Two points to answer 'why are H804 not using Moodle wiki' though:
1) We don't use Moodle wiki at all any more, because it is buggy and complicated. Instead we developed our own very simple 'ouwiki' which can be installed onto Moodle 1.9 (it's available in contrib) but is not part of standard Moodle.
2) H804 are not even using this and using a separate wiki mainly because they like having spammers fill up the main page of the course wiki with lists of porn sites of inertia. H804 site was created before ouwiki was available. It can take a while for courses to be updated to use newer technology because usually most of the work is done when the site is made initially (or if they are actually forced to change it).
In general course teams are supposed to use Moodle features (that includes OU moodle features, such as ouwiki) for everything possible, with the current exception that most conferencing is still done in FirstClass not moodle forums. But we can't always stop them doing other things, and especially things that were historically necessary are going to lurk around for a bit. We still have some Movable Type blogs as well for instance, even though nobody wants to support MT and oublog exists.
(MediaWiki is, and will continue to be, used within the OU for various non-teaching-related purposes, incidentally. Also, I think it replaces a previous wiki system they used to use which was of significantly lower quality.)
(There is at least one other wiki system used within the OU. That one's truly horrific...)
I agree about the standard Moodle wiki and have installed the OU wiki on to my site. I like the additional function of being able to include comments.
As a student, the main problem with seperate wiki/blog/ forum etc is that you have to be constantly changing between applications and websites. If the moodle functions were used throughout, then this would not be the case.
On another note, is H808 using mystuff now, and if so do you have anything to do with it. I have never been able to get it to work on my local test machine, and so have not tried it on my production server.
MyStuff is not really a course tool, everyone has it - so if you're a student and you want to try it on our server, you can do so any time. (Of course you might already have done so - just saying.)
Yes I agree that students benefit from having the same login, similar interface, etc. throughout (or at least as much as possible) - that is our policy 'in the end', it just might take a long time to get there...
PS Thanks for using ouwiki. I think I may have forgotten to post here about the updated version (just bugfixes, mainly) I released a few weeks ago, incidentally. Not sure though...
Thanks for the info Sam.
I have only just installed OU wiki so I guess I have the latest version as I downloaded it just prior to installing.
Can you tell me if I should be able to embed a youtube video on an OU wiki page? I am trying it now but cannot seem to get it to work.
Unfortunately, I haven't tried but I would guess probably you can't embed YouTube - I think the answer should be the same as 'can I embed a YouTube video in a moodle forum post'. Because we expect students to edit wiki pages, it uses the 'higher' level of security in terms of removing script and things like that from the code. We can't allow administrators a higher level of permission because even if an admin edits a page, as soon as a student edited it again it would strip out the tags and stop working.
(If it works when as a student you make a forum post, but doesn't work in a wiki page, then it's probably a bug - let me know.)
By the way you should be able to use the Moodle multimedia filters to include local video files in a wiki page. Not sure if there is a workaround to get the YouTube stuff in, but maybe somebody has written a YouTube filter?
I remember you being on the list of tuors when I studied H807 last year, I was in Lesley's tutor group.
I agree that the 'Moodle site' for all three of the MA courses I have been involved with so far (H808, H807 and now H804) have all not used the functionality of Moodle to best effect. In fact they have all been the classic example of ' a repository for files and links to other materials) It seems very starnge that as tutors, you cannot control anything on the course website! Perhaps this will change in the future.
I guess it is the philosophy of the tutoring with these courses that needs to change. By this I mean that in the past the course websites were actual websites, not a VLE, and the 'thinking' has been that tutors structure the activities and discussion using the FC conference space whilst the website remained stagnant. To give us editing writes to the Moodle space now would mean addressing issues of control there... but then, I *thought* that was why the OU was so set on the 'roles' issue. In any case, I don't see it happening any time soon
Er, that was a joke. Seriously though, at present full Moodle editing is not safe to allow to a large number of people while the site is live to students - just for example, if we let people add activities, then they can also delete them; and there's no way to stop one tutor deleting an activity that another tutor [or the course team] created, and no way to undo it once they've done that.
For the general point of courses just being lists of PDF files and links, yes most courses are still like this, it's a gradual process. Some more modern courses do use a greater range of Moodle or OU moodle features. As a member of OU staff, I think you can look at any course site? (Sorry these links will not work for others.) Try B201 or T214 - as well as including course content in web page form rather than just PDFs, these use forum, ouwiki, choice, glossary, proper weekly calendar organisation, etc.
[As per other post this is way off topic, although interesting - I will try not to respond further.]
BTW, on openlearn, I've seen a lot of courses with paginated web pages. Is this a standard moodle feature I've missed, or a customisation?
All OpenLearn content starts life as an XML document (you can see them in the Alt. formats block on the right) and we have a huge block of code which runs through the XML and calls the right Moodle functions to create courses and resource pages. Its that code which adds the pagination at the top and bottom of each web page.
We did look at the book module which does something similar, but it doesn't seem to be well-maintained so I decided we'd be better off doing our own thing.
However here is a screenshot of part of T214 (yes I cherry-picked by scrolling to an interesting part, but I didn't have to do that too badly) showing text content in web page format (the > icons), a quiz, two polls, four forums, a database, and finally, yes - a PDF too. The things either side are just html blocks. This is all in the study calendar format which is basically like 'weekly' but integrates calendar events.
T214 looks like an interesting course in general as well - although I imagine it's a bit too much work, and too expensive, to sign up just to see one of the best examples of Moodle use at the OU. I'm sure there are still things wrong with it / limitations in the way we're using Moodle even on these courses which do include a lot of the features. Hopefully over the coming years we will have many more courses that use a range of Moodle and OU moodle tools even better.
Tutors are not (in the near future) going to get full editing rights, e.g. to add an activity, to Moodle course sites. This is because there might be say 300 tutor groups - if you have 300 tutors all changing things it would be chaos. In fact, that probably applies when you read 300 as 'any number more than 1'.
Here are some of the things tutors can do to affect an OU Moodle site (apart from the ones students can do too like post forum messages if it has a forum, etc):
- They can add tutor group events to the Moodle calendar. If the course uses the study calendar format (and we have plans in future to fix this for courses that don't, as well as improving access to Moodle calendar in general) it is easy to see these events in among standard course weeks. So for example if a tutor wants to highlight something interesting on TV or a local event or whatever, then they can.
- This is still in pilot phase, but assuming the pilot doesn't go horribly wrong, then tutors (students too, actually) will be able to use the shared activities system to create their own forums or wikis for specified people, even if the course website doesn't have them.
- The vote module will include specific features so that tutors can create polls for their students. This could be simple polls like Choice or quite complex ones with multiple questions, although unfortunately it's lacking in funny-answer options - you can't make one that tells you which type of iced bun best expresses your personality. Also unfortunately there was a delay in development caused by outsourcing and we don't yet have a working version of this, so um... don't hold your breath for it.
Any further discussion should probably go somewhere else as this is quite a way from the topic of this forum? (Of course if it does I likely won't read it but I'm sure you'll manage without me!)
I know this is *still* off topic, but I felt obliged to respond once more. The course you sent me to IS a huge list of pdf's (like 40 of them! and yes, there was a choice activity and a forum, but seriously dude... am I missing something?) I do understand the issue of allowing tutors to do x and y in a course with 300 tutors (too many cooks in the kitchen and all that), but if I ruled the OU universe I'd have a course 'website/faker VLE/Moodle spot' and then give tutors their own wee Moodle course to play with, with their own tutor group. Then you could actually use the functionality of Moodle (as a tutor) to design their activities-- real activities, not just 4 dozen forums (which is what we make do with now in FC and have total control there, so why not in a Moodle course of our own?) I suppose this wouldn't work for all courses and I do realise the huge resistance in the AL community too, but surely for things like the Masters in Online and Distance Education (which is the one I teach on) and individual courses like Innovations in E-learning, this would be incredibly beneficial... don't worry, we've already discussed it with the course team, it's not news, and hopefully we might even get there one day