LWMN016: MoodleMoot US 2017 Miami ‘Top Ten’ Special | Week of November 13th, 2017

The last week in moodlenews 13 NOV 17

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

In this episode I’ll be talking about the most important stories from the Moodleverse for the week of November 13th, 2017. I’ll be discussing my top 10 favorite things from MoodleMoot US Miami and much more.

Before we get started, a quick reminder share this show with a fellow Moodler or a colleague or friend who is interested in learning, EdTech or innovation. You can also find these episodes on our twitter feed @moodlenews or on


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

  • First – Instructure, the company behind Canvas LMS reached a billion dollar market valuation.
    • Considering the company was started only a decade ago, it’s quite an impressive feat.
    • Looking into their origin story, we found a lot of similarities with Moodle, including a charismatic founder and a commitment to open source technologies at the core.
    • Check out our story for more interesting and quirky similarities, and give us your opinion about how much of an existential threat Canvas might be to Moodle.
  • Speaking of world domination, Blackboard and Moodle are more allies than rivals in the conquest of the Latin American classroom.
    • This is made clear by Blackboard’s latest report card on new partnerships and high-level customers in Brazil, Peru and Colombia.
    • What stands out from this announcement is that more than half of the new customers will use Moodlerooms, Blackboard’s open source LMS based on Moodle.
    • Despite the contrasting social and political landscape, the region as a whole is a promising ground where both players can coexist.
  • Finally, looking to increase the adoptions of Learning Tools Interoperability standards, IMS Global launches the LTI Advantage program.
    • With the launch of this program, EdTech organizations now enjoy a series of bespoke tools to make LTI implementation easier.
    • Included in the package are name provisioning tools for quick authentication, deep linking, and grading transfer services.
    • Do you use LTI? Are you excited about this possible new way to access quality content? We want to hear what you think.

Find these stories, and all the links mentioned in this episode at, and if you’re looking for more information and resources, send us an email at [email protected]


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

In this episode, I’m inviting you to relive the recently completed MoodleMoot 2017 US Miami, with my top ten favorite things from the event.

  • Number 10: Competency-Based Education
    • While part of the “charm” of these events is finding out what the latest “buzzword” in technology, learning and EdTech are, it’s also great to see how some concepts pass the test of time and become part and parcel of the EdTech universe.
    • In Miami, there was no better example of that than CBE. Organizations are finding out just how powerful Competencies are across the board, from making a more robust intervention for students, to better articulating an evidence-based value proposition for the community and customers.
    • More ambitious views about Competencies are starting to blur differences between subjects and degrees, which paradoxically is helping people of all ages have a more clear understanding of how to “forge” their own “competency paths.”


  • Number 9: Martin Dougiamas
    • Once again, the opening keynote was by the “Moodler,” founder of Moodle 15 years ago and the CEO of Moodle Pty Ltd.
    • He shared the greatest hits of his “Moodle in the next 10 Years” presentation, which he has given now in some five Moots this year alone.
    • He also thanked all the attendants and revealed that the next US meeting will take place in Denver, Colorado next October.

  • Number 8: The Moodle HQ Education Team
    • The new office, led by Tom Murdock, is quickly becoming the key link that was missing between Moodle developers and Moodle educators.
    • During his talk, Tom shared his “4 steps for optimal learning” that begins with introducing the student to the knowledge for the first time, and ends with them being able to participate in the solution of a real-world problem through their knowledge.
    • There are many plans in the works for the education team, including partnerships, official certifications and maybe a “Moodle mentorship” program.


  • Number 7: Emma Richardson and the Moodle Users Association.
    • Since she became the President of MUA, less than a month ago, she has followed on her pledge to raise MUA’s profile even further.
    • On the first evening, she led a “meet and greet” with current and prospective members interested to know more about MUA, and how to help make Moodle better.
    • You can expect more communication and engagement from MUA through their social media, virtual Town Halls, and upcoming events like MoodleMoot Canada 2018.

  • Number 6: Moodle Mobile
    • Mobile internet has revolutionized the world across industries far and wide, and learning is no exception.
    • But as many people insist, including Gavin Henrick from Moodle HQ, the fact that we can all get endless streams of information on our phones does not mean we all have the same, universal experience.
    • So no surprise mobile was everywhere during the Moot, starting with Gavin’s Moodle Mobile masterclass, and ending with the case of FINCA and its extreme case of learning usability: people on farming fields in Africa and South America.

  • Number 5: Doug Belshaw
    • A public speaker and digital media coach, Doug was invited to host an “envisioning” session for the MoodleMoot audience, which seems to be only the beginning of a “period of embedding” of him in Moodle.
    • For many reasons, he was the perfect moderator. As a long-time advocate of open source technologies and their value in education, Doug took the time to share many collaborative initiatives he’s excited about.
    • You can find out more about Doug and his work in his Dynamic Skillset consultancy and his “We Are Open” co-op.

  • Number 4: The Moodle Net envisioning session. The reason why Doug was invited.
    • This year, Moodle has signaled its interest in completely re-thinking, which is currently a repository of Moodle content and tools that, in fairness, has not received a lot of attention lately.
    • But with the rise of Open Educational Resources, and more companies interested in integrating them into their systems, the Moodleverse is starting to ask for a content platform and collaboration. Ideally, that can be accessed from any Moodle site as well.
    • These envisioning sessions, which also happened in MoodleMoot Australia last month, gave Moodle well thought out insight about what would make useful and valuable for all users. Participants answered, among other things: What are your hopes, fears and dreams for Moodle?

  • Number Three: Project Inspire
    • Inspire is one of the most promising projects inside Moodle right now. It seeks to take advantage of the mountains of information Moodle creates to turn it into actionable insights.
    • Inspire is led by Elizabeth Dalton, who coordinated the Analytics masterclass. Her current focus of work is to use analytics not to predict student outcomes, but to change them before it’s too late. And above all, to use algorithms to teach better, not to hide behind them when something goes wrong.
    • She also revealed the “Moodle Analytics 3.4 Beta Test Site”, a Moodle course that gives a proper overview of Inspire and its technology, addresses security concerns, and describes the ultimate resource to get you started with embedded learning Analytics in Moodle.

  • Number Two: The Smithsonian
    • Perhaps the most impressive case study in the use of Moodle came from Mia Musolino, representing this iconic organization, spanning museums and research centers across the US.
    • The Smithsonian found in Moodle the flexibility to accommodate their vast staff training programs in all kinds of subjects of science, history and culture.
    • The result is a Moodle ecosystem rich in content, but also playful and dynamic, that is part of the institution’s volunteer onboarding programs.


  • Number One: The Moodleverse
    • If you think about it, it’s kind of an obvious choice. Everyone, starting with Martin Dougiamas, recognizes how Moodle has become what it is today thanks to an army of volunteers who, for decade and a half, have contributed to creating the largest LMS community in the world.
    • And in a MoodleMoot like this one, participants can finally put a human face to this extraordinary project. You can witness the insightful debate during the days, and the playfulness and good vibes during the evening.
    • But of course, I cannot do justice to the real experience of attending a MoodleMoot. If you’ve never been to one, heads up! Next year we have Moot Canada and Japan in February just to kick off 2018.

If you want more MoodleMoot Miami, visit us @moodlenews to see a moment with the best tweets of the event.


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

  • We still have some pending talks from past MoodleMoots
    • This week, we discuss the ideas about the effect of a theme in learning outcomes, thanks to talks by Martin Dulberg, Rick Jerz and many more.
    • In line with some of the ideas of the new Moodle HQ Education team, we also list the ways in which teachers can make their own theme.
    • You’ll also find tips, case studies, new examples of analytics, and more.
  • And hot on the heels of Halloween, should Moodlers be scared about the rate of LMS implementations in Higher Ed?
    • The LMS consultancy blog e-Literate seems a little concerned that Martin Dougiamas and the Moodle community does not seem worried enough about adoption figures.
    • As we have reported before, Canvas is close to surpassing Moodle in the second spot in North America. In the last year, e-Literate reports a staggering growth by Canvas, this time in Europe, Latin America and Oceania.
    • The figures, however, only refer to higher education. What should Moodle’s course of action be?
  • And awards season continues, with THE Journal’s Readers Choice Awards.
    • Moodle fares a little better than in the Campus Technology version, although it does not appear in the LMS category, where the honors go to Google Classroom, Schoology and Canvas.
    • Moodle, however, gets platinum in the “favorite e-portfolio” category, and silver in top overall technologies.
    • It’s worth noting that both THE Journal and Campus Technology are publications by 1105 Media Inc.

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.

Subscribe to Last Week in MoodleNews Podcast via iTunes, RSS, Stitcher, Android, YouTube or listen to it at

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

4 Responses

  1. “The figures, however, only refer to higher education. What should Moodle’s course of action be?”
    Quite an important question. Hope the @dajbelshaw envisioning exercise helped.
    As per the first part of that point, maybe the path is outside of Higher Ed (especially in existing institutions or, at least, existing models).

    Corporate training has been the space for money grabs (commercial publishers and even Adobe Captivate Prime have been going there; so has Canvas, it sounds like). Where there’s a number of greedy players, investing a lot of effort may be counterproductive. In fact, based on my experience at MoodleMoot Montreal, it sounds like Moodle has been veering this way without much of a consensus. The platform is “scoring some points” in the space without trying too hard and trying very hard would probably not produce amazing effects.

    Elementary and secondary education in the US have been another battlefield (with “classroom” offerings from the likes of Microsoft, Amazon, and Google). But it’s a wide world out there, including spots where those players from the West Coast of the US have much less of a presence. The fact that some of the EdTech “unicorns” are from China is intriguing.

    Then, there’s the emergence of new spheres of agency beyond the course-based management system. Though people scoffed at the Educause report on the NGDLE, some quirky new models are emerging here and there. Maybe none of it scales. And it’s mostly been Canvas territory up until this point. But it’s more exciting to technopedagogues to be working on such things than the typical EdTech play. These are places where deep reflection on what platforms and tools imply in learning matters a whole lot.

    And for something completely out of left field, it’d be neat to have contributions from the #DigPedPosse on this. Maha Bali, Jesse Stommel, Audrey Watters, Remi Kalir, Robin DeRosa, Lee Skallerup-Bessette, Rajiv Jhangiani, Bonnie Stewart… Not that they form a tight group. But there are issues all of these people discuss thoughtfully which are rarely integrated in the discussions about marketshare and Open Source development funding.

  2. Thank you for such thoughtful words.

    Agreed, even Canvas, with such great results in higher ed, believes Corporate is 75% of the potentially addressable market.

    I had never heard of the #DigPedPosse, might be worth checking them out!

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