Virtual Learning Environment/Wikimania demo

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This is the project page for the Wikimedia UK Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) for the month of July 2014, leading up to Wikimania 2014. Involved are Stevie Benton (SB), Charles Matthews (CM), Doug Taylor (DT).

Position after Wikimania, as of 14 August 2014[edit | edit source]

  • CM is in discussion with Katherine Bavage on a brief that could serve in the search for external grant funding.
  • CM is in discussion with the office about bringing in a second contractor to write VLE content, and an induction process.

Older content, with updates post-Wikimania[edit | edit source]

Technical[edit | edit source]

There is a fuller discussion on the Bugzilla thread.

Update to Moodle 2.7[edit | edit source]

This is desirable as soon as possible, now, since the update may break the skin, which would then have to be fixed.

  • Requires updates to PHP and MySQL

Stalled: because Rackspace does not offer the MySQL update indicated by the onsite help for Moodle 2.7.

Software development[edit | edit source]

Three proposed directions.

  • CM to talk to SB about the transclusion plugin, with a view to having it tested, via an office request.
    • Richard Nevell is chasing this.
    • Not done. Developer time was not available.
  • CM to communicate with Magnus Manske about the possible quiz repository, and feature requests for the Wikisoba tool.
    • CM is working on a detailed proposal for expanded GIFT syntax.
    • Ongoing. CM has communicated a major plan to Magnus, who has come back with a suggestion based on a JSON underlying structure, with GIFT only as human-readable. CM has also shown the plan to Emmanuel Engelhart. Neither of them is available until about September; CM has found a second volunteer to work on related matters, such as import of Moodle lessons, Moodle XML export, and what we can understand from quizzes on WikiHow. CM to coordinate ongoing work to avoid duplication of effort, and to close the old Bugzilla thread #149 at Emmanuel's request.
  • A quote has been sought for the update to the SSO module to Moodle 2.7 (CM & DT).
    • SB is chasing this.
    • The sought-for quote to outsource was not forthcoming. Stalled.

Content[edit | edit source]

New course "Finding and Understanding Sources"[edit | edit source]

A brief view of the content was aired at the Future of Education Workshop. CM to draft the course 18 July to beginning of August, and add quiz questions. If possible, both the question bank and transclusion from MediaWiki should be available on this new material at Wikimania, as live demos.

  • Done in part. The text content of the course is posted to the VLE. It will be delivered after final work on resources and images is finished. The development from there need to be reconsidered in the light of the advent of videos on the VLE.

Reuse of VLE material[edit | edit source]

CM is running a discussion of this on August 7, as part of the Wikimania Education Pre-Conference.

  • CM to take up invitation to publicise this event via the Outreach newsletter, copy date July 15. Yes check.svg Done
  • CM to liaise with SB on some matters (in office July 15).Yes check.svg Done

The idea is that from August 7, CM will be demonstrating the VLE, reuse and the Wikisoba tool as part of DT's WikiLounge sessions. Details to be worked out.

  • Took place. CM had in the end about 20 minutes to present in the Education Pre-Conference, and handed out a quiz task and GIFT cheatsheet. Two attendees were given VLE accounts. (Further accounts were created as a result of DT's training session on 9 August.)

Beta review[edit | edit source]

As on Virtual Learning Environment/Beta feedback, and in a review obtained from Midas Training by SB. Action points for CM:

  • Address points on quizzes from the wiki page, Midas, and noted on Virtual Learning Environment/Three-month plan: there are known fixes.
  • Address general points on presentation raised by Midas, working with SB, DT and possibly others. In principle the Moodle category system can be used to "ration" the lessons offered to the newcomer. Some material can actually be hidden in the student view (easily done) if it is not to be on display at all.
  • CM to prepare as a first step a "prerequisites" document as an aid to understanding the underlying training issue (what needs to be covered before what).
  • CM to ask SB about the production of four short video clips, to help signpost students where to go first on the assumption that editing is their priority.
    • Done. Four new videos were uploaded in time for Wikimania. These are screen captures, and a new Highlights course shows three of them.

VLE brief[edit | edit source]

The VLE was mentioned, but not discussed in depth, at the Train the Trainers refresher 2014. One point that came out is that the initial brief, i.e. to support training events after they have happened, could usefully be made more explicit. Further, the content of the VLE could be looked at in various ways, leading to some ideas on how the scope could be expanded. Clearly any expansion would have to go hand-in-hand with solutions to presentation of the existing material.

The time to Wikimania being short enough, discussion can hardly be completed by then; but this issue is on the table, along with (for example) understanding how the VLE might relate to badging by WMUK.