Moodlemoot New Zealand 2011 – A perspective on a global landscape

Last week I gave a presentation at the New Zealand MoodleMoot which was organised by Stuart Mealor and the HRDNZ (Moodle Partner) team. It was held at Unitec and with the wide range of excellent presentations was certainly one of the best moots I have been at. (must get more singing at other moots!)

The presentation focused on the Global Landscape of Moodle, and highlighted the following areas:

  • some trends that I have noticed over the last few years in how Moodle usage has changed
  • a view on some stats on registered usage globally
  • some common experiences of Moodle usage

The first part of the presentation really focused on some trends that I have noticed where in the past Moodle has sometimes been an isolated installation within an institution, perhaps a department or a faculty deploying it for a project, or a specific set of courses, this has started to change. Usage of Moodle 1.9 sometimes had “all” the plugins and features being built within it. Only some used external repositories and Moodle wasn’t always fully integrated into the institution systems however now, a new picture is emerging where usage of Moodle is seen in a wider context.

This new picture places Moodle as part of the overall learning eco-system where it handles the course management and where other systems that are integrated into Moodle handle the other various services that are needed such as ePortfolios, file management and Multimedia. This also has changed the challenges encountered by the Moodle administrator who must have a mastery and understanding of all these aspects now, not just Moodle but the whole learning eco-system.

Some of the reasons I put forward for this change were:

  • a move to where Moodle was being implemented by a whole organisation rather than one department or faculty, so that the solution had to take into account the whole organisation needs for integration
  • the recognition that as we move forward over the coming years one system cannot do it all. Moodle 2 has enabled much tighter integration with repositories, eportfolio systems and other platforms especially with the new web-services options.
  • customer needs are diversifying due to the nature of the new users of Moodle. The more government bodies, corporates and organisations that use Moodle the more a new approach is required.

However one of the key reasons for all of this is acceptance across more and more sectors that Moodle is a viable choice for all as an elearning tool. This can be demonstrated by the increasing multi-sector take up of Moodle globally.

The main part of the presentation focused on some of the common feedback from users across the globe in relation to a number of points including:

  • the organisational challenges that they had prior to implementing Moodle and how these were met using Moodle
  • the key success factors in their roll-out and the benefits that Moodle delivered to the organisation
  • the lessons learned and some advice to others considering starting an implementation.

The slides are available on slideshare here: Moodle global landscape Moodle Moot New Zealand 2011

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