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MoodleMoot UK & Ireland 2019

31 May 2019 Posted in: Uncategorized By: Technology Enhanced Learning Team

Moodle, the software which is behind QMplus is constantly being developed and used in new, exciting ways and the MoodleMoot Conference never disappoints in providing a great opportunity to learn more about what may be coming in the near future, as well as to network with other institutions to find out how they are tackling common issues. In this article, we focus on 2 main features of the conference, those of the Moodle Educator Certification Program (MEC) and Accessibility.

Moodle Educator Certification Program (MEC)

This year Moodle launched their Moodle Educator Certification Program (MEC), which acts as a means for Moodle users to demonstrate their digital efficiency across 22 competencies, using the various tools. For those who have completed CMALT accreditation (Certified Membership of the Association of Learning Technologies), they will know it is a lot of work to achieve and quite time consuming, however very useful as a means to reflect upon what one has worked upon and to demonstrate a solid understanding of learning technologies used. The MEC Program allows participants the ability to demonstrate their understanding of Moodle tools in particular through a series of 22 modules, with the first 6 forming a basic level and further ones demonstrating an intermediary or advanced understanding.

A number of users at the conference started on the first module and quickly appreciated what it hoped to achieve – both to demonstrate participants’ abilities and  to share exemplars, which are accessible to all. It was immediately apparent how much work would be involved to complete even a series of 6 modules, obtaining the base-level badges. I believe the programme would be most useful for those who use Moodle a great deal, however I believe CMALT is more widely recognised and perhaps more useful, with it looking at learning technologies as a whole. I believe the CMALT set-up also allows participants the ability create a portfolio under their own steam, whereas the MEC program requires pairing up with one of the Moodle partners, for them to assist.


As expected, there was a great deal of interest on the topic of accessibility. This has increased due to the new website accessibility legislation which was brought in in Sept 2018, requiring universities to prepare accessibility statements explaining how and to what extent they comply. Moodle already offers a great deal of advice and some tools to enhance accessability, however the availability of further accessibility checking tools was raised as a priority for Moodle to develop, with it being voted for as a core feature which universities would like to see. Many universities were aware of alternatives which were available as plugins (such as Blackboard Ally), but it made sense that something should be developed by Moodle themselves, seeing as it was acknowledged as being beneficial to all.

I found one of the most useful talks given over the conference was one from Karen Holland, from a consultancy company – Learning Technology Services. Karen talked in great detail about how learning materials can be made more accessible and the tips/advice given added considerably to what I was aware of, for best practice.

Structuring learning content in an accessible format is something which is often done to a degree, but not fully, due to there being so much to consider and it potentially taking longer to create resources in a more accessible format. Personally, I find being aware of accessibility issues allows me to make adjustments when updating materials or creating new resources, such as in the E-Learning website, so the process of making our content accessible is a gradual one – however, once the content is improved upon and the benefits can be seen, it is great to know that the material is being delivered in the best means possible.

Karen has helpfully shared her presentation on slideshare, with the best tips/tricks to be found on slides 10-15.

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