The coldness of some January mornings were offset by the warming community and fervent work that took place at Lafayette, the Easton, Pennsylvania liberal arts college. It was the Winter Moodle Hack/Doc Fest, and the first of 2017, organized by the Collaborative Liberal Arts Moodle Project (CLAMP).
The Hack/Doc Fest is a way to welcome people further into Moodle, emphasizing the collaboration tools it provides. While most participants have some Moodle experience, the discussions allow some to give their thoughts as others catch up with Moodle and its latest news. A liberal arts element was added to the conversations throughout the event.
The volume of news about Moodle made this Hack/Fest a particularly busy one. Before the hacking and documenting, there was the “Sprint Day”, which set the subjects for the following days:
- Moodle 3.2 Theme and Navigation, and the game-changing “Boost” theme so extensively covered.
- Moodle 3.2 Messaging and Notification Overhaul.
- Guided User Tours.
- Annotations of PDF-converted submissions in Moodle assignments.
- Looking at Moodle plugins H5P for interactive media and PoodLL for A\V recording.
- Moodle Mobile.
Sub-groups also formed around discussion topics for all: teachers, administrators, developers and designers. They encompassed course creation practices, templates, scheduling, accessibility, pitching new changes or features, usability testing.
During the active sessions, a common occurrence was the “interest contagion”. Thanks to new features, such as messaging or forum controls, an interest for tools to enhance conversations and the quality of arguments on developers who started the Fest with mostly technical interests. Likewise, humanities students and educators started to care about usability, interactivity and even best cron practices.
The results of the Fest will be visible across the Moodle collaboration ecosystem shortly. This may include but not be limited to the Moodle Plugin Directory, the Issues at the Moodle Tracker and the Forums at moodle.org.