eXtension Campus (Moodle) Continues Strong Growth

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eXtension’s online course system, campus.extension.org, continues to grow in both course numbers and participation. There are currently 306 courses available for enrollment, with another 327 either being developed or used for training or testing. These courses are being taught by 489 Extension faculty representing 47 states or agencies. Since January 1, 2014, some 11,470 new users have registered on the site, and 17,850 certificates of completion have been issued.

Aside from the overall statistics, there appears to be interest by faculty from many institutions in offering courses related to some of Extension’s traditional subjects. Faculty from 17 institutions are offering courses related to 4H & youth development, faculty from 11 institutions are addressing some aspect of human nutrition, and 9 institutions are using Campus for master gardener education. Horses, however, is the topic with the highest number of courses, with 22 courses currently available for enrollment, and another 27 being developed. Most of these horse courses are sponsored by the eXtension Horse Community of Practice.

Over the past year, the following “top ten list” of courses generated the greatest amount of activity. While “activity” in Moodle is akin to “hits” on a website, it is also very reflective of the amount of engagement people have with the course and the depth of the course experience. Clicking on these course titles displays the course description and teachers of each course, along with a link to enroll in the courses if desired. Congratulations to the teachers of these “top ten” courses.

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While the Moodle technology used at Campus continues to evolve and improve, it is more exciting to see the ways Extension faculty are finding to use an online course system like Moodle. Some of these courses above have been described in past issues of the eXtension Update. However, one of the courses, Roscoe Collegiate ISD Veterinary Science, will be part of a future eXtension Update article describing an effort by Dr. Floron Faries, Extension Veterinarian with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, to prepare students for possible careers as veterinary assistants using a train-the-trainer approach. This approach greatly leverages Extension’s limited resources, such as Extension veterinarians, to reach a much broader audience, while equipping the external trainers with the same tools used by Extension.

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University of Georgia Extension is now planning to use Campus for much of its foundation trainings. Under the leadership of prior eXtension Be, Grow, Create award winner Dr. Todd Hurt, it has opened up three such courses on Weeds of the Southeast, Insects of the Southeast, and Plant Diseases and Disorders of the Southeast. Targeted to the professional development of county Extension faculty, these courses feature picture galleries of various specimens, and then a flash card game for individuals to test their knowledge. This is followed by a quiz, and depending on satisfactory performance on the quiz, a certificate of achievement. Those completing these courses will be able to submit them to their professional development tracking system. Georgia Extension plans to expand these offerings significantly as other topics are identified and content developed.

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There are many more similar examples that could be shared, but simply browsing through the available courses at Campus should give one a good overview of the topics and approaches being used by Extension educators. Finally, to learn more about Campus and how it can be used, please check out the quick reference guides at http://create.extension.org/node/94857, particularly the Campus Fact Sheet located there. And, as we always end our various communications, if you have any questions or requests, please address them to campushelp@extension.org.

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