The moodle experience

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Moodle, the UAL’s new virtual learning environment (VLE) has been operational for about a year now. Each course has a site, and students can use it to check timetables, download files or access a brief, for example. To introduce a VLE into any institution at a time of rapid socio-technical flux can be problematic, especially with so many competing digital platforms vying for students’ attention, such as Facebook, Google Tools, Twitter, or blogs.

In this article Sarah Kante takes a look at the user experience of Moodle, asks a range of students – the primary audience – how they use it and what they think of it, and tries to understand how this very important educational tool might be improved. Continue reading

Blogs and Workflow: behind the screen

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Welcome to CLTAD, the UAL Centre for Learning and Teaching in Art and Design. Responsible for the development and support of staff, the centre also develops online tools: at the centre of which is Moodle, the core of the new Virtual Learning Environment.  Whilst you are probably familiar with Moodle, CLTAD also develops and maintains other tools that not only support teaching but also enhance the UAL students’ learning experience.

Sarah Kante had a chat with Mike Kelly, who is responsible for the development and maintenance of the myblog.arts and Workflow platforms. From the development of custom e-learning tools, to implementation and feedback from the users (you!), Mike takes us behind the screen. Continue reading

Moodle Matters at Central Saint Martins

Welcome to UAL Moodle

The University-wide implementation of Moodle – a major element of the new Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) – is in full swing, as one of a number of Digital Life projects currently being undertaken by UAL. The Blackboard plug is being pulled – so to speak – at the end of July and Moodle will be taking its place. So imminent is the migration that three MA courses at CSM have been using live Moodle sites since January. Continue reading

Assessment Feedback – Online

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Online assessment feedback – tutor view

Together with Technical Developer Sat Anandhan, John Jackson – CLTAD’s Educational Developer (eLearning) – has been involved in UAL’s Online Assessment Tool (OAT) project since its inception. Here he discusses OAT’s journey so far and plans for the future.

OAT is an online assessment grading and feedback tool developed by CLTAD to support the delivery of high quality and timely assessment feedback to students throughout the university. Available to course teams as an optional alternative to using the Word based assessment feedback forms, it was used for the first time on two courses (one London College of Fashion, the other London College of Communication) in late December 2011.

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The approach of Moodle

The Centre for Learning and Teaching in Art and Design (CLTAD) is leading the university’s transition from Blackboard to Moodle.  The aim is for Moodle to be fully implemented and available to all UAL staff and students by September 2013.

To help colleagues and students find out about Moodle, CLTAD has developed a really useful and user friendly website called Life after Blackboard.  On it you can also see an interactive illustrated map of the UAL’s VLE (virtual learning environment) which clearly visualises the suite of digital tools, including Moodle, that is available to all courses.  The VLE provides a set of tools that allows lecturers to create and deliver course content and assessments, and communicate via the internet.

CSM All Staff Digital Literacy Event

September’s all staff Digital Literacy event provided an opportunity for colleagues to find out about some of the ways in which digital tools and social media are being used at CSM.

To start off Shan Wareing, UAL’s Dean of Learning and Teaching, provided a contextual overview of ways in which digital technologies are being approached at the university, CLTAD’s Nancy Turner fed back on key themes arising from the recent international conference ‘Designs on E-Learning’, and Angus Eason gave an update on MOODLE. They were joined by CSM colleagues who gave quick-fire presentations about their own uses of digital technologies to support the student experience.

It was acknowledged that we are experiencing radical shifts in the variety and complexity of HE provision globally – for example, the current blossoming of massive open online courses (MOOCs) adds to the fluidity and multiplicity of educational provision, and provides new environments for learning.  This evolving and complex educational landscape is one in which digital technologies are playing an increasingly significant part, and as such, staff and students need to become digitally literate. Continue reading