LWMN010: Week of October 2nd | MoodleMoot Australia 2017 Special

The last week in moodlenews 02 OCT 17

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Hey everyone – welcome to the Last Week in MoodleNews, I’m Stephen Ladek from

In this episode we’ll be talking about the most important stories from the Moodleverse for the week of October 2nd, 2017. In this episode, I’ll be giving you special coverage of MoodleMoot Australia 2017.

Before we get started, if you’ve found value in this show could you please take just a few seconds right now and share it with a fellow Moodler or a colleague or friend who is interested in edtech or innovation? Just use the sharing options on your podcast player. You can also find these episodes on our twitter feed at MoodleNews or on

And, finally, as usual, a quick shout out to our sponsor:

eThink LogoThis podcast is sponsored by eThink Education: a high-touch, high quality Certified Moodle Partner that has a passion for the transformative powers of technology for the learning process. Visit them today at


In this section, I summarize the three most popular posts from the last 7 days on

  • First: When it comes to adult learners, disenfranchisement is a far more powerful factor in educational outcomes than cognitive decline.
    • We covered the online learning design discoveries made by the multi-institutional initiative Citizen Maths.
    • Citizen Maths recently offered a free and open “Level 2 Mathematics” course.
    • The learning from the course suggest that effective learning interventions have to make an effort to help students feel part of a community.
    • Citizen Maths’ used this learning to create a comprehensive design guide for open online courses, which could be very valuable no matter the age of your students. You can find the guide in our story, as well as in the link for the “Level 2 Mathematics” course.
  • Next, In corporate learning, Virtual and Augmented Reality technologies are starting to move from shiny new objects to standard ops
    • A quick look at the history of “immersive technologies” like Augmented and Virtual Reality, reveals that many similar ideas have been tried throughout history, but are almost always unsuccessful.
    • However, there is a growing body of evidence that supports the view that corporate learning is only going to embrace the technology even more. AR and VR could be the solution for the persistent concerns about the effectiveness of learning interventions in the workplace.
    • A webinar by the folks at Paradiso Solutions features ten use cases where AR and VR are becoming critical in corporate learning programs that have a real effect in business operations. You can find the webinar, and the slides with the use cases, on the link to our story.
  • Finally, this week we shared a series of updates about some of the most popular Moodle plugins


In this section, I dive in-depth into one of the most interesting topics happening in the Moodle community over the past week.

  • While we’re still unpacking the recent Moots in the US and elsewhere, the party just kept on going last week as the Moodleverse gathered again for MoodleMoot Australia 2017.
    • If you’re new to Moodle, Australia is special because Perth is the birthplace of the LMS and the location of the Moodle headquarters.
    • But while Perth is the base of operations, Sydney could be considered Australia’s EdTech capital, as it’s home to a vibrant startup community and some of the world’s most cutting-edge research and academic institutions.
    • And if you want to live (or re-live) the event, just check out our Twitter feed, @moodlenews, where you can find a Moment with the most important, insightful and funny tweets from the event.
  • In addition to the standard Moot fare of workshops, presentations, panel discussions and social events, there were a couple more reasons to be excited this time around:
    • The “Moodle Project,” or the idea of Moodle beyond the LMS and as a transformational tool for learning, started to become more real, thanks to some of the initiatives announced last week.
    • One of these initiatives was “Learn Moodle,” a complete remodeling of the official MOOC, which is now set to become the most “complete curriculum to learn to teach online”. The next edition of the Learn Moodle MOOC begins on January 8th.
    • The other big announcement was “Moodle Net,” currently a library of open content, that now will begin to evolve into a social network for educators, where we can communicate and share resources, all within our Moodle sites.
  • But not all the great new concepts came from Moodle. Partners and startups also brought interesting takes on Moodle and EdTech.
    • We witnessed the first prototype of Virtual Reality in Moodle, consisting of a first person shooter game where the goal is to answer quiz questions, using the relatively affordable Google Cardboard viewer.
    • Other proofs of concept involved voice recognition, teamwork through peer-based learning, and half a dozen talks on real-time analytics, with a focus on personalized learning.
    • If the news and ideas in this episode makes you excited about professional opportunities, there is other good news for you: Moodle HQ is hiring! Check out our post about the hunt for an HR superstar, or visit for more openings.

This section of LWMN is sponsored by WizIQ, a ready-to-use, integrated delivery platform for instructors and institutions. Get everything you need to teach and train online at


In this section, I discuss interesting information that affects everyone in #edtech.

  • Some of the announcements made during MoodleMoot Australia 2017, will definitely have impact in the greater EdTech community in the coming weeks.
    • Perhaps the announcement that received the most news coverage was the six million dollar stake invested in Moodle Proprietary Limited, by Education for the Many.
    • Education for the Many is an investment company focusing on supporting revolutionary approaches to global education. It is funded by the owners of the French sporting goods retailer Decathlon.
    • The investment, which to our knowledge is the single largest in the history of Moodle, is expected to accelerate the rate of development of the LMS, but it will also give Moodle an opportunity to expand to new projects and products of higher scope.
    • With the investment, Education for the Many becomes a minority stakeholder in Moodle Proprietary Limited, and gets a seat on the company board.
    • Moodle founder and CEO, Martin Dougiamas, shared his excitement about the investment, and at the same time he assuaged the fears of those who though this might compromise Moodle’s mission.
  • But there was another reason why Martin appeared in our newsfeeds: He was also the opening keynote speaker.
    • Martin used this platform to address many of the political and social issues taking place in our world today.
    • Even though the core of his talk was the same as in previous events, discussing “Moodle for the next 10 years,” he sprinkled some examples of how Moodle is doing its part to help people, or at least bring awareness to modern crisis. Case in point, the effects of civil war and displacement in the goal to give an education to the over 260 million children missing at school today.
    • Martin ended his keynote with an open invitation to Moodlers, educators and human beings in general, to be more “globally oriented, multicultural aware, environmentalist, caring citizens.”


In this section, I focus on a practical way to help you up your Moodle game.

  • Another keynote speaker at the Austraila Moot 2017 was Lian Loke. She shared her groundbreaking ideas, research and artistic creations with the MoodleMoot audience, in her talk .
    • As a lead researcher on the interaction between machine and human-centered design, Lian’s presentation could not have been more timely. As new technologies begin to “unplug” us from our desks and even our screens, the EdTech field is finally starting to look for a new theory about how we build knowledge and skills.
    • Lian advocates for a continuous evaluation of the points of view we adopt as designers of content and interactions. She invites us to “question everything” and “making strange,” as ways to ensure we continue to present stimulating challenges to our students.
  • Lian Loke especially advocates for being multidisciplined. In the spirit of her talk, some of the other presentations that took place in MoodleMoot Australia also shed some light in the ways subject mixing could give your teaching an edge. Here’s just three tips found throughout the event:
    • #1: Apply dance and other performing arts into your lessons. Exercises that take advantage of space, motion and relationships between bodies could double as great analogies in lots of fields. And taking advantage of wearable technologies, it’s possible to gain feedback and analytics from physical activities.
    • #2: The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons presented “Culture change: Can a Moodle course effectively address discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment?” It shows how these issues could have a place along the regular course programming with the support of Moodle or an LMS.
    • #3: For topics on a more undergraduate level, an “Online Mathematical Diagnostic Tool” joins psychological testing and numerical literacy; also, the theories of Social Reconstruction and Social Efficiency could be used as the basis for new ways to approach education in social science and civics.
  • And while MoodleMoot Australia 2017 is a wrap, you can think of this, and the other Moots around the world, as the beginning of conversations.
    • Once again, Martin Dougiamas has started an open document where everyone can add their “Moodle Wishes” and vote for their favorites.
    • While this is only the second Moot where he opens up the gates for people to add and continue the conversation long after his talk is over, I think it would be great if it becomes tradition.
    • So far, popular wishes include a “New course wizard” and “Ability to add templates and components from the text editor”. Find the link to the live document in the page for this episode: “MoodleMoot Australia 2017 Wishlist.”


In this section, I discuss what we’re excited about publishing this week at

  • We will share the highlights of MoodleMoot Paraguay 2017, which ran parallel to the Sydney event.
    • Workshops featured Moodle in the Cloud, Open Educational Resources, Transmedia narratives at the University level, and lots more. To close, Juan Leyva from Moodle HQ participated on a live Q&A call.
    • In light of the recent earthquakes, we’re waiting for confirmation on MoodleMoot Mexico, which was initially scheduled for November. Otherwise, this might have been the last Latin Moot of the year.
  • Also: Are educational technologies getting the level of scrutiny they deserve?
    • A review published by the US National Bureau of Economic Research set out to find the answer, as a response to increasing demands for transparency on a field that keeps on gobbling billions of dollars in investments every year.
    • But there is one large obstacle to face first, and it’s the need to make sense of the confusing landscape of services, products and solutions out there. For people in charge of institutional procurement, finding the right product can be a real headache.
    • The research suggests organizing technologies according their proposed outcomes is a potential solution.
  • Finally, we thought it would be fun to consider the ways in which Moodlepreneurs could adopt popular business models around the LMS.
    • It has become increasingly common to think of a new opportunity as the “Uber of X”, the “Airbnb of Y”, the “Netflix of Z”.
    • We wanted to discuss the implications of bringing these paradigms into EdTech and Moodle, but in a way that still encourages originality and sustainable value.
    • So stay tuned for our ideas, and let us know if we hit the spot, or if we’re way off. And if you are a Moodlepreneur who have done this, or are currently trying out one of these models, we’d love to showcase your work! Reach out to us.

Ok – that’s it for this week. Thanks for listening to The Last Week in MoodleNews Podcast. If you like what you’re hearing please take just a few seconds to give us a review on iTunes or whatever podcast app you happen to be using… And, of course, join me next week for all the most important news about Moodle.

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LWMN is hosted and produced by Stephen Ladek, with writing, research, and editing by Cristian Duque and Joseph Thibault.

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