The MoodleMoot US 2016 conference was a great experience for the team. Some of the sessions covered topics including automated application testing, upgrading to PHP 7 (which will make AsULearn a faster application), application security best practices, accessibility, custom plugin development, troubleshooting application email issues, and automating application configuration management.
Future features planned for Moodle (the AsULearn framework) include:
- Global search
- Improved grade calculation performance
- Competency based education, where a learning plan can be tracked across multiple courses
- A recycle bin plugin that will allow faculty to restore portions of a course that have been deleted without having to access a backup file
- In-place editing, so users can make content changes with fewer clicks
The team attended a great workshop on the development of a plugin for better Google Apps integration. Our development team will also be working with groups from UCLA, University of Minnesota, and Luther College on the development of this plugin.
Another popular topic at the conference was Learning Analytics. NC State University is working on the development and implementation of a Learning Analytics Processor. Their phase 1 proof of concept (using a small dataset) showed about 75% accuracy at predicting at-risk students. We are looking into possible applications of learning analytics here at Appalachian.
One of the most interesting presentations was the keynote on the Neuroscience of Learning Design by Britt Andreatta, the Chief Learning Officer at Lynda.com. She discussed some of the physical aspects of learning in the brain and techniques that take advantage of this to improve learning and retention. Her Neuroscience of Learning course is available on Lynda.com, and Association for Talent Development article, Six Tips for Working with the Brain to Create Real Behavior Change, is also available online.
The team also met lots of other Moodle developers, instructional designers, and administrators we can collaborate with in the future. The MoodleMoot US 2016 experience was extremely valuable for the team, and we are excited to bring some of the ideas we learned about here to Appalachian.