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"Disaggregation in the Gradebook" & "Learning Analytics" - Bob Puffer

CLAMP‘s (Collaborative Liberal Arts Moodle Project) most recent Hack/Doc fest featured an interesting presentation on the Netspot and Monash University developed “Engagement Analytics” toolset for Moodle and how it can be used to identify at risk students and improve retention at schools using these types of schools. Bob Puffer, the speaker, provides some good information on other engagement tools (including Signals by Purdue University) and how they can be used as actionable items by faculty (or staff) or by sending a student a direct message for intervention. According to Mr. Puffer, the key is that the tool can change the weighting of each activity type so that each implementation can choose which activity types are most meaningful for measuring engagement.

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Day 2 presentations at Moodle Hack/Doc Fest, Winter 2014

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Why is Moodle the Best LMS? - EdTechReview™ (ETR)

Why is Moodle the Best LMS? - EdTechReview™ (ETR) | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it

Moodle (acronym for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) is an open source Learning Management System (LMS ) or a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE ). It is rising in popularity among the educators around the world, as a tool for creating dynamic websites for students. It is open source, since it is customizable, has no contracts or user costs to pay and is widely available for free use. It can be efficiently integrated with your management system and allows you to support personalized learning, which is effective even outside the classroom and encourages the involvement of the broader community of the institution.


Moodle has constantly maintained its top spot among the LMS tools and has been ranked 11th overall among the top 100 tools for learning in 2013 . Many factors have contributed to Moodle being highly successful. On top of being a great LMS, it is also free to use. Teachers can teach their own online courses using this and find it stable and easy to use and being customizable, it fits to its user’s needs with ease.

 

 Moodle has several advantages over other LMSs, here’s the list of a few:


- It is an open source learning platform, which is utilized by millions of people worldwide. This open source nature allows anybody to tinker with its code or add new things. Users can share changes with the Moodle community for others to use for free. All this leads to the extension and reformation of the software.

- It makes use of simple technologies, as a result of which its developers are easy to find.

- It is built on some of the most reliable technologies, such as PHP, MySQL, Apache.

- It has a fully cooperative development model which offers constant scope for improvement by allowing many high quality contributions to acquire new modules, features and enhancements.

- It makes use of the more advanced programming approach, the object-oriented programming which makes its functionality all the more efficient and allows users to proceed at their own pace, as well as customize it according to their needs.

- It focuses on making the learning and teaching experience constructivist. This process encourages the involvement of learners in the learning process, rather than letting them receive knowledge passively. The learning environment becomes more democratic with interactive and student-centered activities.

- It is convenient for educational institutions and organizations for learning and course management.

- It can be quickly deployed in your organization, without the requirement of any extra efforts.

- It is highly cost-effective, since it has a low risk startup and a low initial investment.

- It provides you with fast and reliable updates of information.

- It provides you with regular support, all the time you use it. Its support feature is active twenty four hours a day, seven days a week and addresses to its developers, members and users.

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Moodle plugins: Styles

Moodle plugins: Styles | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it

Moodle Atto plugin which lets the administrator provide custom CSS classes which can afterwards be applied by users to block and inline text in Atto

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Paradiso Solutions announces Shopify-Moodle integration, WooCommerce acquired by Automattic

In two Moodle-ecommerce related news items, yesterday it was announced that Paradiso Solutions has launched a service to integrate soon-to-be publicly traded Shopify, a web-based store front service used by 1000s of online shops. According to the press release,

With this integration, businesses and organizations can enjoy the Shopify eCommerce platform and the shopping cart experience right inside their Moodle eLearning platform. Seamless Shopify Moodle Integration allows you to sell your courses through Shopify and turn your Moodle into a complete eCommerce LMS platform.

The integration brings Moodle sites the ability to easily sell courses and automate enrollments. (Read the full release here: http://www.prlog.org/12457968-paradiso-solutions-announces-shopify-moodle-lms-integration.html.)

In other news, Automattic, a company whose business is supporting users of WordPress announced that it had acquired WooCommerce, a popular ecommerce site which integrate with WordPress and Moodle. This puts great open source support behind an open source solution which could be used similarly to sell courses and manage course enrollments. Check out the announcement by WooThemes here: http://www.woothemes.com/2015/05/woothemes-joins-automattic/.
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Importing into a Moodle quiz using GIFT format

This video will show you how you can use a text file in the GIFT format to create lots of questions very easily, and then import them into Moodle
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Moodle 2.9 Release Highlights: Activity Results - YouTube

A new block type in Moodle 2.9, Activity Results, displays the scores of graded activities. 

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Moodle for Apprenticeships - AdaptiVLE

Moodle for Apprenticeships - AdaptiVLE | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it
This year, the focus is all on apprenticeships. Classroom FE is going to be cut drastically as part of the governments ambitious plans to deliver 3 million apprenticeships within the next 5 years.

Retention will be a key driver for all providers, perhaps more so now than in previous years. Providers will no doubt turn to technology to ensure that learners are tracked and progression is monitored. We will see an influx in the use of commercial e-portfolios, e-assessment tools and a whole plethora of new web technologies not yet coded.

The market will be extremely competitive as software houses up and down the country try take their slice of the e-apprentice pie.

But where does this leave the humble VLE? Will Moodle and other Open Source platforms still have a place amongst commercial tools dedicated towards apprenticeships? (Tools that come preloaded with assessment criteria, outcomes and standards).

The short answer is YES. Open source can still play an important role in this space. But it requires some initial heavy lifting from the provider, however it will save lots of money if you are prepared to “roll your own“. No, it’s not as easy as buying an off-the-shelf solution, but in the long run, it’s worth it and gives providers flexibility and complete control.
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Moodle 2.9 Release Highlights: Grade to Pass - YouTube

Moodle 2.9 makes grading friendlier in Moodle with the new ability to set a grade to pass from setup, eliminating the need to edit the gradebook. 

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FE funding cuts - could Moodle be the key to future adult learning?

FE funding cuts - could Moodle be the key to future adult learning? | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it
The future of FE is no doubt bleak. Funding cuts essentially mean more job losses and reduced training provision. Colleges up and down the country will be working hard to absorb the cuts as much as possible as they search for more efficient ways to utilise their most vital assets. With further FE funding cuts planned, could Moodle be the key to future adult learning?

If the government plans to prioritise Apprenticeships, Maths and English yet reduce the operating capacity of colleges, then the most cost-effective way of delivering this will have to come from more efficient use of blended delivery.

We will never be able to replace good quality tutors with technology, teaching is all about people. But if colleges are to stay solvent, then they must now holistically integrate teaching and e-learning ‘socially’ across the entire organisation.

We need to see signifiant improvements in personalised, adaptive and social learning. A one-size-fits-all-approach to teaching does not work in class, nor does it work online. We need to see less emphasis on assessments, assignment uploads and grades and more emphasis on individual learning. And the role of the tutor here is the most valuable piece of the puzzle.

We cannot teach vocational subjects wholly online, we can’t assess one’s ability to wire a house via a Moodle quiz nor can we receive a virtual haircut. We need to stop worrying about creating minimum course standards and stop asking tutors to build more content .

Colleges simply don’t have the time nor the resources to build more course content. Even less so now in wake of the cuts.

But there is an answer. And it doesn’t involve huge amount of financial investment. It requires leadership.

Learning is a social activity and in the past, college’s have failed to recognise the importance Moodle can play in this. Moodle doesn’t have to be about uploading files, grading assignments and building quizzes. Instead we can radically shift the way we use it and encourage collaboration, peer-curated content and the sharing of knowledge. (Its social-constructivist roots already bode well to this). But this needs to be supported from the top down and needs to become an integral part of teaching and learning in Further Education.
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Moodle plugins directory: Menutopic format

Moodle plugins directory: Menutopic format | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it

This format allows displaying the topics of the course by a custom menu. Also, this format allow use the section description as a template to change the appearance of such section.

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Moodle plugins: File trash

Moodle plugins: File trash | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it

Utility for listing, downloading and deleting orphaned files (file no longer referenced in the files db table but still present in the Moodle data and/or backup directory

 

The files in the Moodle data folder and backup folders are referenced in the "files" table in the database.  If you view the folders themselves you will find the sha1 hash code under which the file has been saved and referenced in the database.  If you have any orphaned files (files no longer referenced by the database but still present on your disk) it will be very difficult to find them.  This utility enables you to immediately receive a list of orphaned files together with the file type and size.  You can download the file to see what it is (the name is a sha1 hash so that won't give you any clues).  If you are happy to delete the file you can select it with the checkbox next to it's description and click delete.  You will be asked for confirmation before the file is finally deleted.

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Press Release: Huge Moodle Fest to be Held in Minneapolis in August

Press Release: Huge Moodle Fest to be Held in Minneapolis in August | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it
Moodle HQ is ramping up publicity for their upcoming US Moot which will take place in Minneapolis on the Twin Cities campus at University of MN this August 4th through 6th.

The full press release is below but I wanted to call special attention to the opportunity that all attendees have for being part of working groups which will happen on site at the 2015 US Moodlemoot. The focus of Moots run by HQ will be to engage the community and to work to deliver better products and Moodle features based on these working groups and subsequent hackfests. To get involved email mootus@moodle.com. For more information on the working groups check out https://mootus15.moodlemoot.org/mod/page/view.php?id=25
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Moodle plugins: Open Source Physics

Moodle plugins: Open Source Physics | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it

This plugin lets you download any Easy Java (and Javascript) Simulations (EJS) application stored in the OSP-Compadre library (http://www.compadre.org/osp) directly from your Moodle. This digital library won the Science Prize for Online Resources in Education, given by the Science magazine, in 2011, and it offers more than 500 ready-to-use simulations about Physics and Mathematics.

 

When used in combination with the EJSApp plugin, you will be able not only to access, search and download these applications but also to add them automatically to your Moodle courses as activities.

Simulations can be downloaded either as Java applets or in Javascript format (which can be run in mobile devices).

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Nick Varney's curator insight, May 19, 11:19 AM

To investigate!!

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Moodle IPA Filter could help add dictionary-like pronunciation to your courses

Moodle IPA Filter could help add dictionary-like pronunciation to your courses | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it
The International Phonetic Alphabet helps learners and logophiles understand the intended pronunciation. You may recognize it from english language dictionaries as the bit with the upside down e’s, œ and ε.

The language can now also be leveraged in Moodle through the IPA Filter (sadly nothing to do with hoppy beer), “This filter will treat text between hyphen/curly-brace combinations as X-SAMPA to be rendered as Unicode IPA. Mark the beginning of X-SAMPA with “-{” and the end with “}-“.”

Download the filter at https://moodle.org/plugins/view/filter_ipa. The filter was contributed recently by Kevin Wiliarty of Smith College.
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MoodleMoot 2015 Review

MoodleMoot 2015 Review | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it
Learning Analytics

So this was probably the big theme of the Moot this year. Dr Bart Rienties, Programme Director of Learning Analytics from Institute of Educational Technology at Open University, did the opening keynote on day 1. He demonstrated a fantastic recommendation engine for the OU Moodle, which applies machine learning techniques on the VLE and learner demographic data to offer up personalised learning opportunities to students, with the aim of increasing student success rates. This was fascinating because your average corporate Enterprise LMS needs just this kind of personalised turbo-charging! It was great to see what the world leaders in learning analytics are up to. Bart’s keynote slides are up on Slideshare and more detail of OU’s machine learning recommendation engine is available on the OU Analyse project website.
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Moodle plugins: Poster

Moodle plugins: Poster | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it

Poster is a resource activity module allowing teachers to create a page for their students. What makes this module unique is that the contents of the poster page is composed of Moodle blocks (such as HTML block, Calendar block, Latest news block etc.). It provides yet another place within the course where blocks can be put without polluting the course front page.

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Great plugin!

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@Moodlefairy shares tips on using the updated Lesson in 2.9

@Moodlefairy shares tips on using the updated Lesson in 2.9 | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it
Another benefit of the 2.9 release was some refactoring and improvement to the Lesson module. Mary Cooch recently highlighted some of the possible uses of, and improvements to the Moodle Lesson Module, such as:

user overrides can be created like a quiz
full wysiwyg marking for essays captured
group support
time minimums

Check out what’s changed with the lesson in the tracker. View Mary’s presentation given at the Ireland/UK Moot last week in Dublin here or below: http://www.slideshare.net/moodlefairy/lesson-tlc
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LMS for Your Organization – How to Select The Best Fit? Part 3: Moodle

LMS for Your Organization – How to Select The Best Fit? Part 3: Moodle | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it
In the second post of this series, we have seen the about the WordPress option. Here, let us see the second option i.e Moodle (open source LMS).

Moodle

‘Open-source’ LMSs refer to the learning management software whose source code is open to all. The source code of these systems can be edited to meet the needs of organizations, and this makes them very flexible.

An increasing number of companies use open-source LMS to manage their learning activities because of the following reasons:
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Presentation - "Continuous Integration: Improving Quality in Moodle"

This presentation by Dan Poltawski of Moodle HQ was given at MootIEUK15 in Dublin last week, the presentation highlights the old vs new way of integrating contributed, peer-reviewed, and QA’d code into Moodle core during the development and release process.

The presentation highlights the quality controls (some automated, some now) that have been introduced to Moodle’s development and release process over the last 5 years to ensure that each minor/major release is available without issue to the end-user.

Hopefully this helps your local Moodle admin sleep a little more soundly at night…

Check out the presentation:

http://www.slideshare.net/poltawski/continuous-integration-improving-quality-in-moodle

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Viewing course content in Moodle Mobile app

Viewing course content in Moodle Mobile app | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it

A while back I build my own adaptive content authoring tool (ACT) for Moodle. I initially started out by building an external authoring tool for authoring content which you then added to Moodle.

It evolved into a tool which I just built straight into Moodle. This meant I could built adaptive content straight in Moodle that would work across all platforms, provided the Moodle site was itself responsive. Good fit.

A few weeks ago a company approached me about doing some work on the Moodle Mobile application. During my adventures I come to realize that the content build in my adaptive content tool would also work on the mobile application – even if you were off-line.

Below are a few screenshots of the content working in the mobile application. This is a basic example. I have created a few more exciting samples which I hope share in the future.

The content was created in Moodle, and immediately accessible on the device, without any hacks, tweaks. The same content was also accessible via the browser on a mobile device or PC.

 

 

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Moodle 2.9 Release Highlights: Course Editing - YouTube

Moodle 2.9 introduces editing features to make course creation simpler with the ability to drag and drop images into Atto editor, delete course sections, linked course sections and more.

 

 

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Moodle 2.9 Release Highlights: Forum - YouTube

Moodle 2.9 allows teachers to post a copy of a forum post to all group discussions.

Discover more new features within Moodle 2.9 in docs j.mp/moodle29

 

 

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Authentication: Sign in with Google, Facebook, Github, LinkedIn, Windows and more with this addon

Authentication: Sign in with Google, Facebook, Github, LinkedIn, Windows and more with this addon | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it
Jérôme Mouneyrac has updated perhaps the most robust authentication plugin for Moodle which supports 7 different authentication sources including Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn adding a very simple and easy registration option for new users on your site (if the site is open to self-registration).

The posted installation process looks both simple and easy to follow (just three steps). Once installed choose which Auth options you want to employ on your site.

Download it here: https://moodle.org/plugins/view/auth_googleoauth2
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Moodle 2.9 Release Highlights: Lesson - YouTube

Moodle 2.9 provides helpful new features in Lessons, such as the new "require time spent" completion condition, user and group overrides, improved grading interface and more.

 

 

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In case you missed it: jQuery is the preferred javascript library for 2.9 over YUI

In case you missed it: jQuery is the preferred javascript library for 2.9 over YUI | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it
One bit of the press release announcing Moodle 2.9 included a quick note about the discontinuation of YUI by Yahoo and what Moodle will do to eventually fill the gulf. This has been a major debate in the Moodle.org forums since the announcement that YUI would no longer be actively developed. You can read the lively discussion history here: https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=268190

According to the press release,

For developers of plugins and customisations, Moodle 2.9 now supports the use of Javascript Modules and jQuery and this is recommended for all new javascript. This change is a response to the discontinued development of the Yahoo User Interface (YUI) library announced in 2014 by Yahoo Engineering. jQuery offers Moodle developers a large library to seamlessly handle cross browser issues.

Read more at the links below:

Decide Policy for the future of YUI (tracker) https://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-47036
jQuery developer docs https://docs.moodle.org/dev/jQuery
YUI developer docs https://docs.moodle.org/dev/YUI
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Moodle Gets Redesigned Navigation, User Interface Upgrade - THE Journal

Moodle Gets Redesigned Navigation, User Interface Upgrade - THE Journal | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it
Moodle has unveiled version 2.9 of the open source learning platform, featuring a navigation and user interface redesign focused on ease of use for students, educators and administrators.

"Our core goal is to support and improve education by making our teachers and trainers more effective, and Moodle continues its evolution in Moodle 2.9 with enhancements for users at all levels" said Martin Dougiamas, Moodle founder and CEO, in a prepared statement. "Working from the navigation overhaul specification with the input of the HQ team and community over the past 12 months, the core interface has seen some solid progress in making Moodle simple and friendlier for educators and students."
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