I spoke briefly about Ustreaming my Graduate course on EdTechWeekly last Sunday (Feb 24, 2008). This short audio clip was captured and synchronized to a screencast of the course site. I assume this was done by either Jeff Lebow or Dave Cormier.
I think this captures a bit of what I am experiencing with the course. The delivery mechanisms are somewhat complex but much more in tune to the principles of “open, connected & social” than a WebCT/Blackboard-based course could possibly be. I hope that the students are enjoying it as much as I am.
I’m still really liking Moodle. I’ve set up my own installation and I love the freedom this gives me to set up courses quickly and experiment with functionality.
However, the one feature that I think needs improvement is user profiles. I was hoping that I could have my students put together a fairly rich profile (bio, photos, links, etc.) and have this accessible to other students. Basically, I wanted a way for students to get to know each other, and an easy way for me to get to know the students.
So, here’s my story story and how I found a decent solution. I’ll keep the explanation simple. 1) I twit my problem. 2) Durff mentions that Jim Gates will speaking about Moodle on It’s Elementary Live (EdTechTalk). 3) I forget about it for a few days. 4) Luckily, I see a reminder from Durff. 5) I listen online pretty much at the exact moment I need. Jim talks about how he uses the Glossary tool in Moodle to accomplish something very similar.
So this was the solution. Basically, all I did was add the glossary tool to Moodle. If you are familiar with Moodle, this takes about 5 seconds to do. Just go to “add an activity”, choose glossary. So students in my class each filled out this “student glossary” with their profile information. They can include links, photos and other multimedia. Nice feature.
Then, a nice touch is to add a “Random Glossary Item” block to the side bar. So, everytime you go to the Moodle main page, you will see a random student profile featured. Overall, this fix will do a nice job of accomplishing my original goal. I just introduced it to my students today, but I it’s been well-received so far. Now, I’m waiting for their input.