Many liberal arts schools have adopted the Moodle course management system because of its low financial barriers to entry. However, supporting and contributing to the development of this open-source software project can require significant resources of both time and money. The Collaborative Liberal Arts Moodle Project (CLAMP) is an effort by several schools to support a continued and sustainable process for collaborations on Moodle development.
Moodle is open source, web-based software for creating and managing interactive course websites. The popularity of Moodle has grown rapidly across a wide variety of teaching and learning settings, including institutions of higher education in the United States and around the world. It is known as a Course Management System (CMS), a Learning Management System (LMS), or a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). At the Moodle website, you can learn more and try out a demo version of the software.
The development of CLAMP was originally funded by a grant from NITLE’s Instructional Innovation Fund. The goals of the grant are as follows:
- Define a process by which Liberal Arts colleges can identify and prioritize bugs and desired functionality in each version of Moodle as it is released and adapted by the individual schools.
- Support a Hack-Doc Fest during which institutions will work on bugs and functionality identified above.
- Train programmers at the various schools in the required process of preparing bug fixes and modules for release through Moodle.org.
- Create a funding and support mechanism for sustaining this collaboration.
- Explore methodologies for handling those Moodle issues deemed, through the initial prioritization process, to be beyond the abilities of a Hack-Doc Fest.
- Present findings regarding software development, training, and shared documentation at both an instructional technology focused conference and a library focused conference.
What we do
The major work of this group of institutions is sharing documentation, fixing bugs and developing code. While much of the ongoing work is accomplished completely online, the Hack-Doc events allow us to spend concentrated periods in the same location and pool resources to solve problems and advance desired functionality.
To ensure the sustainability of this project past the grant, we have organized ourselves into a steering committee for CLAMP. The committee currently consists of the original grant writers, but with plans to rotate membership amongst all collaborating institutions. The steering committee uses smaller working groups to ensure that progress continues on various projects between the Hack-Doc Fests.
We invite interested institutions to join our efforts! Learn how to get involved in CLAMP.