LTG and Library staff are thrilled to have Dr. Tina Brock (Faculty, School of Pharmacy) share her experiences with the Moodle 2 pilot and previous learning management systems. We would like to thank Dr. Brock for her active participation in the current Moodle 2 pilot and for her feedback for the Convergence blog.
1. How long have you used Moodle or similar learning management systems in education?
I started experimenting with learning management systems (first a WebCT pilot then a full Blackboard implementation) in the late 1990s while I was teaching at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I continued to use Blackboard when I moved to University College, London in 2005 but later started playing with Moodle for a project in Sub-Saharan Africa. When I arrived at UCSF in 2010, I was excited to see we were using a platform with which I had some experience!
2. When did you start using Moodle 2 at UCSF? What was your initial impression?
I directed a course for Physical Therapy (PT) students this winter/spring and took the opportunity to try out Moodle 2 for this experience. My positive experience working with PT in the past led me to believe they would be up for the challenge of something new and since the class size was somewhat smaller than a typical pharmacy cohort, I thought it would be a good environment for testing. I was working with PharmD student teaching assistants who had been accustomed to the previous version of Moodle (with an Ilios calendar) and we hoped to incorporate both Collaborate and Articulate sessions, so I anticipated there would be a learning curve for all of us. I was so pleased that the new interface is much more user friendly so we were all up to speed quickly!
3. What type of feedback have you received from UCSF students, faculty and staff using Moodle 2?
The team working on and participating in this course has had nothing but positive feedback. The file infrastructure in Moodle 2 is infinitely easier to manage - just drag and drop. Before we started, we developed some standard file naming schema and access protocols (eg, we chose “force download) to make each session consistent for the learner. The PT students acclimated very quickly, accessing the Collaborate/Articulate sessions, using the discussion boards, and even uploading their final exam assignment. We also all liked that Moodle 2 is more user friendly for iPads.
4. Has using Moodle 2 saved you time in preparing and teaching courses?
Definitely. As I mentioned, the new file infrastructure saves a lot of time. It’s also easier to make changes to material already posted. One limitation of the previous version was that an instructor really had to know what they wanted the endpoint to look like before they set up the file structure at the start – but that’s not always possible, especially with new courses.
5. What are the top 2 reasons you would recommend migrating to Moodle 2 to other UCSF faculty?
I would have to say the improved (drag and drop) file infrastructure is the best reason for faculty. For students, they will like the more contemporary user interface and the ability to access more cleanly via mobile devices. When students are happier, teachers are happier, too!
6. Feel free to comment on any other aspect of Moodle 2 and the UCSF CLE.
UCSF has made great progress with their learning tools over the last few years and it’s exciting to think that we’re able to bring the same degree of innovation to our classrooms as we do to our labs!
About Dr. Brock:
Dr. Tina Penick Brock joined the Department of Clinical Pharmacy in July 2010. She was previously the Director of Capacity Building at Management Sciences for Health, a Senior Lecturer at the University of London, and a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received the BA German, BS Pharmacy and MS Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Mississippi and the Doctorate of Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Dr. Brock’s primary research interests are global health professional education, human resources for health, technology-enhanced learning, curriculum development, interprofessional training and medication adherence.
Read more here.