Category Archives: Moodle

Que bella… Moodle Tool Guide in Italian!

moodle italiaIt’s been four and a half years since I blogged the original Moodle Tool Guide. The guide has long since gone its own way. It doesn’t belong to me anymore, it belongs to the Moodle community. But I still enjoy seeing how the guide continues to find new audiences, communities and applications.

This week I received a very nice tweet from Paolo Porcaro who has created perhaps the most romantic version yet, an Italian Moodle Tool Guide! ūüėČ

All of our generous MTG translators will have encountered the difficulties combination of not only translating technical and pedagogical terms but then making them fit a certain layout. In his email Paolo mentions the struggles of writing short enough Italian phrases to fit the matrix structure. Paolo did this translation while working for FormezPA, an Italian public administration agency who release all of their own publications under a CC-BY-SA license.

So here it is. If you don’t speak Italian, you may want to put it on your pinboard anyway as an inspiration for 2014: you can learn a little Italian and be connected to the worldwide Moodle community!¬†Mille grazie Paolo!


Do remember that you can find links to all the guides I know of on the Moodle Tool Guide page. If I’m missing one, please let me know!

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When Educators Become Curators – keynote slides from #moothr12

Educators need to become digital curators
A few weeks ago I had the privilege of being the virtual keynote speaker at the Croation MoodleMoot. Thanks to Sandra Kucina and Jasmin KlindŇĺińá for inviting me, and making everything happen so smoothly.

We agreed that, in line with my PhD topic, I would focus not on Moodle, but on the new digital curation skills being required of all teachers. So it began as an introduction to digital curation and then looked at how educators can curate inside or outside of an LMS. Thanks to those Croatian Moodlers in the Twitter stream for engaging with me afterwards. More feedback is welcome. I look forward to developing my ideas further…

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And then there were 14! #moodletoolguide

Well this is an exciting week for the Moodle Tool Guide. We have two new translations!


First of all there is the Czech translation of the Moodle 2 version that Gavin Henrick created a few months ago. This version was created by Bohumil Havel & Jan Trávnícek at Moodle Partner PragoData Consulting.



And then there was this little gem which came to me from Oman. This was a collaboration between the lovely Andrea Hall  whom I met in Musqat during my visit in September 2011, and Salim AlWaaili, both of the Sultan Qaboos University. This is a translation of the original one-page Moodle 1.9 poster.

I’m trying to collect all of the versions on this Moodle Tool Guide blog page, so you can find the other translations & adaptations there. If you know of a version that’s missing, then please let me know.


Thank you!¬†Dńõkuji! Shokran!

Most of all, a big thank you to the translators on behalf of the Moodle community! Awesome work & sharing!

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The LMS as a mixing panel for social learning

Photo by Sergiu Bacioiu, cc licensed on Flickr

Photo by Sergiu Bacioiu, cc licensed on Flickr

(This post is cross-posted from a guest blog post I wrote for Hazel Owen at Ethos Consultancy NZ community site)

I have a hard truth to share with you. Our learning management systems are letting us down. They are not getting the job done.

The slow rise of social learning

Over the last decade, the internet has gone from a primarily static content distribution system, to a social publishing, communication and sharing environment. As we’ve seen this “social web” develop, several social learning theoretical frameworks have been developed and tested, including connectivism, social constructivism¬†and the conversational framework.¬†These pedagogical models of learning remain at the periphery and have yet to achieve mainstream adoption.

That uptake will be slower in coming than some of us might wish, due to many stumbling blocks. I’ll mention just a few here:

  • our policies (both governmental and institutional) are slow to adapt because policy changes are not made at the speed of social media,
  • a “content is king” culture exists in learning and training that is hard to crack,
  • some long-standing organisational habits are not conducive to transformation (timetabling, lectures, a weighted teaching-research balance),
  • there are debates about what constitutes proof of learning; is it tests and exams or projects, group work and portfolios,
  • the struggle for investments needed for large IT projects in an age of funding and budget cuts,
  • digital literacy skill challenges of the parties involved,
  • and a persistent belief that nothing trumps face-to-face interactions.

I’m sure that there are gradations to which these stumbling blocks are present in your organisation and that there are others. And there’s no need to point fingers. These are large complex changes that affect every single part, process and person in our organisations. It will take time, new practices and some very hard thinking to adopt this new social learning. But it’ll be totally worth it. Continue reading

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Moodle Tool Guide: a cool dozen

12This weekend I got the nicest email from Jasmin KlindŇĺińá, informing me that the latest translation of the Moodle Tool Guide was complete. He and his colleague Tona PeriŇ°ińá Pintek from the University of Zagreb had finished the Croatian translation. And with that, there are now a cool dozen translations.

The power of community around an LMS

I just wanted to take a moment and say thank you to all those Moodlers spending their evenings & nights contributing to their local Moodle community. A real example of Clay Shirky’s cognitive surplus in action:

More value can be gotten out of voluntary participation than anyone previously imagined, thanks to improvements in our ability to connect with one another and improvements in our imagination of what is possible from such participation.

I think the collaboration and open sharing in the Moodle community, is special.

Continue reading

Moodle Tool Guide and open resources: when the crowd goes “Oi!”

Hand Stop Sign_1724Many of you will be familiar with the Moodle Tool Guide for Teachers which has been doing the rounds in the Moodle community since 2010. It’s been tremendously exciting for me to see the guide I released under a Creative Commons license, being used, re-used and re-developed by so many people for so many different purposes.

Why should you share an Open Educational Resource?

Besides being a staff development tool for me, the Moodle Tool Guide¬† has¬† taught me so much about what it means to be an open resource contributor. Until the MTG went viral(ish), as an ed tech I would often encourage teachers to share their resources openly. It was always a logical, practical argument around the benefit for the community. I don’t think I articulated the personal rationale for providing an open educational resource with passion.¬† Now I can speak from experience, when I say that sharing your teaching resources openly can: Continue reading

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Moodle Course Design: a high-wire act #mootnz11

Zippos Circus UK, 2008I was very pleased to be one of ¬†a number of presenters talking about learning design at this year’s New Zealand Moodle Moot. Stephen Lowe talked about learning theories and Julian Ridden did an epic session on Game Theory which unfortunately I missed but he’s uploading an open course about it to MOOCH soon. But what was even better is that all of us were almost accosted by #mootnz11 attendees wanting to talk about this topic more. Learning design is back, baby! And it’s hot!

Below you will find the slides for my MoodleMoot New Zealand presentation with tips for the course design process, as well as our templates. Continue reading

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#iMoot – Moodle Course Creator Challenge – The Rubric

I’m greatly enjoying the #iMoot international Moodle conference (Moodle conferences are called MoodleMoots). Over the course of 4 days, a veritable “who’s who” of Moodle experts are sharing their ¬†case studies, experiences and work. Topics cover all aspects of Moodle: teaching, course design and development, tools, Moodle development and the future of Moodle.

Swiss Army Knife

One of the great activities as part of the iMoot is the Course Creator Challenge. It’s the brain child of the amazing¬†Gavin Henrick and I think we’ll be seeing these kind of competitions popping up at other Moodle events. Participants in the challenge have 4 days to create a Moodle2 course on Climate Change. They can get as creative as they like, and choose their own audience, but must adhere to a few requirements. How exciting!

Gavin has kindly invited me to be part of the star-studded panel assessing the courses which includes, Tomaz Lasic, Julian Ridden, Michelle Moore, Mark Drechsler and MoodleFairy herself, Mary Cooch. Haven’t felt worthy of that company, but boy did it rock to be part of the Panel discussion on Saturday (midnight til 2 am for me in New Zealand). It was well attended, wonderfully facilitated by Gavin and the topic was “What makes a good Moodle course?” If you missed it, it’s well worth going back to the recording…

A recurring theme was “horses for courses”, you choose what uses for you, for your students and for your course. And as @moodleman remarked:

#moodle is a “Swiss army knife”. Don’t try and use all the blades. Just pick the ones that meet the tasks you are trying to achieve.#imoot.

And as someone in the backchannel then added, if you try to use all of them at once, you’ll end up stabbing yourself.


Although the Course Creator Challenge is limited to registered attendees only (and at AU$65 who could resist) and is still ongoing, I did want to share this rubric we’ve created to help us with the judging. Moodle course designers and teachers may find it useful, even when not part of the competition. Continue reading

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Moodle Tool Guide for Teachers

A few weeks ago, a Social Media Cheat Sheet was doing the round. A nice visualization of the pro’s & cons of each social media channel, but with a business/marketing focus. I thought I should do one for social media use in education. However for most of the teachers I work with, our Moodle (EIT Online) is still their primary online teaching environment. So instead I set out to create this poster size guide for teachers, allowing them to compare the functionality and pedagogical advantages of some standard Moodle tools, adding a column to indicate how tricky the tool is to set up.

Moodle Tool Guide for Teachers (icon)

Moodle Tool Guide for Teachers

Hope you find it useful. Would appreciate your feedback.

Moodle Tool Guide for Teachers (PDF)

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Online Facilitation: An email too far?

Speed Bump Sign

A few weeks ago, I ran an online facilitation workshop with a group of teachers & their managers. Together they run a programme that is taught entirely online. As part of this, a draft of some online course protocols was on the table. Most of these had to do with the updating & editing of the courses, but one of the protocols had to do with teaching the courses. It proposed that teachers should use the Course Announcements forum (a News forum in Moodle, our LMS) at least once a week. In the past, some courses (certainly not all, don’t want you to get the wrong idea…) had underused the Course Announcements (and other forums). A rather heated discussion followed this proposal.

The opponents to this protocol seemed to have 2 main objections:

Continue reading

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