We recently met with Moodle community member Joseph Rézeau to understand his journey using and contributing to Moodle. Joseph began using computers in 1983, which sparked a lifelong passion for education technology for language learning. In this blog post, we’ll explore his love for Moodle and his thoughts on the challenges and opportunities ahead, including the impact of Artificial Intelligence on education. Join us as we get to know this dedicated Moodle advocate.
Could you tell me a bit about yourself, including your background, interests, and what you’re currently passionate about?
I’m a French citizen living in France, where I’ve been a teacher of English for more than 40 years at the secondary and university levels. I bought my first computer back in 1983, a Commodore 64, and have been passionate about Computer Assisted Language Learning ever since. I wrote and defended my Ph.D. thesis in 2001 on the topic of “mediatisation and mediation in a multimedia environment: the case of ESP for Art History Students in a French University”. I’ve been retired for 13 years now, but I am still active in the Moodle community through the English and French-speaking forums. My other interests include gardening and macro photography.
How did you first become involved with Moodle?
During my tenure at Rennes 2 University, I came across Moodle in 2003 and delved deeper into its functionalities. This exploration led me to participate in my inaugural French-speaking Moodle Moot in 2005, marking a significant milestone in my journey of teaching and research.
Could you share some of your favourite Moodle features or plugins?
Since Moodle is open-source, it provided me with the flexibility to adapt, modify, or even create my own plugins to align with my pedagogic needs. During my previous role at the university, I mostly used activities such as quizzes, glossaries, forums, lessons, and questionnaires. However, since I discovered H5P in 2016, my educational toolkit expanded. Since then, I’ve become an avid supporter of H5P activities, going so far as to personalise numerous H5P contents. Feel free to explore my Drupal/H5P Test site.
I’ve developed a modest yet impactful assortment of Moodle plugins. You can see some of them on the contributions page.
What are some creative ways you have used Moodle?
The most creative activity I created for my students was integrating glossary links in forum discussions to point out and explain basic English language errors.
I wrote an article (in French) for my presentation of that work for the French MoodleMoot at Brest in 2005.
As a passionate advocate for Moodle, what challenges or obstacles can the platform face in the future, and how can we address them?
At my fairly advanced age, my own future is obviously limited in time, but I’m hoping to continue to be a member of the Moodle community for as long as I can. The main challenge facing Moodle and education, in general, seems to be the advent of the so-called “Artificial Intelligence”.
As with any new technology introduced in teaching/learning, AI presents both opportunities and challenges. AI is not very different in nature from computer-aided language learning or online LMS such as Moodle. Whatever technology has to offer, however powerful those tools are, the role of a human teacher will remain essential as a mediator between the learning material and the learner.
As a contributor to the Moodle.org community forums, what advice would you give to newcomers looking to get involved and contribute effectively?
My first advice would be to browse through the current discussions in order to get acquainted with the code of conduct and the forum members’ way of doing things.
What do you think creates a strong sense of community in Moodle?
The forum discussions are important as they provide a platform to connect with members willing to offer help and support initiatives. I am really grateful to a number of such members and would like to mention a few names of those who have helped and encouraged me over the years with Moodle.
They are Nicolas Martignoni, Tim Hunt, Marcus Green, Mary Cooch, Helen Foster, Howard Miller, Oliver Tacke, Séverin Terrier, Mike Churchward… amongst many others.
The strength of the Moodle Community expands every day, and we are thankful to dedicated advocates like Joseph Rézeau, who are at the forefront of leading this community. His journey exemplifies the impact of community and innovation on shaping the future of learning, underscoring the importance of diverse experiences coming together to make a difference in education.