Empowering educators to improve our world with Aurelie Soulier

Aurelie Soulier

Have you heard of Moodlers Monday? It’s our weekly shout out to superstars in the Moodle community and here at Moodle HQ.

Today we’re heading over to the UK to speak to long time Moodler Aurelie Soulier, about how she used Moodle as an educator, a learner and how she uses our platform to empower others.

if you have been to a MoodleMoot in UK/Ireland before you may have seen Aurelie present (you can check it out in this blog post).

So let’s jump right in and find out more about Aurelie’s Moodle journey!

Moodle HQ: Hi Aurelie, thanks for taking the time to talk with us today. Can we kick things off with you telling us a bit about yourself and your role?

Aurelie: Hi, I’m a senior Learning Technologist at Cranfield University in the UK. I’ve been working here since 2006 and looking after Moodle and other learning systems for all that time. I’m passionate about delivering the best possible learning experience to our students and helping our staff achieve this through good practice with the support of technology when appropriate. My background is both in teaching, languages (I’m French but live in the UK) and I also have a computing postgraduate degree.

Moodle HQ: When did you ‘discover’ Moodle and how do you use it now?

Aurelie: My Moodle.org account tells me I’ve first accessed the site in October 2006 so I’m an old Moodle fan! I used my own Moodle platform at the time but then I started work at Cranfield the next month and we moved from a commercial VLE platform to Moodle in the months after I started. I have used it as a student, staff and administrator over the years but my main function now is administering the site.

This involve setting up the systems for creating courses and enrolling students in liaison with our IT team, improving user experience with the appropriate plugins but above all the learning design side of Moodle, supporting staff in creating and populating templates and tools, such as our Essential Learning Framework (ELF) with my colleagues Sam Taylor and Angelique Bodart. I have a special interest in assessment, formative and summative as well as learning analytics and I thrive to find the best ways to help our staff develop engaging and adequate ways to assess the students’ progress.

Moodle HQ: We have spoken to you in the past about your involvement with MoodleMoots, but for Moodlers who don’t know could you tell us why you have attended MoodleMoots and does anything stand out as a highlight?

Aurelie: MoodleMoots are amazing and efficient platforms for learning and sharing all-things Moodle from the technical developments to the learning to learning design examples and advice.

They are the epitome of what Moodle represent as open source software:the knowledge and ideas sharing that I have experience in my last two Moodle Moots has been invaluable to the work I have subsequently done. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to meet like-minded colleagues from other institutions. I have had several collaborations and meetings with MoodleMoot participants because we met at the Moodle Moot! If you haven’t attended one, yet, I strongly advise you do!

Moodle HQ: As well as attending MoodleMoots you have also presented at them, what was this like and what did you gain from the experience?

Aurelie: Presenting at MoodleMoot can be intimidating if you haven’t presented before but after my first presentation, with Sam Taylor, I ensured I proposed to present every other event I attended. The questions and feedback I received on presentations have helped me develop my ideas further and sometimes build confidence in my ideas. It’s opened doors for further conversations at the event and outside the event, too.

Moodle HQ: We just have one last question for you Aurelie, as you know Moodle is constantly growing to meet the needs of our global community, are there any upcoming Moodle improvements that you are excited about and how will they affect how you use Moodle in your role?

Aurelie: Apart from the much awaited GDPR plugin, I think, for me, the Moodle User Association (MUA)’s improved tagging of question banks in Moodle 3.5 will make a difference to the way our academics work with quizzes and hopefully encourage improved quiz assessment. The moodle.net project is also something I want to look at and hopefully get involved with in future. This will make Moodle truly open in terms of sharing educational content!

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