Finnish Moodle users form a self-organizing group, called Moodle Circle, who meets at least annually in national ”moots”. In recent meetings we had discussed Circle members’ plans and needs in the future Moodle2 migration, so in the February 2011 meeting we agreed on a questionnaire for collecting information concerning migration plans. 15 Circle members in Higher Education have so far responded, presenting a majority of the largest Moodle installations in Finland. I thought that the summary might be of interest for international readers as well, as it shows one national perspective to the Moodle2 migration, so I quickly translated it to English with some additional context information. The English summary (pdf) can be found in the Circle wiki (sorry, only in Finnish..).
Like the national summary shows, most universities provide their Moodles with at least three language packages. That is also the case in our Moodle at University of Helsinki: we have a strongly edited local Finnish language package, a somewhat less edited Swedish package, and the English language package is used about as is. Parallel languages used in course area design emphasize the need for consistency in used concepts also between languages in the teacher user interface. As we support teachers in the pedagogical design and use of web-based environments in teaching at the Educational Centre for ICT and faculties, we have noticed that the selected activity names guide teachers in their selections of activities, sometimes resulting in not-so-well-implemented course areas. Used names cannot be changed whenever, but as part of the Moodle 2 migration process it would be motivated to rename some of the activities. But how should they be named, to support teachers in best way possible? To learn more about user language preferences and habits, we published a request to response to a questionnaire. Some of the results will be discussed in Kristiina’s workshop session Nomen est omen (translations matter) on Wednesday.
My workshop presentation “Dos and dont’s”, concerning our process from Blackboard to Moodle, is hopefully useful for participants who are considering the same decision. We started the process in 2008 with a comparative user survey, and the process is finally ending in the autumn with Blackboard shutdown. Blackboard teachers were informed via a blog with instructions. In the workshop I thought we could discuss the phases in the process, but, if hoped for, I could also be prepared to present some results from the comparative survey too.
Any comments and questions concerning our workshops are welcome here, and we’ll (try to) take them into account in our preparations!
Anni Rytkönen (@helsinki.fi)
specialist in educational technology, Educational Centre for ICT, University of Helsinki
Kristiina Karjalainen (@helsinki.fi)
specialist in educational technology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki