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iMoot: building a mobile Moodle course in 30 minutes

This post first appeared on the Epic blog on 21st June 2012.

Last month, I attended and presented at my first Moodle iMoot. For those of you unfamiliar with Moodle Moots, these are regional conferences held annually.  The iMoot is an online version of the regional Moots where a global audience of Moodle practitioners, administrators and decision-makers came together for a 4-day extravaganza with round-the-clock sessions by presenters from across 22 time zones!

I ran two sessions on building and deploying mobile learning for Moodle. First I showed the mobile learning authoring tool we built at Epic called gomo learning. It’s a credit to Epic’s mobile team that even though I first used the tool only a few days before the iMoot, I was ready to give a public demo in time. For this session, I built a small mobile learning module for smartphone and tablet.

The next part of the presentation was deploying this module to a mobile-friendly Moodle 2.2 site. We use the fantastic MyMobile theme that is built into Moodle 2.2 and caters for tablet and smartphone screen sizes. It’s not truly responsive as you deploy a separate theme for desktop and mobile, but it achieves the same end result in displaying different layouts for desktop, tablet and smartphone.

One of the reasons I focussed on mobile authoring as well as deployment was that during the UK and Ireland 2012 Moodle Moot back in April I was struck by the lack of discussion around content authoring, particularly using the SCORM resource type. So it was good that during the Q&A on my sessions, the audience and I were able to have some detailed discussions on the advantages and disadvantages of using SCORM for different types of learning interactions. Epic’s e-learning content production teams have to be largely LMS agnostic, and therefore we use SCORM as a means of achieving content interoperability between many LMSes, so it was good to be able to share this experience.

All presentations were recorded on Adobe Connect and slide packs were uploaded into Slideshare. Click here to view my iMoot presentation. While the session attendances were lower than expected, the audience watching the recorded presentations was clearly higher as the Slideshare statistics showed over 600 views in the hours following the first session. The nature of these online conferences is obviously very different from a regular conference. Kudos to the organisers for recording every session using Adobe Connect which proved a thoroughly reliable tool with video and audio both performing well.

Many thanks to Julian Ridden and the iMoot folks for a great online conference!