Monday, June 23, 2008

MoodleMoot in Oklahoma City

Today and tomorrow I'm at the Oklahoma City MoodleMoot. "What's a MoodleMoot?", you ask. Well, it's a conference for people who use the Moodle open-source learning management system (LMS) for e-Learning.

I've been a Moodle user/administrator now for over 3 years as this is the LMS we use for all of the e-learning courses at Rice Consulting Services.

Why is it called Moodle? The idea is that you learn by exploring. So, instead of a forced order of learning, you can experience a variety of topics.

So, why am I here instead of doing something billable? There are many reasons:

1) I am practicing what I preach about building personal skills.

2) This is not a software testing conference, so I get to meet all kinds of new people.

3) It's local to me. What a great opportunity!

4) I have a goal for my e-learning offerings to be the very best available in the field of software testing.This is a place I can learn new ideas to incorporate in my e-learning courses for software testing and software quality.

5) My wife likes me to get out of the house once in a awhile! :-)

A few observations from today:
  • A great majority of the people here are educators from the academic community - colleges, high schools, technical schools, etc.I'm one of the minority using Moodle in the corporate world. Some have never used Moodle before and some are experienced Moodle administrators.
  • I'm learning that I've been doing a lot of things right in the design and delivery of my e-learning courses.By the way, the average evaluation overall score is over 8 on a scale of 10 for RCS e-learning courses. (We get rave reviews from people worldwide who have found my e-learning courses to be an effective way to balance work time and training time.) My courses are designed in a modular way to start with, so when I developed the online versions, the flow was easy for students to understand and follow. In my courses, people aren't over whelmed with choices, assignments and other distractions.
  • There is a very robust and deep community around Moodle. That helps a lot when dealing with open source software.In fact, I wish some of the commercial products I use had the level of support that Moodle does.
  • I've picked up all kinds on cool ideas to enhance what we are currently doing with e-learning at RCS. Things, such as closed captioning for videos, building online communities, etc.
  • There are security risks in e-learning, just like in any other application. I knew that already, but sometimes you need to see the uniqueness of the threats.
This is a very "how-to" event. There are many people with notebook computers, like myself, taking notes,trying things, googling, etc.

Now, the BIG chalenge will be to implement all the great ideas!

Have you tried e-learning for software testing? If so, what did you like or not like about it?

If you haven't done so already, drop by my e-learning site and experience a demo. (Just login as a guest.)

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