Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, Is Moodle any less likely to be used than any other VLE? in Technical; We are looking to implement a VLE in the near future and have been studying Sharepoint, SWGfL's Merlin, Fronter, Frog ...
13th May 2009, 06:22 PM #1
Is Moodle any less likely to be used than any other VLE?
We are looking to implement a VLE in the near future and have been studying Sharepoint, SWGfL's Merlin, Fronter, Frog etc.
My boss is very keen on Moodle, but EVERYONE we have spoken to seems to reckon that the teachers will find Moodle very much more difficult to use and so won't engage with it.
Given that getting users to put stuff on the VLE is the difficult bit - do you think that Moodle is any more difficult to get to grips with than other VLEs? He certainly doesn't think so.
The other argument is that when the Moodle specialist leaves, the school is in trouble - but again, is this any more true of Moodle than any other VLE?
The boss really loves Moodle which was used in his previous school and as far as he is concerned it is the ideal low-cost solution to our requirements.
Could I have your opinions and reasoning behind them please
13th May 2009, 06:45 PM #2
Less so. Moodle is more widely used than any other VLE - there are more moodle specialists and more companies that support moodle. It is also opensource, so has a better support community behind it than other VLE's.
Originally Posted by witch
Moodle isn't complicated, I find it quite intuitive. Not all of our teachers use it, but the ones that don't probably wouldn't bother to learn anything else either. If oyu don't like the interface, you can always theme it. The biggest criticism of moodle's interface is that there are too many options - it does too much stuff. If you want something basic, with poor integration and few features you could try Uniservity
Also consider that you don't have to pay annual license costs with moodle, and the integration with SIMS, Active Directory, homedrives, timetables is getting better all the time.
Thanks to CyberNerd from:
13th May 2009, 06:49 PM #3
The teachers at our school have no issues with using Moodle. As your title implies some staff are just not interested in using these tools. I found it best to work with the teachers that are interested, which in turn attracted more teachers as they started to look at what other teachers had created.
Very few VLEs have as much extendable content and themes.
Please have a look at our case study that I wrote at Open Schools Schools.
Having an agreed plan for implementig a VLE at a whole school level, is just as important as the VLE itself.
13th May 2009, 09:55 PM #4
buy your teachers a copy of this Moodle for teachers book and they'll find it a doddle!
Thanks to secretlife from:
13th May 2009, 10:03 PM #5
- Rep Power
Having built two sites in moodle over the last 3-4 years I can say that moodle is not the simplest VLE to work with - As CyberNerd points out one of the biggest problems with Moodle is there are too many options and for many users this is a genuine issue... Also the Moodle UI hasn't been AJAX-ified in the same way as some of the comercial product, which means that completing a task (such as linking to a file) can involve loading 3-4 different pages, which makes the process more time consuming...
I think the issue of what happens to your moodle install when the moodle enthusiast leaves is a genuine issue though particularly if you are going for an in house selfbuild, as most moodle installs end up being quite bespoke (which is a good thing) but this makes upgrading non-trivial as many of the patches/tweaks/hacks then need to be reapplied... And if the person who did all of these din't document them all thoroughly (and lets be honest most of us don't!) then you can be in quite a lot of difficulty...
That shouldn't neccessarily put you off moodle (as it is very powerful and versitile) but it is also worth exploring the other commercial options if the money is avilable to support it...
14th May 2009, 09:20 AM #6
Thanks guys- keep those comments coming!
14th May 2009, 09:24 AM #7
I personally thought Moodle was a bit strange to get used to at first, but with a little time spent on it its as easy as frying an egg.
Not sure whether that's the same for teachers (the ones who don't like computers), as we use a SharePoint VLE here.
14th May 2009, 09:37 AM #8
Why did you find it strange to use? What was it about it?
Originally Posted by Hightower
Did your teachers find Sharepoint difficult to use?
15th May 2009, 10:20 AM #9
- Rep Power
I think the main problem with the moodle interface is the whole uploading files process. This is the first thing most teachers want to do - get existing resources available online. However the interface is non-intuitive and needlessly tedious. This leads them to get discouraged.
However this is probably the hardest task - adding forums, glossaries and quizzes is a doddle in comparison, so once they're over that hurdle it gets easier. And the good news is that the file uploading has had a major facelift in Moodle 2.0 (due sometime in June - hopefully!) as well as many other aspects of the interface.
i love moodle - but i wouldn't say (in it's current state) it's very easy to use. However it has the advantage of total versatility and customisation - so as long as you have appropriate training and support in place I don't think it's any less likely to be used than another VLE.
15th May 2009, 10:34 AM #10
I have to say that compared to other VLE's I found Moodle easy to use and a lot more intuative than certain other VLE's. Also its designed to be a VLE not a glorified web page storage area we are currently having to work around the shortcomings of our VLE here (Fronter) to make it useful, which to me sounds like a completely backwards way of working!!
15th May 2009, 10:43 AM #11
I'm in the same situation as witch. Currently I have
A moodle installed to play with - seems okay and I
A LMS install on Joomla, I love Joomla and reckon I have worked it out pretty well but LMS doesn't do it for me
A sharepoint install which I have tried to get SLK on but failed 4 or 5 times, I like the screenshots of sharepoint LMS v3 but not too keen of sharepoint as a VLE.. don't know why but it seems odd.
Frog demo, its *cries* beautiful and is (almost) plug and play.. I want it so badly
15th May 2009, 10:44 AM #12
Our school has been looking at VLEs for quite a while now and we in the end decided to go for StudyWiz.
We looked at Moodle but couldn't see an easy way to theme the VLE for use across our Primary School. We have kids aging from Nursery? maybe from reception to Year 6. We wanted something that the young kids could use and didn't look to baby-ish for the year 6. Moodle from our point of view was just too rigid in its look to do anything with. This was one on the reasons we left it. I also found it a little hard to get to grips with the administration process as well although i didn't spend a great deal of time on this side of things as was looking into ways of changing the look and feel.
We also looked at Dokeos and also drupaled.
Drupaled was looking good, it just wasn't as prgressed as Moodle.
We also found an online VLE that you could sign up for free to and use. It looked interesting although i wasn't sure how the LEA would react to use using a platform such as that one.
But the reason we went with StudyWiz is that they allowed us to install their software to our local server and then host it there and just pay the costs of the Pupils accessing the VLE. You don't pay for Teachers or parents. This made the costs per annum very reasonable especially for a Primary School's budget.
15th May 2009, 10:50 AM #13
We use Drupaled alongside moodle. I would not regard drupaled and Moodle as competing - they do very different things. We've themed our moodle and drupaled to look almost identical. Drupaled is used more as an eportfolio and collaborative tool where students create their own groups to share work and ideas. Moodle is a Course management tool. We will probably migrate to Mahara in the future for this purpose, but when we looked at it there were still integration issues with mahara and we have previous experience with drupal.
Drupaled was looking good, it just wasn't as prgressed as Moodle.
FWIW I don't think Moodle is as all that well suited to primary, it is much better for high school -> further/ higher education. Some of the features I couldn't see being used in primary.
15th May 2009, 10:57 AM #14
The problem with that is, being a middle school, we have 2 primary years (5 and 6) and two senior school years (7 and 8) so any solution has got to cater for both.
Originally Posted by CyberNerd
I do feel that owing to the fact that the year 5s and 6s are taught as they would be in high school; i.e. they have dedicated subject teachers, does make them a little more able to cope with higher level stuff - I can directly compare as I also work in a junior school which stops at year 6.
Very interested in the comment about uploading files being a bit complex - do others find this and is it true of other VLEs?
15th May 2009, 11:20 AM #15
Indeed, a lot of the requests for 'help' I get are in the form of some file manipluation (eg, resize all these jpgs, convert this avi to flv) and/or uploading (upload all the stuff you just converted to course XXX). But it's dead easy if you have SFTP access to the filesystem.
If you want a 'teacher proof' method of access to the underlying course files, I'd suggest WebDAV. We've given access to the moodle course files to some of our more 'advanced' users this way.
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