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Rushing Too Fast to Online Learning? PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 09 August 2010 01:19

Science Daily reports on a new study released by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) raises questions about that fast-growing trend in higher education.

Online learningThe study's strongest findings in favor of live instruction were for relatively low achieving students, male students and Hispanic students. While they may be better served by face-to-face education delivery, often those are the students who are most likely to receive online education.

You can read the original article here.

This article resonates with my own experience that lower achieving students need the personal hands on approach to give them the inspiration and support to make it through the course. This is a plug for blended learning which combines the value of study online and face to face interaction.




Last Updated on Monday, 09 August 2010 01:27
Moodle Moment -Changing Domain Name PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 20 September 2010 05:22

I often come across issues with Moodle when changing domain names. This happens when placing Moodle in a staging environment with a temporary domain name, and then moving it into production.

The problem is that Moodle by default loads images with an absolute URL. An absolute URL specifies the whole URL ... ie

A better method would be to use a relative URL. This would just use the location of the file on your server ( in the example above, /moodle/myimage.jpg), and leave the browser to remember which server using the current domain. But this has to be done manually for each image loaded.

To solve this issue, there is a useful script that has been written by the Moodle gurus, and available for use by a user with administrator rights.


Replace the www.mydomain with your own site address, and then fill in the details asked, and all is sorted in an instant, or two.





Last Updated on Monday, 20 September 2010 05:38
Midnight Rainbox PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 22 June 2010 08:11

Midnight Rainbow

A rainbow at midnight. How can this be?

Check out for more interesting phenomena.


Moodle Glossary PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 22 June 2010 07:12

MoodleThe Moodle Glossary sometimes causes a few glitches, especially when you want to use the very effective Autolinking feature.

Autolinking is a feature which highlights words in the Glossary, whenever they appear on text stored within Moodle. This means text loaded into Web Pages, Lesson Module text, forum postings, summaries etc. It does not work with uploaded documents such as PDF, and Word Documents.

To make Autolinking work you must follow these steps:

  1. In the Glossary Configuration, enable Autolinking .
  2. Each Glossary item needs to be set to enable Autolinking .
  3. In the Site Administration Menu, navigate to Modules -> Filters -> Manage Filters, and enable Glossary Autolinking .

Note that if you do not want particular text to be linked (in a forum posting, say) then you should add <nolink> and </nolink> tags around the text.

For more on the Glossary Module visit the Moodle Docs site.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 June 2010 07:47
e-Learning with Video PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 19 April 2010 08:09

This week I purchased a low price video camera to create small video segments for various e-Learning courses I am developing.

Samsung HMX-10I had heard about the Flip Video Camera, and also the Samsung FlashCam. A promotion on the latter had me in a lather and ready to go. NZ$188 lighter I brought this little beauty home and began to play.

So what is it with these devices that will change e-Learning. Well there are 2 ways I can see right away.

The first is from the perspective of the teacher. A small simple instructional video can be easily made and uploaded into your LMS. No need for expensive equipment and more importantly experts to film and edit the software. The devices all come with their own basic software to download and convert the video to a reasonable file size. Video, just like standard camera images need some processing to keep the file size respectable.

The second is from the perspective of the student. The little cameras can be used for blogging, journals, recording work being done, or completed. It is easy to have an audio narration, and with a little effort, titles can be added to give it that movie feel.

Small enought to fit in my top pocket, I can even use it hands free.

Next time you're at a camera store, have a play with one of these. You'll become an addict like me, very fast.


Flip Video


Last Updated on Monday, 19 April 2010 09:03
Media Violence PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 22 June 2010 07:34

Grand Theft AutoDoes violence on TV beget violence in the community? Has the video game Grand Auto Theft increased crime, and educated young minds in criminal ways?

I came across an interesting Canadian website Media Awareness Network which has some intresting articles on this topic.


"The debate over media violence has eluded definitive answers for more than three decades. At first blush, the debate is dominated by one question—whether or not media violence actually causes real-life violence. But closer examination reveals a political battle. On the one hand, there are those who blame media violence for societal violence and want to censor violent content to protect children. On the other hand are those who see regulation as the slippery slope to censorship or a smokescreen hiding the root causes of violence in society.

One thing is certain: the issue of media violence is not going away. Increasingly the debate is focusing on the "culture of violence," and on the normalization of aggression and lack of empathy in our society."


Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 June 2010 07:41
Assumed Competency in Staff Training PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 04 April 2010 00:00

There is a fundamental difference between online learning in academia and staff training environments.

Students in full and part time study have an allocated, if not required, time to focus on their study. Employees working full usually do not enjoy this allocation of time to maintain and improve their skills, even when provided as part of their job.

e-LearningIt is a challenge then to deliver efficient and enjoyable training programmes for paid employees.

Assumed competency is therefore a necessity in developing content for staff training environments. What this means is that the online content must be implemented with tools that test the user, and deliver content where it finds the user is lacking skills.

I use the Moodle LMS for delivering e-Learning courses, and there is a much underrated, and perhaps misnamed, module called the "Lesson" activity. Using this activity it is possible to create a branched tree structure to your content, with the user's passage through that tree determined by the answers to questions provided.

Using this methodology a user with proven skills can complete the training in a minimum time period. Any areas where lack of knowledge is detected, takes the user down a "branch" where the necessary skills or knowledge can be imparted.



Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 April 2010 08:26
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