Association news

August newsletter

 
Picture of Richard Samson
August newsletter
by Richard Samson - Wednesday, 31 July 2019, 8:22 AM UTC
 

The pace never slackens in the Moodleverse!

During July your MUA committee has been active around the world. In the first week I attended the Mahoodle event at the University of Gloucestershire, along with Aurelie Soulier. (Mahoodle is the integration of the Moodle learning platform with the Mahara portfolio system.) Luiggi Sansonetti was one of the organisers of the well-attended (about 600 participants) MoodleMoot Francophone in Rennes. Meanwhile Orzu Kamolova was at the MoodleMoot Australia in Melbourne. (I have linked to the Melbourne presentation slides. Does anybody have the Rennes slides link?)

HQ and MUA synergy

Later in the month I caught up with Moodle CEO Martin Dougiamas on the seafront in Barcelona. Among other things, he confirmed to me what has already been announced in various forums: an ambitious integration of H5P in Moodle 3.8 (November 2019). As you probably know, H5P is, by some distance, the most popular activity plugin for Moodle. The MUA is currently working with Moodle HQ to ensure the quality of this exciting work and make sure that we get the best possible integration.

Meanwhile, the MUA has answered a call from Gry Stene to take part in a Higher Education Working Group, with input from Moodle partners and other stakeholders, whose aim is to set out and confirm Moodle priorities for this important sector. Expect to hear more news of this initiative over the coming months.

As announced previously, we are working with HQ to enhance and dovetail our MUA marketing effort with the broader Moodle presence worldwide. Going forward, we still need to raise our game significantly in terms of presence and services, in order to attract new members, so that we can fulfil our mission to "support the growth of Moodle".

Thanks to all those taking part in this work!

MUA discussions

Once again, this month there have been some interesting exchanges on topics such as the forum activity and communication with students in the MUA forums. MUA members can still catch up on the conversation.

I have already mentioned the important work being done on H5P integration. The most popular trending Moodle plugins were further discussed this month in the LMSPulse round-up. MoodleNews became LMSPulse in April, with a wider LMS focus than previously, but still with great coverage of all things Moodle. Well worth signing up to their weekly newsletter!

Moodle 3.8

We have already received the first favourable reports on the Advanced forums project released in Moodle 3.7. The second half of the MUA/HQ Advanced Forums project is now nearing completion and will be released in Moodle 3.8. Many thanks to MUA Secretary Thom Rawson for monitoring this work all along from the MUA side. In 3.8 we hope to see features such as Analytic reports of student activity, Export forum content, Forum activity grading and redesign of the forum display. 

All this is a major step forward for the forum activity, one of the most popular in Moodle. However, as noted previously, and as suggested in the MUA forums, there is still scope for new forum features in future.

Moodle 3.9

The two MUA projects slated for release in Moodle 3.9 (May 2020) are

A detailed estimation of the work involved is currently under study by HQ, prior to signing a service contract. Watch this space!

Moodle 4.0

The Moodle 4.0 (November 2020) project proposal cycle is now open for your ideas until 31 August. Participate! Please send your outline project proposals now. (Details can be left for later.)

In this round the committee is likely to recover some projects from previous cycles, but we will welcome further good new project proposals.

MUA committee nominations - we need you!

The call for nominations to the MUA committee (September 2019 - September 2020) is now open. The deadline for nominations is 12 August.

Being on the committee is a great opportunity for contributing to the Moodle community and project, networking, learning and personal recognition.

This is our MUA. If you feel that you can take a step forward and offer the MUA your expertise and time, please do not hold back. Our association needs you!

Annual General Meeting (AGM) agenda items

The AGM is scheduled to take place on 3 September (reconvening if necessary on 10 September). There is still time (till 12 August) for you to propose an item for the AGM agenda. You can do this by emailing me at richard@moodleassociation.org.

August Town Halls

As usual, our monthly Town Halls will take place on the first and second Tuesday in the month: 6 August 8am UTC and 13 August 6pm UTC.

This time we have asked for presentations from HQ on User Experience (UX) in Moodle. This is timely for a variety of reasons. Firstly, because Moodle HQ has been focusing more and more on UX. Moodle has many more options and is much more configurable than other learning platforms. While this is undoubtedly a strength, it has also led to complexity and sometimes a lack of consistency in interactions with the platform. Hence the need for UX work.

Furthermore, the Moodle HQ UX team has expanded and changed over the past couple of years. We want to be in closer contact with the current team.

Bearing these considerations in mind, HQ has offered us the following sessions:

  • Tuesday 6 August, 8am UTC, https://ecboces.zoom.us/j/7197759999
    Sharing concepts and showcasing thinking on improving the activity chooser and course creation in general. Seeking early feedback
    Presenter: Barbara Ramiro (UX team).
  • Tuesday 13 August, 6pm UTC, https://ecboces.zoom.us/j/7197759999
    Sharing insights on proposed gradebook improvements
    Presenter: Elizabeth Dalton (HQ research analyst)
We hope you can join us at these open meetings (recordings available to members).

MoodleMoot deadlines

Looming large in the calendar is the MoodleMoot Global in Barcelona, 18 -20 November. Will this be the largest Moodle event ever? The deadline for submitting a communication is 5 August. The Early Bird registration deadline is 16 September.

The MUA will be in Barcelona. We hope to have a stand there and also a session on the MUA project and mission. We hope to meet up with many current and future members.

Check out other upcoming MoodleMoots too. 

Further opportunities

As always, Moodle offers users many ways to get involved, as well as by supporting the MUA. For instance, the ground-breaking Moodle Educator Certification Program, which offers teachers advanced in-depth training in digital teaching competencies, following the UNESCO and EU frameworks. Personally, I plan to start this course in September!

And MoodleNet is the emerging social platform for Moodle users. Various MUA members have already taken part in MoodleNet testing and discussion. This is an initiative well worth following.

Looking forward

Take a look at the updated Moodle roadmap page. There you can see how closely the MUA is now involved in a whole range of Moodle projects. For instance, the Activity dates relative to student enrolment dates project was previously proposed as an MUA project and has now been picked up by Moodle HQ. As time goes by, centres are offering courses and students are taking them in more flexible formats, so this enhancement will be very welcome.

And it is a good example of the increasing tie-in between Moodle HQ and the MUA. This is just where we want to be.

Have a great August!