There are many places and demos of what Moodle can do and how to use it.
There are NOT many places to show what people actually do with Moodle. And there are constant calls for it from moots and other places!
Two main reasons for such calls:
a) people like to see how Moodle is used to get ideas, and
b) to demonstrate to others what Moodle is by showing real, understandable examples that would help them learn, hands-on and apply in their own context.
We have called for people to submit courses as demos. While commendable efforts have been made (eg. Cool Courses competition was great!), the common issues with the courses we got back are:
? lack of sample data
(Mostly due to privacy issues. Yet, for most people, 'magic happens' when they SEE eg. how beautifully one student replied to another...at 11pm, not just how the forum works)
? specialty and volume of content too great for general demo purpose
(If I don't understand a thing about advanced statistics I am certainly less likely to understand the intricacies and beauty of Moodle in an advanced statistics course...)
? lack of description and context of courses and activities
(It helps to briefly describe not just what this is but WHY it was created/included, to guide a person a little.)
Put simply, the vast majority of shared, sample courses we have now are great but are not exactly good demo courses.
We need to create such demo courses where the tech skill and content barriers are low, activities/courses are explained, there is sample data to show/support/play with, plus there is an opportunity to play and extend one's skill and understanding. That way, we are a lot more likely to see people say things like "I can see myself doing this..." "this is the kinda thing to solve our problem of..." "I want to learn how to..."
How about a new Moodle Edu Demo Site - "Moodletown Education Centre" (MEC), for lack of better title... ?
MEC will have two types of courses - DEMO and SAMPLE. All will be available to enroll into and play in as either student (highly recommended first step, learn by participating) or teacher. All courses will be enrollable and downloadable (including the sample data, explanations). Such 'Moodle Takeaway Sandpit (with toys included)' could be very useful for eg. staff training and development, the work of Moodle Partners etc.
DEMO COURSES will:
? have sample data people can (choose to) work with
? be technically simple to participate but show a range of common Moodle activities (at least 8 or variations of) with possibly some, stable non-standard modules/plugins/filters (eg. DragMath is fantastic for Maths)
? have general enough content to be understood, translated and played with by a wide range of people from different countries and cultural backgrounds
? have brief contextual descriptions of the course and activities/resources (similar to existing help fields!) and, in some cases, notes on any special settings, prerequisite plugins etc.
We need to create such 'low-barrier' (in tech skill and content) courses. Water! (currently at http://mec.moodle.net - Guest access available from next week 26 April, open to all mid-May) is an example of such a course. We currently have 40 volunteer 'students' creating sample data in Water! and we are learning a lot about the process of creating and managing such demo courses.
SAMPLE COURSES will be those currently featured on Moodle Demo, selected courses from Cool Courses competition and other sources (Moodleshare, Moodlecommons etc). They will:
- have a range of activities
- have (mostly) no sample data
- have some contextual descriptions of the course and activities (if already there)
There are some great courses around so why not use them.
The plan is for MEC to have Demo and Sample courses in the following broad areas of study that apply to K-20 range (I put my hand up to create three of them):
*Arts & Media
Critical Thinking (TL, demo 'Happiness')
*Health & physical education
Social sciences (TL, demo 'Water!' )
Digital Citizenship (TL, demo 'Web 2.0 through Moodle 2.0' )
There will also be two blank Moodle-topic courses:
Moodle 1.9 (blank, just copy use existing from Moodle Demo, will drop as 2.0 adopted widely)
*Moodle 2.0 (blank, create new) - any takers?
- = looking for authors. You?
All courses will be marked as Demo or Sample.
There will be only one Demo course per category (although the number may grow). Reason? "Broad brush strokes". Good teaching with Moodle overlaps at primary, secondary, tertiary and other levels and contexts. Imagination and mindset are more important than content and technical skill.
Example? In a Demo course, a university media teacher may see an activity (together with sample data & brief contextual explanation) that could be done at any level, adjusted for context. However, the teaching idea and basic technical info will be there for her to see and grasp, then adapt to her own context (eg. expanding the content, maybe adjust settings etc....).
The site will be in 1.9 but will upgrade to 2.0 when stable.
That's the vision .. your comments, suggestions, questions, concerns appreciated!
Anyone want to create such a universally easy course in content and skill but rich in hands-on play? All those demos marked with * need an author... let me know.
|Moodle Demo School: http://school.demo.moodle.net||Closed|
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