GDPR – How Moodle can help

If you have users on your site who users who are residents of Europe, then there are new GDPR requirements that are legally binding on your organisation. They relate to enforcing more rigorous processes for your users data privacy and your policies. These processes can be seen as improving our practices, and giving people more control over their personal data.

Two plugins are being added to Moodle to allow administrators to add a site policy that must be agreed to, and to allow users to see their personal data, and request it be removed if required (requests can be accepted or denied). This is an overview of how you can use Moodle to assist with complying with GDPR laws.

Data Privacy

This plugin will allow users to request to have their personal data removed and/or request a copy of their personal data.

Privacy Officer

You can create a role for a Privacy Officer (PO) in your site. Moodle originally referred to this role as a Data Protection Officer (DPO). PO is probably more appropriate.

A Privacy Officer can respond to data requests and see requests made, and requests denied, approved or awaiting approval and manage a Data Registry. If there is no-one with this role, the Administrator can respond to data requests and manage the Data Registry. There are permissions required for the Privacy Officer role.

Data requests

If a user requests a copy of their personal data, the PO can accept the request, and personal data that is held by Moodle can be downloaded in .json format.

If a user requests that their personal data is deleted, the request can be accepted or denied. NOTE: approving a request to remove personal data will delete the user, and the user can no longer use the site.

Policies­

This plugin will handle agreements for users of your site and privacy procedures – you need a web page with a clear and easy to read policy with information about users’ rights, how and why personal data is held, etc. An example Moodle Policy page is at https://moodlecloud.com/app/privacy .

Age of consent

On sites with self-registration allowed, you can ask users to verify their age before displaying the sign-up page. This helps protect your site from minors signing up without parental/guardian consent. An email address is provided to minors for further assistance.

Further Notes:

  1. Once user has passed the age check, they will see a link to the Policy Agreement, and have to acknowledge that they ‘understand and agree’ before logging in as usual.
  2. Existing users – once you set up the Policies page, when they next log in, existing users will see the new Policy page, and have to agree before logging in.
  3. You can set the age of consent for different countries. Default is 16. For sites used in other countries, the country codes to use can be found at Wikipedia.
  4. Once you have set the URL to a site policy, you can see it at <your site name>/user/policy.php ­

So how can I set this up in Moodle?

If you have the plugins in your site, in the Administration area, under Users – the TVC administrator will see a new area called Privacy and policies.

For further information, see Moodle documentation.

Gathering feedback from your Moodle courses

bernadette-parry-headshotBernadette Parry is the Client Support Coordinator at eWorks. Her role involves juggling all sorts of client-focused tasks including start-up TVC training, advanced Moodle training and support desk services. Recently she has received several queries about using Survey Monkey from Moodle Courses. This is of course doable, but here Bernadette tells us ten reasons for using the Feedback survey instead.

Ten reasons for using the Feedback survey in Moodle:

If you have never thought to use the Feedback survey in Moodle, here are my top ten reasons to give it a go:

  1. Course name, teacher names, etc are automatically added to the report. Why not make life easier for yourself, and prevent potential errors associated with manual data entry?
  2. There are fewer options for creating questions and collecting responses. While at first this might seem like a disadvantage, it actually makes the tool  simpler and easier to use.
  3. The Feedback can be anonymous. If the Feedback is anonymous, the participants see ‘Mode: Anonymous’ on the screen – so they are reassured of anonymity.
  4. Even if the Feedback is anonymous, you can still see which participants have not submitted in your activity completion report. This is particularly useful if the Feedback is compulsory.
  5. You can list Feedback activities on your Moodle landing page. This means that  learners can submit the Feedback without logging in.
  6. Logs will record student usage of the Feedback survey. Another way to measure learner engagement.feedback_01
  7. All teachers of a course can receive email alerts when a Feedback form is submitted. Staying within Moodle makes the form look more like an integral part of the course. Better branding, a more professional look and feel, and students more likely to complete the survey.
  8. Staying within Moodle keeps all tracking of student learning together. This not only helps out at auditing time, it makes results easier to find.
  9. If you already have Moodle, there is no extra expense! Why add another layer of cost and software when Moodle has everything you need?
  10. In the future, a new survey module will incorporate Survey, Questionnaire (which is currently a plugin) and Feedback – with the best elements of each. It’ll be even better!

Important things to note

  • ‘Survey’ is another Moodle activity, however with Survey, you can’t create your own questions like you can with Feedback.
  • If you don’t see the Feedback activity in your course, then it may be disabled. Ask your Administrator to ‘turn it on’!
  • Feedback results can be used for continuous improvement of your courses. Use it to gather student Feedback – and teacher Feedback – on how the course went, and how it could be improved.
  • To best analyse your responses, don’t forget to use question type ‘dropdownlist (rated)’. See the Moodle website for more information on the most useful questions to use.
  • See the results! In the screenshot below, four learners have anonymously completed a Feedback survey, ‘Learner Questionnaire’. The results can also be downloaded to an Excel file. Use this analysis to improve your courses.feedback_02

Keen to learn more?

For further information about the Feedback survey activity please visit the Moodle website.

But most importantly, try it! Let me know if you need any help.

Is there any point to your staff training?

John Collins

John Collins is passionate about cloud-based e-learning solutions which enable the delivery of online training anywhere and anytime. After consulting hundreds of L&D professionals, and hearing their frustration when staff training doesn’t quite do everything they need it to do, John has come up with a solution.

What do you want from your staff training?

Let me guess. You want to:

  • Keep track of employee roles, training needs and objectives
  • align the training with individual work plans
  • use it to help with career development and salary reviews
  • get your staff development in line with your organisation’s overall strategy.

But does your delivery platform allow you to do all of that?

Probably not – which is such a shame! Because let’s face it, you can’t achieve your business objectives without making sure your staff have the appropriate knowledge, skills and experience. And you can’t know that your staff have all of this this if you can’t keep track of:

  • their training needs
  • subsequent training undertaken, and
  • skills gained on the job (think 70:20:10)
  • whether or not the training actually worked (i.e. gave staff the skills that they and your organisation need).

If it’s broken, fix it!

If your learning management system can’t do all of this, you don’t have the right learning management system. You need an LMS underpinned by Totara, and designed specifically for Australian enterprise and corporate organisations for the management of learning and development, plus the right people to set it up for you and show you how to use it – how to both catch and eat the fish.

Any half decent LMS will (or at least should) give you:

  1. Security and reliability
  2. A well-designed graphical user interface (GUI)
  3. Responsive web access
  4. Flexible course management and content development
  5. User and group management
  6. Reporting
  7. Systems and applications Integration
  8. Live and on–demand capability

But TVC Enterprise gives you:

  • all of the above – of course!
  • creation of personalised learning plans for each staff member
  • linked to their position within the organisation
  • aligned with organisational goals
  • tracking of specific capabilities and competencies of each position against staff members
  • seamless integration of staff performance management process
  • direct access to progress and outputs for reporting and analytics
  • a reduction in costs associated with staff learning and development.

TVC Enterprise enables you to deliver learning effectively through individual learning plans which reflect your employees’ roles, training needs and objectives. It keeps the learner, the training and your company strategy all on the same page – and happy about it.

Feeling even a little intrigued? Hopeful that there really is a solution out there that can make a difference to learning and development at your organisation? Then contact eWorks for a chat.

Moodle and Mahara – Why do we need both?

Allison Miller, eWorks Accredited Consultant

Allison Miller is the director of Vanguard Visions and an important member of a team of accredited consultants at eWorks. With nearly twenty years’ experience in education and training, much of it as an e-learning leader and innovator, Allison understands the learning needs of modern students. But a Mahoodle? Surely she just made that up.

Why do we need Moodle and Mahara when Moodle offers it all?

Well, Moodle LMS is an educator driven space that allows students to collaborate and undertake social constructionism learning activities, ie learning with others by doing.

Moodle allows students to work together to actively construct their learning through:

  • forums
  • wikis
  • glossaries
  • databases
  • messaging, and so on.

This makes for rich learning experiences which are very effective as they reflect how people function in a workplace and in society. In other words, these activities actually help people learn how to do things in the real world.

Mahara eportfolio system, however, is a learner driven space that allows students to quietly work in a learning-centred approach. That is, students are “invited to have some determination in not only how the work will be pursued and represented, but also in determining what it is that is necessary to learn.”

Mahara helps students to learn how to manage their own learning through:

  • setting goals
  • reflecting on their ongoing learning
  • getting input from their peers.

So Moodle reflects the classroom learning environment which the educator controls, while Mahara reflects the student’s learning space (eg. their bedroom), which the student controls.

Confused? A pretty table might help

Moodle Mahara
Who is in control? The educator/educational organisation learner
What does it capture? Learning product/output Learning process
What does it encourage? Meeting of key criteria Managing own learning goals
How does it do it? Subjects and topics Goal setting, experimentation, feedback, review and showcasing
An example? Read the eModule, contribute to the group discussion forum and add a definition to the glossary Complete project, undertake work placement, apply for (and get!) the job

Mahoodle – the new labradoodle?

As you can see, Moodle and Mahara complement one another. Moodle learning management system (LMS) is among the most popular LMSs in the world, couple it with the open source e-portfolio system Mahara (through a single sign-on!) and you get a Mahoodle configuration. This Mahoodle learning ecosystem offers a very powerful learning environment which reflects the learning needs of modern students. And in a world that needs people to think constructively, work collaboratively and constantly be learning, together these systems ensure that our students are team players who have the skills and learning framework to keep up in an ever-changing world.

Is this how you want your students to learn?

Then find out more. Registrations are now open for the Moodle-Mahara Meetup in Adelaide in April. You might just find a Mahoodle or two sniffing around.

Want to become an accredited consultant for eWorks? The Accredited Consultant Program offers everything a consultant needs to start delivering eWorks’ e-learning solutions. Comprehensive training is provided, together with full eWorks Accredited branding.