Moodle Moot 2021 – Collaborative Online Learning

21 May 2021 by Catalyst IT Europe

Moodle Moot team takeaways

Interactive and successful collaboration at Moodle Moot. The virtual Moodle Moot 2021, welcomed participants from UK, Ireland and Australia. 

Our summary of the events are below: 

The format of the Moot was a single stream of presentations, long and short, in a pecha kucha style. An exciting exchange of innovative ideas punctuated each and every event across the subject range. In addition, a separate DevJam stream dedicated to the developer discussions allowed community developers to share ideas and work on projects, in conjunction with Moodle HQ team members.

As a social, community style experience, this recent Moodle Moot proved to be as positive, and as successful as the face to face event. The Congregate social spaces at busy coffee times and lunch breaks provided a great way to engage with existing partners and other attendees. The energy transferred to the evening socials, quiz and online party. A genuine willingness for informal networking and knowledge sharing, did not lose momentum (even minus mojitos!) and was inspirational for many.

Catalyst presented a host of talks. 

Joey Murison Managing Director, Catalyst IT, EU presented scalable e-assessment solutions. Catalyst offers robust and reliably tested e-assessment models for diverse university locations around the world. Each online assessment solution has been uniquely developed for each partner, Monash University, Concordia University and Dublin City University. Catalyst has ensured not only the technology, but also the successful outcome for students and staff. Reliability, accessibility, efficiency and accurate feedback, covers all aspects of e-assessment. Each customised online assessment solution meets the key objectives of the institution, the students and the examiners. Catalyst provides e-assessment options, from a dedicated exam instance to a fully specialised examination platform. 

Load-testing for expected student numbers has been a critical part of our exam platform success. The infinite scalability of AWS hosting has made this feasible. Accessibility and inclusion is also an essential part of assessment design. Student and staff feedback has been very positive in all surveys. A Monash student commented, “We had never written so much by pen until I sat in my exam – this new digital solution better represents how I study and expect to work”.

Sam Taylor, Learning Technologist at Catalyst, presented; ‘Identifying the Blend; Designing Masters Programmes for the ‘New Normal’. Sam worked alongside Sa Thin Wetsandornphong, Link Tutor and Lecturer at University of Bolton.  Catalyst advised on the following: 
Course, module and activity design, the creation of H5P resources, advanced grading and pedagogy, and finally the use of OER and digital assets. Catalyst supported Bolton University staff with the re-validation of two Pre-Masters Programmes for online delivery. 

Sam delivered and met with individuals and small teams to offer guidance on tools and activity design providing regular feedback. 

Sam Taylor was also invited to be part of an expert panel, LEAP Online digital badges. Participating with the panel discussion on badges and microcredentials.

Richard Oelmann and David Dinu presented on Load testing. Catalyst tests the maximum capacity of your site using simulated traffic conditions modelled on real website analytics data. We provide each client with a simple and easy to read report to enable them to make data driven strategic decisions. 

The outcome for the individual institution results in essential insights, peace of mind and assurance that their web application will not falter when facing high concurrency events or significant changes in site activity. Load testing protects their learner users, their institution and their brand. 

Tish Kirkland from the New Zealand team, presented a basic HTML for tutors session to brush up on their skills. Giving useful hints and tips for those not normally confident when faced with the code behind their content, Tish brought clarity and confidence to participants. 

Highlights from the Moot included: 

Gavin Hendrick of Brickfield Labs presented ‘the accessibility plugin’ and discussed how a baseline version of the tool will be included into Moodle 3.11 (released this week). This is a useful step in assisting tutors, for creating accessible content. A new features accessibility toolkit with activity completion indicators,  quiz improvements, badges and H5p were showcased! An accessibility heat map used to analyse your course . 

The Intelliboard team were active at the Moot, presenting their reporting tools and highlighting the benefits of their analytics integrations. Extract the statistical data from the LMS tp drive even more engaging learning, informed by what your data is telling you. 

Blindside Networks provided a demo of the new BigBlueButton release, which can be installed by those who self-host and is currently being rolled out across Blindside’s own networks. Fred Dixon opened the opportunity for Moot attendees to load test the new platform, encouraging us to ‘break it if we can’. Around 60 attendees logged on with cameras, microphones and playing with the multi user whiteboard – and couldn’t break it.

Our partners Dublin City University were one of the major sponsors and gave a range of presentations, supported by the NIDL team, (National Institute of Digital Learning) based at DCU. 

If you have any questions from our presentations at Moot, or would like to connect with us, please contact any of our above team members, or email