Contributed by John Love, Moodle Media Developer.
As a member of Vancouver Community College’s Centre for Instructional Development (CID), I am one of three people who directly support faculty and staff in online course development in the Moodle LMS. My specific area of specialty is digital media design and creation, and most recently, this has included more and more video creation and management.
Our ed-tech support group is known as “DL Support”, and we liaise with VCC Library, IT, and management to ensure that Moodle LMS services are reliable, upgraded, and as accessible as possible for VCC’s diverse user community. Although we support other educational technology to varying degrees, Moodle is by far the largest service we support overall. I and my team-mates provide in-person training and design support for Moodle course development, as well as technical and administrative expertise in Moodle, and helpdesk-style user support via email, phone or Skype.
There are hundreds of faculty and staff involved in online course design and management at VCC. VCC has three campuses: Downtown, East Broadway, and Annacis Island, and offers 120 programs, from Academic Upgrading and University Transfer to Culinary and Hospitality, from English as a Second Language to Transportation Trades.
A 2016 internal survey of Moodle users by my department found that 40.9% of respondents use Moodle for building or maintaining course resource shells (e.g. “online bookshelves”) and 17.4% of respondents use Moodle for building or teaching partially online (“blended”) courses. Only 9.9% of respondents use Moodle for building or teaching fully online courses. We also try to track the percentage of mobile devices accessing our LMS, and ensure that accessibility and usability remain important in our design and deployment choices.
One area at VCC that has seen a significant increase in its fully online course delivery is the Provincial Instructor Diploma Program. Six of the courses in the diploma have been available fully online for several years. Enrolment in the online delivery of the courses has seen a 23.5% increase between the fiscal years 2012/13 and 2016/17.
VCC’s Automotive Service Technician (AST) and Automotive Collision & Refinishing (ACR) departments offer a number of blended delivery programs. The AST Diploma and Foundation Certificate Programs are approximately 90% F2F and 10% online. In these programs, Moodle is supplemental; for exams, attendance, homework submissions, student forums, practice quizzes, online video, etc. In AST, the e-pprentice Apprenticeship program is about 10% F2F and 90% online. The Collision Foundation Certificate is approximately 20% F2F and 80% online.
The use of video in online learning is continuing to expand throughout education and industry, and especially in many of the VCC programs mentioned above. Factors like diverse language and literacy levels, and the needs to demonstrate complex processes and record student performance in real-time are all well-enabled via video, and have become crucial to students and teachers. VCC is continuing to explore options to improve faculty and student access to video creation and management tools, particularly those that will integrate well with our current LMS.