MoodleMoot Australia 2016: Day 3 update and wrap up

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The last day of MoodleMoot Australia 2016 kicked off with Melissa Silk’s keynote: STEAM Innovator | Embedding the Arts in Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths.

Melissa is at the forefront of STEAM education in Australia, having forged many external partnerships between museums, industry professionals and academics working in a range of STEM to STEAM research and practice environments. She is director of while also engaged in research at the University of Technology, Sydney. 

Melissa showcased students’ projects that fused the arts with science and maths.

Engaging students through the “joy of making” is a focus in all the STEAM projects featured in the presentation. Melissa also emphasised the importance the learning experience as well as assessing learning outcomes.

“If we can combine more subjects together, we’ve got the possibility of bringing more to a subject and having students take more away from the experience,” commented Melissa.

Melissa’s presentation, along with other presenters from MoodleMoot Australia 2016 can also be viewed through Moodle’s YouTube channel.


Presentations on day three included:

  • Rebecca Ritchie from Macquarie University: Covered the challenges of managing design iteration for a university wide initiative and using student feedback to influence design decisions.
  • Vernon Spain from the Endeavour College of Natural Health: Discussed rapid rollout and design of courses.
  • Michael Roberts from the University of New England: Shared how he convinced teachers to trust their knowledge and ability when first embracing Moodle; he also shared the basics of teaching online.
  • Mark Bailye from Blackboard: Explained how getting teachers to embrace the tools in learning technologies can vastly improve the student experience.
  • Stephen Dann from Australian National University (ANU): Walked the audience through the training process at ANU that facilitated the late adopters of Moodle. He also gave tips on what newcomers need to know in order to be safe, competent and happy with their first Moodle semester.
  • Steve Watt from Blackboard: Reviewed the good, the bad and the ugly of Moodle services procurement from a vendor’s point of view.
  • Brett McCroary from TAFE Illawarra: Outlined how TAFE has expanded its online learning with Moodle, reporting that many students now prefer to complete coursework online.
  • Jill Lyall, Katharina Freund, Crystal McLaughlin, Dr. Alexandra Webb, Lyndall Thorn from ANU: Examined the role of the educational design and support team in consulting with staff and students on their user experience with the Medical School’s Moodle course site.
  • Malcolm Beasley from Wonthaggi Secondary College: Drove home the risks of not intervening with disengaged youth in education and the benefits of giving students with mental health issues control over their learning environment with Moodle
  • Shivanesh Lal from Fiji National University: Shared the challenges of getting an entire institution to adopt Moodle and the high points of attempting to implement basic IT literacy.
  • Elizabeth Dalton, Research Analyst for Moodle HQ: Discussed Moodle analytics plans and a new project under development at Moodle HQ.
  • Stuart Mealor from HRDNZ (Moodle Partner): Discussed the top 10 things organisations get wrong when using Moodle.
  • David Burke from ANU: Talked about maintaining a presence on social media to proactively suggest solutions and provide support to students.
  • Pranil Prabhakar, Jane Kanas and Mohammed Hussein from The University of the South Pacific (USP): Shared their experience in using Moodle to make online study available at USP.
  • Stephen Grono from the University of New England: Talked about taking online learning offline to support disadvantaged students with Shared Portable Moodle- or Spoodle for short.
  • Luke Low from Monash University: Discussed the development of MDLbot, an automated support system for teaching staff.
  • Mary Cooch, Community Educator for Moodle HQ: Discussed what Moodle has learnt about the “Learn Moodle” MOOC through student feedback.
  • Pau Ferrer, Mobile Developer for Moodle HQ: Gave the audience tips and tricks on how to best design content for Mobile Learning. Hint: it is better to have mobile in mind while you’re designing your content than going back and editing it later.
  • Aliya Steed, Janene Harman, Katherine Esteves, Joseph Hughes and Jill Lyall from ANU: Discussed design and development challenges of the learning environment for the new Juris Doctor Online (JDO) program.
  • Eloise Perini from Monash University: Gave the audience a walk through of how you can create a unique and engaging e-learning experience for students using Workbooks in Moodle.
  • Michelle Lomman from SWTAFE: Showcased her extensive knowledge on being an effective (and popular) administrator and getting your teaching staff to embrace Moodle.
  • Damyon Wiese, Development Manager for Moodle HQ: Showed the audience the new default theme planned for the 3.2 release later this year.
  • Gavin Henrick, Community Projects Manager for Moodle HQ: Talked about running MOOCs via Moodle and using the platform to deliver the content, facilitation, assessment and reporting of the course.

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Moodle Users Association

Michael Sankey, Vice President of Moodle Users Association (MUA) provided an update on the organisation’s work to date. Currently, the MUA is in its third development cycle and represents Moodle users from 31 countries.

Priority projects and developments were on the agenda for discussion, with a review of Moodle user experience topping the list of issues voted on by members.

The Recycle Bin plugin was the first feature contributed to core by the MUA, which was integrated into Moodle 3.1. The second development put forward focussed on improvements to dashboard, this is currently be targeted for integration into Moodle’s 3.3 release.

Moodle Community Panel

MoodleMoot Australia concluded with a community panel, consisting of Moodle CEO and Founder, Martin Dougiamas and Moodle HQ staff Gavin Henrick (Community Projects Manager), Marina Glancy (Development Manager) and Mary Cooch (Community Educator).

The panel talked about the Moodle community and took questions from the floor on everything about Moodle.

Look to our Twitter feed to see live snippets from the panel.

Thank you to our sponsors that made MoodleMoot Australia 2016 possible:

Amazon Web Services

Blindside Networks

Echo 360



My Learning Space



Thank you as well to all presenters and participants for making MoodleMoot Australia 2016 a success! We look forward to seeing you at the next Moot.

Videos of presentations from MoodleMoot Australia 2016 can be viewed here.

Day two MoodleMoot Australia 2016 update can be read here.

Day one MoodleMoot Australia 2016 update can be viewed here.

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