I've just started my PhD program in computer engineering at Kagoshima University and I've decided to take Moodle as my experimental platform to perform a pedagogical optimization on open source virtual learning environments. Because of my background in Education Science (I just finished my master in this field) I am particularly interested in examining Moodle as a learning space and the contributions of the tools it offers to produce genuine learning outcomes.
One of the first things I've realized is a growing trend in the development of VLEs to add to the technical platform every new feature that comes out as mediator for conventional online communication (e.g. blogs, wikis, forums, podcasts, etc.), thus having them play a major role in what it's called the "didactical communication". The risk, however, is that because of the particular conditions and purposes of a didactical communication (usually taking place in a virtual class); a good number of tools offered by VLEs such as Moodle might not render completely functional within a practical learning situation and would thus require some adjustments or enhancements in order to better meet their expected goals. For this reason, I am taking the position that a qualitative assessment of any VLE such as Moodle naturally implies a twofold perspective: the technical and the pedagogical. Technical developments that are not based on pedagogical considerations may end up as excellent engineering products but will still remain largely useless from the educational point of view.
Because of the popularity of mobile phones among students in Japan, I would like to start my work developing and/or enhancing some tools to make Moodle accesible via these devices. Reading the postings in this forum, I noticed that the last ones date back to 2005 and I was wondering if any progress had been made since that time. Is there a site compiling information on this regard?
I thank you very much in advance for your support!
Ramon Anibal Iriarte Casco, PhD Candidate
Departmento of Information and Computer Science
Faculty of Engineering - Kagoshima University