The timing could not be better. The future of Moodle is at stake. Some moodlers are asking for a “reboot“, others want a frank discussion about design standards. On the fringes, some are willing to bet Moodle’s future on Machine Learning or even the Internet of Things.
One thing we can all agree on is that, as an Open Source technology, the future of Moodle could come from anywhere.
And what better place to gather the Moodleverse’s bold and beautiful than Perth, Moodle’s birthplace. Let me refresh your Moodle history in short. Martin Dougiamas created what would become Moodle for his doctoral dissertation in Curtin University. This was way back in 2006, the year Australia lost the Crocodile Hunter. Curtin and Dougiamas are both Perthite institutions. Or is it Perthians? The internet jury is still out.
I could never spoil you the plots of the MoodleMoot AU keynotes. In all fairness, because they are TBD. It is natural to assume they will tackle some of the hard truths about Moodle today and tomorrow, in their different yet interrelated realms:
- Design. We expect clear movement forward in theme and navigation standards. In the marketplace, UI and experience are weapons of survival.
- Mobile. Not only should Moodle prove itself completely dependable on mobile. Instructors need to embrace new practices to develop content and activities that exploit this media best.
- Market share. What strategies should the community consider to address the recent prominence of Moodle alternatives? What kind of threat LMS such as Canvas represent? What can we learn from them, from a marketing standpoint? It is important to inform the not so business-minded about Moodle’s future in the marketplace, in part because they might have some innovations worth trying.
- Standards. A serious adoption of general standards would turn Moodle into the greatest learning engine known to the world. Imagine if the strategies that give students an edge were measurable? Moodle would be able to bring data-backed learning practices to optimize the learning of a student anywhere in the world, conforming to global benchmarks. Competencies, SCORM and Tin Cap API (xAPI) are the prominent vehicles of this discussion.
- Machine Learning and Big Data. Standardized analytics can simplify the learning loop in the development of Moodle and its content. Moreover, this is a discussion of allowing smarter algorithms to outsource as much of the complexities of learning as possible. There is no doubt the future of learning technologies involves smart assistants, for both students and teachers, in some form or another.
And on top of these and more amicably heated discussions, there is the warmth, from the beaches of Perth and the Moodle community.
What are your expectations on MoodleMoot Australia 2016? Tell us in the comments below!