LAK12 Reflections – Week One

So, I’m having another attempt at attending a MOOC! I registered for the hugely popular Stanford AI Class last year but those attempts were scuppered by the predominantly video-driven course being delivered as Flash Video only, which made it impossible for me as my main learning device these days is an iPhone. Then last week I stumbled across Learning Analytics and Knowledge 2012, or LAK12 for short, an 8 week introduction to Learning Analytics led by George Siemens and hosted by the Society for Learning Analytics Research.

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Research into open source software quality

My first decade in software development was in software testing and test management and despite moving away from that discipline it remains a special interest. As an open source practitioner I maintain a keen interest in where the worlds of software quality and open source meet. It goes without saying that quality is managed VERY differently in open source projects than it is in traditional closed-source projects. How differently, and how project attributes positively impact on quality, has been the focus of an increasing amount of academic research, especially now that the open source phenomenon is mainstream.

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Moodle 2.2 preview – the mobile LMS

December sees the release of Moodle 2.2 which is now under code freeze and being put through the rigours of the Moodle QA process to iron out those last niggling issues prior to official launch. The beta is already available on the Moodle Downloads page and the team are encouraging people to download and test it and feed back any issues found.

The beta release is also a good opportunity to have a play around with the new features. These can be broadly split into end-user and developer features. While much of the fanfare has been around end-user features in the various previews that have been blogged to date, there are significant code-level changes taking place under the hood in Moodle 2.2 which will also have far-reaching effects. Of particular note are some major improvements in mobile support; while Moodle 2.1 and its associated iOS App laid down a lot of mobile groundwork, the mobile capabilities of Moodle 2.2 should help make Moodle a real contender in the mobile LMS space.

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Standard Moodle, Distribution or Flavour – which version is for me?

Over the years a number of Moodle versions and distributions have been released. In the past year alone, a major new Moodle 2 upgrade has become available, a new Moodle Distribution has been released and an interesting new plugin called Moodle Flavours was developed which effectively allows you to ‘roll your own’ Moodle distribution. So where do you start if you’re considering a Moodle implementation? If you’re not sure whether to use Standard Moodle, a Moodle Distribution or a Moodle Flavour, then this article is for you!

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