Category Archives: Moodle

Call for Papers: MoodleMoot UK 2011

Edit: Links fixed – apologies, Outlook email inserted redirects. Also note that early bird registration has closed already.

From email:

MOOTUK11 ticket prices announced

We finally managed to tie down the costs and work out the ticket prices for this year’s UK Moot. Full details about the updated price list and ticket options can be found in our latest blog post entitled ‘MOOTUK11: Ticket options and prices’.

Early Bird Tickets will be available from our online store from 11am on Monday, 17 January 2010. Please be advised that payment by credit or debit card is required to complete the booking and secure your place. If you have question about the booking process or experience problems on the day please email us at booking@ulcc.ac.uk to ensure your query is received and acted upon

Call for papers
Last but by no means least, we wanted to inform you that the call for papers for MOOTUK11 is now open and submissions are accepted. Full details on ‘how to submit your proposal’ can be found on our conference website. We encourage proposals from all backgrounds to showcase Moodle’s strength and diversity.

Best wishes
The MoodleMoot UK Team

Metaplace revisited

Metaplace has been making good progress in the last few months – particularly in some of the ‘softer’ issues. When first logging into MetaPlace Central there is a simple tutorial. The wiki support is much improved. There are regular inworld classes hosted by some of the more experienced and expert residents. I think I detect the hand of Robin Harper (ex-Linden Lab, currently a consultant to Metaplace) in these developments.

Another major change is that now MP is in Open Beta (anyone can sign up), you can now embed MP worlds in other webpages. First thing I did was embed the world I built for UWS onto my Moodle site:

UWS Metaplace campus in a Moodle Frontpage

UWS Metaplace campus in a Moodle Frontpage

If you previously visited MP and considered it too limited or lightweight, do take time to return and see some of the recent creations – users like Dalian (whose name I also recognise from Second Life) are now starting to push the level of what can be done in MP.

Exit Reality… Enter Hyperbole?

Just a couple of weeks ago SLOODLE 0.4 was launched… which extends SLOODLEs integration with Moodle considerably – allowing, for example, slideshows (for presentations, galleries, or whatever use you like) to be prepared easily in Moodle then shown in Second Life. A week earlier I was shown some work at the University of Ulster who’ve extended SLOODLE to guide students through interactive learning objects in Second Life from a Moodle page – a Moodle page that also allows the students (and their tutors!) to track their progress through the 3D exercises. We’ve been using Moodle web-chatrooms to archive and provide web-access to Second Life chat for over two years now. LMS/virtual world integration is something I’m very interested in. And so I had to read up a little on ExitReality’s news “Web-based 3D Technology integrates Learning Management Systems, Moodle and Blackboard into the 3D web

Its quite different from Second Life – the core idea being to provide a 3D space ‘attached’ to any and every web-page out there on the interweb. However, from what I can see the LMS integration seems to be little more than using the LMS as a ‘launch pad’ and authentication tool for access to the 3D space – and once there few of the rich customization features available in Second Life are present for users. The owners of a space can modify it to their hearts content, but the visitors power over even their own avatars is relatively limited.

Time for some translations.

From the ExitReality web site:
Unlike other 3D technology, ExitReality does not require going to a closed virtual world destination such as Second Life or Google Lively with separate logins. All these virtual worlds can now be accessed by anyone on the web, once the ExitReality Internet browser plugin has been downloaded and installed.
Like a few other virtual world platforms, soon to include Second Life, ExitReality can be accessed once the appropriate Internet browser plugin has been downloaded and installed

From the Press Release (link above):
ExitReality is a free Internet plug-in that allows anyone to view every web page in 3D or convert their 2D website into a customisable virtual world.
ExitReality is a free Internet plug-in that allows anyone running an ActiveX capable browser on Microsoft Windows (only) to view every web page in 3D or convert their 2D website into a customisable virtual world.

In saying all of this, bear in mind that ExitReality may well be a better solution for many users than Second Life – but you need to know who your users are going to be and what you hope to do with your virtual world once you have it. There is some fairly balanced discussion from the Second Life educators mailing list late last year picking out some of the pros and cons here:
https://lists.secondlife.com/pipermail/educators/2008-September/026147.html

I’m going to quote Bruce Sommerville on this, a Second Life educator who’s spent a lot more time with ExitReality than I have:

In short, there is the *potential* to create interactive and immersive educational activities in easily accessible web pages, especially if a community of educators gathers around the technology, as it has in SL.

I’ve yet to see evidence that the potential is really being met, but look forward to seeing more compelling examples of immersive teaching spaces in ExitReality over time.

SLOODLE @ MoodleMoot UK 2009

Its been very quiet here the past few weeks – a reflection on how my work has been anything but!

Earlier in the month SLOODLE 0.4 was released – and update which introduces quite a few new features. More over at http://www.sloodle.org/ .

On the ‘launch’ day I was at MoodleMoot UK, where I gave a presentation which covered a little of the history of SLOODLE as well as an overview of what it does/can do. The presentation and the first few minutes of the audio are online here:
http://moodlemoot.org/course/view.php?id=8

Give me an extra magical hour some day, and I’ll make a SlideCast of this…

quizHUD – Exploration and Assessment in Second Life

A delayed post this…

Last week we released the Sloodle quizHUD for use in Second Life. This is a Second Life user interface ‘HUD’ extension which allows students to explore a 3D environment and participate in assessment (formative or summative) in that environment. There are some obvious similarities with the some of the tools created for the PREVIEW project (see previous post), and some significant differences. More details below…

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Upgrade: Technology-Enhanced Learning

The new issue of UPGRADE is now online, a special issue on Technology-Enhanced Learning. Quite a few interesting papers, two on game-technology for learning which I mention here.

Pablo Moreno-Ger and co-authors consider “Game-Based Learning in e-Learning Environments”, and present <e-Adventure>, an authoring system for educational graphic adventure games. The games created using <e-Adventure> can ten be integrated into standard web-based Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) using the IMS Learning Design standard.

Another paper considers a different approach to integrating VLEs and game-based technologies… its a paper on Sloodle, by Jeremy Kemp and myself. (And there is another paper discussing an implementation of Moodle to support 30,000 plus users, of interest to Moodler’s out there…)

All papers are also available in Spanish in the print edition of Novatica – and will hopefully be available online soon.

Desktop conferencing for Moodle with DimDim

Today I gave a presentation ‘at’ Discover-e 08, an online conference organised by the JISC West-Midland Regional Support Center. The presentation was given via DimDim, one of a host of available desktop conferencing software options – but what makes DimDim of particular interest is that an OpenSource version is available. With this you can host your own DimDim server, and even integrate it into Moodle.

Alternatively, you can subscribe to use DimDim on their servers with support for larger numbers of users and some additional features. Voice and video worked well – albeit only a small number of users can have their voice active at a time. Nice clean ‘gmail’-like interface as well.

This was my first proper experience of presenting via desktop conferencing – and it went fairly well, though I was left wishing I’d put in less information and more opportunities for interaction…

Before, beyond (and somewhere to the left of) Second Life

UPDATE: If you log in on the 18th at 11am GMT you should be able to join my (hopefully) live Google presentation by clicking THIS LINK. (Should allow you to ask questions using the chat interface!)

Later today (after I get some sleep!) I’ll be attending the Massively Multi Learner workshop at Anglia-Ruskin University.

I’ll be uploading my presentation in as many formats as possible to this post – and you may also be able to catch the live presentation online if you follow the instructions here.

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