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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, Moodle for Beginners in Technical; We are interested in the possibility of replacing UniServity for Moodle. We are going to look at the new 'Life' ...
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    ICTCoordinator's Avatar
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    Smile Moodle for Beginners

    We are interested in the possibility of replacing UniServity for Moodle. We are going to look at the new 'Life' version of UniServity, but costs would seem to favour a move to Moodle. We have already downloaded Moodle, but we are looking at it for the first time. We are a very big college of around 2000 with both students and staff. We don't know the full costs and requirements that we will need. We want to set up a proper ePortfolio system to work through Moodle as well as the ability to do things like blogs, forums and wikis. We might want to set up a student email system through Moodle. We want to be able to add videos to a new vle as well as perhaps have user areas which can be customised. Any help at all here in terms of server space needed, costs and how to add the sort of functions that we require would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by ICTCoordinator; 22nd January 2011 at 01:19 PM.

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    danbuntu's Avatar
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    We use vshare for hosting videos and are looking at mahara for portfoliios, forums and blogs. Vshare is about $20 and mahara is free.

    Server space is a bit of a how long is a piece of string type question. it depends how much you use it.

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    Following the premise that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, Moodle will have a financial cost. Have it hosted remotely and there’s an obvious cost, though Moodle should be kept up to date with any security holes plugged and data backed up. Host it yourself and there’s the cost of a server and someone to maintain it and the Moodle software.
    Moodle can easily handle 2000 people; I believe some universities have over 25000 users. The crux of the matter here is can your server(s) handle this number of users? I recommend you ask/search on the Moodle forums to get an idea of what others use.
    An eportfolio system which comes highly recommended is Mahara and this can be integrated with Moodle. It has the advantage of being free, but don’t forget the upkeep. There’s also an Individual Learning Plan available from ULCC (University of London Computer Centre).
    Moodle offers blogs, forums, and wikis as part of its core modules. There are several plugins which allow you to add videos, podcasts, and the like.
    You can customise user areas but you’ll probably need some knowledge of css.
    Moodle support can be hit and miss if you simply rely on the Moodle forums, as a lot of the time you’re relying on people freely giving of their own time, though as most of these folk are Moodle “evangelists” you won’t have long to wait for an answer. Moodle also licenses “Partners” which provide paid for support. Again, you can check the Moodle website to find the nearest to you.
    We run ours on a virtual server.

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    ICTCoordinator's Avatar
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    Thanks for your help here. If we wanted to host Moodle ourselves here, would we be better buying a new dedicated server and if so what sort of size?

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    It really depends on the number of users you will have and the number of courses. It might be worthwhile visiting a few schools local to you using Moodle and having a chat. If you get head north a bit then there are a number of fantastic schools in Lancs doing good stuff. You also need to consider how you might migrate any existing resources and changing existing SoW so that you use Moodle most effectively. Without knowing how well embedded the idea of a VLE is in your school it is hard to know where to start. The choice of VLE is not as important as choosing how you are going to use one.

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    Hi are you a school college or a FE one ? Reason I ask if the difference in what would be required by these different audiences . Do you have a big enough broadband capacity to cope and do you have Moodle experts to help set this up and with alt he cuts are you sure you can keep all the staff in post ? Don't want to curb your idea but suggest it will need very careful costing before you start. Good luck and post back if you need any help advice etc ?

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    User3204's Avatar
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    If the costs are the same as Wirral LA sent to me (as a school) then it's definitely cheaper with moodle, and I'm probably going to move away from Uniservity

    I could buy a new VM server for my Cluster at their prices - or I could get Core ECS (or similar) to install, configre and manage our SLG and sharepoint into an integrated VLE and such. Their site is CORE Education and Consulting (UK) Ltd - Core Education

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    But isn't this company one that provides solutions based sound Talmus which costs also?

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    But isn't this company one that provides solutions based around Talmus which costs also? Surely if they want to go for a no cost system then suggesting a company to contact when they want to do it al themselves using open source isn't an option ? Or am I totally wrong here ?

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    ICTCoordinator's Avatar
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    Yes I understand the distinction here. We are a school college and not a HE college.

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    Ok in that case can you make sure you have the capacity to do this ? Bet if you are like us you have a very short deadline and prob being asked to deliver asap !! Think you are on a very fast learning curve of you going to get a moodle site up fast that is at least the same as your current VLE ! Suggest you keep posting here this crowd are fab at helping newbies. Best of luck

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    We are a school of about 1200 pupils with the associated staff numbers etc. Moved to Moodle from Fronter. Our server is I believe (without actually checking the tech specs right now) a Quad Core (2.4ghz) with 4gb RAM, and only a 500gb HDD. Only 1U high due to space issues at the time.

    Having used Moodle over the past 8 months, the biggest regret I have is the HDD size because some of the SCORM resources teachers give me are 4gb each. So it can soon fill up.

    As for our bandwith we currently have a 10mb on 100mb bearer (fibre) line from the council, and I don't think this has really slowed us down, although we are getting a 100mb line very soon due to leaving the council IT services.

    If you run it in house then there are several things I would warn you about, firstly be patient in the first week or so of setting it up, if your setting it up from Today for example, tell staff they can see if after half term, then start using it after Easter. We had a trial group of about 12 users for 2 months before allowing all staff to use it, also buy a book about Moodle, it has been a saving grace for me many times.

    I'm at a school in Manchester but i'm sure there are schools in the Wirral that already use Moodle, you can probably visit them and speak to both the staff and the Techies about it.

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    If you want the student email you're looking at either Live@Edu or Google Apps. The Microsoft offering has better web app support for Office documents but the Google plugin will be easier to integrate with Moodle as you'll be able to use LDAP to sign students in with (the Microsoft plugin requires students to sign into Moodle using a Windows Live ID)

    Personally I'd recommend getting the site hosted so you can concentrate on helping with theme design, course creation etc rather than worrying if the new server patch \ Moodle version is going to break the site, doing backups etc etc

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    hi ict co ordinator just noticed you and 3204 are in same area. dont you both have same needs maybe you could join forces ? not sure which school you are in wirral as number of kids seems very large, are you the new pathfinder one and if so you could ask your managed service provider for help here, I think it may be in their remit. worth an ask
    best wishes

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