Saturday, 10 July 2010

Moodle muddle

As mentioned in an earlier post, my organisation is implementing Moodle as its learning platform.

Early days yet, but a big success so far. However, while pleased with the platform, I have been surprised by the limitations of Moodle’s course authoring capability. These limitations fall into two categories:

1. There are limited options for course layout and navigation. We’ve tried using the “topics” format and adding the “Book Module” plug-in, but neither is entirely satisfactory. The book module offers better menu options (although not the choice to show or hide the left-hand menu), navigation arrows on every page, and the option to print each book or chapter. However…

2. The book module doesn’t allow features like activities or questions to be included in a book – as it says on the Moodle website, “the book module is not interactive”. We’d like to keep our build as simple as possible, and with as few plug-ins as possible, but if we’re to persist with any version of Moodle’s own authoring capability, that will mean adding in small apps to offer conceal-and-reveal features, mouse-over options, and other added extras.

So we’re looking at alternatives. Top of the list at the moment is Udutu (which, a little to my surprise, seems to be pronounced “you do too” – there was me thinking it was Swahili or something). The alternative doesn’t have to be open source or free – although that helps – but definitely has to be easily compatible with Moodle.

If anyone has any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.


Chris said...

Try the Accordion plugin. Its very popular and really assists with course navigation.

Another very good navigation set up is flexpage. Its a bit more complicated to set up but allows a lot of possibilites.Good luck!

Christiaan said...

Please look at Sana EasyGenerator. It is reviewed by Kineo a couple of months ago. It is a standalone platform for online authoring of content. The scorm-packages run smoothly in Moodle and other scorm-compliant LMS's. If you have any question you can always contact me at c.devisser[@]sana-software .com