Moodle research

Congratulations to Japanese Moodle researchers

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Congratulations to Japanese Moodle researchers
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Please join me in congratulating the five-member team who won the award for New Technology research at the 2014 Japan e-Learning Awards in Tokyo. The team are members of the Moodle Association of Japan.

The team have been working together for several year, networking Moodle sites together between universities in Japan and studying the affect of this change.


Thom Rawson has written a blog post about the experience.

Here some details about the award-winning projects from Hideto Harashima...

Connecting LMS for Resource Sharing and Collaborative Learning

The two collaborative online projects involving students from four universities in Japan constituted our first research. The unique characteristics of both these projects are, for one thing, MNET or Moodle Networking was utilized for linking LMS instances at each school, and secondly, PoodLL, a multimedia plugin for Moodle, was used to record and exchange audio and video materials among other things.

The first project was a Local Cultural Exchange, where EFL students introduced unique local products and interesting spots to students in remote areas by recording short videos in English, followed by forum discussions. A Forum was set up on a remote Moodle site where students logged in via MNET. They proceeded to post videos and share opinions and also to give ratings as peer evaluations - the default ratings permissions were overridden for that forum. PoodLL functioned as both a video recorder and player. 

The second project took up the topic of World Heritage sites. Each student from the different universities chose one World Heritage site and introduced it to others by writing both a text description and also recording an audio attachment after doing the research. The Workshop module facilitated systematic pairing for peer evaluation with a rubric used for assessment. An extra color coding hack to core Moodle was utilized to identify each of the four school's students.

At the end of these projects, a student feedback survey was administered and it revealed interesting reception of the projects by the students as well as some technical challenges faced by participants.

The second research involved using LTI or Learning Tools Interoperability. LTI is a method for giving remote access to a learning activity or course for the purpose of sharing learning outcomes. As of Moodle 2.4, a Moodle local plug-in allows a Moodle site to publish activities and courses as remotely accessible LTI objects for consumption. LTI is expected to become the eventual replacement for MNET.  

LTI offers versatility and finer grain control over access to courses and more specifically specific activities within courses. External tools configured within a Moodle site can also receive grades from the LTI object they consume. MNET has no such function and grades remain on the remote Moodle site.

We implemented both LTI provision and LTI consumption using a collaborative school project called "Grand Canyon Adventure" in conjunction with the versatile PoodLL multimedia plugin. 

The students each created a mock travel plan to the Grand Canyon and reported their plans in an LTI provided Moodle Database. Each database entry contained details about the trip including the price, itinerary and so on. The PoodLL Whiteboard module also allowed students to add a custom hand-drawn postcard containing a Grand Canyon image as the background. 

Once the entries were completed, students then commented and peer-reviewed each other. We confirmed that each set of points received in the ratings from peer reviews were automatically reflected in the grade books of the consuming local Moodle sites. The project was overall successful and the students enjoyed it

Moving forward, we have plans to continue this work in developing collaborative activities for the participant schools in our research team.
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the Tallest Man in Western Japan?
Re: Congratulations to Japanese Moodle researchers
Thank you Michael for all the support and cheering! We really appreciate it.

In the picture from left to right:

Professor Shinichi Sato of Nihon Fukushi University
Associate Professor Akinobu Kanda of Tokyo Metropolitan University
Professor Hideto Harashima of Maebashi Institute of Technology
Associate Professor Mari Yamauchi of Chiba University of Commerce
Senior Assistant Professor Thom Rawson of Nagasaki International University
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Re: Congratulations to Japanese Moodle researchers
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Thanks for identifying the award recipients, Thom, and congratulations once more.

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