I am supposed to be writing on the user page of three different participants. I should be writing something positive. However i dont
see anything on your user page. Please tell me who you are and what you do. I will be happy to know more about you. You can read about me on my user page. O.K.? --NIMS Mrs. Nirmala Parameswaran) 13:42, 6 May 2011 (UTC) Mrs. Nirmala Parameswaran.
Moodle conferences [[[Moodle Moot Virtual Conference:Teacher training with Moodle in Africa:Great Lakes Countries]]]
Can Moodle be used to educate the masses in Africa?Part 2
In the first part, I presented a case study (teachers' experiences with Moodle in Rwanda) at the Mediterranean Moodle Moot in Tunisia(2-3 October 2013, see the blog article across(elearning Conference Mediterranean Moodle). I argued that, to overcome the critical shortfalls in hardware, software,etc. and make progress in online teaching and learning in Africa , teachers need the support from their institution.
In my second Moodle conference, I presented part 2 in the Moodle Moot UK in Edinburgh (15 April 2014). The aim was to inform and persuade stakeholders/policy makers in another African country (Burundi) so they meet teachers' basic needs(computer skills for example).The presentation was based on a piece of research I carried out over two years(2010-2012). It focussed on four universities in Burundi, where instructors designed and developped online courses in Moodle despite huge challenges (low Internet connection, power cuts, etc).
The research first highlighted a needs analysis that was carried out and found out that there was a great need to raise the effectiveness of instruction through Moodle despite the challenges. Also, the institutions wanted to meet the professional development needs of a growing and relatively young teaching population by developing and using online educational materials beyond the classroom. In addition, the experiences of teachers were evaluated, based on the project’s expected outcomes i.e. development of training materials,introduction and use of online learning materials via Moodle. The evaluation drew on instructors’ own Moodle experiences, including opportunities to create courses online and challenges they faced during the implementation process.
Recommendations and suggestions
I have recommended Moodle because it is an open source , free, and can be customised to meet local contextual needs provided there is Internet access through broadband for example. Furthermore, though there may be costs to bear for infrastructure, it has a lot of potential to reach out, educate everyone no matter the time and place, and develop learning and teaching beyond the classroom. Finally, I made suggestions to stakeholders as to what needs to be done to support instructors (administration,technology, pedagogy, etc) and help students (ICT and Moodle basic training) with a view to adopt Moodle, a growing online learning environment across the world(see my presentation on slideshare for more details).
Presentation of the challenges
Teachers have faced a lot of challenges(lack of infrastructure, poor electricity supply, poor Internet connection,etc.) as you can see on the image across that one of the member of the audience took and tweeted during my presentation(see more on my slideshare presentation link below).
During the mobile learning panel session discussions with Moodle founder Martin Dougiamas, Mark Abedour,Head of Learning Plateforms at EPIC and author of the book 'Moodle for Mobile Learning'(view sample chapters),etc, I made a point related to problems accessing Moodle in some parts of the world where connectivity is an issue from a user point of view. A text-only Moodle was suggested as a solution and I was pleased to hear that.I guess it would be much helpful as multimedia Moodle may not be a solution in some parts of the world at the moment as uploading and downloading heavy files(audio, video,etc.) may not work if you are in a low internet connection environment and where electricity supply is not reliable .
Martin also announced that Moodle 2.7 (May 2014) contains a new editor which is 'simple', 'expandable',etc. It was clear that he wants to make Moodle as much accessible as possible. I liked the points he made: 'Moodle is not about automating learning. Teachers need to be there'(Dougiamas, Moodle Moot UK/Edinburgh, April 2014).
Moodle for Mobile Learning
Other points which were discussed include making Mobile notifications, navigating much easier on mobile Moodle , and how Moodle can support mobile users in developing countries like Africa where there is much higher penetration of mobiles (67% of the population according to the US Census Bureau, 2014) than the Internet (18 % according to the same source).Economy may develop as a result.Offline Moodle was another idea I liked and it was suggested by a member of my presentation audience.
A fuller version of my presentation can be found on my slide share page. Please have a look and make comments.
The conference was organised in Edinburgh Corn Exchange, a nice place for conferences.However, the connection to the Internet much resembled to what I experienced in Africa.I didn't have a paper copy of the conference as I expected to download it from the conference website and check things out on the go/ online from my laptop.I tried all day without success:-(. I should have downloaded a paper copy earlier (lesson from this experience). I guess there were too many people trying to go online at the same time(400 delegates)
Gala Dinner in the 'Dynamic Earth'
What an amazing attraction! I had never visited before.It sits next to the Palace of Holyrood house and the Scottish Parliament.
Dynamic Earth is a contemporary venue with a unique heritage twist. It offers a setting of striking distinction. With stunning views of Salisbury Crags, the Palace of Holyrood house and the Scottish Parliament, Dynamic Earth is at the hub of culture, politics and history.It hosted the Gala Dinner of the Moodle Moot UK/Edinburgh 2014.
During dinner, among others, I was sitting next to Dr. Stanley J. Portier Senior learning consultant, Product Manager eXact learning solutions Moodle Certified Course Creator (MCCC) from Netherlands.I enjoyed having a chat with him and we exchanged cards and hope to keep in touch.
Can Moodle be used to educate the masses in Africa? Part 3
Yes it can! I am writing another paper based on the National University of Rwanda in Rwanda. Subject to funding, I may present the paper in another Moodle Moot.
Can Moodle be used to educate the masses in Africa? Part 4
Yes it can! This part will focus on the Catholic University of Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of Congo.Once again, the research may be presented once I get funding.
Watch this space for updates.
Any comments are welcome. Thanks.
Feedback & Notes from my WikiNeighbours
(: Dear Colleague, greetings. Thanks for your inputs to this workshop. The report is available [here]. I will be happy to be of any assistance in future too. With best wishes, --R C Sharma, PhD 20:47, 22 May 2011 (UTC))
(: Hi Janvier, You are very welcome to this eL4C50 Online workshop. Patricia Schlicht, Gita Mathur, Micheal Verhaart and me are your facilitators and will help you in develop your page. Enjoy this workshop and donot hesitate to ask for help. You can either leave a message on our user pages or email us. Warm Wishes.--Ramesh Sharma 21:42, 27 April 2011 (UTC))
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