A. Distant learning activities. Moodle comprehension quiz
Read the fragment of the discussion of different VLEs’ pros and cons (the last message to read is the one of Sarah Noll Wilson starting with the words “Thank you all for sharing your insights and experiences”).
(Commentary: The resource can be incorporated as a web-link or as a HTML-document to be sure it is available to all the students. Further you will find the text of the discussion just in case it is no longer available on-line when we start teaching)
Need help with LMS decision....is Moodle that great?
By Sarah Noll Wilson
Greetings fantastic elearning Heroes and Heroes in training! I need to pick your wealth of experience as related to LMS options. Right now all of the buzz with Open source is Moodle. I've never had any experience with Moodle but all the articles discuss how easy it is...am I missing something? The website is super confusing and it seems I need more developer skills than I have to understand? I am thinking that I may be overlooking something with Moodle, but at this point I have not been able to effectively launch this on my computer. I wanted to get your thoughts on which systems you have used both proprietary and open source. Which ones would you recommend?
I'm researching like crazy and trying to demo as much as I can, but would like to get the perspective of users.
Much appreciated for your time!!!
Tim Slade 2 years ago
I agree with you, I found the Moodle site to be very confusing. I haven't worked with Moodle directly, but I have worked with a product called Totara through a company called Kineo. Totara is built off the Moodle platform to create a front end LMS. I really enjoyed the product.
Right now, in my current organization, we are exploring the Absorb LMS. This has been by far my favorite LMS. I think it looks the best and has been the easiest to use. They gave me full access to a sandbox, which I've been playing with over the past several months. They take user interface design seriously, and it has paid off (both on the users end and admin end). They're also pretty cheap as compared to a few other vendors.
Personally, I'd suggest staying aware from Oracle and SumTotal. I've worked with both of these platforms and they've been subpar and expensive.
Julie Rourke 2 years ago
At first I found Moodle very confusing, but you need to get it set up correctly. I found moodle is very good for classroom resources and lessons done concurrently, but not as good for totally online resources. It then takes a lot of customising.
Marta Burda 2 years ago
I've been using Moodle (1.9, 2.2 now upgrading to 2.4) for some time now so I can tell you what I know:
- Moodle is open source which means that you can have custom modules built for your company if needed
- it is free for as many users as you want (you pay for hosting services only)
- Moodle has a great community, new versions are available every year (version 2.4 released in December, 2.5 coming up in May), I believe future releases will be much more user friendly (in terms of setting up and managing)
- it works well with the most popular tools (Articulate, Adobe, etc.)
- it will fully support mobile users shortly (Moodle Mobile app is now in beta)
On the contrary, you have to keep in mind that:
- you have to install and set it up on your own (I recommend that you have the IT person install it for you, setting up is not problematic since you have tons of books and resources on the subject)
- there is no technical support, you solve your issues on your own
- if you want to customize it, you either buy a custom theme or have a graphic designer build it for you
- let's be honest, Moodle could be a tad more user friendly, but once you get the hang of it, it is not that bad
I think I covered the most important stuff. Let me know if you need more info.
el rooc 2 years ago
easiest way to try Moodle - go to http://bitnami.org/stack/moodle - download installer - runs as a virtual machine on laptop/PC
also look at eFront (much less cluttered, and free)
Michael Heckman 2 years ago
We've set up, configured, and customized Moodle for many government agencies unable or unwilling to pay for a commercial LMS. You'll find opinions all over the place. If you want to get valuable insights, I respectfully suggest that you tell us a bit more about your specific requirements. I would not recommend Moodle or any other LMS without knowing how, why, where, and with whom you intend to use it.
Generally speaking, Moodle's strengths include its flexibility and vast global developer community. It's particularly well-suited to academic environments, especially those with dedicated IT departments who can support it. There are also some great companies dedicated to hosting, supporting, and customizing Moodle.
I personally would not consider Moodle if you're a small training department solely responsible for every aspect of LMS setup, maintenance and administration. Hosted solutions like Articulate Online are probably a better starting point for that set of needs.
Sarah Noll Wilson Author 2 years ago
Thank you all for sharing your insights and experiences. I especially appreciate hearing about what systems you have used that you have both loved working with and those who have been subpar. There are sooo many options. It has been really helpful as I have not had any luck in getting Moodle downloaded onto my MAC computer. But everything I read is how many users Moodle has and how popular it is. Based on what I am hearing, because I don't have IT background or support is leading to my confusion with how Moodle should work.
To provide additional information about what my needs are for this project. I am working closely with a large social media group who is looking to provide online courses in the related field both for free use as well as for purchase. In addition we are looking to partner with a site that would also allow our group members to upload their own content for free use or purchase. We don't currently have IT support, but if necessary could explore that as an option. This has the potential to have a very large amount of users taking courses as well as uploading.
So the basic needs are these:
User friendly both from administration, as well as end users
Community building options such as chat boards
Easy integration with multiple eLearning authoring software and
Preferably web based as users will from all over the world
If possible a structure that wouldn't require major IT support
I hope that gives a little bit better picture of what I am exploring. I recognize my needs are a little different than those of a singular company or academic setting.
Thanks again for all your great suggestions!
Questions for the first message.
Task: Read the message by Sarah Noll Wilson and choose the right answer.
Question 1: True or false
1. Sarah has already used Moodle
2. She is now trying different VLEs platforms on her computer
3. Sarah would like other participants to share their experience in using both paid and free VLE platforms.
4. Sarah has found little information about Moodle
Question 2. Multiple choice.
Sarah is confused about Moodle because:
- the website is not very clear
- there’s no information about people using Moodle in teaching practice
- she thinks she will need more skills than she currently has to use Moodle
- there aren’t many options when it comes to creating quizzes
- she couldn’t fully install Moodle on her computer
Questions for the second message
Question 1. Multiple choice
What VLE platforms has Tim Slader already used?
Question 2. Matching. Match the name of the VLE platform and its characteristics according to Tim Slader
has a very confusing web site
has a more user friendly interface than Moodle
cheaper and easier to use than many other VLEs and more secure as well due to additional options
Oracle and SumTotal
more expensive than the others and didn’t meet the expectations
Questions for the third message
Question 1. True or False
- changed her opinion about Moodle
- thinks that it has a range of elements to create classroom activities
- requires a lot of new settings when used for web resources
Questions for the fourth message. Embedded answers
Read the summery of Marta Burda message and chose the correct answer
Marta has been using Moodle for some tome and can indicate both its pros and cons. She states that as an open VLE platform Moodle offers a wide range of (tests/modules/forums) to customize it to the needs of every user. However its interface is not (difficult to understand/user friendly) in setting up and management which need to be improved in new versions. Though Moodle has a very (small/great/unfriendly) community and consequently a great number of forums, it offers neither (new versions/new modules/technical support) nor (customized design/variety of elements) that must be created by the user.
Questions for the fifth message
True or False
El Rooc recommends eFront
1) because it is an open VLE platform
2) because it has a better interface than Moodle
Questions for the sixth message
Drag and drop question
Fill in the table with pros and cons of Moodle mentioned by Michael Heckman.
can be configured and customized, flexible
needs a good team for supporting and customizing
special training in maintenance and administration required
widely discussed, a lot of opinions
can be successfully used in academic circles
has a network of developers all over the world
Questions for the seventh message
Read about the context in which Sarah Noll Wilson works and why she needs to use a VLE in her work. Write whether and why she can use Moodle basing on its pros and cons that you’ve already learned from previous messages.