The Future of Moodle
One of the highlights of any Moot is the chance to hear where Moodle is headed directly from the source--creator and lead developer, Martin Dougiamas.
At this keynote, Martin's focus was less about what will be coming in the next version (3.0 scheduled for release Nov. 9) and more about a major change in how the development of Moodle's core features will be decided and funded. The creation of the non-profit Moodle Association will allow individuals and organizations greater say about which features and fixes make it into Moodle core. Individual and organizational memberships at various pricing levels allow members to propose projects, collaborate on specifications, and vote on which projects are funded through two annual development cycles. This new funding model will operate in parallel to Moodle's established open development model -- the global user community will continue to have input (at no cost) through bug reports and feature requests at the Moodle.org site.
Most people we talked to at the Moot see this as a very positive step and we will be continuing conversations with other Canadian Moodle institutions to see how we can best leverage our voting options (if KPU springs for a membership) for projects of greatest value to local faculty members and students.
Until the Association is fully functional and brings more projects to the table, Moodle HQ developers are focusing on these priorities:
- usability and accessibility
- outcomes, competencies, and learning plans (better tracking of what students know and what they need to know)
- easier and more consistent ways for developers to create great looking, responsive themes
- Moodle mobile app
We expect to be doing some testing over the coming months with an upgrade to Moodle 3.1 tentatively scheduled for the end of the Spring 2016 semester.
Cool things we saw
Jeff Wilson inspired us with tales of makerspaces and coding for kids in Nova Scotia's K-12 system. We need to be ready for when these young entrepreneurs hit post-secondary.
Set up your own course for free on MoodleCloud for up to 50 users--includes free Big Blue Button webconferencing sessions for up to 6. This will be a great way for us (or anyone) to preview Moodle's newest features without having to install them locally.
Rosedale Academy, Toronto
Fernando Oliveira, Director of Education Technology at the online highschool, showed his custom marking manager and mentor plug-ins. These plug-ins make it easy for students and parents or mentors to see learning progress. Check the Demo Site for some examples
Vancouver Coastal Health
Jason Shaw, Learning Systems Lead at VCH, is doing some very interesting things with custom themes, formats, and mobile apps in Moodle (you will need to log in with username: moot , password: moot to see these examples --not sure how long they will be accessible)
Their Moodle site is a thing of beauty