It’s A Go! The 2017 Moodle World Tour Started At MoodleMoot Japan

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It's A Go! The 2017 Moodle World Tour Started At MoodleMoot Japan

MoodleMoot Japan took place in mid-February. During three cool enough days, local Moodlers outnumbered the foreign visitors, which meant even more attentiveness towards them. This MoodleMoot was organized by the Moodle Association of Japan, which is expected to become an increasing trend for future Moots. MAJ is currently led by professor Hideto Harashima, which played as host for the about 200 attendants. He would also present on the Moot with his take on LTI and its future implications.

If you did not have the opportunity to attend, we got you covered. If you did, I really expect you took your “Gyozelfie” with President Harashima!

Workshop Day―February 17th

The busy day met the inquisitive energy of students, as twelve 90-minute long workshops took place. The majority of subjects were covered in Japanese, with English-based exceptions including a “Sharing Cart”, LTI and the Quiz activity. A workshop on User Tours was the only one bilingual. Participants were quite into it!

Conference Days―February 18th and 19th

During the course of the event, people were giving their votes on the 2016 Moodle Innovation Awards, held by MAJ.

While the Japanese-spoken talks of the day were varied, talks of the day with English abstract mostly covered Moodle as a tool to promote interculturality and language learning.

  • Peter Parise, from Kanagawa Prefectural Institute of Language and Culture Studies, showed his experience on using Moodle to provide Japanese English teachers support in their online writing teaching activities. Another talk on English as foreign language (ELF) writing was given by Bob Gettings from Hokusei Gakuen University.
  • David Yoshiba, from Ibaraki Christian University, explained how he turned Moodle into a full A\V dashboard for university-level English students, and the Activities that served as the perfect complement. A related talk was given by John Brine from the University of Aizu, in Fukushima, involving the prefecture reconstruction and revitalization following the 2011 disaster.
  • Eric Hagley at Muroran Institute of Technology covered intercultural exchanges virtually, and how Moodle allowed for 3,000 students from 5 countries to exchange and collaborate in English, on a project sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Education.
  • Andy Johnson at Future University Hakodate showcased the “Cascading Deadline” plugin, an interesting concept where completion of an assignment becomes the trigger of a deadline for the next Activity. (At the time of writing the plugin was not available on the Moodle Plugin Directory.)
  • Scott Yoo from Ubion, a Seoul, Korea learning company, described the higher education market in his country and its trends, including MOOCs, Open Courseware and blended learning, case studies upon which Ubion’s offerings were developed.
  • Kenneth Scott Huntley, all the way from Sydney’s TAFE, outline the alignment process between Competencies in Moodle and compliance with the Australian Skill Quality Framework.

  • Reinald Adrian from The Philippines Open University, shared his process to customize certificates of completion automatically.
  • Elton Laclare from Sojo University asked whether speed reading could be measured within Moodle. The LMS responded with the Read Aloud plugin.

Among the most expected moments of Moot Japan were the talks of Founder and Moodle HQ CEO Martin Dougiamas. He took the stage to reveal long-awaited details on the upcoming Moodle 3.3.

Professor Emeritus at Saga University, Shigeru Hoyashita, as also a keynote speaker. He covered “Active Learning”, arguably the event’s theme.

Dougiamas had also approached the subject earlier, on a Moodle-flavored talk on Active Learning that included some neuroscience background.

The closing moment of the conference was the awards and honors given by the Moodle Users Association of Japan.

The final tune were the Moodle Innovations Awards. First place went to Gordon Bateson from Kochi University. Bateson gave a talk about expanding the functionality of the Moodle Database, with an example of a conference registration system.

Even thought the event was a wrap, the ongoing value of #MootJP17 will remain, with the official Proceedings Call for Papers open until May 31st.

We’ll meet again…

President Harashima thanks the Moodleverse and everyone who made this wonderful event possible. He’ll be expecting you at Musashi next year!

Find out more about the Moodle Association of Japan, membership, grants and prizes here.


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