Main page: Moodleposium/2009/Kirkpatrick
James Neill's notes - but feel free to modify:
Moodle at the OU
Denise presented about the 40 year history of The Open University in the UK with being a recognised teaching and research university which delivers its courses flexibility and which therefore must engage with and development educational technology systems.
The Open University (UK)
The Open University (UK) - 40 years old; only educational institution across 4 countries (England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland)
- Open to people
- No prereq/entry requirements
- But there are exit requirements
- Open to places
- Can study whether they happen to be
- Open to methods
- Using whatever approaches/technology/pedagogy will help to deliver effectively
- Open ideas
- Research-institution (top 50 in UK)
- Researching own pedgagogy is essential
JN note: This seems to be institutional-embodiment of flexible learning.
- 220,000 students
- 1200+ academics: Develop materials
- 8,000 associate lectures/'tutors': Face-to-face and online contact with students, marking etc.
- Technologies are central to what we do
- International reputation for quality
- International research profile
- International partners
DK indicated separation of material development and material delivery (separately bundled) is somewhat problematic - OU wants to bring the designers closer to the students.
JN: Comment; surprising separation by OU; maybe its a legacy of the British class thing?
Management of academics / material development
- Team teaching; long course production (typical course is 3 years in development) - quite different from individualised Australian approach with a v. short lead-in
- OU challenge is to speed this up.
- Courses are very structured / industrial (may have up to 5,000 students enrolled in a subject)
- Feedback is critical
- Calendars feature strongly - and multiple calendars with
- Lots of democratic consultation, getting student feedback, piloting, trialling etc.
- Scalability is v. important - therefore, say no to lots of technological opportunities and tools
- Strong emphasis on high quality feedback - OU see it as central
- Different kinds of feedback for different tasks, wide range
- Helps with instant, automatic assessment and feedback, working on building the tools for feedback
- Staff bill is the biggest proportion of budget - feedback
- Moodle has helped to provide standardisation of delivery tools etc.
- If you want to use a blog in your teaching, you must use OU-blog (ditto OU wiki)
- OU has been working on translating material into e-books
L120 - Learnosity
- Voice training / development tools
Learning and teaching tools are used for other purposes too - admin/research etc.
- if we are asking teaching academics to use different tools for admin and teaching then uptake is predictably difficult
Mobile work and learning
- Students are/live mobile
- Extensive Second Life use
- Strong social community
- OU (UK) built its own Moodle for its own needs
VLE reporting and tracking
- Extensive collection of data - trying to catch up with analytics
- "Voice" used to record conversations etc.
- Staff development - developing a self-sustaining community
- Specific engagement in use of VLE - reward adapt/reuse as well as innovate
- Quality assurance - revising to take account of an enterprise VLE - how to ask the right questions at the right place in course development and other systems - but want to speed up development - usability of QA sounds key
- Benefitting from the Moodle community - OU (UK) can learn more
- Facilitating adoption
- Gaining and maintaining buy-in
- Technology skills & access arguments
- Build vs buy
- Customised vs vanilla
- Access & equity vs sustainability
- 20% of students in each of the 5 socio-economic bands
- 8,500 students in prison - e.g., have to work hard to make it accessible to all - e.g., off-line Moodle
- How customised to make the learning tools/experiences
- Lots of dilemmas/challenges
- How unique an instance of Moodle should we have?
- Should we have engaged in a substantial Business Process Review exercise before we commenced our VLE developments?
- How ubiquitous should our VLE be?
- What was the real cost?
- Did we adhere to all of our original principles?
- Can we maintain a focus on enhancing the student learning experience?
- There were a few questions.
- JN asked OU (UK)'s approach to Intellectual Property and OERS
- OU owns IP - allows staff some use
- OU puts some materials as OERs?? (unclear answer - Denise's response seemed to indicate that OU is largely protective of its teaching materials with some limited sharing)
Questions I wanted to ask
- It sounds like OU is increasingly using Moodle for other functions, such as for administrative tasks, staff working groups etc.. Is there a risk of over-Moodlisation - as opposed to say using other fit-for-purpose tools/platforms?