Martin Dougiamas KeynoteMoodleMoot UK 2009 was held at Loughborough University before Easter.  The conference brings together learning technologists, systems administrators and teachers from all education sectors to discuss all things Moodle.  The main keynote was given by Moodle-founder Martin Dougiamas and focused on the ongoing development of Moodle and in particular the next version, Moodle 2.0. It was great to hear Martin talking about usability and openness in particular.  I think one of the key factors for the popularity of moodle here is its ease-of-use (particularly when compared to our previous VLE!) so it’s always good to hear that usability remains high on the agenda.  From the Moodle wiki:

  • Users should be able to easily learn what is there for them
  • Users should be able to move around “their world” within Moodle with a minimum of effort.

By openness I’m referring to the ability for Moodle to be integrated with other systems such as repositories and eportfolios but also changes that are being made to make it really easy to include other content from the ‘open web’ such as Youtube videos & Flickr photos in your Moodle course.  There’s much more on Martin Dougiamas’s keynote on Nitin Parmar’s blog.

The best session I attended was the one on Sloodle which is the Second Life – Moodle integration.  We have been working with the LSE Spanish teachers over the last year on a Second Life project so it was interesting to see what’s possible.  Sloodle allows you to make direct connection between a Moodle course and a location in Second Life. For example using Sloodle you can:

  • Create a slideshow in Moodle which is visible in Second Life
  • Take a Quiz or answer a Choice in Second Life which is also recorded (and answerable) in Moodle
  • Combine a Moodle chat with the local chat in Second Life
  • Link students’ avatars to their Moodle user accounts

Over Coffee
Outside of the main Moodle sessions, some good stuff from the elearning guys at the University of Bath:

And finally a mention for the Balsamiq Mockup tool which is now being used by Moodle Developers.  Looks great.