Louise's eLearning Blog

Moodle chosen: Next steps!

Posted on: January 12, 2010

Leeds City College recently selected Moodle as their VLE after the merger of 3 colleges (full press release), however the real challenge is what to do now!

Two of the three colleges used Moodle prior to the merger, however it is important to ensure that all staff feel comfortable (and happy!) with the decision – especially those who previously used Blackboard, who will perceive that they have the biggest challenge / task ahead of them.

In reality all staff will need to change to a ‘new’ VLE because the best elements / working practices from each of the platforms should be integrated into the single one. Therefore I have drafted the following message to go out to all staff, along with the questions I will be posing to gather information to shape the new Moodle installation and hopefully also make sure that most staff feel valued and take some ownership in the new system, which ‘should’ result in them ‘wanting’ to use it!

Shape your new Virtual Learning Environment!

As some of you may already be aware the college executive team (CET) recently selected Moodle as the Leeds City College Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). This decision, based on a recommendation from the eLearning workstream group, will result in a brand new VLE for the whole college – encompassing the best bits from all the existing systems.

This is where we need you!

Tell us what you like and don’t like about your current VLE (Moodle or Blackboard). How do you want it to look? What functionality and/or tools would you like it to have? Use this opportunity to think about how you will engage your learners. How will you make your courses interactive? How can we make this new VLE really enhance the learners experience? You can help shape the new platform.

Simple questionnaires will be made available on your current VLE for comments and opinions to be voiced. Screen grabs / dumps are also welcome (from existing, internal or external, VLEs, platforms, websites, software etc.) to highlight / show specific layout, design and functionality, which can be sent by email to …@…

A small working group is likely to be formed as developments progress so please also take this opportunity to express your interest in being directly involved in the development of the new VLE.

Louise Jakobsen – eLearning Curriculum Manager: Park Lane Campus

What would make you use the new VLE? (Please add comments)

How, do you think, learners will want to use the new VLE? (Please add comments)

What tools would make it easier for you to create/adapt, develop and maintain a dynamic, interactive course? (Please add comments)

What do you like about your current VLE? (Please add comments relating to the 4 sections)
* Layout/design
* Usability
* Functionality
* Tools

What would you like to change / improve about your current VLE? (Please add comments relating to the 4 sections)
* Layout/design
* Usability
* Functionality
* Tools

Would you be willing to share your resources with other teachers via a central repository?
* Yes
* No
* Additional Comments?

Would you be interested in being part of a working group as development progresses?
* Yes
* No

The results and engagement will be interesting to watch, but I hope that by encouraging staff to focus on the learners’ online experience, more effective and interactive content will be developed making the online environment much more than a simple repository – though it is important to remember that is a valid first step to using a VLE.


3 Responses to "Moodle chosen: Next steps!"

Leeds have a very impressive looking Moodle now and the quality of it was mentioned at a recent meeting we’ve had regarding the updated Moodle we are putting in place for Cheshire East Adult Learning.

How did you find the feedback from the tutors etc. Have they engaged well? I am wondering if we should get ours more involved in the design process?

Thanks for the comments – its great to find out when people have referenced the site in their discussions!

The modifications have made staff and students engage incredibly well with the site. Including the enthusiasts in the whole process, including design and functionality requests / suggestions, results in increased use, however the key to improved use is to ensure individuals understand the importance of conextualisation and interactivity (see some of my other posts) so that the courses are not one dimensional.

For more information (including some recent statitics) and contact details for Leeds City College’s VLE Manager visit http://lewiscarr.co.uk/

Thanks for the link and your insightful blog.

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