MoodleNet Design Sprint

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This week, we’re at the offices of Outlandish, a tech co-op based in north London, UK for a MoodleNet design sprint. We’re delighted that Martin Dougiamas, Moodle’s Founder and CEO, was able to fly over from Australia for it.

In addition, everything came together to be able to invite our new Technical Architect, Mayel de Borniol, over from his home in Athens, Greece, for the week. Bryan Mathers also joins Doug Belshaw, MoodleNet Lead, to add his experience and some ‘visual thinkery’ into the mix.

The week is focused on moving from the research phase to the design phase, so that we have a solid base to start building MoodleNet. We’ll be prototyping and user testing throughout the week. More soon!

MoodleNet project community call (May 2018)


Next Wednesday, we’re hosting our MoodleNet project community call for May. We’ve got some updates to share, and we’d also very much appreciate your input for an upcoming design sprint.

The call will kick off, as usual, with a brief update about the current status of Project MoodleNet, and then we will collaborate on the data and inputs required for the design sprint we’re running later this month.

We’re alternating the times of each monthly call, so apologies to those who live in timezones that make it difficult to join this time around. We record each one, and you’re welcome to add your thoughts to the etherpad-based agenda asynchronously.

Image by Dafne Cholet used under a Creative Commons license

Mid-April 2018 round-up of project activity

This is a quick progress report since our last update in early February. A reminder that the canonical home page of this project can be found at

Doug Belshaw, MoodleNet project lead, as been meeting with lots of people and making notes of what was discussed. That has led to a shift away from the ‘start with a social network’ approach hinted at in the last update.

In the presentation and workshop Doug led at MoodleMoot UK & Ireland, he explained how such a potentially large and complex project needs a concrete starting point. Using the metaphors of cupcakes (always a favourite!) he introduced three different approaches:

CC BY-ND Bryan Mathers

Instead of starting with social networking, we’d instead add that and professional development to a platform that would initially focus on resource curation.

Participants who attended the first monthly community call discussed the pros and cons of starting off in this way, but all agreed that it would be something immediately useful to educators. Doug is now putting together a list of different types of resource-centric social media platforms, for inspiration.

While the white paper needs further work to update it in light of the slight change of direction, we have tidied it up and added new faces to scenarios section

We’ve been doing a whole host of work, including putting together a job landscape for a Technical Architect to join the team at some point in the near future. We’ll also be engaging a design and development agency to help us with design sprint / prototyping / MVP.  More on that in the next update!

Related posts on Doug’s blog:


Meet us at the OER18 conference (Bristol, UK) this week, or OE Global 2018 (Delft, Netherlands) next week!

Recording of first Project MoodleNet community call now available!

Project MoodleNet community call (4th April 2018)

Many thanks to the 20+ who joined us for the first Project MoodleNet community call. Despite some technical difficulties towards the end, it proved to be a great, positive discussion!

The (now very colourful and annotated) agenda can be found here. The video and audio recording, along with a backup of the agenda, and visual notes from Bryan Mathers and Adam Procter, can be found at

Please join us for the next community call at 08:00 UTC on Wednesday 9th May 2018.

Adam Procter notes

Bryan Mathers - resource collection

Bryan Mathers - The Discoverability problem

Community call: save the date!


Right now, we’re deep in planning mode for Project MoodleNet. This includes putting together documentation (most of which is publicly available here), sorting out resourcing, and talking to people who have valuable insights which will help us with the road ahead.

We’re keen to involve the community in this process as soon as it makes sense to do so, which is why we’re announcing the first Project MoodleNet community call for early April!

The call will kick off with a brief presentation about the current status of Project MoodleNet, and then will take questions and have a discussion about what should be in/out of scope for the project.

Apologies to those who live in timezones that make it difficult to join this time around. We’ll be sure to record this one, and will attempt to accommodate different timezones in future calls.

Image by Dafne Cholet used under a Creative Commons license

Early February 2018 round-up of project activity

Project MoodleNet planning/experimentation screenshots

We’ve been hard at work behind the scenes over the past few weeks, planning, experimenting, and testing with various protocols and standards. Here are a few updates for those keeping a close eye on the progress of this project:

  1. Whiteboarding — as you can see from one of the above screenshots, we’re figuring out the components of Project MoodleNet, and how everything will fit together. Initially, we thought there would be six components, but this has grown to eight (as a couple of them needed to be separated-out)
  2. Testing — again, as you can see from the other two screenshots above, we’ve been experimenting with two open source projects that are compatible with the (newly W3C-recommended) ActivityPub protocol. We want Project MoodleNet to be a decentralised, federated system and these projects may give us a head start — at least for the MVP. You can read more about Mastodon and Hubzilla on project lead Doug Belshaw’s blog. In terms of authenticating into the system, we’re going to be using OpenID Connect in the first instance.
  3. Compliance — the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force in May, and pertains to every organisation based in the European Union (EU), or processing the data of EU citizens. Moodle has already published a plan for GDPR compliance, but this relates mainly to our learning platform. Project lead Doug Belshaw is blogging his reflections on a GDPR course he is currently undertaking.

Thanks again to those who left comments on v0.1 of the Project MoodleNet white paper. We have now transferred the text from Google Docs to the wiki, and will proceed to make changes based both on community feedback and the discoveries we make as the project progresses.

Next week, Moodle’s team leads are meeting in Perth, Australia, for some days of intensive planning. We intend to have a lot more updates for you over the coming weeks!