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Cover photo by Kelly Sikkema

I have worked in training programs in which I encouraged learners to maintain a learning diary, or learning blog or learning portfolio. However we call it, the idea behind this is that students have to write down what they have learned, their reflections on the matter.

Well, I thought I’d assign this homework for me. So, what did I learn in 2020 related to e-learning?

2020 marked my return to Moodle. I hadn’t used Moodle seriously since 2018. That year, my time working at the Ministry of Education of Spain (INTEF) came to an end and I subsequently landed different jobs mainly focused on authoring courses with Articulate Storyline. The reason behind this shift to Moodle might be COVID. With the decrease on the number of projects because of the pandemic, I was lucky enough to keep my job at Inserver but in another department: Moodle.

I learned the cool new stuff of Moodle 3.9 and 3.10. What I liked the most was the native integration of Moodle with H5P. And here’s another awesome thing I learned. I have known H5P since 2018, but never had the chance to try it thoroughly. Thanks to this native integration and the boost that free authoring tools for education gained thanks to COVID, I had the chance of studying the authoring tool in order to teach it to others. As you may know, explaining something is a very powerful way to learn (some say the most powerful.)

This shift at Inserver also allowed me to attend the MoodleMoot Spain 2020, where I watched some interesting talks. Specially Laia Canet’s presentation on scenario-based learning and Emilio Lozano’s presentation on the upcoming features of Moodle (it was a pay-per-view event, so unfortunately I can’t provide any links).

But the biggest learning achievement was the Moodle Educator Certification (MEC). Inserver provided me the with the opportunity to certify myself in order to be able to facilitate this course. And I did! It was an interesting learning journey and I learned about different ways of working with Moodle, about pedagogical and competency-based approaches. But my relationship with MEC was bigger than that of a learner: I did a decent amount of translating the MEC contents into Spanish. This proved to be a great way of studying the contents, since I had to read them twice and adapt the words from one language to another. Also, I feel a little proud that every Spanish-speaking Moodle Partner is offering a course I partially translated.

As soon as I succeeded as a learner, I started the next step: certifying myself as a facilitator. And this I did too:

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Let me proudly share my MEC facilitator certificate

My intention was to be an online tutor/facilitator again. I took this kind of role several times in 2018, when I facilitated online training for the Ministry of Education of Spain (INTEF), and I was looking forward to doing it again. However, something unexpected happen: I stopped working at Inserver at the end of November 2020 (more on this later). Not being part of an official Moodle Partner anymore, I wasn’t allowed to facilitate the MEC. But the license doesn’t expire, so I hope I can take this role in the future.

The last but not least learning event related to Moodle is the following: I had to teach Moodle to other people. I hadn’t done this since… 2013? and I loved the chance to do it again. In addition, it was in English -not my native language. I had wanted/feared this challenge for ages, and I like to think that I passed it.

Another big comeback happened in 2020: I returned to instructional design. Let me explain: you know sometimes you just translate content into Storyline or similar authoring tools, and sometimes you have to design the contents too (the structure, the activities, the pace, the media resources, the learning objectives, the evaluation…). Projects from the second group had been rarer, but at the beginning of 2020 I worked on several projects focusing more on the instruction than on the software. I used these projects to try different approaches and put into practice some key precepts from this awesome book: Design for how people learn by Julie Dirksen. It was a fun thing to do.

I had been in online events before, but I had never been the host of a webinar. This changed in February 2020. I explained the basics of Storyline. You can watch the webinar recording here (in Spanish).

As you can see, I learned a lot in the year 2020 at Inserver and I can’t thank them enough.

On a more informal note, I think I have never listened to podcasts as I have done in 2020. My all-time favorite podcast remains to be Doug Metzger’s Literature and History (you need to listen to it now), but I enjoyed some e-learning related ones:

When 2020 was coming to an end, in December, I joined a totally different company, Devo. Their trade is cybersecurity and big data so it is a completely unexplored field for me, and this means I’m learning a lot. Wait for 2022 for the learning report on 2021.


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