Using Moodle Mobile in the classroom – interview with Kim Salinas, Jackson Community College

We’ve been talking a lot lately about mobile learning with Moodle Mobile and recently published some blog posts on trying the App with mobile-friendly courses and how to engage learners with a mobile-friendly course.

Of course with every new Moodle Mobile release (the latest is Moodle Mobile 3.2.1) the team at Moodle HQ continues to deliver features that enhance user experience and also gives users the ability to do more on their mobile devices.

Some of these features include having similar or same options between web and mobile versions of Moodle, automatic downloads for offline access, being able to add attachments to glossaries, the ability to grade assignments from the app and much more.

Now, how do teachers and students actually use the Moodle Mobile App in the classroom?

How are the features and tools help to empower educators to deliver their courses and create a collaborative learning environment?

To see Moodle Mobile in “action” we recently talked to Kim Salinas, Assistant Professor for Jackson Community College and MCCC Mentor-Assessor for Elearning Experts, to see how she and her students are using the app for mobile learning.

Moodle HQ: Thank you Kim for taking the time to chat to us about Moodle Mobile. If we can start with your background in teaching and specifically how long you have used Moodle and the app itself that’d be great!

Kim Salinas: Thank you for the opportunity to share how our learners are using the Moodle Mobile App. I am growing more fond of this app with every release! I’ve been teaching in our Diagnostic Medical Sonography program here at Jackson College (formerly Jackson Community College) for 10+ years. Our program is the first sonography program to be offered totally online.

We have been using this method of delivery for over 20 years. I have always loved the challenge of being able to do anything online that we could do in the brick and mortar class. I always layout my courses with the end user in mind. I create all activities and resources with the actual Moodle tools. For example, I will use the Page or Book resource to create any document(s) that I want to share. I do this so it is available on ALL platforms without installation of additional software. This has proven to be very beneficial for the app users! Now, onto the Moodle Mobile app!

I am relatively new to using the app as we did not have it enabled in our site until about 2 years ago. I started telling my students about the app by giving them the link and provided them with instructions to login. I would say they are just now starting to really use it as it is more powerful than it was 2 years ago. The students that use it LOVE it!

Moodle HQ: As an educator, can you describe how you are using the Moodle Mobile App with your students to ensure that there is collaborative learning in an online space?

Kim Salinas: My main use of it at this time is to check out my courses to see what they look like on the app. I do not require the students to download it, I just make them aware of how awesome it would be for them. They can have the course content with them when they are at clinicals without carrying laptops, books, and a bunch of notes. I personally like the notifications as they make a great reminder of grading that needs to be done. I am hoping our college will get the app branded for our school.

Moodle HQ: And what do your students think about the Moodle Mobile App? What features do they love most about the app for mobile learning?

Kim Salinas: They like that It gives notifications when assignments or quizzes are about to close. They also like the fact they don’t have to keep logging in, when they just want to access a question on an assignment or syllabus etc.

Moodle HQ: As an educator, do you see a rising trend towards mobile learning? And if there is, what, from your perspective, is required to facilitate this trend for successful mobile learning to occur?

What new features, settings, design or policy, etc. needs to be considered?

Kim Salinas: I absolutely see mobile learning becoming the norm. As the Moodle Mobile App becomes more and more powerful (supports all activities and resources) it will eventually replace the need for the learner to be on a desktop/laptop browser.

Course design for mobile is something instructors need to understand. I haven’t had a chance to play with the 3.2 features yet, but I am looking forward to seeing how powerful the app is with the Boost theme.

I believe some instructors (those that rely heavily on Blocks) are going to be resistant to use the app as the Blocks don’t show up on the app. They also believe the app should do everything the browser version can do which isn’t what an app is designed to do.

I would like to say to all instructors, download the app and look at your own course design. There is a free Moodle Mobile MOOC offered by Certified Moodle Partner, HRDNZ: http://mobile.moodlebites.com/ that is very beneficial to those wanting to learn more about course design and to see the app in use.

I look forward to each release of the app. Happy Mobile Moodling!!
Thank you very much Kim for taking the time to talk to us about how you and your students are using Moodle Mobile everyday for learning in and out of the classroom.

To find out more about Moodle Mobile App: https://docs.moodle.org/32/en/Moodle_Mobile

Or for information on how to get a custom Branded Moodle Mobile App for your organisation or institution: https://moodle.com/app/

You can also join the conversation on Moodle Mobile on Twitter at @moodlemobileapp or in our community forum.

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