Moodle Use, Spring 2012

SUMMARY

Moodle is a traditional, open-source, course management system first available at Colby in 2008. It is popular with small liberal arts colleges, among others. About three-quarters of  the members of the Consortium of Liberal Arts Colleges use Moodle.  It is one of several web platform options available to faculty at Colby.

Around 45%-50% of all Spring 2012 courses at Colby made Moodle sites available to students. The sites were used mostly to distribute course resources like readings, syllabi, images, and links to web sites to enrolled students. A total of 6,791 resources were added for an average of 32.5 resources per active course site.  A few course sites used the Moodle quizzing tool. Notable of courses in which the quizzing tool was used, there was a minimum of 35 students enrolled and usually more. About 29% of active Moodle course sites used assignment activities (activities that require students to complete or submit an assignment in Moodle). Assignment activities are required to use Moodle’s gradebook. Of those course sites that could use the gradebook because of the presence of assignment activities, 43% opted to do so which calculates to 14% overall. About 21% of activated course sites included an instructor-created online discussion forum. 

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Fall 2012 Moodle course sites

Fall 2012 Moodle course sites are now available at http://moodle.colby.edu for faculty who wish to begin building them out. You may find links to past course sites on your Moodle course overview page in the “Course sites for other terms” block. Call Ellen Freeman at ext. 4234 or email Ellen.Freeman@colby.edu for help setting up your Moodle course site or visit the online Moodle help site.

Academic ITS supported web services and aggregate use for the 2011-2012 academic year

Academic ITS support three main web platforms for faculty and students. They are the Moodle course management system, the Confluence enterprise wiki, and the WordPress web publishing platform. Each platform has its own strengths and specializations and there are significant overlaps between them in some areas. Following is a description of each service and some aggregate usage statistics for the 2011-2012 academic year.

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Using appointment slots in Colby Apps Calendar

UPDATE 12/17/2012: GOOGLE HAS ANNOUNCED THAT THIS FEATURE WILL SOON BE DISCONTINUED

Google’s Colby Apps Calendar has added “appointment slots,” a new feature that can be used to aid in scheduling meetings.

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How to get to “author mode” in CommonSpot 6.1

CommonSpot 6.1 introduces a new interface that includes new menus and new names for some menu items. Here are few quick steps to get you editing your pages in the new version. [Read more...]

Fall semester technology needs

If you plan to include a technology component or project in a course this fall that will require coordination with the Academic ITS group, please contact me as soon as possible so we may make plans to meet your needs. This includes projects that will require technical training assistance, utilize the resources of the Language Resource Center (LRC) in Lovejoy, the GIS and Quantitative Analysis labs in Diamond, or the Schupf Lab in Keyes. I can be reached at jason.parkhill@colby.edu or campus extension 4213.

Streaming media service changes

The legacy Quicktime streaming media service on the server named “Tourmaline” has been turned off. Academic ITS worked over the past year to identify and work with owners of media streamed by this service to migrate it to the replacement service (Adobe Flash Media Server) or convert it for non-streaming delivery when appropriate.

Because of the varied and ad-hoc manner in which the Tourmaline streaming service was used over the years, it is quite possible some media owners were not identified and some media was not converted or migrated. All media from Tourmaline is backed up and still available for migration or conversion if necessary. If you had media streamed from the service on Tourmaline that doesn’t work now, please contact me so we can help fix it.

Fall 2011 Moodle course sites

Fall 2011 Moodle course sites are now available at http://moodle.colby.edu for faculty who wish to begin building them out. You may find links to past course sites on your Moodle course overview page in the “Course sites for other terms” block. Call Ellen Freeman at ext. 4234 or email Ellen.Freeman@colby.edu for help setting up your Moodle course site or visit the online Moodle help site:

http://wiki.colby.edu/x/dYa

Spotlight: Research cruise blog

Whitney King is Dr. Frank and Theodora Miselis Professor of Chemistry

A group of 27 scientists, led by Dr. William “Barney” Balch of Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, boarded the R/V Melville in Punta Arenas, Chile on January 11, 2011, and arrived 36 days later in Cape Town, South Africa after travelling a distance of 7650 miles (12,311 km) across the Atlantic Ocean.

Scientists participating in the Great Belt Cruise conducted the first systematic study of the Great Southern Coccolithophore Belt, seeking to understand more about the species of coccolithophores that make up the Great Belt, factors that affect their abundance and distribution, and the impacts of ocean acidification and climate change on the coccolithophores in the Great Belt.

Annie Warner graduated Colby as an Environmental Science major with a concentration in Marine Science.

Whitney King and Annie Warner blogged throughout the cruise on their Colby at Sea Wordpress site. They answered questions from students at Epiphany School (a middle school in Massachusetts) and uploaded pictures and videos. Internet connectivity on the cruise was provided by satellite and bandwidth was limited so members of Academic ITS assisted by making sure blog posts were formatted correctly and comments and questions on the blog were relayed to Whitney and Annie in a timely manner. Most of the video and pictures were captured with smartphones and then either emailed or copied to a shared folder in using the Dropbox service. Video editing was conducted on the cruise using iMovie on Whitney’s Macintosh notebook computer.

The Research Vessel Melville in Punta Arenas, Chile.

Fall 2010 technology needs

If you plan to include a technology component or project in a course this fall that will require coordination with the Academic ITS group, please contact me as soon as possible so we may make plans to meet your needs. This includes projects that will require technical training assistance, utilize the resources of the Language Resource Center (LRC) in Lovejoy, the GIS and Quantitative Analysis labs in Diamond, or the Schupf Lab in Keyes. I can be reached at jason.parkhill@colby.edu or campus extension 4213.