1. Why is research important to Moodle?
Research drives the decisions of the community at the earliest stages. It governs the community's future teaching practices and in turn the community's desired functionality for Moodle. An awareness of research allows us to bring these two ends closer together.
2. How should research take place and how should it be encouraged?
Research needs to take place in the way it takes place already, ideally through evidence-based experimentation or study, analysis, the writing of papers, peer review and publication. The Moodle community can encourage relevant research through:
- sharing relevant research among community members (like that shared here),
- providing a platform for researchers to extend the influence of their work (eg, online and at MoodleMoots),
- (in future) providing grants that steer research.
3. How might impact be measured?
There are already well-established measures for research impact. We need to work with those in mind to allow researchers to get the credit that they need in their jobs. From the Moodle community perspective, there is also a desire to utilise research to improve Moodle so that it benefits teachers and students.
In relation to your suggestion, Sean, of bringing together working groups who investigate and enact focussed change on Moodle, we are aiming to do this at the future Australian, US (and possibly) UK MoodleMoots. How well such groups can base their work on research will be interesting.