Sunday, August 7, 2011

#Moodle Administration - Digital Citizenship Class for 3000+ Participants

This past Friday, a few colleagues and I gathered around the boxes in our office--we're in the process of moving--to discuss the best way to manage the 3,000+ professional instructors who would need to complete a Digital Citizenship & Cybersafety course offered through Moodle. We also didn't want to have to "check" completion by campus, and needed an easy way for campus/district staff to login to the Moodle and verify that teachers had completed the assessment.

In the past, we'd taken advantage of a web-based training available through our application service provider (ASP) learning management system. However, upon moving away from that LMS to a less expensive one that lacked a way to deliver web-based training, we found ourselves relying on a self-paced Moodle course.

One of my team--Molly Valdez--had the great idea of pre-enrolling teachers into specific groups, as well as enabling principals as non-editing teachers so they could check the progress of campus staff. We chatted about that and came up with the following plan:

1. Setup a Moodle instance just for this use. Although most of our Moodles have LDAP authentication enabled, we decided that this Moodle in particular would NOT. Instead, we would rely on a more traditional password that we could email to all participants along with login instructions.

This involved me setting up a Moodle instance for compliance courses (e.g. Digital Citizenship, FERPA to name two) that we could enroll participants in.

2. Do a bulk import of users into the Moodle. To accomplish that, I took a data file with all our users and relabelled column headers (using Filemaker Pro first, then doing column edits in Excel) so that I could import information that would look like this:
username, password, firstname,lastname,email, course1, group1, type1
Sample data imported like this would look like:
mguhlin,Whatever3$, Miguel, Guhlin,, citizen, campusname, 1
where 1 = student role in Moodle.

The Moodle Bulk Import of users went surprisingly well and it was quick (about 2-3 minutes, tops) given the number of users.

By the way, one step I left out is mass creating groups and assigning enrolment keys to those groups. Here's the walkthrough on that process.

3. Assign principals the role of non-editing teachers so that they can check the gradebook and see who from their campus has completed the Digital Citizenship course on their campus. To conduct the assignment, I prepared a list to upload of all principals and imported them into the course but updated the existing data, making them "non-editing teachers." That way, they will be able to see their campus--and other's as well to facilitate transparency and accountability--completion. This eliminates my team's oversight of who has "finished" or not.

To do the update, I sent in a file like this one:
username, firstname, lastname, email, course1, type1
mguhlin, Miguel, Guhlin,, citizen, 3
Every campus admin who had non-editing teacher rights would be able to see a roster of their teachers and see who had not completed the assessment...
...and who had:

For me, this is a big improvement over last year and kudos to Molly for thinking of it.

4. Provide a certificate option (using the Certificate module in Moodle) so that participants could choose to print their own certificates.
Mock up of the certificate...need to add district logo, etc.
5. Develop tutorials for a) participants in how they can login to the Moodle, where they will be prompted to change their password (I may re-upload users with a stronger password that they can't change) and complete the assessment and b) campus administrators so they can go in and verify their staff have completed the course.
This will be the largest number of users for any one Moodle course. Given the heavy usage, I'm hoping the whole thing doesn't choke when people try to access it.

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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