The REMC Association of Michigan’s Moodle Moot kicks off this Thursday with preconference activities and continues Friday with the program of presentations and speakers. On Friday the eCommunity Course Format will be unveiled by Chris Kenniburg and Bryan Smith prior to its release on Moodle.org and elsewhere.
eCommunity is a huge upgrade to the social format and while it might look somewhat similar the usability could really be a game changer for teachers just getting started with Moodle or who are looking for an experience like Edmodo’s learning stream with all the additional tools of a Moodle.
I had a chance to play around with the format a bit this weekend and it accomplishes what it set out to: creating a very simple way to manage and build a course in an active student environment. One of the things I like the most is that the teacher is always in control of what students will see when they enter the course with the most recent content part of the stream and present at the top. It could be a really great tool for Moodlers new and old managing their courses synchronously.
Here’s a basic rundown of the feature set that helps the eCommunity format function:
- Notifications – Users can see new posts and “alert posts” easily in a block within the course. But notifications of new posts to the course can be turned on or off during course setup. Individuals can pick their own settings for emails for each post or digest.
- The Groups dropdown respect the Moodle groups. When a post is made to X group only they can see that post. This way the teacher can relay a specific message to just the one group if needed.
- Lock and Unlock – provides the option to allow comments, turn them off, or just to end an older conversation
- Post Status
- Sticky – Appears at the top of the social wall. Any post can be made sticky by clicking the icon in the right of each post. Also by clicking the icon a post can be made Unsticky.
- Private is for teacher role only (perhaps handy if you want to setup a weeks worth of posts but don’t want them to display yet).
- Make Alert – Puts the message in the new Alert Block. The Alert Block will also display any upcoming due dates for assignments and activities.
- Adding a Resource – resources and activities can be added to any post (and multiple can be added). So adding context to an assignment or web page is easy with a quick intro.
Check out a quick animation of my use below:
For additional information on the format stay tuned to the MI Moodle Moot (or attend) http://www.remc.org/about/michigan-moodle-moot-2015/, watch/subscribe to the forums at Moodle.org or visit http://www.remc13.org/moodle-ecommunity/.
I’ll be following the announcements and availability closely.