Moodle websites site design instructional design LMS training teacher training
How Roger Kenner can help you
[Help with Moodle] [Help with Web Sites] [Help with Using your Computer]
Roger Kenner was administrator, principle trainer and pedagogical consultant for Learning Management Systems (LMS) at Concordia University in Montreal for a period of ten years, working first with WebCT and then with Moodle. Moodle is the world's foremost open-source LMS, in use at over 45,000 schools worldwide. Roger Kenner remains closely involved in developments in the LMS world and provides consultation, assistance and training to a number of organizations making use of Moodle for training and education.
You are invited to explore some of the Moodle sites with which Roger Kenner is or has been involved.
Consultation on leveraging Learning Management Systems for training and education:
Have you considered all that an LMS can do? Such a powerful tool applies not only to distance-education and on-line training, but also to blended situations, where a teacher, instructor or facilitator can be available at some times, either in person or at a distance. Besides its application to traditional education, a private LMS can be a great tool to manage in-house corporate training and testing. Roger Kenner can help you translate your needs into concrete applications of an LMS.
Assistance in getting started with Moodle:
Chossing the best way to get started is a function of your goals, the nature of your training needs, the size of your training programme, your technical expertise and your need for scalability: It may be enough to rent space for a few courses from a Moodle service provider. You may wish to have your entire site maintained by a Moodle service provider. You may wish to set up own site on a shared server or on your own equipment. Roger Kenner can guide you along the way and help you in making the correct choice.
Managing your Moodle site:
Whether your Moodle installation is on your own equipment or hosted by a Moodle service provider, there is a whole level of administration which is above the level of the computer itself: the optimization of user roles and permissions, the organization and nomenclature of courses and course menus, the creation of work-in-progress, master and active courses, the regular backup and archiving of courses, adding and managing users and troubleshooting their problems on a day-to-day basis, registering learners into courses and myriad other issues. Make the best choices by taking advantage of Roger Kenner's twelve years of experience in this area.
Consulting on Moodle site management:
Often there are people in place in your organization who can take over the day-to-day management of a Moodle site, if given the proper training. Roger Kenner often trains administrators, helping them to establish their initial protocols, and then remains in the background to assist with more complex situations.
Training instructors and course designers:
Moodle provides an exciting mix of pedagogical tools. To best take advantage of these tools, instructors and course designers need to see how the tools work, as well as how they can be applied to different teaching and learning situations. Roger Kenner has put together a number of successful hands-on workshops, in English and in French, covering the introductory/beginner level and more advanced topics such as quiz and test preparation. He has also designed special workshops focusing on language learning applications of Moodle.
Simply posting materials on-line does not create distance education. An at-a-distance or blended course must reproduce the beneficial elements of face-to-face teaching. Learners must feel the "in-class", community experience: They must be able to ask questions and get feedback. They must be given opportunities to interact with the knowledge or skill being imparted. They must be able to exchange and work with their peers. They must feel "followed" and be reminded to keep on track. Roger Kenner can work with instructors in designing such a course, or can design one directly in consultation with subject matter experts.
Building a Moodle site:
For instructors, building an entire Moodle course from scratch can be daunting. Using Moodle can be much more attractive when the site is already prepared in advance, with all available options hidden and waiting to be released by the instructor as needed. Roger Kenner gave a presentation at Moodle Moot 2009 in Edmonton on techniques he pioneered for semi-automating the building of such a Moodle course. He cited his production of support Moodle sites for eight related textbooks, sites in which all available supplementary materials for the textbooks were already pre-loaded for the instructors.
Roger Kenner assists people in the planning and development of their web sites. Creating a web site for the long term is a totally different exercise from building a flashy opening page. There are many tools which can 'automate' the design and creation of very nice looking web pages. Establishing an enduring web presence is another thing altogether. Beyond the initial "Wow!" visitors may express when they first arrive, you want them want to return time and time again. This requires thought and planning as to purpose, layout, navigation and content. People soon tire of fancy, flashy pages and turn to those which are quietly elegant yet are refreshing in offering ease of navigation and interesting, pertinent content.
You are invited to explore some of the web sites with which Roger Kenner is involved.
Consultation on setting up a web site and on web site design
To begin with, one needs a place to host the site and a domain name to point to that place so the site can easily be found. Roger Kenner can counsel you on a variety of hosting solutions, at differing levels of price, support and features, and can guide you through the process of setting these things up. The site and domain name are always yours.
Roger Kenner can also provide guidance in the planning of a web site, including suggestions on key elements such as site navigation. Typically the process begins with an interview, in which Roger Kenner helps you to formulate your plan: What is the purpose of the site? Who is the target audience? What kinds of information will bring people to return to the site and to suggest it to their friends and colleagues? What should be on the opening page? What sub-pages are necessary? How can they be updated easily?
Roger Kenner's philosophy is that a site should be simple, yet attractive and effective. Complexity in design and content should only be added with a clear purpose. All things being equal, the less involved and more straightforward approach should always be favoured over the flashier, more glitzy one, lest the design hinder the updating process. In the end, it is the content which drives the site. Content must be interesting, useful and timely. A web page is not a one-off publication; it is an ongoing process.
Creating your web site
Roger Kenner can design and produce your web site. After an initial interview, in which a design plan is established, Roger Kenner woll produce the initial site while you are given your homework: Produce the required content in a form which is easily integrated into the site. The first draft of the site may go through a number of changes, increasingly minor, before the final look and shape of the site is agreed upon.
There is, of course, no maximum to the amount of time this process can take. For budget-conscious groups, however, Roger Kenner has produced sites after an initial two-hour interview, followed by four hours of work.
Roger Kenner can go on to manage your site for you, or he can train you or your staff to manage the site on your own.
Managing your web site
Roger Kenner manages a number of previously designed web sites. Typically, a small organization has no one available to post timely updates on their site, and so the site becomes outdated. As a manager, Roger Kenner is pro-active. He often reaches out to remind clients that it is time for an update. He can serve as an editor, where needed, searching out and then verifying the content. He always counsels clients on the most time-effective way for them to submit their content in order to cut costs. Sites for budget-conscious clients can be maintained at a cost of less than an hour's work per month, for regular postings.
Training you to manage your own web site
Roger Kenner designs web sites directly in HTML, and PHP where necessary. He does not use any automatic site-producing software. This produces vastly simpler web pages, without locking one into design choices made by the software. In keeping with his simplicity philosophy, web pages are straightforward in design and the same design elements are re-used wherever possible.
Sites can be designed to simplify the updating of key elements by those unfamiliar with web programming. Basically, clients update their own pages by "staying inside the lines". Roger Kenner remains the source for major design changes. Typically, two to four hours are required to train clients to maintain their own site. Clients wishing to explore this avenue should be comfortable, at least, with word processing.
Roger Kenner has also developed techniques for automating the production of larger web pages, using Excel and Word's Mailmerge tool. Typically, photo-essay pages, containing a large number of images, can be produced quite quickly. He can teach this skill to those requiring this ability.
Roger Kenner has made a lifelong career of assisting people in mastering technology. He has built up considerable expertise in a number of areas and with numerous software packages, such as Word, Excel and Powerpoint.
You are invited to consult the flyer A Few Hours with Roger Kenner (Pdf) for more information.
- Get help setting up your computer and installing software
- Learn to make effective presentations.
- Learn how to gather and include images in your documents, including editing those images.
- Learn how to leverage your software by moving the job from one application to another, so that each application can do what it does best.(For example, take a poorly formatted address list. Massage it with Word's global search and replace. Import it into Excel, for further massaging: Splitting first and last names, for example. Republish it with Word's Mailmerge, in exactly the format required.)
- Learn techniques for advanced manipulation of data with Excel.
- Learn to set up effective 'What if' models with Excel.