As the Learn Moodle 3.4 Basics MOOC draws to a close (last official day Sunday 4 Feb), participants are busy ensuring all the activity completion boxes are ticked so they can download either their completion certificate (35 activities including a peer assessment workshop) or achievement certificate (34 activities, without the workshop for those who didn’t organise themselves to meet the deadline) It’s often the manual completion boxes that get left until last and cause confusion – participants just need a quick reminder that they must tick them themselves, and they’re away! This final week also sees a flurry of participants starting new discussions multiple times in the Introduce yourself! forum to get the completion tick, sadly because they simply didn’t read the instructions.
On the other hand, it is thanks to the eagle eyes of our MOOC participants that bugs with Moodle features get noticed and fixed. Each run of our MOOC results in improvements to Moodle core and plugins for the community as a whole – an excellent benefit.
On another positive note, what has been particularly heartwarming this time has been the number of responses to participants posting their practice courses for review in the Show us your Moodle course! forum. With such a huge group of participants, it’ s difficult for everyone to get feedback, but it is encouraging that there are fewer courses with no replies. This is in part thanks to our regular MOOCers and thanks to experienced Moodlers who enrol in a lot of courses to offer suggestions. Ideally, everyone who shares their practice course should get at least one reply with feedback but we’re not there yet. I personally vow to engage more in this review activity next time.
Did I say next time? Yes! The next MOOC - Learn Moodle 3.5 Basics – will start on June 18 for four weeks until July 15. Sign up will be announced on our social media channels (and I will post on here too) nearer the time. Why not just enable sign-up now? Believe it or not, MOOC work doesn’t end when the MOOC ends Behind the scenes, facilitators and administrators have to close down the current course and prepare for the new course. To give you an idea, here are a few of the jobs which must be done:
- make a copy of the current MOOC and restore it so there is a framework to adapt for next time
- change permissions on the current MOOC so participants can no longer engage in it (for example post in forums) in the absence of facilitators and official monitoring
- change dates and wording in line with the next run
- delete all the current practice courses after February 18th
- go methodically through the Feedback responses and Tell us what you’ve learned! forum, noting down suggestions for improvements
- discuss in a debriefing session which improvements to make
- get various statistics to share in a later report (keep an eye on Moodle.org if you want to know our completion figures )
- …and more! (Not to mention the ongoing work of keeping the site version up to date and updating the materials)
We have a checklist for such tasks and tick them off as we go along. In fact, ticking boxes was mentioned in one of the forum threads this week, and we’re very happy to read it: