On 20 October, the Moodle Users Association (MUA) announced their new leadership team via Twitter and also on their forum post on their website.
— Moodle Users Assoc (@moodleassoc) October 19, 2017
We at Moodle HQ are excited to welcome the new leadership committee for the Association, who have supported our core development work through their members and project submissions (you might remember the work for our new overview dashboard in Moodle 3.3 and currently for the Calendar project in Moodle 3.4 as some examples).
Emma Richardson, incoming chairperson of the MUA, took some time to recently introduce us to the new leadership committee and share with us their plans for the rest of the year and into 2018.
Moodle HQ: Thank you Emma for taking the time to talk to us about the new leadership committee for the Moodle Users Association.
Can you let us know which Moodlers have taken up new roles in the committee?
Emma: Richard Samson as Vice Chair, Steve Powell as Treasurer, Thom Rawson as Secretary.
This year we have five existing members and five new members. Existing members are myself, Steve, Richard, Joe Thibault and Jeff Webster. New members are Thom, Scott Huntley, Mike Churchward, Jessica Gramp and Luiggi Sansonetti.
We have a very global representation this year and many of our members are transplants from other continents which I believe gives us a good understanding of different cultures and global views.
Moodle HQ: Congratulations on your new post as Chair of the Moodle Users Association! What are your vision and objectives for the new year for the MUA and its members?
Emma: Over everything, I would like this to be a year of doing! I think we are in a position to implement a lot of changes that will help us improve in areas where we have been lacking.
With the addition of Shannon Johnson in a paid position to help with the day to day management, this is going to give the committee time to tackle some improvements.
Previous Chairpersons, Nick and Steve, have done such an excellent job in laying the foundation, that we are now able to move forward with many of the ideas that have been brought up. As a brand new organisation (now two years old) there was a lot of figuring out to do – I am hopeful that we now have a basic understanding of where we need to be and can start actively working towards those goals.
More specifically, some of our goals include improving our communications with members, finalising the move of our project submission process to tracker, revamping the website, and working on marketing to attract more members.
Moodle HQ: For those who are still not sure about the role of the MUA, can you highlight some of the achievements of the Association this last year which has contributed to empowering our educators?
Emma: Since its initiation, the MUA has been responsible for two large changes to Moodle core and there are two more in the works right now.
In the last year, we saw the implementation of the new Dashboard. This was proposed by an individual member and is now in Moodle core. I love this project because it shows what a profound effect a single person can have without a huge investment.
We have also been working with HQ on a reworked calendar user interface which releases in 3.4. This project has highlighted HQ’s willingness to go the extra mile to get these projects done. Due to funding restraints, we had to reduce some functionality in the original project request but HQ has managed to not only include that missing part but also have it ready for 3.4.
Another great feature that Steve Powell initiated are the monthly town hall meetings for our members. This has allowed our members to bring concerns and just general discussion items directly to us. These town hall meetings have been vital in helping to guide our goals.
Moodle HQ: Lastly, what are some of the ways that interested Moodlers can “preview” the work of the Association before joining to be a member? What are the opportunities to get involved besides being a member?
Emma: The best way to preview the work is to keep current on your Moodle release and enjoy the new features that come courtesy of the MUA!
Our website is at moodleassociation.org and has pages explaining what we do and the process involved. Also, feel free to contact any of the committee members for more information. We have a generic MUA email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I am willing to answer any questions at email@example.com.