5 Highlights of the 2017 U.S. Moodle Moot

By August 14, 2017 No Comments

The eThink team recently wrapped up another successful US Moodle Moot which was held in New Orleans on July 25-27th.  It was great seeing some familiar faces from our client base, as well as meeting so many new people from the Moodle community.  (A big thank you to the many eThink clients that took the time to stop and see us!)

This event was the second of three Moots this year and was held in conjunction with BbWorld 2017 hosted by Blackboard, which for many people (including us here at eThink) was quite a surprise.  This new idea to combine a Moodle Moot into Blackboard’s main conference turned out to be a big success, as it helped bring more Moodle exposure to users outside the Moodle community and the conference had a great expo hall that gave attendees the ability to meet with representatives from companies of many innovative technologies that integrate with Moodle.  These technologies can extend an institution’s Moodle LMS with advanced learning analytics, retention solutions, plagiarism software, SSO options, streaming video solutions, content, and many other interesting offerings.

There were so many great moments at the Moot in New Orleans, but here are a couple of our favorite highlights:

  1. The Keynote – Martin Dougiamas, the founder and CEO of Moodle, the nonprofit that drives the product roadmap and bi-annual releases, gave a great talk on Moodle’s important place in the world of open products and open information.  He showed statistics on Moodle’s continued dominance in the global higher education market. For example, the latest LISTedTech data for Spring 2017 shows Moodle with 57% marketshare in Europe, 67% in Latin America, and 57% in Oceania. In North America, where the market is more competitive, Moodle holds 25%.

Moodle also rolled out a new mission statement “Empowering Educators to Improve Our World.”  The new statement was worn proudly on the shirts of Moodlers throughout the conference.  Moodle’s vision – “To give the world the most effective platform for learning” – as well as Moodle’s core values of “Education, Openness, Respect, Integrity, and Innovation” were also reiterated and expounded upon.

The second half of the keynote focused on exciting updates for the roadmap of Moodle core as well as other areas of development at Moodle headquarters! You can hear Moodle’s vision for the next 10 years by listening to Martin’s keynote speech from the recent Germany Moot here.

Martin Dougiamas at US Moodle Moot 2017

Martin Dougiamis, Co-Founder and CEO of Moodle, giving his keynote speech at this year’s Moodle Moot in New Orleans.

2. Moodle Community Revamp – Tom Murdoch, the newest member of the Moodle HQ team, led a very engaging and interactive session titled “The Future of the Moodle Community: An Envisioning Session.”  The audience broke out into teams to work on and present their ideas on how the Moodle community site, as well as its various tools could be revamped or expanded upon for an even more robust and collaborative community.  One of the most common themes from the groups was the question of how to encourage participation by the vast majority of Moodle community members.  Some great ideas were shared and our team left extremely excited for the direction Moodle HQ was taking to improve an already impressive and constantly growing online community of Moodlers.

3. Accessibility –  Continuing the accessibility work Aaron Page & Marlene Zentz have presented on in the past, at this year’s conference the duo offered a sneak peak of a facilitated MOOC they piloted earlier in the year. The MOOC was created to show schools how to design fully accessible and inclusive course content, and upcoming sessions will be offered in October and April.

Marlene Zentz and Aaron Page Moodle Moot 2017Marlene Zents & Aaron Page presented on the importance of accessible design in Moodle and offered a look at the MOOC they piloted earlier this year.

4. eThink CEO, Brian Carlson, spoke on a Moodle Community Panel focused on how to further empower and engage the Moodle community to help shape the future of the solution.  Many ideas were explored with the potential for making it easier for Moodle users to express their suggestions.

Brian Carlson Moodle Moot 2017 PaneleThink CEO Brian Carlson speaking on a Moodle Community Panel with Chief Moodler, Martin Dougiamas, Tom Mudock (Moodle HQ), and Jason Hardin (Moodlerooms).

5. BbWorld General Session – This session brought together two panels of industry leaders– the first involved leaders at institutions talking about challenges surrounding student access and success, and the second was a discussion on the intersection between technology, education and policy.  Discussants continued to pull on the major themes of access and affordability for students of all types of programs– traditional education as well as continued training and retraining through professional education.

All in all, it was a great event and the eThink team was proud to be one of the main sponsors of this year’s Moodle Moot.  If Blackboard plans to incorporate another Moot into their event next year, we will certainly look to attend again as it was a very successful event.  We look forward to seeing everyone at the Miami Moodle Moot on November 6-8th.  For more information click here.

Check out some more pictures from the conference below!

eThink Martin Dougiamas Moodle Moot 2017eThink Charlene Prairie View Moodle Moot 2017eThink Mark UNWSP Moodle Moot 2017eThink Mary Mississippi College Moodle Moot 2017eThink Lambda Moodle Moot 2017