Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Making Moodle Work: A Manual and a Mindset

podcast - click here.

What will happen to Moodle if Blackboard wins their lawsuit against Desire 2 Learn? I wonder. We're in uncharted territory, and I hate to see open source initiatives die off. I personally think that open source will always be around -- if they do not succeed, it is because of the inability to implement them. There is usually a gap. Moodle, an open source learning management system is a case in point.

Because Moodle is open-source, the weak link is almost always the documentation and the training. Documentation support that is clear, well laid out, understandable, and supported with screen shots and graphics is a lifesaver. I would imagine that every institution that is using Moodle (or considering it) will want to buy a copy of this manual for every person on their tech team.

Packt Publishing has just released Moodle: E-Learning Course Development -- A complete guide to successful learning using Moodle, by William H. Rice, IV. Moodle is the highly popular open-source learning management software that was recently thrust into the spotlight as Blackboard took legal action against D2L in an attempt to restrict and /or limit the way that educational software companies develop learning management systems.

Packt's Moodle is a fantastic resource, although the title is a bit misleading. It is, in reality, a technical manual for using Moodle. It has very little to say about e-learning, except in the sense that it is implicit that learning via Moodle is e-learning. Its major deficiency is that it does not include any elements of instructional design that would allow a user to start developing courses that are pedagogically sound in terms of commonly accepted best practices for e-learning. Further, it does not contain templates for typical courses, which would also be quite valuable for institutions that would be most likely to be interested in open-source learning management systems.

Link to the book and information:

The book begins by discussion how and why the Moodle e-learning paradigm emphasizes collaborative, interactive, engagemement -- with the content, with other students, and with the instructor. Moodle is serious about this. It allows discussion boards, but also contains the capability of incorporating a wiki.

The book contains a step-by-step guide for installing, configuring, creating courses, and managing content.

Thoughts on e-learning / mobile learning: E-Learning Queen

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Viva Open Source! videography by Dave Feiden

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