Sunday, 3 July 2011

Adventures in Moodle

Picking up from some of my previous blog posts, it’s now over a year since my organisation established an online learning environment, based on a Moodle platform. It’s been an interesting journey.

Initially I expected to get three things:
1. A learner management system, enabling us to store information about learners and generate reports.
2. A learning content management system, to author, edit and launch courses and other forms of online content.
3. A virtual classroom tool, to enable meetings of learners in multiple locations.

We don’t have the first thing – Moodle seems pretty limited in this capability, and I wonder whether others have found solutions to this? We’ve learned to experiment with plug-ins, trying the Book Module, before settling on Xerte as our default course authoring tool; we’ve plugged in the OU blog, following my amazed discovery that the native Moodle blog tool didn’t allow comments (although Moodle 2.0 apparently allows comments on all features, so we probably just needed to upgrade the whole platform); and we’ve opted for a plug-in for the virtual classroom functionality (hang on a minute – getting ahead of myself). But I’m not convinced any plug-in is going to help us with reporting – unless anyone can tell me different?

We’ve got the second thing, although we didn’t understand at the beginning that Moodle is designed essentially to support tutor-led cohorts of learners following a blended learning model, and any other capability is really just stuck on as an option.

And we don’t have the third thing. We plugged in Dimdim, but since their acquisition, they no longer offer an open source solution (our deal runs out at the end of August) and we need to identify an alternative. WiZiQ looked attractive, but we seem to get more features from Megameeting, with which we’ve already experimented. I’d be interested to hear from others who have plugged in different solutions.

What sort of adventures have you had with Moodle?

4 comments:

Susana said...

Hello Ken,

I work in IT at University of Aveiro and we are using Moodle since 2009 and it works fine for our teachers.

For our eLearning experiences we use bigbluebutton we have our own server with it and its totally integrated with Moodle.

It works really well teachers can talk with students while they are presenting something. they can even use a chat... try it on-line I think it's a good option.

Best regards
Susana

Ken said...

Hi Susana,

Thanks for your helpful suggestion - we're now seriously considering BigBlueButton.

Best wishes,

Ken

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