Friday, August 30, 2013

2013 Aug 29~30 | Moodle Summer Workshop | Obihiro

Summer Workshop 2013 in Hokkaido
I was fortunate to attend the Summer Moodle Workshop in Obihiro Hokkaido and participated in a Lightning Talk with Professor Hideto Harashima of Maebashi Institute of Technology. Professor Harashima is also the President of the Moodle Association of Japan. Our talk focused on using Moodle Network to orchestrate a joint project between universities - TCUE and University of Nagasaki.

I also gave a Workshop on using PoodLL in Moodle on both days (August 29, and August 30) of the conference. PoodLL is the multimedia filter which enables audio and video recording in Moodle among other things. The hands-on training given to attendees will hopefully promote and encourage the use of multimedia within Moodle course offerings.

Lastly, I participated in the Genius Bar in which attendees had the opportunity to ask questions about using Moodle or any of the plugins.

The workshop site was located at Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicineon a sprawling countryside campus. What a beautiful location to have a conference not to mention attend university.

The Moodle Workshop site is located here.

The following post contains my notes and thoughts from this conference.
Day 1 - Morning Lightning Talks

David Campbell (Obihiro University) - Glossary of Common Errors - David uses this to have students recognize the common errors in English.  He built the glossary using the errors as the keys.  By auto-linking the glossary in a course, the errors students make commonly appear to students when submitting online text assignments and writing forum posts. Students can click on the links to see a summary of their error.

Bob Gettings (Hokusei Gakuen Women's Junior College) - Game-ification in Moodle - Bob discussed the difference between traditional lessons and "gamified" lessons. Basically, in gamified lessons, everything you do in the assignment increases your score.  In many cases this is not necessarily a high academic activity. If you wanted a deeper response or more quality, you'd need to think about how the gamified motivational ideas would funnel students in that direction. Bob used a forum for an overseas homestay activity. Students received points for things such as:
  • Fastest Post +15
  • Picture uploaded +5
  • Picture uploaded with Canadian host family +10
  • Picture of student eating some local cuisine +5
  • Question Asked +2
He found that while the quality of the content was not especially high in this type of activity, the number of posts and level of participation were exceptional.

Hideto Harashima (Maebashi Institute of Technology) and Thom Rawson (Prefectural University of Nagasaki Sasebo) - Cultural Video Exchange in English - Together we talked about our experience in setting up a cross-university cultural exchange project (slides here). Students from Takasaki City University of Economics and the Prefectural University of Nagasaki in Sasebo joined together in recording videos of the local culture (food, location, sightseeing spot, etc) and shared these videos in a forum on a central server accessed through Moodle Networking. The students could watch the videos from their peers at a different university and then make comments regarding those videos. There was also a chance to rate the videos to determine which were the most watched and most interesting.

Day 1 - Morning Workshops

Thom Rawson - PoodLL Workshop - Using slides lent by Justin Hunt (PoodLL Guy), I proceeded to give a workshop to 3 people on the things PoodLL can do in Moodle. I also gave the participants a chance to use PoodLL in action while explaining to them how to access the resources needed to get answers to PoodLL questions.


Day 1 - Afternoon Lightning Talks

Thomas Goetz (Hokusei Gakuen University) and Kenlay Friesen - Moodle Workshop Module - Tom and Kenlay howed how to use the Workshop module as a way to involve students in assessments. Workshop allows students to review other students and then aggregates the data along with the data from the teacher into a new final grade. This might be useful for project-based study where students need to submit something and then get an extended evaluation - a poster presentation or a writing assignment.

Bob Gettings - Forum - Using "Sum of Ratings" and a total of 100 points, the students can build up to their maximum score of points based on the ratings from the teacher. This encourages forum participation. Additionally, Bob covered the different types of Forum - for example, the Q&A Forum is useful since it hides all the answers posted by others until you post your own answer.

Mamoru (Bobby) Takahashi (Akita) - Hot Potatoes Quiz -  Mr. Takahashi talked about his use of Hot Potatoes in Moodle. Although Hot Potatoes is still supported in the latest Moodle, many of the question types are not supported and have not been converted. As a result, his Moodle site is stuck on 1.9 due to their large number of Hot Potatoes quizzes (over 4000).

Don Hinkelman (Sapporo Gakuin University) - Moodle Reader - This is an extensive reading module which includes data developed by Tom Robb.  It contains around 3000 book quizzes and master all-quizzes in a course. To use it, you install the course and hide it. The quizzes are specific to a Graded Reader book and upon passing the quiz, students get a book cover in their profile.  Using a bank of 40 questions, 10 questions are pulled and used randomly to prevent cheating. When they pass the quiz, the Book Cover gets added to their profile. Student word count goals can be established and using this module has enhanced student library usage in a few universities that use Moodle Reader.


Day 2 - Morning Lightning Talks

Bob GettingsGame-ification in Moodle - (similar to the previous lightning talk)

Moodle Scheduler - Using this comprehensive scheduling plugin, teachers can better manage student appointments. Teachers have the ability to schedule appointments with students and then grade them on those appointments. You can give comments and a grade for the appointment.

David CampbellPoodLL Online Assignment - Using audio recording, David had students record an assignment on "What do you think?" about something specific. He showed how to create the assignment and how to use it as well as how to grade all the recordings.

Drag-n-Drop Imaging Question Type - A question type made by Open University, the question type allows for an image to be used and a set area specified in the image for dragging and dropping the answer. A prime example might be the parts of an animal or the states in a country.

Ryusuke Kamiya (Obihiro University Student, 4th Year) - Data Mining Moodle Logs - Ryusuke talked about exporting Moodle Logs into MS Access for data analysis of student activity. Within Access, queries can be used to sort out the logs by the various table headings - access time, activity, section, student name, etc. Some examples of the graphs include number of clicks on links before class and after a class session to determine topic interest and participation. You can also determine the rate of preparation for each section of a course using the proper queries. Overall, a very interesting presentation.

Thomas Goetz - Moodle Quiz - Overview talk on how to make a quiz in Moodle.

Day 2 - Afternoon Workshops

Thom Rawson - PoodLL Workshop - Performed the PoodLL Workshop to about 15 participants. Thanks to Justin for all his support (slides here).


  1. Great summary, Thom. It was helpful for me to read about some of the sessions I missed. I think Mari might like this in case it is not too late to add some of this to the MAJ newsletter. I hope you don't mind me passing on this link her. Cheers, Don

  2. Glad the summary helped out a little. Of course I cc'd Mari on the original mail but I'm glad you forwarded it to her as well. Take care and talk soon!