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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Moodle 2.0 for Business: Review

Moodle for business? It may seem far-fetched, but if you have Moodle in your organization, chances are, you're using it as your learning management system for 100% online or hybrid courses and you have the capacity and experience to use it for more. Moodle has the power and flexibility to be used for multiple purposes within the organization, and a recent publication by Packt Publishing, Moodle 2.0 for Business Beginner's Guide, by Gaven Henrick, Jeanne Cole, and Jason Cole is filled with good ideas.

For example, one can use Moodle in the hiring and interviewing process as a way to manage content and to collaborate with the search committee.

Perhaps one of the most compelling uses of Moodle is to use it for compliance training. Depending on the amount of instructional material readily available, Moodle can be set up very quickly and can accommodate a wide variety of roles and users. You can customize content and can track learning very easily. The interactive elements and collaborative tools are perfect for answering questions and role-playing.

If you have in-house Moodle support staff, an open-source solution can make a lot of sense as opposed to an off-the-shelf solution where you and your users essentially rent digits from the content provider / publisher. Moodle allows you to purchase (or buy a license) to use the instructional material, so you'll still work with the publisher. In this case, however, at the end of the day, you still have control over the way the material is presented, the way that assessment is administered, and how records are maintained.

Using Moodle for compliance training is specifically addressed in Chapter Four, a download of which is available here:

Chapter Four: Managing Compliance Training (

Moodle is a flexible and powerful platform for knowledge management and transfer. It is interesting to see how it might be used training your personnel on new products and on rollouts. It can also be used as a talent management system in the sense that you can make it your "go to" place for training, and you can track the progress and completion of courses by employees and/or students.

Some of the applications in this book may seem a bit far-fetched on the face of it. However, these are usually accompanied by case studies, which help demonstrate how the task was organized and executed.

Perhaps one of the biggest potential money-savers / revenue generators could be to use Moodle for web conferencing. There are a few open source plug-ins that work with Moodle. One is BigBlueButton, which is an open source solution which has been constructed of other open-source components. Moodle 2.0 for Business includes step-by-step instructions for using it.

One powerful open source webinar plugin that this book does not mention is Sclipo's Moodle plugin. Moodle Live Classes and Webinar Plug-in by Sclipo can be downloaded free at Sourceforge, and it will enable live classes and webinars through Moodle.

Moodle 2.0 for Business discusses the enterprise itself and enterprise solutions. The text covers ways to integrate Moodle with other systems -- it may be a bit challenging, but the information is available, and the possibilities have been suggested. As in the case of all open-source solutions, a pro-active approach and a willingness to experiment (and to continue experimenting) are almost always rewarded.

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