Continuing the efforts to get the community more involved and to participate more freely, the closing event at MoodleMoot US 2017: New Orleans, held last July within Blackboard’s BbWorld, featured a panel with Moodle HQ’s Martin Dougiamas, Brian Carlson, Tom Murdock. and Jason Hardin. It encouraged attendees to voice questions and concerns, start a conversation about virtually any topic, or even call it a day and take a little nap instead. A recently released recording of the session reveals how it ultimately unfolded.
Dougiamas was not unprepared. During the course of the event, the team kept their ears to the ground to try to get a sense of the vibrations. Coincidentally, it seems one of the recurring concerns was related to how the community could get more involved in all aspects of Moodle, from development and improvement to advocacy and promotion of the open source LMS. These concerns led the team to envision a “Community 2.0” that, much like the Web 2.0, hands more control and responsibility over content creation to users, but this is a couple of “point-0s” ahead technologically.
After a few minutes of warming up, the attendees finally join a lively conversation. Video watchers, however, might find frustrating that the audience questions are basically inaudible, as well as the limited focus on the projection of Mr. Dougiamas’ screen. Nevertheless, some interesting issues and ideas still popped up, where community feedback could play a critical role (as did the adrift BbWorld attendee asking for Blackboard Learn support):
- The “Docs” conundrum: how to write Moodle documentation that satisfies people at different points of the learning path and how careful a user should be when trying to add something missing.
- How could a third-party solution developer take advantage of Moodle APIs to turn data and functions into tools that work outside the Moodle context and how could Moodle make the process easier?
- How can the Moodle Tracker make it easier for users to report issues and make suggestions while offering valuable input to available issues and reducing redundancies?
Ideas to continue to build on the Community 2.0 included a web series to discuss issues at length and in practice, complementing workshops and the Learn Moodle MOOC. If video is to become an important medium of engagement with the community, perhaps it would be worthwhile to engage the scantily-partaking base of Moodle subscribers in YouTube.