Archive for the 'VLE' Category

Moodle Wave: Embedding Google Wave into Moodle

I’ve previously given instructions for Embedding Google Wave into Blackboard, for you Moodlers out there the process is practically identical:

  1. In your Wave Preview account add [email protected]
  2. Create a new wave with Embeddy as a participant
  3. Embeddy will generate two pieces of code for you to copy to notepad (see screenshot-1)

Wave with Embeddy
Screenshot-1: Output from Embeddy (Click to enlarge)

  1. Once you’ve copied the code you can delete the content and remove Embeddy from the wave
  2. Next you can seed your wave with text, gadgets etc
  3. Now open your course in Moodle
  4. Depend on what version you are running you want to do something like  ‘Add a resource’ –> ‘Compose a web page’
  5. Enter your required resource name and summary. In the ‘Compose a web page’ text entry switch to ‘HTML Source’ view by pressing the ‘<>’ button and paste the code generated by Embeddy (see screenshot-2)

image
Screenshot-2: Content editing view in Moodle (Click to enlarge)

Once you have saved this switch to student view and you can see that a Google Wave is embedded into the course (see screenshot-3). Remember the same wave can be embedded and interacted with wherever you like.

A frequently asked question is what does a user see if they haven’t logged into Wave or have a Wave account? Screenshot-4 shows what the student will see in this scenario.

image
Screenshot-3: Wave embedded into Moodle (Click to enlarge)
image
Screenshot-4: Message if user hasn’t logged into Wave (Click to enlarge)

 

While Wave accounts are still at a premium I’m sure this will change next year. Combine this with the possibility of institutions being able to host their own Wave servers I think this technology will make it easy to add additional functionality to your VLE with very little overhead.

Even without Wave access our colleagues at JISC CETIS have already extracted some of the well known Wave gadgets and embedded them into a Moodle course (See  Using "Moodle Wave" - Live demo). This solution uses the Wookie engine to render the gadgets so no Wave account is needed. If you are interested in findind out more about this I would recommend reading Scott Wilson’s - "Moodle Wave: Reinventing the VLE using Widget technologies".

Black Wave 2: Blackboard Wave Integration!

Yesterday I showed you how you could embed Google Wave into Blackboard. At the time I tweeted this as “Google Wave embedded into Blackboard WebCT. A world 1st? http://twitgoo.com/4p068″ (the tweet).

Turns out I might have not been the first to do this as George Kroner showcased a Blackboard Wave integration at EDUCAUSE09. His example is streaks ahead of mine as he is synchronising discussions between a Google wave and Blackboard (click on the screenshot below for a side by side comparison).

Blackboard Wave integration of discussion boards
Blackboard Wave integration of discussion boards

If you are luck enough to have a Wave account you can see the wave here. The mirror of the conversation in Blackboard is here.

The VLE lives!

Black Wave: Embedding Google Wave (etherpad and mindmeister) into Blackboard

There was a lot of talk at ALT-C this year about whether the VLE was dead. My personal view is divided. One one hand I can see the important role VLEs play in quality assurance. They are a controlled environment where the institution can validate learning, storing copies of work and making them available for external examination. On the other had VLE have a tendency to be rigid, forgoing flexibility and personalisation; ignoring the social change which is evident in other parts of the web. There is now a great richness is collaboration, openness and personal learning which sits outside the doors of the institutional VLE.

This all might however be about to change as the tide turns and the walls of the VLE are eroded by a rich web of social tools which are not bound by their domain but free to seed themselves on less fertile land.

That’s enough of the two-bit pros. Want to enrich your VLE with some Google Wave here’s how:

  1. In your Wave Preview account add [email protected]
  2. Create a new wave with Embeddy as a participant
  3. Embeddy will generate two pieces of code for you to copy to notepad (see screenshot-1)

Wave with EmbeddyScreenshot-1: Output from Embeddy

  1. Once you’ve copied the code you can delete the content and remove Embeddy from the wave
  2. Next you can seed your wave with text, gadgets etc
  3. Now open your course in Blackboard
  4. Depend on what version you are running you want to do something like add a file to the course content
  5. In the content make sure you are in html mode and paste the code generated by Embeddy (see screenshot-2)

Content editing in WebCT
Screenshot-2: Content editing view in Blackboard WebCT CE

Once you have saved this switch to student view and you can see that a Google Wave is embedded into the course (see screenshot-3). Remember the same wave can be embedded and interacted with wherever you like. So one student might want to play Sudoku in Blackboard another from a Wave client or anywhere else the wave has been embedded.

Wave embedded into Blackboard
Screenshot-3: Wave embedded into Blackboard

Why do I think Google Wave might revive a little life back in the VLE? The main reason for me is you will be soon able to host your own Wave server. This would allow blending an environment which requires validation and quality assurance with a rich social collaborative tool which is flexible enough to be embedded wherever you like.

Until Wave is put on general release I realise this is all perhaps a little blue sky. Don’t forget however that Wave isn’t the only real-time collaboration tool which can be embedded into Blackboard. After playing with Wave I also embedded the real-time text editing tool etherpad.com, or if you prefer, how about some mind mapping with mindmeister.com. Click here for information on etherpad embedding

Etherpad embedding (Click to enlarge)
Screenshot-4: etherpad embed

MindMeister embedding (Click to enlarge)
Screenshot-5: MindMeister embed

Thanks go to Simon Booth at the University of Stirling for Blackboard access.

Related post: Black Wave 2: Blackboard Wave Integration!

About

This blog is authored by Martin Hawksey e-Learning Advisor (Higher Education) at the JISC RSC Scotland N&E.

mhawksey [at] rsc-ne-scotland.ac.uk | 0131 559 4112 | @mhawksey

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