Teaching with Moodle in a
Multipoint E-learning Environment
Kazunori Nozawa
Ritsumeikan University, Japan
[email protected]
At-a-Glance
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A multipoint environment solution for distance intracommunication
Brief review of Social Constructionist Pedagogy
Moodle as a good e-learning environment
Two graduate classes at an independent
Ritsumeikan University Graduate School
– SLEIS (Studies in Language Education and Information
Science) IV
– ICC (Intercultural Communication) II
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A part of the multipoint Environment
Originating Site
RU Biwako Kusatsu Campus (Shiga)
↓↑
↓↑
RU Kinugawa Campus → Osaka Satellite
(Kyoto)
← Office (Osaka)
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Specifications
 Maximum of 42 Windows PCs at CALL
Labs for each campus
 Hitachi Multi-point Video-Conferencing
System with own direct network
connections + the Internet
 Moodle on my own Windows 2000 server
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E-learning Platform
(CMS, LMS, VLE, OTF)
 WebCT
 BlackBoard
↓
 No budget!
 Can not persuade your bosses
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Open-Source CMS
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GNU-based free software
– Claroline
– The Manhattan Virtual Classroom
– A-Tutor
– Xoops
– WebOCM
– Moodle
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Software Reviews
Edutools
– http://edutools.info/course/index.jsp
 TESL-EJ vol. 7. No. 2
– http://www.kyotosu.ac.jp/information/tesl-ej/ej26/m2.html
 XPLANA
– http://www.xplana.com

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What’s Moodle?
 Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic
Learning Environment
 Developed by Martin Dougiamas in
August, 2002
 167 countries
 18652 registered sites (As of Nov. 28,
2006)
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Moodle: Features
Martin Dougiamas developed Moodle for
educators from the beginning under a
philosophy so-called social constructionist
pedagogy
 CALL Researchers and practioners in the
world have been participating in the further
development and improvement of Moodle in a
collaborative style.
 Teachers/practioners are NOT required to
have advanced knowledge and skills while
Moodle is easy to use and stable.

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Social Constructionist Pedagogy
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Constructivism
– Knowledge is created through the interaction with
the environment.
Constructionism
– Learning effectiveness can be observed when
something is usefully created for people.
Social Constructivism
– Movement toward a whole community forms
culture and meaningfulness.
Connected Behavior
– Thoughtful actions stimulate learning.
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Moodle: Features
Moodle is multilingual and many languages
can be used. Problems for displaying two-byte
languages such as Japanese have been
solved in March 2004 with English(en_jp)
language package.
 Although the log-in check is done by e-mail
account and course key (password), you can
use it as a guest under the limitation.

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Moodle: Features
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Posted information in forums is automatically sent to
registered people by email.
The participants’ activities can be understood by
reading “recent activities”
Posted information in forums are displayed in layers
so that you can read it without clicking each title and
understand the relations among articles.
Posted information and mails are basically provided
with the sender’s photo so that more realistic
communication is done.
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Moodle: Features
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With the tracking function, all of each student’s
learning processes can be traced.
Quizzes and questionnaires can be easily made,
answered on line, and automatically calculated. Hot
Potatoes exercises can also be provided. In addition,
modules for attendance, calendar, resources, chat,
Wiki, etc. are preset and usable while new modules
are being developed.
Search function can be used to collect necessary
contents, articles, mails, and individual student’s
information.
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Moodle is a solution
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To provide a common e-learning or communication
platform in a multipoint environment
To allow only students who enroll for a particular
course
To motivate students in a different style of learning
or presenting their ideas to share without any
hesitation
To provide downloadable e-documents to students
without having printing and shipping them out in
advance
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SLEIS IV
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To lecture CALL theories and practical approaches
with updated ICT in English
To provide a reviewing chance on software or
courseware and an academic journal article
To experience a peer-to-peer online evaluation
To discuss the related topics in a forum format for
mutual understanding
To provide an experience as a multimedia project for
teaching a foreign language and culture
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SLEIS IV
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SLEIS IV
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SLEIS IV
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SLEIS IV
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SLEIS IV
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SLEIS IV
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SLEIS IV
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To participate in either online or offline tasks of the
course, the upper intermediate level of computer
literacy is required.  Some students sometimes
have struggled to complete their specific IT tasks,
but they managed to complete them in their own way.
The number of the enrollment was unfortunately
small (7 in 2003; 5 in 2004; 6 in 2005; 2 in 2006)
because technical topics are covered in English.
There is a possibility to change the instructional
language into Japanese in the future.
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ICC 2
To provide the basics of NVC as a part of
intercultural communication study
 To enhance cultural awareness of the
students
 To review Japanese behavioral problems in
communication and seek for more efficient
ways to communicate with non-Japanese
 To apply NVC features for language teaching
and learning
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ICC 2
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ICC 2
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ICC 2
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ICC 2
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ICC 2
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ICC 2
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ICC 2
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ICC 2
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ICC 2
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ICC 2
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ICC 2
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ICC 2
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Conclusion
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There are many advantages to use Moodle as a
common platform in a tertiary education setting, in
particular in a multipoint e-learning environment.
There are still some unknown functions or unused
modules of Moodle, it is quite ideal for the author to
use Moodle for teaching and sharing information
purposes.
The author will continue to teach both SLEIS and IC2
or conduct collaborative research projects with a
more stable and updated version of Moodle and try
for an efficient, communicative way to interact with
students.
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Selected References
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Brandl, Klaus. (2005). Are you ready to “Moodle”? Language learning and technology,
9(2), 16-23. Retrieved Nov. 18, 2006 from http://llt.msu.edu/vol9num2/ review1/
Gonzalez, Dafne. (2005). Blended learning offers the best of both worlds, Essential
teacher, TESOL, December, 42-45.
Hinkelman, Don. (2005). Blended learning : Issues driving an end to laboratory-based
CALL, JALT Hokkaido journal, 9, 17-31.
Robb, Thomas N. (2004). Moodle: A virtual learning environment for the rest of us. TESLEJ, 8(2) Retrieved Nov. 3, 2006 from http://www.kyoto-su.ac.jp/ information/ teslej/ej30/m2.html.
Harashima, Hideto. (2004a). "A blended learning environment using Moodle" Collected
Papers, 2004 National Conference of The Japan Association for Language Education &
Technology. July 28-30, 2004. 181-184.
Harashima, Hideto. (2004b). "Creating a blended learning environment using Moodle"
The Proceedings of the 20th Annual Conference of Japan Society of Educational
Technology, September 23-25, 2004. 241-242.
Melton, Jay. (2004). The CMS moodle: A heuristic evaluation. Retrieved on Nov. 7, 2006
from http://jklmelton.net/2004/jaltcall/
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Contact Info.
Snail Mail: Prof. Kazunori Nozawa, College of
Information Science and Engineering,
Ritsumeikan University, 1-1-1 Nojihigashi,
Kusatsu, Shiga, 525-8577 Japan
E-mail: [email protected]
HP: http://www.ritsumei.ac.jp/is/~nozawa/index.html
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