Using Moodle for professional development planning
- Inclusive classroom considerations for universal design of online courses - February 10, 2016
- Creating a consistent curriculum design - September 22, 2015
- Getting started with online course design - July 29, 2015
As educators we are prepared as experts in our subject matter but knowing our discipline is different from knowing how to communicate it effectively online managing the technology necessary in a virtual or blended classroom environment assessing online learning or improving teaching strategies for this new delivery.
An organization’s professional development plan (PDP) documents the goals required skills and competencies and resources needed to support employees’ continued improvement and development. Whether you’re implementing Moodle or Joule as your first LMS or transitioning from a legacy system one of your planning team’s first steps will be to write or re-writing your organization’s PDP to incorporate your Moodle/Joule goals and to make the most of planned training opportunities.
In this blog post we’ll highlight just a few of the many tasks your team will take on when (re)developing a PDP and identify Moodle/Joule features that can aid in this process.
Developing a working organizational profile
To help you team think systemically about the Moodle/Joule implementation start by constructing a holistic profile of your organization.
Moodle’s Wiki module allows users to create a collection of collaboratively authored web documents directly in the browser without needing to know HTML. Using this feature your team can collectively create this profile considering your vision mission and aims established student learning goals and professional development expectations. We suggest using the first page of the wiki as a table of contents and creating several pages pre-populated with food-for-thought questions regarding your organization.
Your first Wiki page used as a table of contents may look something like this:
Each of the items would link to an already created page populated with things the planning team should address regarding the organizational profile such as:
Conducting a needs assessment
Once goals are established and you understand where you want to be you’ll need to spend some time building a solid understanding of your current state. Most likely your planning team will need to deploy a needs assessment to gauge your organization’s readiness for the Moodle/Joule implementation as well as for online course deployment. Consider using the Feedback module to survey your stakeholders with questions focused on the organization your teacher/trainer population and your learner population. For example:
This module allows you to write non-graded questions to create and conduct surveys to collect feedback. You can collect results anonymously if desired or results can be shown along with the participant’s name.
Administering the PDP
Your team has also most likely spent a considerable amount of time focusing on resources delivery and timelines. Now that the wheels are in motion you’ll need to ensure you have a way to administer the progress and processes of the PDP. In addition to gathering aggregating and evaluating data on participation and implementation consider using the Choice module to help monitor the implementation progress as different areas of your organization complete stages toward the final outcome.
Using the tool in this way team leads would enter the activity to register which stage they were working on within the scope of the implementation. Once the stage was complete and their team is ready to move on to the next one they would return to the same activity and update their selection. This use allows your planning team to monitor the progress of various units toward completion and assist if needed.
Options within the Choice activity allow you to show responses to other participants within the course. Enabling this feature creates an opportunity for areas of your organization to track their progress against others. This feature may be useful as a motivator if site goals allow for a competitive scenario percentage of all faculty trained on Moodle/Joule by year’s end for example. It can also create opportunities for collaboration among areas of your organization working on similar stages.
Developing or redeveloping a PDP can be a daunting task for the benefit of a solid professional development plan toward effective implementation cannot be understated. Using Moodle and Joule features in ways like those discussed above not only introduces the tool to participating stakeholders but also demonstrates the variety of useful purposes the LMS can provide.
For more detailed training on the features mentioned in today’s post including best practices for effective set up and use consider enrolling in Open LMS ’ Moodle and Joule Course Building for Advanced Users Course (https://learn2.openlms.net/course/index.php?categoryid=2).
Need help tackling the PDP development? We’ve got your back! From initiation through follow-up the phased approach of Open LMS ’ PDP Services allows our clients to work with experienced Moodle/Joule trainers to develop a strategic plan designed to sustain professional development initiatives around their Moodle/Joule implementation. To find out more about these offerings visit the Training and Support area of the Open LMS website.