(Microsoft Word Document) on this pilot can be downloaded here

advertisement
Moodle Report
Introduction
In accordance with College’s vision for 2014 of a university providing further leadership through the
increased use of learning technologies,1 the Centre for Learning Technology support and administer the
College Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), currently Blackboard/WebCT V. 8.2 which is due to be
upgraded in 2012. All students for 2009/10 are enrolled. There are 5941 active modules in Trinity this
semester, but only 900 modules have course material uploaded to the VLE, giving on-line course
access to only15.1% of students. In preparation for the upgrade of the College VLE in 2012, the
Centre for Learning Technology examined the open source VLE platform, Moodle, to determine its
viability in supporting quality teaching and learning at Trinity College.
What is Moodle?
Moodle is an open source VLE. Open source allows Institutions access to the product code, permitting
them to develop new solutions to integrate to their Moodle instance. The cost of the basic version of
the Moodle VLE is very low, however to install a fully workable, customisable and scalable solution
for College, a substantial investment is required.
Moodle is currently used in 46,247 sites (Higher Education Colleges & schools) in more than 200
countries.2 As an open-source VLE, it is for the most part, the most tested amongst the three VLEs
reviewed.3 There are 219 Moodle sites in Ireland and it is currently the most popular choice of VLE
among Higher Education institutions in Ireland. Moodle boasts a worldwide community of
approximately 9 million users. Within the Moodle community there is a host of support and
experience, which is accessible and available to all through the Moodle discussion boards on the Web.
Basic Moodle offers a host of tools to lecturers and teachers that will allow them develop their courses
on-line. These give students anytime, anywhere access to web-based teaching resources. The tools
include, learning modules to store course material, assessments tools to allow for MCQs and other quiz
types, an assignment tool, and communication tools including the discussion forums, email and blogs.
Moodle is open source, there are also a host of ‘extra’ tools available, which have been developed by
other Moodle users. These tools are available for sharing among institutions nationally and
internationally and an institution can also develop a tool to meet its own requirements and add it to the
institutional Moodle. Being open source is an attractive feature but to avail of the flexibility of adding
new technical solutions to Moodle, an institution will require a programmer to develop such solutions.
Moodle was found to have the tools, which College specified. (See appendix 1.)
To test how the tools within Moodle support teaching and learning, a number of courses in the sciences
and languages were taught in within Moodle from October 2009 to date.
Method
Ten lecturers were invited to teach their courses on Moodle, eight of who taught for the first semester,
September 2009 to December 2009. There were 12 modules and 850 students registered for the same
period.
1
Trinity College Dublin, Strategic Plan 2009 - 2014
http://moodle.org/sites/
3 The Centre for Learning Technology VLE Summary document, SAKAI, Blackboard 9.0
2
1
The following courses were taught using Moodle for the pilot

Genetics (2 modules)

Medicine (2 modules)

Computer Science (3 modules)

Mathematics & Statistics

Pharmacy

German

English (2 Modules)
The School of History or Humanities did not part in the Moodle pilot. This was not Moodle
specific but discipline specific.
Moodle was evaluated under the following headings: 








Usability (using Moodle for teaching and learning)
Technical compatibility to Trinity College network
Cost - on campus hosting v off campus hosting of Moodle
College Lecturers and Student Registration to Moodle (manual registration)
Integration of Moodle to College Student Record System (automatic registration)
Authentication for Lecturers and Students College Usernames and Passwords
Migration of all course materials, lecturers and student data to from Blackboard/WebCT to
Moodle
Administration on Moodle Pilot
Disability Compliance
Usability
The eight lecturers used Moodle in their teaching from September 2009 to February 2010. There was a
one-day training day offered for lecturers in September 2010, but only 25% (2 out of 8) lecturers
attended. CLT coordinated the pilot, communicating all required information to the individual
lecturers, offering advice and support in developing the modules for teaching and registering students.
Two out of eight lecturers attended a consultancy with CLT on how to best develop their course while
most communicated through email or telephone requesting registration of student but did not avail of
support for development. The Centre for Learning Technology set up the empty modules (12), and
registered the students (846) while the lecturers uploaded their course material and activities. There
were two surveys carried out, one survey for the 8 lecturers using Moodle to teach, and the other
serving 846 students registered for the courses. All eight lecturers and 133 students responded to the
surveys.
Survey Results
VLE Use
Question 1 established the majority of lecturers (88%, (7 lecturers)), and students (75% (101)) had used
both Blackboard and Moodle, this makes the comparison meaningful. For both groups, the majority
(100% lecturers (8), 70% students (9)) would choose Moodle over Blackboard/WebCT (question 2).
All lecturers if given the choice opted for Moodle for September 2010 (question 3).
2
Evaluation of Moodle
Both groups agreed that Moodle is easy to use (100% lecturers (8), 70% students (103). Moodle was
perceived as flexible by 87% (7) of lecturers and by 59% (70) of students. 67% (80) of students felt
that Moodle supported their learning; one student commented that having more on-line exercises with
available solutions was helpful, but this comment refers to modes to teaching rather than the software.
63% (5) of lecturers felt that Moodle supported innovative teaching methods. The remaining 38% (3)
were neutral; one comment mentioned that training might be required to exploit the features included
in Moodle. All lecturers found Moodle reliable and stable when accessing the course, as did 74% (88)
of students. All lecturers and approximately three quarters of students found Moodle easy to learn,
intuitive, and easy to navigate.
Tools
Only 4.2% (4) of students did not use Moodle to access course materials, the amount of teaching
material available in Moodle varied, 38% (3) of lecturers had the entire course in Moodle, while 38%
(3) more than half the course material uploaded, 25% (2) had only a smaller faction of material
available on-line. 88% (7) of lecturers considered students benefited from using Moodle, 88% (7) of
lecturers considered Moodle supports them in their teaching. 77% (74) students found access to
Moodle easy and beneficial.
Assessment tools
75% (6) of lecturers used the assignment tool, but 40% (37) of students used it. The 60% students who
did not use assignments were due to the fact that not all courses contain Moodle-based assignments.
Those who used the assignment did not find any difficulty to use. 57% (4) of lecturers found the
assignment tool beneficial to their teaching; the other 43% (3) did not find it detrimental.
38% (3) of lecturers used the assessment tool and only 24% (22) of students; again this result depended
on the usage of the assessment by the teacher. Only 1 lecturer found the assessment tool easy to use
while only 2 lecturers found their experience positive.
Discussion Tool
With regard to participation with discussions, 16% (15) of students agreed while 63% (3) of lecturers
interacted on the discussion board.
Training and Support
47% (44) of students and 88% (7) of lecturers said that support was easy to access. Only 7% of
students said it was difficult to access support in Moodle, 46% remained neutral. The difficulties
observed by users require a more comprehensive support solution from CLT.
Approximately half of the lecturers would prefer on-line training as opposed to face-to-face, and most
lecturers would prefer out of term training.
3
Technical Requirements for Trinity College Dublin
With regards to hosting the VLE Moodle, Trinity has a choice of hosting the VLE on or off campus.
If the VLE were hosted off campus, it would be held on servers based outside Trinity. The hosting
company would do all maintenance on the hardware while maintaining Moodle would be contracted
out to an appropriate 3rd party company. For the purpose of the pilot, HEAnet hosted Moodle off
campus on behalf of Trinity and Enovation Ltd. supported, maintained and customised Moodle.
On/off Campus Hosting
Regardless of the choice of VLE, a preliminary decision has to be made about hosting the VLE on or
off campus. There is a trade off here between Institutional control (more control on campus) and
manpower/maintenance (less off campus). Hosting Moodle on-campus would require Information
Systems Service (ISS) to lead, support and implement the VLE upgrade in partnership with CLT to
ensure a robust e-Learning solution. Thereafter, there would be on-going administration (CLT) and
maintenance (ISS) required. Traditionally, College has hosted such application on campus, but due to
lack of resources and funding, ISS have moved to hosting solutions outside of College. ISS are
currently producing a policy on hosting College systems off campus; this will specify security
requirements for College student and staff data. We await this policy before moving on to debate the
hosting issue facing Trinity.
4
Proposed Cost for Full Implementation On Campus
Costs
Moodle is an open source product; therefore it does not require an annual licence, cutting the cost for
Trinity of paying an annual fee. However, to install a fully workable, customisable and scalable
solution for College, a substantial investment will be required. The following is an estimate of such an
investment if host on or off campus.
Cost of Moodle as Virtual Learning System Hosted on Campus
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Year 5
Hardware/Hosting
in Information
Systems Services
25000
10,000
10,000
10,000
10,000
Moodle VLE
(Open Source)
0
0
0
0
0
Migration from
current VLE
0
0
0
0
Training
CLT/academic
community
3000
3000
3000
3000
Yearly system
support from a
dedicated person
in ISS or CLT
80,000
80,000
80,000
80,000
80,000
Branding of
Moodle for TCD
0
0
0
0
0
Integrating with
Student
Information
System
10,000
0
0
0
0
Administrative
costs
CLT
CLT
CLT
CLT
CLT
Totals
120,000
93,000
93,000
93,000
93,000
Table 1 – Proposed Costing for Moodle Implementation on campus
Proposed Costing for Full Implementation Off Campus
Cost of Moodle as Virtual Learning System Hosted Off Campus
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Year 5
Hardware/Hosting
off campus with
HeaNET
6000
6000
7000
8000
10000
Moodle VLE
(Open Source)
0
0
0
0
0
Migration from
10,000
0
0
0
0
5
current VLE
Training
CLT/academic
community
10,000
3000
3000
3000
3000
Yearly system
support from 3rd
party company
20,000
20,000
20,000
20,000
20,000
Branding of
Moodle for TCD
4000
0
0
0
0
Integrating with
Student
Information
System
10,000
0
0
0
0
Administrative
costs
CLT
CLT
CLT
CLT
CLT
Totals
60,000
29,000
30,000
31,000
33,000
Table 2 – Proposed Costing for Moodle Implementation off campus
Administration on Moodle Pilot
All administration on the pilot Moodle was carried out by CLT. This involved manually setting up
shells for courses, creating Moodle accounts for the lecturers (8) and for the students (846).
Registering individual staff members was straightforward; and it was possible to upload the students
for each module in a batch file. The batch file was prepared in .csv format before being uploaded to
the Moodle database. Albeit a tedious approach to registering students, it was not a complex task, and
for the purpose of the pilot was achievable, however to manually upload every module student list on a
fully implemented system would be an onerous activity, and is not seen to be an activity that should be
normal business practice in a full implementation. It is proposed that the uploading of courses,
modules and users will be an automated process in the production system. Other administration tasks
included taking backups of courses, addressing lecturer queries on how Moodle works and addressing
password problems.
Auto upload of College Data - Integration with Student Record System/CMIS
It is desirable within the College community that whatever VLE is chosen from 2012, it must be
integrated with the College Student Information System (SIS. This integration will present the
academic community with a system that contains current student data and course registration. To have
this integration would mean that when a student is first registered in College, they will have
automatically have access to their module through the College VLE. Trinity is currently one of the
very few higher educational institutions in Ireland, which do not have the institutional SIS integrated
with the VLE. This makes for unsatisfactory registration practices, and demands a tremendous amount
of people resources to maintain an up to date VLE database. A VLE integrated with the SIS would
allow registration data be updated on a daily basis within the VLE, giving the academic community a
dynamic e-Learning system. The lack of integration between the current VLE (Blackboard/WebCT)
and SIS has being one of the key factors in lecturers not embracing e Learning for Trinity students.
The current SIS can be integrated with Moodle. Such an exercise would involve a developer writing a
piece of code to allow both elements to interact.
To fully spec the cost of integrating a new Moodle with the SIS requires for College to know what SIS
will be implemented as a result of e-Strategy. This decision is still in the making but instances of
Moodle have been successfully integrated with many different SIS in other institutions worldwide.
The fact that Moodle code is available to institutions for modification allows institutions the flexibility
in carrying out such integrations.
6
ISS is currently testing Moodle for integration with the Student Systems in Trinity College Dublin
Moodle and Authentication
Moodle documentation reviewed advertises the ability of authentication with LDAP (Active
Directory), which is one of the authentication system used in Trinity. However, Information System
Services are currently working with Enovation Ltd. to test authentication with Federated Access. ISS
and Enovation have confirmed that Moodle will work with Federated access to allow College staff and
students to use their College usernames and password for logging into Moodle.
* ISS are currently testing authentication (Federated Access and Active Directory) with Moodle.
Migration from Blackboard/WebCT to Moodle
Migration consists of the moving across of modules within Blackboard/WebCT to Moodle. This
process maybe carried out by Enovation or by CLT. Enovation has quoted 10,000 euro to bring across
all modules and to have ready for teaching. CLT currently do not have the resources to migrate 900
modules from Blackboard/WebCT to Moodle, while the actual migration may not be time consuming
nor complex, the rearranging of the module after migration can be slow and tedious.
Teaching and Learning
Moodle provides a number of tools for quality teaching and learning with a limited availability of
collaborative tools such as forums and blogs. It has a student assessment tool and a survey tool and
allows for student tracking and feedback. Pod casting is a feature within Moodle, in that audios clips
maybe stored for downloading to MP3s. Moodle promotes the constructivism philosophy to teaching
and learning, allowing lecturers to combine the tools for collaboration, interactivity, and on-line
assessment to support this philosophy. Moodle promotes course design on a block and module system.
Modules are built up through the resources and activities options. It is easy and intuitive to use, but
some designers might consider such an approach to course design as inflexible.
Disability Compliance
7
Definitions
Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)
Open Source
Moodle
Technical compatibility
Usability
Integration
Authentication
Active Directory
LDAP
Federated Access
Assessment tools
Assignment
Course module tools
System Maintenance
System Administration
Technical compatibility
8
Appendix 1.
Table 1. Requirements for VLE for Trinity College The College VLE requires to:Provide a rich choice of tools for quality teaching, learning and collaboration including
Web 2.0 tools
To be robust, stable and dependable
To be secure and safely managed environment
To be browser-based and compatible with TCP/IP network protocol & integrate with
College network
Should be able to work fast and efficiently on College network
To be customisable, scalable, upgradeable and adaptable
Be capable of communicating and integrating with Oracle and other database
Be compliant with e-Learning technical systems and models such as SCROM 4 & IMS5
VLE should be compatible with College branding, logo and templates
College technical support should be able to maintain the system by applying upgrades and
application packs released by vendor
VLE should be capable of integration with College Student Information Systems and
other College systems (E-strategy)
VLE should support student centred learning using collaboration, interactivity, and on-line
assessment, student feedback and tracking
Administration and configuration should be intuitive and easy to use
Be able to support different types of teaching & learning
Moodle
1.9
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
To be
fully
scoped
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Support full portfolio tools for students
VLE can integrate with third party tools
Yes
SCORM6
IMS7
SCROM – Sharable Content Object Reference Model,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharable_Content_Object_Reference_Model .
5 Instructional Management Systems Consortium, http://www.imsglobal.org .
6 SCROM – Sharable Content Object Reference Model,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharable_Content_Object_Reference_Model .
7 Instructional Management Systems Consortium, http://www.imsglobal.org .
4
9
Download
Related flashcards
Management

61 Cards

Create flashcards