28 Jul 2016

Moodle Mobile Update 3.1 Adds the Ability to Submit Assignments

 

Great news today for Moodle users, especially who love accessing their Moodle site using their mobile phones. Moodle mobile, though lagging behind in terms of interactivity with the course contents, is a work in progress. Today, Moodle announced a great update to its Moodle mobile app. Moodle students now are able to submit assignments, in-text and file submissions, using their Moodle Mobile app. Also, if using the wiki tool in Moodle, you can edit the wiki using the Moodle Mobile App. All you have to do it update your Moodle Mobile on your phone. Below is Moodle’s announcement of the update.

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23 Jul 2016

Student Competencies and Learning Plans in Moodle 3.1 that You Really Need to Harness

 

The new trend of competency based education is taking the education institutions by storm. Personally, I do not think it is a fad and that it might wither away down the road. Competency based education advocates have been diligently at work for years to make it seep into the educational institutions’ culture. INACOL’s latest project  Competencyworks is one example. As defined by CompetencyWorks, competency education

refers to a systems model in which (1) teaching and learning are designed to ensure students are becoming proficient by advancing on demonstrated mastery and (2) schools are organized to provide timely and differentiated support to ensure equity. A competency-based structure enables personalized learning to provide flexibility and supports to ensure mastery of the highest standards possible. With clear and calibrated understanding of proficiency, learning can be tailored to each student’s strengths, needs, and interests and enable student voice and choice in what, how, when, and where they learn.

Some of the characteristics of CBE are, as defined by CompetencyWorks, ar =e

  • Students advance upon mastery.
  • Competencies include explicit, measurable, transferable learning objectives that empower students.
  • Assessment is meaningful and a positive learning experience for students.
  • Students receive timely, differentiated support based on their individual learning needs.
  • Learning outcomes emphasize competencies that include application and creation of knowledge, along with the development of important skills and dispositions.

 

Educational vendors, especially, educational technology vendors, have capitalized on CBE, sometimes renaming it as  mastery-based education, to bring in customers. Moodle, the open source learning management system, has added Competencies features for its new Moodle 3.1 release that administrators, teachers, and students, if using them right, will find them remarkably beneficial.

Competencies in Moodle 3.1

Competencies features are broken into three parts in Moodle, and each part is interacted differently by Moodle admins, Moodle course teachers, and Moodle students.

1. Competency Framework is where the Moodle administrator names the framework with which teachers and students will work on.

2. Competencies are the competencies that the Admin links to the competency Frameworks and then Moodle Admin or the teacher can link the competency to the course. Teachers can also link activities to competencies.

3. Student Learning Plan is where the student with the help of the teacher constructs a learning plan and links it to competencies that he or she needs to meet.

 

Below is a video playlist of three parts on how teachers, admin and students can use competencies in Moodle.

 

Moodle also has two plugins if you need to import or export competencies. This comes it really easy to transfer competencies in and out of Moodle instead of manually entering them.

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27 Jun 2016

Moodle Has Outdone Itself in Moodle 3.1 Release

Gold fish with shark flipWith Moodle 3.1 release in May, Moodle has really improved in it updates. We all know the myriad of updates Moodle has been with in the past couple of years due to coping with the exponential explosion of new web features and LMSs vendors. The Moodle 3.1 release includes many new features and improvements of earlier features. See below a video list of Moodle 31. overview and video explanation of new as well as improved features.

 

 

New and Updated Feature Include:

For Teachers

 

For Administrators

 

For All Users

 

One particular new feature that Moodle 3.1 has included is the Competency Based Education (CBE) Module. This is a great move from Moodle Headquarters as the current trend of education is for competency based. In addition to  linking courses to Competencies that students need to meet, CBE module includes an educational plan, a great feature the helps personalizing the experiential factor of learning and supporting the learners’ metacognition. In a later post, I will discuss how CBE feature potential can be maximized.

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29 Jan 2016

9 Dazzling Moodle Themes that Will Make You Forget You Are Working on Moodle

 

We are all fans of the most famous open source  learning managment system Moodle. But let’s face it, Moodle needs an facial uplift in terms of design. Moodle needs to cope with new developments in terms of website design. However, there are some Moodle themse out there that transforms how one sees and iinteracts with Moodle. Some have really done so well that you would never guess you are working on Moodle. One thing though before you view the list. Not all themes are free. Yup! you heard it, starting last year, we have a seen a rapid  rise of premium Moodle themes (They won’t cost more then 50$, and they are worth your money.).

1. Essential (Free)

essential5-1024x767First designed by Julian Ridden, and now maintained by Gareth J Barnard, and built on Bootstrap, Essential Moodle theme is my favorite of all. It was the first outstanding Moodle theme that attempted to break from Moodle’s mundane site design. Essential gives your Moodle site a new dimension, especially on the front page, with its great slideshow and Commercial boxes, and Awesome Fonts, and highly cusomizable theme, and footer. Essential is one Moodle that should not be overlooked. Here’s an intro video on Essential.

2. Adaptable (Free)

adaptable-themeAdaptable Moodle theme is actually the evolution of the BCU theme designed by the guys at Brigham City Univeristy. “Adaptable is a highly customisable responsive two column theme designed for use on both large University installations as well as small training companies”. It includes a jquery slideshow, 12 marketing blocks, “Dismissable Bootstrap Alets”, social icons, and it completely cusomizable. If you are considering a Moodle site for a university or a training company, you might as well consider adaptable. Here’s a video illustrating some features in Adaptable.

 

 

3. Evolve-D (Free)Logged Out Custom Frontpage

If simplicty and style is what you are looking for your Moodle site, then Eovle-D theme is what you need. With its minimalist design, it helps the learners and instructors to minimize distractions. “What makes this theme different is it’s new approach to the Moodle frontpage.  Logged in users are presented with a custom homepage while logged out users get a beautiful login page with a fullscreen image background.  You can even opt to use the built in login form or the standard Moodle login form.  Each login form has unique styling and a beautiful fullscreen image background”. Here’s an Evovlve-D Promo Video.

4. Klass and EGuru (Free)

If you are looking for fully responsive Moodle Themes, with the latest html5 and CSS3, then you might wan to check out Klass and EGuru themese, brought to you by Nephzat.  They include front page cutomization, slideshows, configurable social media icons, Twitter Bootstrap accordions, Dropdonw, tab.

EGuru

a_Home

 

Klass

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5. Roshni(Paid)roshni-lite-1-e1444799216427-845x1024

Roshni Moodle Theme is a 100% responsive, feature heavy beautiful Moodle theme. It is compatible with Moodle 2.7 – 3.0+. Roshni was designed to break free of the strict design restrictions imposed by the rigid framework of Moodle. It provides 11 customizable sections in the front page which the user may shuffle/customize through a backend setting panel, can add/update/delete content. The User can choose own theme color through color picker, can set own page layout, can place own logo from 3 types of logo options and can use any one header from 3 pre-set options. User can also set own content background color if needed. The user can add new custom pages through TinyMCE HTML Editor and menu items through the settings panel, which is otherwise not possible in a typical Moodle theme.

Other than the above mentioned features; it has 2 Sliders, Flexible Moodle Blocks, Unlimited Fonts, Unique Login Page, Support of Font Awesome, Integrated Google Maps and many more similar features. Check out a live preview of Roshni Theme.

6. Shiksha (Paid)

Shiksha Moodle Theme is a 100% responsive, feature heavy and clean Moodle theme. It is compatible with Moodle 2.7 – 3.0+. Shiksha is designed to break free of the strict design restrictions imposed by the rigid framework of Moodle. It provides 16 customizable sections in the front page which the user may customize through a backend setting panel. Users can customize theme color, logo and pages through settings panel, which is otherwise not possible in a typical Moodle theme. Here’s a live preview of Shiksha.

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7. BeSmart (Paid)

besmart-education-&-courses-moodle-themeBeSmart will appeal to all in academia and elearning providers with its Responsive Design, Font Awesome icons, Frontpage layered slideshow, Frontpage marketing spots, Client marketing spots, Unique grid based course listing , Custom styles for testimonials, Custom styles for pricing tables, and much more. With BeSmart, you forget that you are working on a Moodle site.  Here’s a live preview of BeSmart.

 

8. TIKLI (Paid)

TIKLI Moodle Theme is a 100% responsive, beautiful and feature heavy Moodle theme. TIKLI was designed to break free from the strict design restrictions imposed by the rigid framework of Moodle. The User can choose their own theme color set, set own page layout and customize the site logo from 3 available options. This theme has highly customized UI for every page element and also comes with an APP like look and feel for tablets and mobiles. The user can add menu items from the settings panel. It is compatible with Moodle 2.7 – 3.0+.

Other than the above mentioned features; it has 1 Layer Slider, Flexible Moodle Blocks, Unlimited Fonts, Unique Login page, Integrated Google Maps and many more exciting features. Here’s a live preview of TIKLI.

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9. Lambda (Paid)

With Lambda you can easily create a modern eye-catching Moodle site for your learning environmentlambda-responsive-moodle-theme. It offers various options and comes bundled with lots of easy to use features including tabs, slideshows, accordions. promotion boxes and scalable vector icons. Lambda is 100% repsonsive with a clean sharp design. This means that you you do not need ot worry about how yoru Moodle site will look like on tables and mobile phones. Lambda lets you create a slidshow and an image carousel that attracts your visiotrs. It lets you display inforation for you Moodle site with cusomizable effects. Lambda comes with full and boxed layout. Here’s a live preview of Lambda.

With all the above Moodle theme now available, and much more predicted to come, you will see a rise in new Moodle themes that are aligned with new web design. It proven that web design has an effect on attention, recognition, and engagment. Some web designs even follow the neurological aspect of the viewer to attract his attention. Will we see this leaking into Moodle theme design?

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