource to watching the video. I wondered if there was a way to embed a video as I was used to doing on my blogs and so on. It would cut out at least one click and be more inviting to the user to actually watch the video.

One of the channels on Moodle Tutorials is called Moodle 1.8 not that I am certain which version of Moodle being used in our institution but I know it is not the most recent version which I think is 2.0 - please correct me if I am mistaken. Back to the point, this channel had the video to teach me what I needed to learn. In it the speaker takes you through the steps to embed videos on your Moodle platform with clear directions and demonstration. Watch the video for yourself.

The CommonCraft video was the first resource to be added to our Information Literacy area. CommonCraft make video 'Explanations in Plain English'. It is called 'Web Search Strategies in Plain English' which will be useful for anyone teaching Information Literacy. Following the Moodle Tutorials video I created a web page with the CommonCraft video embedded in it. See that video below.

Moodle Tutorials
is a great site for people like me who are relatively new to Moodle. There are easy to use resources that the boss won't mind you watching when they see what you start producing in the goal of developing elearning resources and making it easy and pleasant to use for everyone.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

MoodleMeet - Why I joined this community...

It is almost a year since I began using Moodle the learning platform used in the further education college where I work. During this year gradually developing knowldege and skills gained from previous experience of another platform Digitalbrain it was not difficult to do the basics. However in a short time I was given more permissions and required to create two courses. I took advice from colleagues and websites like and Moodle Docs.

I have now created two courses and while I have had fun doing it, even creating a logo to improve our presentation, I want to know more. So looking for instruction I visit bloggers like Jane Hart and Moodle Girl Mel Gibb who always provide good information about resources and current discourse around e-learning. Mel Gibb is a member of MoodleMeet which how I found out about it.

It is only a few days since I joined so I have not done much except update my profile and add a badge which you can see at the top of the page. I signed up for the opportunity to learn from people who've used Moodle longer than it has been in the college.

I read recently that developing staff skills in using technology is a very important aspect of improving the students use of technology resources. Staff are in post for years and students naturally move from one situation to another. But staff skills are not always being developed to match with technological advances. This is one of the reasons why I have decided to take control of self-development in the hope that I may share any knowledge I gain not just with the community but more important, with colleagues who may not feel as motivated about elearning skill development. The video below is the first one I watched on MoodleMeet. It is a good introduction to what Moodle is and how it is used and who uses this open source learning platform.

This video is from YouTube as I had problems embedding the one from Moodle Tutorials. It was a good thing because it led me to discover an updated version of Moodle Presentation.

MoodleMeet is a social network created in Ning by Laurie Korte.
"Come join other Moodlers to network, share, work, collaborate, ask questions, get ideas, learn, make discoveries, etc." Initially I will be focusing on getting ideas, learning and making discoveries before I start asking questions that have already been answered. I will also post my experience in this blog as I moodle. If you are a Moodler join MoodleMeet and let's be moodlers together.