Extending Moodle for mobile devices

This a summary of « Embedding Moodle into Ubiquitous computing Environments » by Christian Glahn  and Marcus Specht at Mobilearn 2010

A very interesting architecture that shows interesting new features that may be integrated into learning environments.  This is a way to extend existing activities in VLE in ubiquitous environments, and taking advantage of activity log.

I just take a few notes after reading their article. A post summary of the paper’s persentation at mobilearn 2010 may be found on Ignatia’s blog.

Glossary : VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) is here similar to LMS (Learning Management System), but stress a different focus.

Current VLEs mobile extensions only focus on availibity of content.

Limitations noticed in introduction :

  • in blended learning : blending LMS / VLE and spatial learning heavily rely on teacher mediation
  • VLEs don’t enable contextual ressource delivery : it is not possible to anchor ressource or learning activity to locations
  • no ubiquitous facility in VLEs : multi user sharing interface and/or distribute information across interface

Need for device adaptation in mobile support and orchestration of interfaces and educational services. The authors propose to integrate them into VLE functionnalities to ease the use of mobile learning approaches.

They relate their work to the following problems:

  • personalisation and concextutalisation of learning thanks device adaptation
  • orchestrating learning that may be enhanced thanks information from context
  • supporting Learner-mobility that may be achieved thanks a 5 layer architecture, each ensuring specific data processing: Sensor layer (Data collection), semantic layer (information selection), 2 control layers (information arrangement and information application), indicator layer (information presentation)

The authors have developed a protoype on Moodle, with specific plugins for sensor layer, control and infomation presentation, which enable multiple interfaces for an activity/learner.

An interesting activity, given as an example is to integrate tagging channels from different learners into a shared tag cloud, that can be used to discuss shared interests.


A propos Jean-Marie Gilliot

Enseignant Chercheur à IMT Atlantique (fusion de Telecom Bretagne et Mines Nantes) Informatique, enseignement par projets, EIAH, transformation de l'éducation
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