If you follow the Titus Learning social media accounts or are a regular reader of our blog posts, you will have seen that last month we hosted the first ever Titus Learning Regional User Conference. Working with an international client base with a large number in East Asia, the idea of holding a regional conference has always been high on the agenda but our plans never quite came to fruition. Around last September, we made the decision that 2019 would be the year, and set about organising the day.
In our mind, the event was always going to be free and would be themed as a Moodle training day for our customers, as well as anyone else with an interest in EdTech across East Asia, and that’s exactly what it was – a free Moodle training day, one which we believe truly reflected the core value of Moodle – ‘empowering educators to improve our world’.
I wasn’t expecting that, after using Moodle for many years I would still learn new and useful plugins. It was refreshing and a real eye-opener – Rui Pacheco, Computing Teacher at Green Oasis School.
The event was kindly hosted by one of our clients, Dulwich International High School, Suzhou (DIHS). We wanted to choose somewhere that was ideally located for the majority of attendees who would come from the local area, but we were thrilled to find people from as far as Hong Kong had travelled to be there on the day.
On the day, registration began at 8:45, and once all the attendees had met at the school and were welcomed into the main lecture hall, Titus Learning co-founder Seb Francis started us off with an introductory speech followed by a company update.
From here, all attendees were split into two groups and headed towards the classrooms for the first session. In total there were 8 sessions throughout the day, and the first one was an interactive workshop based on the H5P tool.
(As a note all the presentations will be available on our community site here)
In this session, each attendee was set up with a sandbox course on our community Moodle site. Our implementation consultant Edd had built a course with multiple different H5P examples for people to try out and explained how they could be used in the classroom to enhance teaching and learning. If you’re not familiar with H5P, it’s a tool that you should definitely start using. The Moodle H5P plugin allows you to easily create free, interactive e-learning content that can be embedded straight into your courses, such as memory games, branching scenarios and interactive videos. (Read our blog post on H5P here).
After this was a presentation by Justin Hunt from Poodll. Poodll is a set of incredibly powerful language tools that help with teaching English through Moodle. Before starting Poodll, Justin had taught English for 10 years in Japan and his experiences from this helped him develop this set of language tools. In his sessions he covered general strategies for teaching English through Moodle, using Moodle by itself and the benefits of combining this with 3rd party plugins like H5P and Poodll. (More information on Poodll can be found here).
Before lunch, there were a further two workshop sessions and a success story presentation. The first workshop was based on Moodle course improvements, which covered a variety of ways you can enhance your Moodle setup by improving the aesthetics of your courses and your users’ journeys through the use of plugins and core Moodle tools. The second was a workshop on Moodle and MIS integration and the benefits this can bring. Every institution will have an MIS system, and every institution will have a learning management system, but most institutions will not have a link between the two. In this session, we ran through what’s possible with integrating the two systems, and the benefits that this can bring.
An engaging day, which provided lots of practical ideas to improve learning in the classroom using Ed Tech – Mr Daniel Cooke, Year 5 Teacher, Dulwich International High School.
The success story was brilliantly presented by Jess Richards of Dulwich International College, Suzhou. Jess is head of Physical Education and is doing incredibly innovative things in her lessons based on reflection centred learning. Briefly put, by using a drone, students’ P.E. lessons are recorded. Once a student completes an activity they can view the recording and will have instant feedback of what went right, and what improvements could be made. After this, the recordings are uploaded to the school’s Moodle platform where forums are opened on the recordings for peer to peer analysis helping to reinforce the learning that happens during the lessons.
Jess states that since the introduction of this type of learning:
- 76% of students agree that peer feedback from written tasks has helped them improve.
- 77% of students found that the technology aided their learning and that watching themselves back, better helped them to understand how to improve.
- 72% of students like being able to input my scores into MySchool to review my progress.
The presentation can also be found on our community site here.
After lunch it was back to the classrooms, and the next session of the day was a presentation on utilising gamification in the classroom. Gamification is the application of gaming mechanics into teaching to increase engagement from students, such as point scoring, competition with others and leaderboards. Moodle comes with a wide range of different gamification tools which many people aren’t aware of. So in this session we explored what gamification is and the tools available in Moodle to help you apply this to your own lessons.
Following this was a third-party presentation by IntelliBoard. IntelliBoard is a system that provides analytical data of your Moodle platform. In this session, we explored the purpose of using analytics with Moodle, and how this can help you reach your e-learning goals. (Find out more about IntelliBoard here).
The conference was more practical than academic. So it was great for teachers. Justin Hunt, Poodll.
After a short coffee break, we headed back to the lecture hall for the final three presentations of the day.
The first was titled a ‘review of the best third-party plugins’. There are over 1,500 plugins available for Moodle, all covering a range of different functions. In this session, our implementation consultant Edd chose his 19 best Moodle plugins and ran through each one individually, detailing what they do, the benefits in using them, and how to get them set up on your platform.
The penultimate session of the day was an introduction to the new Moodle Educators Certification program (MEC). The MEC is a new curriculum introduced by Moodle aimed at increasing knowledge of education-based digital competence through the Moodle platform. The MEC contains 6 modules, with two practical design exercises in each. People taking part will be tasked with 6 challenges, which when complete will be peer-reviewed by Titus Learning and Moodle HQ. Once all 6 modules are complete you will be awarded a Foundation Level Digital Competence certificate. (More information can be found on the MEC here).
Great team, presentations and super useful information – Costin, American United School.
After this, we had a short closing ceremony and remarks by Seb reflecting on an action-packed day of learning. We are incredibly happy with how the event turned out, and the testimonials and conversations with attendees are proof of how successful the day was. Our motivation for this conference was always about giving back and assisting educators in using Moodle in the best way possible, and we’re happy to have achieved this.
This was the end of the event, but not the end of the day. After a short stop at the hotel to change into our evening clothes, we headed to MAMAMIA Suzhou, an Italian themed local restaurant situated on Jinji Lake, where all attendees were treated to complimentary food and drinks.
The conference was a fantastic day, and we feel privileged to have such a dedicated team and client base that have supported us in making this event a possibility. The idea behind this was to launch a series that runs annually, and based on the feedback we have received, we’ll likely be back next year. Watch this space for details!
If you would like to discuss any of the presentations mentioned on the day, or simply have an e-learning question, get in touch below.