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James Neill's notes
This was a low-key, casual, but purposeful session with a small (10-15?) VLE-manager type of people at mostly Australian and New Zealand higher education institutions.
A possible move towards creating a group/network/alliance of VLE-manager-type-people in the Australiasian region was put forward - initially by Helen Carter from University of Canberra, but this session was chaired by Alan Arnold from UC and Derek Chirnside from University of Canterbury, Christchurch, NZ.
Being a mere academic, I mostly listened and made the odd suggestion/comment.
The working title of the session was: "Moodle Managers' Group for Tertiary Organisations in Australasia", but amongst the discussions was a consensus to move away from the Managers focus and towards a more general "Alliance".
Alan Arnold and Derek Chirnside took "official notes" during the session which presumably they'll upload somewhere.
Apparently this discussion started earlier at educause. The idea is that institutions may work together on pooling resources (time, money, thinking) on sharing info and tackling common development issues more effectively than if proceeding independently with Moodle. There is already ad hoc sharing, an informal email list etc. The discussion focused around whether a more formal organisation/alliance of Moodle Managers from Australiasian tertiary institutions would be worth pursuing - and if so, how (in what shape or form). There was some cautious progress towards what this might look like.
My impression/feedback was:
- They need a small, casual, openish start up group (moodle, organic) - if it fires, great; if not, c'est la vie
- Region - what's global, what's regional? (I'd probably go global (bec. Aust/NZ is such a small slice of the Moodle pie), but the proponents seemed to want regional collaboration and actually seem to collaborate best with their neighbours - at least in the ACT where ANU-UC-ACU-CIT-ADFA have collaboration e.g., via Gaggle, a community get together of edtechs)
- Inclusion of non-managers - openess of group. I'd suggest more openess, but I suspect this will become another ACODE-y type insider group.
- Possible places where it might be hosted - with a Moodle partner, ACODE, EDNA etc. - but why not just on Moodle.org?
BTW - As an aside, there was some palpable cynicism about e-portfolios during this session - and I picked up this vibe from others too - seems to fit with my sense of unease although I remain curious to see a good example of a working eportfolio system that students use.