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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, Ideal VLE? in Technical; Hi all, new to forum long time browser. Having used a variety of different VLE I've come to the conclusion ...
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    Ideal VLE?

    Hi all, new to forum long time browser.

    Having used a variety of different VLE I've come to the conclusion that I there is always elements that are really useful with each system but there are always things missing. We currently use frog which is great but lacks the customisation I would really like to have

    I just wanted to gather other people,'s thoughts on what would be there ideal VLEe.g what would it do and how would it operate.

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    3s-gtech's Avatar
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    For me, modularity. Add what you want, remove what you don't. Goes to say, it'd be free and open source. Moodle hits these for me, but I know some teachers seriously struggle. LP's system rolling out as Hwb+ across Wales looks pretty good, but no SSO or even LDAP hits it hard. Nice platform based on Sharepoint and O365.

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    danbuntu's Avatar
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    Lbakewell: what things are you missing?
    We use moodle and it seems to tick all our boxes.

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    its just that it is not massively intuitive to use and does not look great. ideally i would like a platform that allows me to do everything a school needs, is user friendly so all staff do not feel intimated by it and looks professional. It would be great if there was a layer on integration for all back office tasks teachers have to do as well so that it is all encompassing. at the moment we have a few systems that i would to be reduced to one.
    Last edited by Lbakewell; 1st August 2014 at 11:12 AM.

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    3s-gtech's Avatar
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    Moodle's looks are up to you - it's PHP, CSS and javascript. Quite easy to tweak.

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    mthomas08's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lbakewell View Post
    Hi all, new to forum long time browser.

    Having used a variety of different VLE I've come to the conclusion that I there is always elements that are really useful with each system but there are always things missing. We currently use frog which is great but lacks the customisation I would really like to have

    I just wanted to gather other people,'s thoughts on what would be there ideal VLEe.g what would it do and how would it operate.
    To be honest in my view Frog is one of the most customisable VLEs out there. I find other platforms/products missing much much more also compared to Frog.

    We currently use Moodle and are walking away from it due to it's basic level without really heading down the core development of it. Staff are not that happy with it and feel its very outdated. We have also started RealSmart which also looks a bit better and integrates well with Google it really is a step back from Moodle. I am also not happy with the way their "High horse" attitude came across when visiting our School. He was your very typical "Drop what you got and go to this" he wanted us to drop our exchange email because of its annual license cost (which is nothing), drop our windows user data servers and Moodle/School Website over night. With no thoughts on the repercussions. He then gave us his background - Ex Head of Music who has a MacBook and yes is very pro Macs.

    His IT knowledge was very basic so you can guess I wasn't impressed by him or his approach. The opinions on RealSmart by those who matter (teachers) though are still rather low.

    I think the path Frog is heading towards is very positive, just annoying you always have to wait for the massive development of it. Give it 3 Years and I will be taking a look at it for us.

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    GREED's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lbakewell View Post
    its just that it is not massively intuitive to use and does not look great. ideally i would like a platform that allows me to do everything a school needs, is user friendly so all staff do not feel intimated by it and looks professional. It would be great if there was a layer on integration for all back office tasks teachers have to do as well so that it is all encompassing. at the moment we have a few systems that i would to be reduced to one.
    Surely this is the utopia of where all VLEs want to get to. Some have the MIS integration, some look pretty, some are easy to use, some integrate with all apps under the sun. It is a balance between getting the important functions that require it to work and having a solution that will enable you to get the end product you want. While staff buy in is key, having something complex that does all the above AND be so easy for staff to use they will just pick it up and run is a tall order... otherwise it would have been done. I think there has to be an expectation to have to learn how to use and operate any new system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lbakewell View Post
    its just that it is not massively intuitive to use and does not look great. ideally i would like a platform that allows me to do everything a school needs, is user friendly so all staff do not feel intimated by it and looks professional. It would be great if there was a layer on integration for all back office tasks teachers have to do as well so that it is all encompassing. at the moment we have a few systems that i would to be reduced to one.
    I suspect you have seen poor examples of Moodle implementations. One of the big advantages with Moodle is its ability to be configured for a particular school's or academy's needs. The latest 2.7 version is pretty intuitive for teachers and students, at a basic level all they have to do is drag-and-drop resources into a course but Moodle offers so much more. In terms of 'look-and-feel' there are some pretty good themes out there, some even move away from the traditional 'three-column' look - with Moodle themes development almost anything is possible. There are some nice responsive themes which makes Moodle a good choice for multiple device types.

    There are also integrations out there and some provide interesting tools such as integrated room booking, parent portals, parent evening organisers, progress data and more.

    The best place to start is to create a specification of what the school wants/needs, otherwise it will be very difficult to find what is required. I'd split features into wants and needs columns just to focus down on what is actually needed and what would be 'nice to have'. Then research from there and take time, don't rush, there are many learning platforms out there, don't be persuaded because someone else likes this or that but go for what is required.

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    GREED (6th August 2014)

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    GREED's Avatar
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    Well said Jeremy.

    Don't forget too the facility to import from your MIS Don't forget that important step Couple of darn decent tools out there to do that for Moodle too isn't there

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    wiseoldowl's Avatar
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    You're right Graham! :-) Now I wonder ...

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    We have been using Moodle for some time now and although it doesn't seem to be "Up with the crowd" so to speak it does a damn good job!

    MIS integration is excellent and a main feature and the drag and drop for the teachers is cool, we do find that staff are very reluctant to learn anything as they feel it should be already part of the process in that the lessons and suchlike are already within the Moodle framework. It always boils down to the teaching staff and how computer literate they are and how willing to get their hands dirty and learn something which will allow them to set their teaching workload for the rest of the year.

    Given that it may take a member of staff around 6 weeks to produce some good teaching lessons within Moodle it is well worth it in the end, these lessons then only have to be tweaked for the following year so, saving the staff more time in the long run, unfortunately some staff don't see this and become somewhat awkward about it.

    We have a junior tech who helps upload resources and teaches the staff how to go forward and they really do appreciate so much so that they become intrigued that a PFY can do so much with what they give to him to import into their lessons.

    Win! Win! all round and the other fantastic thing about Moodle is that it is free and the world community is behind it so it will only get better

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    Which phase of education are you looking at? Primary/Secondary?

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    I am very interested in testing this for our school as we have been looking to alternatives to Fronter, I have been testing out the free apps & resources provided by LGFL via Atomwide and their MY USO learning resources, but Moodle sounds like another good alternative, can you tell me if those that do use Moodle have given up on paid services then like Fronter or Frog etc? is this possible to save money by switching to these free resources?

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    We use Talmos from CoreECS ... CORE ECS - TALMOS from CORE ECS ... AD integration, MIS Integration, I suspect that it isn't a purely Education-centric as some solutions, but with some additional SIMS WebParts for the Sharepoint it does a solid job

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    We were using Moodle here but staff didnt take well to it, now we are using school spider which so far i'm pretty impressed with!



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