Caboodle – Moodle’s shop window to research and learning resources

Introduction

Caboodle is a Moodle block that creates a shop window of e-resources and publications from research and teaching repositories directly to the learner’s course page. The tool allows teachers to pre-define search criteria on multiple research/teaching resource repositories. When a learner accesses a course with Caboodle enabled the most up to date resources for the pre-defined search criteria are shown to the learner. Caboodle also allows learners to perform their own search on multiple e-resource repositories in one go. Caboodle succeeds in bringing research closer to teaching and learning.

Check out the instructional video created by Sunderland College below.

Who was involved

Caboodle was a multi-institutional project funded by Jisc where Enovation worked with institutions from across the UK including Sunderland College (lead institution), Oldham College, Worchester College of Technology, Stockport College and Wiltshire College.

What it does

Caboodle can be connected to a number of repositories which can be queried using a search form in the block. Results are displayed to the user within the block with hyperlinks to the online resources. There are two types of searches that can be done. The first is the basic “Learner Search” which learners can perform themselves. The second type of search is the “Initial Search” this is a search which is performed by a teacher. The results of the search are saved in the block for everyone to see but are updated periodically ensuring learners have the most up to date information. The teacher can also configure which results from a search to display and which are not relevant, arranging the most suitable results for viewing.

The diagram below shows the Caboodle block. As you can see from this block the teacher has done a search for Anatomy. They have specified three results for each repository result set listed (Jisc MediaHub, British Periodicals, Childlink and EBSCO). The learner can easily perform their own search on these repositories by placing their search criteria into the search box at the top and pressing ‘go’.

Caboodle screenshot

Caboodle screenshot

Conclusion

Caboodle is an important piece of work that makes research more accessible to learners in a learning environment. It also highlights to learners the vast amount of knowledge at their fingertips through e-repositories but gives them the scaffolding they need to ensure that they do not get overwhelmed by the information.

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Moodle and IMS LTI – External Tools Activity

External tools is a relatively new Moodle plug-in which was added to Moodle 2.3. This little plugin is well worth a look if you are the type of instructor who uses a lot of education technology that doesn’t fit within the Moodle fold. What External tools does is allow for integration with online e-learning tools through the IMS Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) specification. It is a little gem that allows your Moodle users to move into and out of a learning tool outside of Moodle seamlessly. Whats more is that all the performance data that the external learning tool generates on the Moodle learners will be passed back to Moodle and straight into the gradebook as if it was just another Moodle activity.

In order for this all to work the external tool must be a ‘LTI provider’. A list of learning LTI providers can be found at: http://www.edu-apps.org/index.html . Check it out!

We have been providing clients with help and guidance on the IMS LTI specification for some time. If you need any help, please let us know. For more information on the specification please see: http://www.imsglobal.org/toolsinteroperability2.cfm

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Creating learning paths using Diagram Editor

Course sequencing allows for instructors to define a learning path through a given curriculum. It allows the course creator to define pre-requisite conditions between courses that are enforced by the LMS.

With Moodle 2 completion dependencies can be defined for a course, whereby course B can only be marked complete if course A is complete. Unfortunately this is not a true pre-requisite as the learner can start course B without completing A. Functionality in Moodle to allow true pre-requisites to be defined by the course creator is highly sought after by the Moodle community.

Over the last year Enovation has set out to overcome this shortcoming and offer true pre-requisite definition within Moodle.

Taking up the Challenge

In the Summer of 2012 Enovation started to look at how pre-requisites could be defined between courses. The first attempt of this was to define course pre-requisites in the course settings page.

A new settings section was added to define course pre-requisites.

The image below shows the new settings section and how pre-requisite relationships were defined between courses.

This enhancement required amendments to the Moodle core code and after consultation with the community a new approach using an enrolment plugin was developed. To read in detail about this work, please have a look at one of our previous blog posts - http://www.enovation.ie/blog/2011/06/course-prerequisites-in-moodle-2/

Enrolment Plugin

The enrolment plugin did not allow students to self-enrol in a course until they had satisfied a pre-requisite condition. Defining pre-requisite conditions using the enrolment plugin meant there were no changes to Moodle’s core code. While it was a powerful feature it was time-consuming and complex to define course paths. To overcome this we decided to develop a diagram editor tool for defining course paths.

Diagram Editor

A simple notation was defined to allow course creators to define a course path through pre-requisite conditions on courses. This notation consisted of two types of ‘gates’ and a course notation. Gates either had a ‘1’ or ‘ALL’ above it indicating whether all courses coming into the gate needed to be completed or just one before the learner can enrol in courses coming out of the gate provided.

The diagram to the right illustrates the ‘ALL gate’ where course 1 and course 2 must be completed before the learner can enrol in course 3

Moodle Plugin

The Moodle plugin for course sequencing is a powerful tool for the course creator allowing them to define a course path through a given curriculum.

Image showing diagram editor in Moodle

Our plans for Diagram Editor

The next steps for diagram editor are as follows:

  • We need to make the code as robust as possible
  • We want to add a sanity check which will basically check, for example, that no course is impossible to reach
  • Release to the community
  • Other possibilities to start looking at then would be a diagram editor for creating lessons, sequencing topics/activities within courses, allowing for activities to be dragged and dropped on to course icons.

We would be very interested in your idea on how to develop diagram editor further, please let us know in the comments.

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Developer Workshop – Moodle Moot Dublin

The Moodle Moot is literally just around the corner and its all getting very exciting. Not least due to the fact that we are running a workshop for budding Moodle developers. Tomasz Muras (Enovation’s Tech Lead) and I will be running this workshop on the Monday before the conference starts (18th Feb). During the workshop you will learn:

  • How to create your very first block
  • How to create a filter
  • How to develop command line functionality for Moosh
  • How to develop a new, custom admin report
We really look forward to seeing you there!
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First Moodle Research Conference

The first Moodle research conference took place in beautiful Crete last weekend and I was lucky enough to be in attendance to present Enovation’s work with the Percolate project on providing personalised help to students within Moodle.

Mark Melia presenting at MRC
Mark Melia presenting at MRC (credit: Gavin Henrick)

The conference began on Friday with a keynote from Moodle founder, Martin Dougiamas. Martin’s keynote was entitled “Back to the Classroom”. The keynote called on participants to consider why they were involved in education and a call to action on how we can use technology to make education more effective and efficient allowing humanity to evolve. Martin posed the question how can we do this either through Moodle (extending core or through plugins) or perhaps not through Moodle, through some “new thing”.  As he says himself of Moodle – it is what it is.

The speakers during the conference could be arranged along the following themes:

  • Innovative Plugins – this included our own Percolate search plugin integrating semantic web and social search to track and understand a user’s search intention providing them with personalised help with aspects of learning where they experience difficulties. Also presented was cool plugins such as a language learning tool where students work with a video in the language they are learning.
  • Authoring – Authoring especially through Modelling was a key theme. These is an area which I am particularly interested in as its what I did my PhD research on so I was very pleased to see research in this area and to speak with the researchers afterwards.
  • Analytics – there were many talks looking at using data mining and analytics to derive new information. Very interesting stuff. This area is really picking up momentum with the LAK (Learning Analytics and Knowledge) community going from strength to strength (http://lak12.sites.olt.ubc.ca).
  • Usability and user experience reports. How Moodle can be customised for specific scenarios, for example language learning for children or teaching and learning in Islamic cultures.
  • There were also a variety of case-study reports on the deployment of e-learning strategy through Moodle.

Really interesting talks and really interesting people. Just can’t wait for next years event now!

If you are interested in reading the papers from the Moodle Research Conference they are freely available at http://research.moodle.net/MoodleCon_Proceedings_program/index.htm. Be sure to have a read of our paper entitled “Supporting Problem-based Learning in Moodle using Personalised, Context-specific Learning Episode Generation” and let me know if you have any feedback or comments!

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Whats new in Moodle 2.3

The long awaited Moodle 2.3 is out. It took a little bit of time but after looking at what’s in it I can tell you that its jam-packed with Moodle goodness and is WELL worth the wait. In this post I am going to take you on a bit of a whirlwind tour of the major changes in Moodle 2.3. So hang on tight!

Drag and drop

There has been a massive change to how to get your files into Moodle – it’s now so easy. You can now literally drag and drop your files into Moodle, right into your course topics – easy! Moodle has become an extension to the teachers workspace.

The video below shows what happens to your Moodle course interface when you drag a file on to it – pretty cool eh?

File API

There has been dramatic improvemnents in the file picker. You can now easily just drag and drop files instead of using the file picker. Rather than create copy of files that you include in your course Moodle is now been very smart by giving you the option to link to your file rather than creating a copy for within Moodle. This saves on disk space and also relieves those multiple versions of the same file headaches. One quick note on this is that only some repositories support it but I suspect that plugins for most of the repositories won’t be long coming.

file API

No more “Add Activity” dropdown

The old form dropdowns to add resources and activities are now gone. In its place is a very slick looking hyperlink “Add an activity or resource” which brings up all the different types of Moodle activities that are available.

Bye bye form-based interface from the 2000s and hello slick web interface more at home in this decade.

Add an activity

Just one Assignment

All the different types of assignments available in Moodle have been merged into one. This new assignment activity has a variety of settings that allows you define the type of assignment you need to assess your learners. Need files to be submitted, need online text, need to be able to upload files as responses to your student assignment – no problem the new assignment options allow you to do all these things plus many, many more. Why not have a read through the MoodleDocs on the new assignment activity - http://docs.moodle.org/23/en/Assignment_module

Book Module

The very popular book module is now out of the box with Moodle 2.3. This is great news as it’s a very popular and useful activity which provides a multipage resource with a book like interface. To read more about the book module - http://docs.moodle.org/23/en/Book_module

Section per page

Got a big course? Find you and your students need to scroll a lot to locate course resources? Great news Moodle 2.3 provides for a new course user interface known as section per page. Section per page displays one section per page. Allowing students concentrate on one topic area of the course at a time. Links at the left and right of the topic section provide easy navigation to the previous and next topics respectively.

Editing

You can now edit the name of a Moodle resource or activity very quickly. Simply click on the pencil icon. This allows you to quickly change the resource or activity name without having to go into the resource or activity settings.

An editable resource name is shown below – so simple!

Quick Edit

Summary

Here we have outlined just some of the really great features coming out as part of Moodle 2.3. To get a complete list of all the changes have a look at the release notes on Moodle.org - http://docs.moodle.org/dev/Moodle_2.3_release_notes

Want to have a chat about the new feature? We do too :) – just give us a shout here at Enovation.

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Moodle development – IDs, coursemodules and contexts

Introduction

In this blog entry, I’d like to go through some basic concepts of the Moodle architecture. We will look at very common but sometimes confusing parts of Moodle: instance IDs, contexts and coursemodules.

To explain the concepts we will use an actual Moodle 2.3 installation. We will look at what is happening in Moodle UI and also “behind the scenes” – in the Moodle database.

Course

In Moodle everything starts with a course, so I’ve started by adding a new course which I’ve called “Moodle development course”.
By creating this course a number of database entries are made. In the following I outline what has been created in mdl_course and mdl_course_sections tables  (I’m showing only few columns and few rows):

mdl_course
  id: 6
  category: 1
  sortorder: 10001
  fullname: Moodle development course
  shortname: moodle dev 101
  #more columns....

mdl_course_sections
-
  id: 36
  course: 6
  section: 0
  summaryformat: 1
  sequence: 7
  visible: 1
-
  id: 37
  course: 6
  section: 1
  summary:
  summaryformat: 1
  visible: 1
#more rows....

Our course id is 6 and several sections have been created – one row in mdl_course_sections for each section. Using Moodle UI, I’m now adding the new “Assignment” activity (new to M2.3). I called it “New assignment activity” and it’s been added to the first section (week 0) of my course.

Course module

When I click the link to this assignment, it will open following URL:

http://.../mod/assign/view.php?id=9

The number at the end – “9″ is “Course Module ID”. It is stored in mdl_course_modules table as mdl_course_modules.id. If we look there for a row with id=9, we will find our new assignment:

mdl_course_modules
  id: 9
  course: 6
  module: 21
  instance: 1
  section: 36
  #more columns...

We can see that course=6 matches mdl_course.id and section=36 matches mdl_course_sections.id – that must be our new assignment.
Once we have course module id, we usually want to get “Course Module Object” that contains full information about “coursemodule”. This can be done with Moodle API function get_coursemodule_from_id($modulename, $cmid);

In our example we would use the following code:

$cm = get_coursemodule_from_id('assign', 9);

Keep in mind that “assign” is a module name and the name comes from “assignment”.

Of course you would never hard-code ID number like that but use required_param() instead – but we won’t cover it here.

To see the actual value of $cm I used following snippet:

$cm = get_coursemodule_from_id('assign', 9);
print_r($cm);

and the result is:

stdClass Object
(
    [id] => 9
    [course] => 6
    [module] => 21
    [instance] => 1
    [section] => 36
    [idnumber] =>
    [added] => 1336640971
    [score] => 0
    [indent] => 0
    [visible] => 1
    [visibleold] => 1
    [groupmode] => 0
    [groupingid] => 0
    [groupmembersonly] => 0
    [completion] => 0
    [completiongradeitemnumber] =>
    [completionview] => 0
    [completionexpected] => 0
    [availablefrom] => 0
    [availableuntil] => 0
    [showavailability] => 1
    [showdescription] => 0
    [name] => New assignment activity
    [modname] => assign
)

There is a very similar API function get_coursemodule_from_instance($modulename, $instance) that can be used to retrieve $cm as well. This may be a bit confusing as the API function name ends with _instance but the second argument is really an id as well. Just in this case, the second parameter is an id of a module in its own table. The table that stores information about instances of “assign” module is called mdl_assign. If I look inside that table, there is just one row – for the activity I’ve just created:

mdl_assign
  id: 1
  course: 6
  name: New assignment activity
  intro: New assignment activity
  #more columns...

This means that those two invocations should result in exactly the same $cm object:

$cm = get_coursemodule_from_id('assign', 9);
$cm = get_coursemodule_from_instance('assign', 1);

Any time you see $cm in Moodle code you can be fairly sure it is a coursemodule object.

Context

We will now move on to another concept – “context”. Contexts are mainly used for permission checking. In case of our “assign” activity, there must be a check if a user can submit new assignment or another check to see if user is allowed to grade the submissions (teacher).
Each activity will have it’s own context but other Moodle elements will have context as well: courses, users or categories. All context levels are defined in lib/accesslib.php:

define('CONTEXT_SYSTEM', 10);
define('CONTEXT_USER', 30);
define('CONTEXT_COURSECAT', 40);
define('CONTEXT_COURSE', 50);
define('CONTEXT_MODULE', 70);
define('CONTEXT_BLOCK', 80);

To retrieve context for our “assign” activity, we will be looking at CONTEXT_MODULE level. Current context you are working on is usually put into variable named $context. The API call to retrieve context is:

$context = context_module::instance($cm->id); //$cm->id = 9 for us

Let’s see what is inside $context

context_module Object
(
    [_id:protected] => 51
    [_contextlevel:protected] => 70
    [_instanceid:protected] => 9
    [_path:protected] => /1/3/44/51
    [_depth:protected] => 4
)
  • id comes from mdl_context.id – a table that stores all contexts in Moodle. All the information in this object is basically a row from mdl_context
  • contextlevel equals CONTEXT_MODULE (70)
  • instanceid equals to $cm->id
  • path is a full path from top, to this context
  • depth is a depth of the path above. In other words it should equal to the number of slashes in the path

The numbers in the path (/1/3/44/51) are context IDs. The very first ID will always be “1″. This is the only CONTEXT_SYSTEM level context. Next we see “3″, let’s see what it is in mdl_context:

mdl_context
  id: 3
  contextlevel: 40
  instanceid: 1
  path: /1/3
  depth: 2

After looking at contextlevel, we can infer that this is CONTEXT_COURSECAT – a course category (contextlevel equals 40, which is the same as integer defined for constant CONTEXT_COURSECAT). It has instanceid=1, so we can find it in mdl_course_categories where id = 1. Turns out, this is a default, Miscellaneous category.

Next context ID is 44:

mdl_context
  id: 44
  contextlevel: 50
  instanceid: 6
  path: /1/3/44
  depth: 3

That’s our course where we’ve added the activity (CONTEXT_COURSE=50). You can see that instanceid = 6 matches our mdl_course.id.

With the $context object we can now use Moodle APIs like has_capability() or require_capability(). They will go through context path and check access on each level. This means, for example, checking if the access to an activity is blocked from the system context, then on the category level, then in our course and finally in this instance of “assign” activity.

To summarize: every activity you add to a course will have an entry in it’s own table (e.g. mdl_assign). Id in this table is usually referred to as instance or instanceid (mdl_assign.id). Every activity will also have a row in mdl_course_modules table. Based on this row, $cm object is created. Finally, every activity will have a context with level equal CONTEXT_COURSE (50). This will usually be stored in $context variable and used for permission checks.

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Statistical Analysis of Moodle Quizzes

I am a massive fan of Moodle Quiz. It really is one of the most powerful and comprehensive pedagogical tools in Moodle. From its multiple question types (http://docs.moodle.org/20/en/Question_types) to its many configuration and grading options, its various methods of giving students targeted feedback and its comprehensive reporting, it leaves most other quiz engines in the shade.

Reporting is one of Moodle Quizzes biggest strengths and an aspect of the quiz that I think people overlook. Today I want to take some timeout just to do some justice to Moodle quiz and share with the world just how fantastic it is.

Very generally there are two types of reports that can be generated for Moodle quizzes, student report and statistics report. Lets look at each of these reports in a little detail.

Student Report

The student report (grades) allows the teacher to see how students are performing in the quiz. The student report allows the teacher to see at a glance averages for questions and students but also allows the teacher to drill down to individual students to individual question and view a log for a student’s behaviour in a given question.

The screen shot below demonstrates a simple example of how summative information for a quiz is displayed.

Grade report for Moodle Quiz

Grade report for Moodle Quiz

For a teacher to review an individual learners attempt he or she just needs to click on one of the marks. This will bring up the question and outline the students response to the question including a log of what the student did while answering the question.

Question level logs

Question level logs

Teachers need to not only know how their students are performing but they also need to know how well their quizzes are performing. Moodle provides a “statistics” report providing basic psychometric analysis of quizzes to do this.

Statistics Report

The statistics report is broken into two parts; quiz information, which provides summative stats on the quiz, and quiz structure analysis, which provides detailed information about the quiz’s questions.

Quiz information contains the following information about a given quiz:

  • Quiz name
  • Course name
  • Open and close dates for the quiz
  • Total number of first/graded attempts
  • Average grade for first/all attempts
  • Median grade
  • Standard deviation of grades
  • Score distribution skewness (for first attempts) – indicating whether there is a long tail on the distribution curve to the left (negative skew) or right (positive skew)
  • Coefficient of internal consistency (sometimes called Cronbach Alpha) – This is a measure of whether all the items in the quiz are testing basically the same thing. Thus it measures the consistency of the text, which is a lower bound for the validity. Higher numbers here are better [1].
  • Error ratio – the variation in the grades comes from two sources. First some students are better than others at what is being tested, and second there is some random variation. We hope that the quiz grades will largely be determined by the student’s ability, and that random variation will be minimised. The error ratio estimates how much of the variation is random, and so lower is better [1].
  • Standard error – this is derived from the error ratio, and is a measure of how much random variation there is in each test grade. So, if the Standard error is 10%, and a student scored 60%, then their real ability probably lies somewhere between 50% and 70% [1].
The screen shot below outlines how this information is displayed to the teacher.
Quiz statistics display
Statistics are also generated for each question. The following looks at the types of statistics that you can expect for each question in your quiz (source: [1]):
  • Q# - shows the question number (position), question type icon, and preview and edit icons
  • Question name - the name is also a link to the detailed analysis of this question (See Quiz Question Statistics below).
  • Attempts - how many students attempted this question.
  • Facility Index - the percentage of students that answered the question correctly.
  • Standard Deviation - how much variation there was in the scores for this question.
  • Random guess score - the score the student would get by guessing randomly
  • Intended/Effective weight - Intended weight is simply what you set up when editing the quiz. If question 1 is worth 3 marks out of a total of 10 for the quiz, the the intended weight is 30%. The effective weight is an attempt to estimate, from the results, how much of the actual variation was due to this question. So, ideally the effective weights should be close to the intended weights.
  • Discrimination index - this is the correlation between the score for this question and the score for the whole quiz. That is, for a good question, you hope that the students who score highly on this question are the same students who score highly on the whole quiz. Higher numbers are better.
  • Discriminative efficiency - another measure that is similar to Discrimination index.
    • Where random questions are used, there is one row in the table for the random question, followed by further rows, one for each real question that was selected in place of this random question.
    • When quiz questions are randomized for each quiz, the quiz module determines a default position.
    • Quiz statistics calculations gives further details on all these quantities.
Conclusion
So there you have it, Moodle quiz allows you to see how well your students are performing and how well your quiz itself is performing. This is very powerful stuff giving you the information to create better questions and better quizzes that truly evaluate a students knowledge. 

References:

  1. http://docs.moodle.org/22/en/Quiz_statistics_report
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A solution to Federated Moodle Management

First of all – Federated Moodle Management – what does that even mean?
This is where an entity (regional organisations or perhaps umbrella groups) require the ability to self provision multiple Moodle instances for each of their member organisations, while at the same time retaining the services of a professional external provider to manage and maintain the service. These umbrella organisations may want to retain a supervisory role over the spawned instances (very often keeping full admin control) while letting the member organisations create the content and look after enrolments among their learners. New courses, can be created locally or pushed from the central organisation using a course hub for all to use. New functional components can be added or removed by the umbrella organisation. On top of all this there is a need for reporting across all sites and perhaps the ability to turn off sites and functionality on a case by case basis. The diagram below outlines how Federated Moodle Management works.

federated moodle management

Federated Moodle Management architectural diagram

Enovation have built up considerable expertise in the managed hosting of Moodle implementations in a diverse infrastructure – shared physical and virtual servers, dedicated physical and virtual environments. Harnessing this expertise we have built an open source stack to create an environment where these umbrella organisations can be empowered to control the generation/deletion and updating of Moodle instances for member organisations.

What are its benefits?
The Centralised management solution offers:
- A Simple interface for package (could be a custom Moodle) creation – allowing a premade custom package to be deployed together with selected add-ons
- Facilitate billing of member oganisations
- Automated package upgrades
- Ability to turn on/off sites
- Ability to turn on/off components within these sites (eg additional Moodle modules, or additional packages – mahara)

Who is using this?
The Irish Computer Society (ICS) is one organisation who are using this solution as part of their ICSGrid. ICS have the ability to fully manage all their member schools using an interface provided by Enovation. In the background Enovation manage the infrastructure and maintain the packages, and ensure that all instances are up to date and running correctly.

If you would like to see a demo of Federated Moodle Management – just give us a shout!

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Defining the future of e-Learning at the Stellar Meeting

Last week I spent Monday and Tuesday at the Stellar Meeting of Young Minds in Leuven, Belgium. The point of this meeting was to get twelve leading young thinkers in Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) together to consider the future of TEL and what should be funded through future European Commission research funding calls. I was very lucky to be one of those twelve selected.

The instrument used to consider the future of TEL was “scenario building”. The JRC define a scenario for building possible futures as:

a “story” illustrating visions of possible future or aspects of possible future. [..] Scenarios are not predictions about the future but rather similar to simulations of some possible futures.

You can find more details on scenarios on the JRC website or on the Foresight Horizon Planning Toolkit.

During the future scenario building exercise we were split into three groups of four. The group I was in concentrated on the uncertainty of the future and how it is widely held that we are educating young people for jobs that do not even exist yet. What does this mean for education? Our group looked at how TEL could facilitate an educational system that promotes life long learning, giving learners the knowledge to allow them to adapt and remould themselves for future jobs. In essence looking at how to train people to train themselves.

As a group we were transfixed on the backwardness of standardised education. We make kids conform to a norm so that we can easily measure them against some standardised metric. This, our group believed, suppresses individuality and uniqueness (I think we were all influenced by Ken Robinson’s Ted Talk – Schools kill creativity). Granted there is knowledge that, as a society, we value in people and this still needs to be taught to young people, but consider a more flexible educational system where this knowledge is taught using a medium that interests, stimulates and motivates.

We looked at how a more personalised curriculum could be achieved, whereby a person learns about the things that excites them, in a way that motivates them to want to learn. In this environment a student is supported by technology, that provides the right learning resources and experiences they need in a timely fashion. Technology also plays a role in bringing students with common interests together regardless of physical location. Learner groups may also connect with experts when required. The role of the teacher in the physical classroom becomes more of a coach and a facilitator.

Our group acknowledged that the biggest challenge to this system is assessment. With personalised curriculum we can no longer use standardised testing. We need to be a bit more imaginative about how we test learners. We need to assess each student on their own merits. Assessing how he or she has developed over a given time-frame, the meta-learning skills acquired (skills for learning) and the knowledge and skills he or she has mastered in the their chosen domain.

This was a very interesting and thought provoking meeting, one that I really enjoyed. After the meeting we were asked to put forward three trends most relevant to the future of TEL, after some consideration I came up with the following:

  1. Training will be personalised to personal interest – you can set what you are interested and work towards your own goals
  2. There will be a need to train people to train themselves – meta-learning skills
  3. People will need to be skilled in a variety of core skills that will allow them to adapt to the needs of a changing world

We were also asked if we could get the commission to fund one research are what would it be, to which I replied:

Facilitating personalised learning using the abundant information available to people. Also look at how assessment could work if everyone had their own curriculum. I think we will move away from the standardised test to one that celebrates individuality.

I would be very interested in hearing your thoughts on this.

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