Martin Dulberg, Lou Harrison, Scott Watkins and Jeff Webster had the opportunity to attend MoodleMoot (a Moodle conference) July 25-27, 2017, in New Orleans. The conference was held in conjunction with BbWorld17 this year, so it was a much larger and more diversified group of attendees than we typically see at a MoodleMoot.
We had several proposals accepted, so we had the opportunity to present on “Analyzing the Usability of your LMS Portal,” “Update on the Learning Analytics Processor,” and “Governance is Important: How NC State Makes LMS Decisions with Transparency and Community Buy-in.” The presentations were well received and gave us the opportunity to network with professionals from a variety of different schools.
While we were there, we had the opportunity to meet with Martin Dougiamas, the founder of Moodle, to discuss future plans for Moodle and provide him with some feedback as to what we would like to see in future developments. We also met with Blackboard to discuss Ally, their new accessibility product. Ally works with the LMS (Moodle) to provide content in a variety of different formats to meet the needs of students, and it provides recommendations to faculty about how to make their content more accessible as they are considering uploading it to Moodle. It’s an interesting product, something we are looking at with the campus community a little more closely.
There were some excellent sessions that we attended which gave us some new insights into areas like Learning Analytics, Gamification, Google Integration, Moodle Mobile, Future directions in Moodle and Student Support. That knowledge will inform some of our future decisions to make Moodle responsive to the needs of NC State. We also had the pleasure of attending Keynote sessions by Jill Biden and Mae Jemmison, both of whom were very inspirational and spoke to the importance of education and the role technology plays.
While in New Orleans we could not help but eat! Between the four of us, we had many dozens of delicious oysters and got to try a variety of local favorites.