First, it has been far too long since I have been active on the Moodle forums but it feels very good to be back. I have sorely missed interacting with so many of my Moodle mates. The demands of a new work assignment pulled me away from Moodle far more than I wished.
A friend of mine is helping to introduce Moodle to an institution of higher education. He reached out to me to get my input on best practices or recommendations that I might have for them as they get started. I figured a number of institutions may be implementing Moodle for the first time so this may be a good time to get some input from others who have experience doing so. I would imagine that there must have been a variety of presentations at MoodleMoots over the years touching on this topic.
Essentially, my question is: What guiding principles help an institution to be most successful with Moodle? Based on my limited experience, I will briefly summarize what I shared
with my friend but would welcome hearing what other insights folks have
to share or any resources, articles, presentations, etc. that they found
helpful when they began working with Moodle.
- Encourage active collaboration - The Moodle community is more powerful than the software. Get faculty involved in the Moodle community. Invite faculty to share their successes and failures and encourage complaining so that sticking points can be addressed promptly.
- Patience - Moodle is a multi-faceted tool with a plethora of options. To avoid feeling overwhelmed I have encouraged faculties to learn about one piece at a time by starting with what they believe will be most helpful to them for their particular course. Then when they have some confidence with that one piece they can explore other tools.
- Experience the joy of learning - Treat learning Moodle similar to how one might learn a new language. Work on developing vocabulary but have fun exploring what you can do with it. Expect that you may make some mistakes, share those mistakes with others, and then learn from them. I recall encouraging some faculty who struggled with technology in general to invite a student to assist them in learning how to do things. After all, we are all learners. Managing expectations, taking the pressure off of the instructor for having to be the expert on all things, etc. helps to keep learning fun. In fact, I shared with my friend that I cannot recall a single time of helping with a hands-on tutorial session at a Moot when I myself did not learn something about Moodle.
Peace - Anthony