Getting everyone on board for Moodle 2.0 – Looking back at the last semester.
Coming to the end of the semester it is now time to sit back and reflect on how everything went. Did people use Moodle? What did they think of it? What was the over all opinion?
More times than not, the over all opinion is one that we really don’t want to hear… Academics didn’t take two it. Nothing makes a Moodelers heart drop like seeing a blank course page, just the way you left it before you handed it over for someone to take control for the semester. And they didn’t do anything, with the course page, and with any attempt to go online with their course.
How can we face the dragon? Do we run back to the academics with our swords in tract and put them on trial asking why?! WHY! This approach usually returns the same answers that we are all used to hearing:
“By the time the course got started” … “I couldn’t figure out how to… so I didn’t …” The thoughts of these comments make our skin bump up. We need a solution and we need it quick!
Like students, educators who are about to adopt an online course page need a little bit of hand holding to get going. We all know that and do our best to ensure we do all the hand holding that we need to do in the form of how-to guides, videos and even by preparing one to one tuition if they really need it. But what else do they need?
We are all students are heart
Looking back to the time when we were all one students, we all had one thing in common, if we didn’t understand something instead of making an abrupt scene, we would sit back wait for the class to end and when we got the time look up our own answer. Because nobody likes being the spotlight for a question which they know they can get quite easily from the web or a book. – It’s a bad good sometimes, but generally the student forgets or doesn’t get the time and the task at hand goes on the log finger until it gets forgotten..
What happens with a lot of forgotten questions? No answers! Exactly what we were trying to prevent from happening all along. As a result of this, the course page never gets made, and the learning environment never adopted. A sad ending to something that could have went so well!
So, what can we do?
This problem is obviously a little harder to address, and doesn’t have one straight up quick fix, it is almost a change of strategy and approach on how we encourage the level of adoption of a virtual learning environment.
When you consider all the possible reasons for not getting a course online, the list can be endless (and even more endless when you think about the different level of computer literacy that people may have).
During the original conversation with a potential academic who is interested in going Moodle, they were originally full of great thoughts as to where everything could go, and how much time they are really going to save in the long run (not to forget the amount of trees which can be saved instead of handing every students a brick of notes at the start of the semester which generally get lost!).
- Students can see what they are covering and what has to be covered in the future.
- No time printing all the notes out for the students.
- No answering emails asking for notes.
- No asking what time and date the assessment will be at
The list goes on!
These are the core values of Moodle that we need to keep in are arsenal whenever anyone says they don’t have the time to Moodle. Because, after all, when they Moodle they get time.
The feedback loop between administrator and academics needs to be tightened. Remember that academics were students once, and we don’t want the good ones forgetting their problems and the shy ones shying away from asking a question.
With whatever resources you have available, tighten your feedback loop and make an access route to solving problems quicker than letting the problems fade away over time.