What’s your Moodle training Strategy? Tips for creating a topnotch training program

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The Moodle Feasibility Study we conducted has some great insights to training strategies that schools/institutions take in order to facilitate a higher level of Moodle use (and a more comprehensive use of it’s various features).  Here are some of the tips and tricks we gleaned from the study/survey,

Strategies:

It seems that there was consensus that no one strategy really will work for training a staff on Moodle.  Most training plans incorporated several levels (annual, weekly and ongoing, informal sessions) of training in order to help propel Moodle adoption.  One site opted for a training strategy which engaged all teachers on an annual basis (through summer training) provided a library of resources available on-demand and instituted the availability of one-to-one training sessions for any teachers that wanted them throughout the year.

Moodle Power Hour:

One of my favorite strategies is the idea of a regular, informal weekly training session that is consistently available and when teachers can simply “drop in”.  At some schools it’s called “Moodle Mondays“, one respondent called it the “Moodle Power Hour“.  In both cases it’s recommended that the sessions be available outside of school hours (before or after) and that an open door policy be adopted.  You might not have attendance every time, but for the teachers that just drop in the time can be invaluable to their classroom’s development and the opportunities to their students.

Training Cycles:

In most cases, training and professional development was broken down into a few cycles,

  1. Annual: pre-session, taking place before school starts or over the summer and involving more in depth and longer periods of Moodle training.  Some mentioned creating or requiring Moodle training that consisted of 15 to 30 hours of instruction
  2. Weekly: small groups, informal or formal with opportunities for Q&A, demonstration and trouble shooting.
  3. Ongoing: regularly scheduled opportunities throughout the school year for teachers to begin, continue or refresh their skills.  These are great opportunities for “expert” teachers using Moodle to talk about and showcase their experiences and Moodle-use.  Mini-camps and inservice days both provide opportunities for this type of training
  4. Staff-led: a few respondents also mentioned that identifying a “Moodle Champion” was a great way to let teachers find support through email or IM.

Materials:

Finally, the utilization and creation of resources and materials for self-paced training is another consistent vein.  While some created their own videos through Adobe Captivate, you could also easily rely on the wealth of Moodle-focused resources on the WWW.  One respondent mentioned that they contracted with a training company, Atomic Learning (which has ample Moodle-based materials available in an online multimedia format).  Creating your own videos, FAQ documents and tutorials based in Moodle are beneficial too (and present the information in a context consistent to your LMS).  Both are all great ways to expose teachers to what’s possible in the Moodle LMS.

What tips do you have for creating a positive Moodle training environment?  Share your innovative tips and tricks for teaching Moodle in the comments.

[Image from http://www.athabascau.ca/moodletrain/]

  • Really like the drop-in session model, we offered this last year for more general IT support problems but thinking I might try it for Moodle.

    The other thing we have found to work well is using our fortnightly new technologies newsletter to pass out little tips and share good practice. Nice informal way of passing on training without anybody feeling they need to stay late/give up their lunch/etc.

    Tim

  • Joseph Thibault

    Tim, I dig the tips sheet/newsletter. Do you have an example handy that you could share for reference?