Renee...I really like your idea here. I think this could work pretty well potentially via moodle by using categories and courses under each category just as you would set it up as a learning management space.. My guess is that you would need a moodle network that is entirely separate from your learning management network, but I could be brong on this.
I would think that you could build up your curriculum maps through the use of a wiki as well.
Both moodle or the wiki would give you some light searching capabilities. You may may not get the searching and reporting capabilities that Rubicon offers, but I'm not so convinced that these features are really utilized anyway. And the sustainability of subscribing to an expensive curriculum mapping software platform has to be raised as well. Over several years, the cost of expensive curriculum mapping software really ads up.
Anyway, good luck with this. Please report back and let us know what you decide to do and how things are going.
Matt - Thanks for the insightful post. I've been thinking along the same lines. We're still exploring the idea of turning Moodle into our curriculum mapping tool. The biggest plus for me is that teachers feel that documenting their classes/curriculum with Moodle gives them much more for their effort. The the searching and reporting tools are lacking but perhaps the good folks in the Moodle community have ideas as to how we might improve it. Thanks again and Happy New Year!
I'm also intrigued by this idea, since I saw the value in doing mapping (we used Atlas at my previous school), but following 2 years of mapping we did not do a whole lot more with it (at least while I was there.) I could imagine that if this mapping were in Moodle it might allow the teacher to have a framework for applying instructional resources. My first thought was similar to Matt's - keep it separate from the Moodle instructional space, but as I think about it more, i wonder if by having it together, it would be richer. Very intriguing!
When we did mapping in Atlas, we had 5 fields for each unit of study (or calendar time period): content, skills, assessment, technology, and essential questions. I wonder if someone could develop a Moodle module that would allow for this aproarch to breaking curriculum into multiple fields.
a few more meandering thoughts on this as I read Demetri's comment...
Curriculum mapping, as we've typically done it, is pretty much a teacher-centric affair. Teachers teach and then document their teaching via the map. What if we turned this into more of a student-centric affair, where students documented and displayed what they learned (instead of teachers displaying what they taught over the course of the year). The role of the teacher would then change from one who takes the lead for displaying what they taught to one who mentors students as they build up their individual learning profiles/portfolios.
If learning becomes more customized and individualized going forward, I think the value of a teacher-centric map is diminished and the value of an individualized student learning trail becomes much greater.
I am bringing a proposal to our Dept Chairs meeting this afternoon to move from our current mapping tool to Moodle. We have surveyed faculty and with very, very few exceptions no one is using the mapping tool as it was intended, if at all. So I'm proposing that we can get a much better idea of what is happening in our classrooms via Moodle than with our mapping tool. Moodle can do "double duty" as a learning management tool for our students and true document of curriculum for our teachers. That said, we will have to commit ourselves to having discussions about curriculum, expectations, training and support. The real trick will be in clarifying the "scope" and "sequence" so Moodle can serve as a map of our curriculum.
Our Moodle pages can be made richer and become a place students are drawn to; teachers must see it as essential to their teaching, and students as essential to their learning. This will hopefully launch those hard to start discussions about 21stC teaching and learning.
As always, I'm am open to suggestions, comments, observations. Wish me luck!
Good luck, Renee! You are definitely a pioneer in this area and I give you props for taking the less well traveled path. That takes guts. Moodle might not be able to fulfill the promises of a proprietary and tightly focused mapping application, but it certainly can do most of the things that teachers and students need minus the big price tag.
I would love to know how you talked your school into this. I would love to do the same. We also use Atlas and our teachers (especially avid Moodle lovers) despise it. Our biggest problem is how to set it up so that a parent could go in and search and drill down. Right now many potential families log in and review the curriculum. They may pick a grade a drill down or do directly to a department. I just couldn't figure out how to accomplish this in Moodle.
You hit on one potential downside of moodle as a mapping space, and that is outside access to the maps. You'll definitely give up some of the features associated with a focused mapping platform. But, you'll also address the zero sum proposition that we all face...and that is time. If we truly are in a zero sum game, I think we need to be careful about duplication. If a teacher authors his/her course in moodle, it very easily could stand as a curriculum map. However, if he/she authors in a proprietary mapping space, that mapping space has not chance to serve as a virtual classroom learning space. Requiring teachers to author in a mapping platform and maintain a virtual classroom space seems like resource duplication to me.
Let's consider student created ePortfolios as artifacts that could be perused by potential school families...I think the fantastic work done by our students has immense value. Imagine directing prospective families and students to view student ePortfolios as a way to see the array of quality work created by our students. This work, I submit, is the most powerful marketing material that our schools possess. And it is free.
I found this discussion because I have been developing a curriculum mapping project within Moodle and I was searching for more ideas. Our school was going to use Rubicon Atlas but decided to keep our mapping simpler and less expensive. I believe that we could use the Wiki or Database but I am having more success with using the Wiki. It would be great if we could build a template module for curriculum mapping so anyone interested in sharing or collaborating, please let me know. In the meantime, we should share ideas on how the existing system could be used for mapping (sorry Rubicon but open source might just put you out of business).
Carol- I've been looking at a presentation from Educon 2.1 . It's all about using 21st Century tools to map curriculum, as well as looking at what new skills should be mapped. I found it helpful. Good luck!
The meeting with my Division and Dept Heads went well. We have decided to move away from our current mapping software into Moodle. If there was ever an example of my preaching to the chorus, that was it. Nor have I ever seen faculty so willing to jump from one "required" bit of documentation for another. Now it goes to our Academic Council. This group is tasked with establishing a Moodle baseline, a minimum requirement for all faculty Moodle pages. I'm insisting that as part of our transition, we must include opportunities for workshops and other PD in order to get the most out of Moodle. That said, I'm getting ready to beta test Moodle 1.9 which is said to include Outcomes. Here is a description I found in the Moodle forums: In Moodle 1.9 you have [Learning] 'Outcomes', which I think in the USA are more often called Rubrics, as part of the gradebook. The Outcomes can be defined at the site level, and then a course or activity can be associated with particular outcomes, and a student's level of attainment against those outcomes can be recorded in the gradebook. Is anyone using 1.9? What is your experience? Other improvements have been and will be made in 2.0 to Tagging, which might improve Moodle's search capabilities. There is still much work to be done, but I hopeful that we'll get it right.
We created a database in moodle for what we are secretly calling mapping, but publicly calling curriculum documentation. We created a course called "curriculum mapping" and a basic flat template built in the database module with some predefined fields. I, too, used Rubicon and this is a much simpler version. This has basic searching on the field level. The benefit to us is it doesn't look like rubicon - many scars from the mapping wars - so people don't have anxiety about this as they did for mapping. We map by semester, for now, again less stressful. In the end we may move in another direction (the database is exportable), but sometimes simple works. With hyperlinking, teachers can link to their materials on their moodle site. We made them all teachers of the course so that they can upload materials (in moodle 2.0, students will be give upload space so they can attach anything anywhere). Our teachers are mostly familiar with moodle so it is not a new technical skill to learn (so they can focus on mapping). For those few where Moodle is new, this becomes a good reason/purpose for them to use it and maybe the moodle virus might infect them to use it in other ways. Please keep us informed about how it goes. If you like, I can send you the database structure. I would think the Moodle community will develop something more in the future.