The Moodle is originally an acronym for “Modular Object Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment” and is defined on the Web site as “our community site (made with Moodle) where you’ll find information, free downloads and detailed community discussions about installing, using and extending Moodle”. Moodle can be defined as an online Course Management System (CMS), a Learning Management System (LMS) or an adjustable environment for learning communities. It is a free source e-learning software application that supports the design and development of online courses. This software package was designed using pedagogical principles, and social constructionist framework of education. Some typical features of the software are listed as: assignment submission, discussion forum, downloading files, grading, Moodle instant messages, online calendar, online news and announcement (College and course level), online quiz and wiki.

Moodle is open source and freely available software. The instructions about downloading the software are clearly defined on the site. Before installing the software, they direct you to another page to read the instructions and the first sentence is “Don’t Panic”. I had a couple of problems during the downloading process of the program. However, from “community” tab, I easily found the forum option to communicate with other users and read asked questions. Another thing related with this software was the long and scary downloading process. If you’re not familiar with software programs, you can feel that “I am in trouble”. It is not fancy and easy as the expensive user-friendly software.

Moodle seems as a very viable alternative to the paid software like Blackboard, Vista, etc. From my personal experience though, it can be a longer learning experience to get familiar with the system and younger students may struggle. On the other side, it is really useful to have open code software for online courses, for schools that cannot afford other paid software. It can be a good experience as a technological tool for schools that aim to start distance education. The schools do not have to pay for any software, and Moodle can be used for pilot studies.

Published in: on 07/02/2011 at 12:43 AM  Leave a Comment  

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