I put this out on twitter yesterday to people at the Ireland-UK MoodleMoot, but this needs a wider airing. I'm looking to try and get the former West Midlands Moodle User group going again, it's been quite some years since it was last active (or it's very well hidden). It would be great to see parallel efforts to restart groups in other areas where they are currently absent if anybody wishes to step forward.
I understand that there is still an active group for HE Moodle users in the London area, along with a group in NW England and a recently "re-booted" Scottish group. Which is great! (are there any others?)
My aim for the West Midlands would be to have an "open to all" group which meets perhaps 3-4 times a year, in different parts of the region. In the past the meetings took the form of a "mini conference" with 20 to 30 attendees coming for a day. Is this format still appropriate or should there be a "mix and match" approach with different types of meetings, eg mini-conference, technical sessions for admins, experience sharing workshop, evening socials?
Also, if venues aren't offered for free, are people prepared to pay to cover costs? I'm happy to give my time free as a organiser but I can't personally sponsor an event. I might be able to obtain a venue for the first meeting and get the message out to Birmingham schools (this depends on convincing an organisation I work with to help), but other offers are appreciated. A central location for the 1st meeting would be preferable.
I'm at MoodleMoot all day today (Wednesday 12th April) and will be staying in London this evening, so if you are here and interested please come and find me (l'm wearing a bright blue T-shirt). If you're not at MoodleMoot please post here!
Hi Tim, this sounds great. Having been a Moodle user for a few years around 10 years ago, I was surprised coming back to Moodle recently that local groups weren't in existence.
I've found WordPress local community meetups really valuable and they seem to really help build the community too.
Most meetups I'm involved in meet monthly on a weeknight evening. Not sure if this would work or if a mini-conference 1-day event might work better? I'd be happy to attend either.
I'm work in Leeds and live near Bristol so pretty flexible on locations.
Do Moodle HQ have any guidance on running / branding / supporting local groups?
It would be great if we could start building up a list of people who are willing to speak at such events too.
It would be good to have some official guidance from HQ, the only doc on this website I am aware of which relates to user groups is very old: https://docs.moodle.org/19/en/Moodle_user_groups
My assumption is that as long as the group is run as a non-profit community effort, HQ is unlikely to object to the use of the Moodle name, that seemed to be the case in the past.
As for support, I also wonder if it's worth talking to the Moodle Users Association. I would't want MUA membership to be required for attendees, but it seems like a logical step to have them on board. For a WM group, I think I can use my existing network of contacts to "make something happen", so my plan isn't dependent on official support, but it would be good to have.
My plan for a first WM group meeting would to have mini conference, with 4 or 5 formal presentations, an ad-hoc "show and tell" and a discussion on how the group is organised and run in the future. Ideally, one of the presentations would be a keynote from a prominent member of the Moodle community, followed by Q&A. An in person talk would be great, but an hour via a video link would be good enough for me.
im intrested in this as i work at WMFS HQ in Birmingham.
So if its a viable thing im in
In the interim, Birmingham Linux user group is still "live" for any local software people who want to come for a natter. 3rd Tuesday of the month at The Bull on Price Street, B4 6JU, near the city centre. I'm expecting to attend next weeks meeting.