eLearning Proposal Miyashita


Moodle Implementation at Castle View High School Mark M Miyashita Castle View High School

eLearning Proposal Miyashita Abstract Since opening its doors three years ago, Castle View High School (Douglas County


School District RE-1, Colorado) was created with an educational philosophy of school reform by using small learning communities and incorporating the use of 21st Century technologies. To date the use of Academic Academies designed to meet the learning and career goals of the students has begun to take a concrete form with the final round of hiring and graduation of the inaugural senior class. During these three short years many giant steps have been taken, but one area has lagged and that is the access and use of Course Management Systems (CMS) by teachers and students. It is the intended goal of Castle View to be 21st Century relevant and a step towards making this a reality instructional delivery must be better developed and the platforms that are adopted and applied by the staff applied universally. That goal can be met with the adoption of Moodle as the school’s CMS, as it is integrated over a 12-month time period that will be piloted by a test group of teachers and later unveiled to the rest of the Castle View Staff. Purpose In the short time that Castle View has been open, the use of School Center as the CMS has been adequate for many teachers, but with the mission of the school/district to create 21st Century learners a better system is needed. In researching many of the different options that are available, Moodle has become the desired selection when compared to the current program of School Center. This CMS greatly improves the delivery of content by the teacher to the student far beyond the capabilities of School Center. The implementation of Moodle as part of the Castle View experience, will allow for teachers to provide a CMS that will keep students’ learning opportunities open 24/7, as they will have access to content at anytime. This extension of the classroom beyond the traditional face-

eLearning Proposal Miyashita to-face (FtF) model will allow for flexible learning to take place that can supplement daily lessons. No longer will teachers simply rely upon the students reading at from their texts in preparation for class, but presentations, lectures, and other materials will be readily available to the students from the comforts of their home. This will allow a teacher to focus on skills based learning and student led discussion when FtF. The use of Moodle will allow for the Castle View and the District to expand the course offerings, creating hybrid courses, offering more courses, create a new revenue stream, and streamline the academic learning taking place in Douglas County. In a recent article by Nagel (2009): More than 2 million preK-12 students take some form of schooling online right now-whether attending a virtual school for all their classes or just taking one or more courses via the Internet. But while the vast majority of students will continue to take all of their courses in physical classrooms over the next five years, the number of students taking courses online will jump to more than 10 million by 2014, according to data released recently by research firm Ambient Insight. During the current economic crisis that exists, the Douglas County School District RE-1


has faced budget cuts of $40 million in the past two fiscal years. These economic issues that are faced by educational institutions across the country has led to a push for finding ways to increase the quality of education that students receive, but with less funds. Identifying the online model as a way to meet both of these criteria moving towards a “digital school” is one solution to meet this crisis. The use of Moodle will allow the school/district to supplement their traditional learning opportunities with elearning that can be used for elective, remedial, and summer courses based on current staff’s lesson plans, rather then expensive programs like StarLab.

eLearning Proposal Miyashita In researching for a new CMS, part of the checklist for evaluating a new program was consulted using the DMADDI for Six Sigma presented by Fee (2009) “Define, Measure, Analyse, Design, Develop, and Implement. At the end of each phase in this process a ‘tollgate’ review takes place, ensuring that the learning remains on track to fulfill business expectations.” (p. 126) The use of this allowed the Tech Committee to maintain a balanced checklist that continually reviewed a program and if it met the criteria set forth by the group. Advantages/Disadvantages Advantages Expanded capabilities i.e.; direct link between tests/quizzes and Infinite Campus (grade book) Learning Flexibility (Asynchronous) Disadvantages Academic Dishonesty Lack of personalized relationship between


learner and teacher. Potential use for strictly online courses Lack of direct feedback Digital In box (“No misplaced work”) Laziness or adequate time devoted to study. Technological Skill Development Isolated Learners Costs The advantages of embracing distance learning at the high school level will allow the public school model to become more flexible rather then the rigid system that is resented by some students. This model will empower the students to make decisions for themselves regarding time management and self-discipline to complete the required tasks of the course(s) they are taking. In using Moodle the district will be able to save money that is used to have staff directly supervise students that are taking credit recovery courses via alternate programs like StarLab. This will allow for more effective use of staff in other areas of the building and forces the student to work through a more rigorous learning model. Having students who have failed courses previously re-take them via this instructional model will not divert time and resources from those students that have demonstrated a commitment to their learning. For students with personal issues that may not allow them to attend public school in person, these student can still

eLearning Proposal Miyashita


experience the quality education that is being provided in Douglas County. Online learning will eliminate the “turned in paper that the teacher lost” by using digital drop boxes for students to hand in all assignments. In times of economic downturn the opportunities provided by Moodle expand beyond just the delivery of content and learning, the potential cost savings and earnings need to be considered and this will discussed later. The positives of using Moodle as a learning platform do come with some drawbacks that must be considered. In using distance learning the personalized relationships between teacher and student may not be the same depending upon how much synchronous learning is conducted. This lack of personalization will take time for learners to adjust to, just having to manage one’s time to complete the required tasks. Another area where students may lack in personal development is in their interpersonal communication skills since they will be doing most work from behind a screen and not in a face-to-face setting. Some key ideas can be lost when students communicate via text rather then through inflection of voice and facial expression. Although there will be opportunities to collaborate with fellow students there still remains some anonymity when using distance learning. Studies have shown that the use of distance learning has demonstrated results that defend it are an effective learning model. As in any learning environment there are student factors that relate to the success a student has. According to an article published online: No educator will be especially surprised to learn that success in a Web-based learning environment is heavily influenced by what the student brings to the learning situation. There is evidence that students with certain learning styles (e.g., visual) or behavioral types (e.g., independent) do learn better in the Web environment. Conversely, aural, dependent and more passive learners may not do

eLearning Proposal Miyashita as well. (The Web’s Impact on Student Learning, 2003)


It is argued in the article that the success/failure of a student online can be related to a similar situation in the classroom based upon learning styles: “No educator will be especially surprised to learn that success in a Web-based learning environment is heavily influenced by what the student brings to the learning situation. There is evidence that students with certain learning styles (e.g., visual) or behavioral types (e.g., independent) do learn better in the Web environment. Conversely, aural, dependent and more passive learners may not do as well.” (The Web’s Impact on Student Learning, 2003) Goals/Intended Outcome The outcomes for the implementation of Moodle are small to begin with: 1-6 months: Train pilot group of teachers to use Moodle and apply it into their current teaching assignments. At the end of this period, teachers will review and share their thoughts about the further use of Moodle as the school’s CMS. 7-12 Months: Upon acceptance of Moodle as the CMS, begin trainings for all staff members after Spring Break about the expectations that all staff will begin to use the program the following Fall. Staff will be trained during the remainder of the year and expected as part of their summer professional development to be “Moodle Ready” come the start of the 2010-11 school year. During this time period selected staff will begin development of hybrid elearning courses that can be run during Zero Hour using limited FtF learning supplemented with online requirements. These elective courses will then are offered the following fall and review upon their completion for effectiveness.

eLearning Proposal Miyashita Selected Model Using Fee (2009) the selected model(s) for learning will be determined upon the style of the course. Model 2 integrated online and offline learning will be used to supplement the traditional classroom environment as part of the proposed hybrid courses. Secondly, Model 1


online courses that meet strictly via the Internet will potentially be used if administration decides to offer these courses through this delivery. (p. 23) The initial use of a hybrid course will allow schools to provide a unique learning environment for students that give academic independence with oversight from a teacher in face-to-face settings during the week. With success using the hybrid model, additional courses could be offered completely online in the future allowing students to attend the school for fewer classes in person providing more academic flexibility. This could be useful the different learning and life styles that exist among the students. No longer will students be forced to adhere to a rigid schedule, but may be able to entertain the opportunity to work and learn in a setting that is more conducive to them. Audience The target audience of this proposal is the Students, Parents, Teachers, Administrators, District Officials, and Tax Payers of the county. Each has different perspectives about the benefits of using Moodle in the schools, but share equally in the education of the students in the district. The county has been documented as having the highest median income in Colorado and routinely has been in the top ten nationwide. The community is predominantly White, English speaking families. Students are exposed to and utilize technology in many different areas of their lives, their reliance and knowledge of this is exhibited daily. However, the application of these skills related to education are often not very well developed, utilizing a online learning environment will teach

eLearning Proposal Miyashita technological skills providing the requisite practice. One complaint of students is that school starts too early for them or they don’t like the herding from one class to another in a repetitive


cycle. The e-learning environment will empower the students to learn on a flexible schedule that is more to their liking. This flexible schedule will allow for students who are “night owls” to accomplish their tasks when they are more apt to completing schoolwork. Moodle will provide students a place to voice ideas in forum discussions whereas in the traditional classroom they may be fearful of public speaking. Other students in the future may be able to access courses from other district schools that are not presently offered at their home school, this creates universal access to learning within the district. Parents will benefit from being able to see the content and methods of teaching that their student is exposed to while their student completes coursework. This provides potential for parents to engage in conversations regarding the coursework, as there can be increased involvement in the education process. The flexibility of this program could allow for students to take an active role in the home regarding watching or supervising siblings prior to school since they are not physically at school in the morning. Teachers will be benefit from this system as both the hybrid and distance models will allow them more time during the day to refine content and delivery, while providing meaningful feedback on assignments to the students. Though this will challenge teachers in their preparation for each course, it allows for better access and monitoring of students individual growth that may be lost in the daily FtF setting. Differentiated learning can be developed and implemented for the multiple learning styles and abilities that are found in the general education classroom. For students that look to get credit recovery teachers will be able to use their courses for these classes earning them a stipend and ensuring that rigor is being upheld in credit recovery.

eLearning Proposal Miyashita Administrators in the schools will be able to use these courses in the future to create


income for the school by offering them in the summer for credit recovery or as an opportunity to advance studies. Schools will be able to develop and offer courses to students that they may not be able to take on a traditional schedule due to conflicts with other classes. District Officials will be able to offer their classes not only within their district, but also potentially beyond the borders of the county to depending upon the acceptance of distance learning in other communities. This provides a revenue stream coming into the district and can lower the costs/needs for more buildings and maintenance providing an area of savings for the district. In pursuing a cutting edge delivery model for effective learning, the District may be recognized as a leader in the field of education gaining name recognition. Taxpayers will benefit financially from the implementation of this model, as costs can be limited decreasing the demand placed on the tax base for increased funding. Improved schools that are desirable to parents and students can lead to population booms which can have indirect/direct benefits to the local economy and property values. Feasibility/Planning The initial development of content for the pilot program will be led by members of the Castle View Tech Committee, including Christopher Bell (Learning Media Specialist), Mark Miyashita (Social Studies), Bev Mahoney (Science), and Jonathon Bjork (Science). These individuals will be piloting the use of Moodle in the traditional FtF classroom with it being adopted by all building teachers for use in the 2010-11 school year. While this pilot is developed there is study being conducted about implementing the hybrid courses on a limited basis for the following school year. Eventually all teachers will be required to post their course work online using Moodle with those that are interested in furthering their use of the program invited to

eLearning Proposal Miyashita develop the hybrid course work.


In developing and leading the training of teachers on how to incorporate and use Moodle in the classroom, Mark Miyashita and Bev Mahoney will be handling the instructional sessions in the spring of 2010. These individuals will first train the remaining members of the Tech Committee on Moodle and within each Academy one to two people will be identified as the first responder to any issues. The table below identifies the chain of problem solving that will be used to trouble shoot problems with Moodle:

Academy Tech Committee Member Bev Mahoney or Mark Miyashita Christopher Bell DCSD Technical Help Desk One of the difficult tasks in introducing a new approach to education is the resistance from teachers of adding another responsibility to their plate. As in any occupations there many that wish to rely upon a technique that suits the needs of the individual and not necessarily the cliental, the introduction of Moodle is a situation that will require working with staff to evaluate and improve their teaching. In implementing this CMS, Brigham Young University’s staff development strategy is being used to help ease the transition for staff members. The strategy consisted of five specific goals: 1. Develop and support faculty instead of courses, enabling faculty members to effectively integrate technology into their teaching and learning efforts. 2. Develop and refine distributed learning models to promote wider adoption of technology-mediated instruction. 3. Encourage and empower departments to take strategic advantage of available models, tools, and resources. 4. Unify production and delivery of instructional materials across

eLearning Proposal Miyashita campus. 5. Effectively manage teaching and learning resources. (Mott and Granata. 2006) Administrative Support Support from school administration is already present with Assistant Principal Kevin


Gardner and Dean Mike Sory, overseeing the pilot and implementation process of Moodle. Both of these individuals are supportive of this effort and want to see the development of Hybrid Course and use of Castle View staff created courses for use in the summer. Technical Requirements The items needed to implement the Course Management System include the platform of Moodle. Additional support materials that are needed will be server space through the Douglas County School District RE-1 to host Moodle. Teachers will need computers with internet access and programs including Camtasia, Garageband, iMovie, Microsoft Office, and Keynote to create and maintain content for their courses. Access to Promethean Boards (similar to SMART Boards) will be made available for teachers in developing course work. Budget The cost of using Moodle and obtaining the needed server space will run $2000 per year, currently there are no additional costs for developing the training and piloting the program as it is being done on a volunteer basis by Tech Committee members as they use it as an alternative to School Center which was the previous classroom management system. Trainings will be provided during prep periods for teachers and on previously scheduled in-service days thus negating any training expenses. Eventually, if this is implemented as a summer school system there will be costs involved regarding salaries for teachers teaching those classes. Otherwise every aspect will fall under the annual operation budget of the school.

eLearning Proposal Miyashita Timeline Dates: November 1, 2009 Assignment Tech Committee members launch pilot of Moodle in their respective classes Tech Committee meeting to determine the implementation of Moodle school wide. Tech Committee Trainings on using Moodle Staff Trainings *New hires will be provided with trainings during summer break. Remedial Training Intended Outcomes Measure the success of Moodle in these pilot classrooms to determine if it will be implemented school wide. Support in favor of school wide implementation.


January 4, 2010 January 11-29, 2010

March 1, 2010- May 2010

Aug 7, 2010

Aug. 13, 2010 Dec. 2010

First Day of School Follow Up

All committee members introduced and trained on how to use Moodle and troubleshoot problems. Bi-weekly trainings will be held for staff members during planning periods and Teacher Development Days. Refresher training for returning staff and full trainings for any new staff that have not been trained. Roll out the program school wide. Review the first semester implementation of Moodle and how to expand its use beyond the present offerings.

Implementation Christopher Bell (Learning Media Specialist) will serve as the Castle View Moodle Director overseeing its launch and lead liaison between Administration and the District. During the pilot period three teachers (Bjork, Mahoney, and Miyashita) will utilize Moodle in their classrooms using it for to present the framework of the course, assessment, collaboration (forums), and communication (calendar). At semester’s end students will be provided a survey and the data will be compiled to give the Tech Committee an idea about how to improve instructional delivery and the use of Moodle for class. Using this data Moodle will continue to be piloted during the second semester of the

eLearning Proposal Miyashita current school year with student feedback given at the end of the third quarter. Once this


feedback has been analyzed it will used in developing the trainings for staff and the school wide introduction of Moodle for next year. Marketing The school will market the implementation of Moodle through newsletters, email, school website, and eventually the District office. Once the decision to include hybrid courses (and beyond) is made there will be meetings and general overviews for the school community (parents and students) at school events (back to school, conferences, etc). Evaluation Since there are multiple offerings of most courses at school the use of common assessments is becoming a norm at Castle View. The use of this data will help to determine whether students taking part in the online opportunities are meeting the benchmarks. One of the challenges of utilizing an online learning opportunity will be the amount of time students are putting into the course. Measurement of the time that they are spending engaged in the program will be part of the evaluation process of Moodle. From the perspective of staff the success of Moodle will be looked at using the ADKAR model discussed by Ewton (2006): The ADKAR model is designed to focus teams on specific activities that will impact results. The benefits to this model include; evaluating employee resistance, help employee’s transition through the process, create employee specific action plans, and develop a change management plan with employees. (Prosci, 2006) ADKAR model is focused on employees, success with the change plan is likely as the Staff feels involved and has interest in the process. The input from staff evaluating the effectiveness of this tool in their content delivery will help to measure the success and failures of the program. This will allow for constant refinement of instructional delivery,

eLearning Proposal Miyashita and design as teachers branch out into a new realm of educating students. Role


The role that I play in this grand scheme begins at the first steps in this long process of bringing Moodle to the school. Through conversations with Christopher Bell and Kevin Gardner concerns were voiced about the usefulness of the previous program (School Center), this led to a look at Moodle as a possible replacement. Another school in the district had opened last fall using Moodle, conversations with their Tech Committee led to a decision that a piloting at Castle View was needed. From this point on I have been heavily involved in lobbying for its use and preparing for the piloting of the program in the classroom. Since this will be the beginning of its implementation into Castle View, I will be involved in nearly every aspect as the program moves forth.

eLearning Proposal Miyashita References


Ewton, Zane. September 9, 2006. Change Management Theories. Retrieved from http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/56933/change_management _theories.html?cat= Fee, Kenneth. (2009). Delivering E-Learning: A complete strategy for design, application and assessment. Philadelphia, Pa: Kogan Page Granata, G. & Mott, J.D. (2006). The Value of Teaching and Learning Technology: Beyond ROI. Educause Quarterly. Volume 29 (Issue 2). Retrieved from http://www.educause.edu/EDUCAUSE+Quarterly/EDUCAUSEQuarterlyM agazineVol m/TheValueofTeachingandLearningT/157400 Nagel, David. (October 28, 2009). 10.5 Million PreK-12 Students Will Attend Classes Online by 2014. The Journal: Transforming Education Through Technology. http://thejournal.com/articles/2009/10/28/10.5-million-prek-12students-will-attend-classes-online-by-2014.aspx (May 1, 2003). The Web’s Impact on Student Learning. The Journal: Transforming Education Through Technology. Retrieved from http://thejournal.com/articles/2003/05/01/the-webs-impact-on-studentlearning.aspx

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