Moodle

I’ve been kicking the tires on Moodle for a while now and it turns out that my institution, Plymouth State University, is interested in exploring this open-source learning management system as well. As the lead facilitator for this project, I’ve been asked to provide training and support for a number of our faculty who have been kind enough to volunteer to pilot a few courses to test its efficacy. As a result, I’ve been looking for documentation in the area of course development and pedagogy.

There are a number of online resources if you have the patience to search and sift through the flotsam and jetsam to find your answer. Of course, this approach assumes that you know your question. So I did a quick search for Moodle titles and came across two publications. One is a 2005 title published by O’Reilly and entitled “Using Moodle.” The other title is by a publisher I had never heard of, Packt Publishing. Written by William H. Rice, the book is entitled “Moodle – E-Learning Course Development.”

Cover picture

I asked for a complimentary copy to review and they were nice enough to accomodate me with the caveat that I write a review of the title. I’m in the process of tying the book to my faculty development and will publish the review here in about a week.

In the meantime, I’ll be attending the NERCOMP Moodle Interest Group this Friday at Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. If you’re a reader and attending let me know and we’ll catch up F2F!

Turns out that a number of larger higher ed institutions in the United States are using or turning to Moodle as well. The list below is compiled from Moodle’s registered sites list. I was surprised to see so many University of California schools on the list considering their system-wide adoption of SAKAI. There was also a recent article on the Campus Technology website that mentioned UCLA was adopting Moodle as their campus LMS.

Here’s the list:

[tags]lms, cms, learning, course, management, system, moodle [/tags]

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3 thoughts on “Moodle

  1. Hi Carol,

    When you asked “Why Moodle?” do you mean why Moodle over some other learning management system or why use Moodle at all? If it comes down to Moodle versus some other LMS such as Blackboard, for me it boils down to cost and the freedom to customize the applicaiton to fit the needs of my learning community. If the question is “Why use Moodle at all?” then the first thing that comes to my mind is the capability to extend the classroom beyond the typical class period.

    Time is precious and often conversations must be halted just when they are getting rich due to time constraints and the need to “cover” the curriculum. The discussion tool in Moodle enables that conversation to continue beyond the class period and allows students time to reflect upon their thoughts before responding. It may also serve to provide a voice to those students who don’t feel comfortable speaking up in class.

    Additionally, Moodle can serve to cultivate a virtual community and then to facilitate dialogue among community members. The blog tool is a terrific way to develop your students’ voices in a way that can be restricted to internal viewers only.

    Moodle allows you to create learning environments for your students that enable them to further pursue topics beyond the typical classroom. I’m thinking of differentiated instruction or gifted/talented programs that could exist within a classroom through the use of technology-mediated instruction.

    From an administrative standpoint, Moodle can serve as a way to connect parents to their students, track homework, grades, etc. Through the use of plug-ins, Moodle can also serve as an electronic portfolio where students can post their exemplar works and present reflections on their development.

    These are just a few thoughts that come to mind but I’d be happy to discuss this further with you or your colleagues. Feel free to drop a line back here!

    Cheers,

    John Martin

  2. John, Thank you for your response. My principal asked the question & I didn’t feel knowledgeable enough about it to give a fair answer. I appreciate your time in doing this. Carol

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