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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, Moodle to replace SIMS altogether? in Technical; With all the talk of SIMS-Moodle integration, my (perhaps ignorant) question is: Could Moodle replace SIMS altogether? Moodle = open ...
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    Moodle to replace SIMS altogether?


    With all the talk of SIMS-Moodle integration, my (perhaps ignorant) question is: Could Moodle replace SIMS altogether?
    Moodle = open source therefore highly customisable and - importantly these days - free.
    If my experience of SIMS in school is anything to go by it serves a great function but in an ugly, drawn out, unnecessarily cumbersome way. Compare SIMS to a good quality website where everything is an intuitive and instant click or two away. I'm no expert on html but the likes of the bbc website seem to me to set a good example that pricey software like SIMS does not follow. Open source software on the other hand, has the potential to aim for this. But could it serve as a secure platform for educational monitoring? And if not, why not?

    This is my first post so please go easy if my idea is fundamentally wrong!

    Cheers

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    penfold_99's Avatar
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    The quick answer is no, but the thought about answer is maybe.

    The main question to think about is do you want to go from one all-in-one MIS solution to a all-in-one solution MIS + moodle.
    I may be better to have many applications that fit together to create an all-in-one solution and if one part isn't good enough you can swap it out.

    You would be able to edit the open source code but that would require the skills in house, the main question would be what would you do for support?

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    mus9jet (9th February 2011)

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    The answer is, yes, BUT... and it's one enormous but.

    Someone would need to develop all the features of SIMS on a the moodle platform... timetabling, MIS information, pupil records, ... It's no short list.

    It takes an awful lot of time and effort to re-invent the SIMS wheel... and I think generally pople would want to be paid for it... so it would no longer be free...

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    mus9jet (9th February 2011)

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    No, but I've been having some fun with moodle repositories - Moodle can definitely replace your ageing shared fileservers I'm thinking NFS/SMB link to fileserver atm. The moodle filesystem plugin looks ace.
    sorry tangent.

    FTP files into Moodle 2.0 with the repository API | Some Moodle News.

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    mus9jet (9th February 2011)

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    Problem is that while SIMS may be clunky in areas, it does, at its core, do quite a lot and is very powerful! Plus SIMS is SIMS and the data is consistent, pretty much, across all systems so it can be easily transferred from one place to another. I suspect with Moodle and the fact it's open source that there could be so many variations of setup that it would make the transfer of data far more difficult.

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    mus9jet (9th February 2011)

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    "Someone would need to develop all the features of SIMS on a the moodle platform... " (elsiegee40)
    Okey dokey, big job! But could the production of all these features not be shared? I'm no programmer but wonder whether the collaborative nature of open source software could be an advantage here. ie lots of people contributing a little.

    "it would make the transfer of data far more difficult." (Edu-IT)
    Fair comment, so maybe a gradual migration would be the solution. Not massively convenient at first but for the greater good in the long run?

    "Moodle can definitely replace your ageing shared fileservers" (Cybernerd)
    Useful stuff thanks, I'll forward this onto our IT guys!

    "may be better to have many applications that fit together to create an all-in-one solution and if one part isn't good enough you can swap it out." (penfold_99)
    See your point, but if one feature in Moodle is not good enough would it not be malleable enough to change (given the necessary skills), or replace with a plugin alternative? (That's not a rheotorical question by the way, I'm slightly out of my depth here but very interested to know!)

    "what would you do for support?" (penfold_99)
    I'm all for collaborative forums like this one!!

    Anyways, you're the experts, I'm just a curious end-user.
    Thanks everyone. I'd be really interested in any responses to the above.

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    gshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    No, but I've been having some fun with moodle repositories - Moodle can definitely replace your ageing shared fileservers I'm thinking NFS/SMB link to fileserver atm. The moodle filesystem plugin looks ace.
    sorry tangent.

    FTP files into Moodle 2.0 with the repository API | Some Moodle News.
    Be very careful with the repositories at the moment, they're not quite what they seem!

    If you read through some of the posts on Moodle.org the repository doesn't update files if you make changes and re-upload, which kinda defeats the point of having a repository in the first place to me :/

    Moodle 2.0 is very much a .0 release as it stands, lots of unresolved bugs and add-ons not been updated yet... tread carefully and wait for the 2.1 release is my advice

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    bossman (10th February 2011), CyberNerd (10th February 2011)

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    What about dealing with the government's reporting requirements and the still changing goalposts? Who would be responsible for modifying that area? If each does their own version, you'd end up with lots of different flavours, like unix i guess. It's not necessarily a bad thing, i'm all for evolution but it needs some kind of management, else you'd end up with some schools able to go off and recode things for themselves and others left stuck, or reliant on somebody else to fix things for them.
    If you're interested in this area (open-source / free MIS) it might be worth checking out ScholarPack who sponsor the MIS forum.

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    mus9jet (10th February 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    Be very careful with the repositories at the moment, they're not quite what they seem!

    If you read through some of the posts on Moodle.org the repository doesn't update files if you make changes and re-upload, which kinda defeats the point of having a repository in the first place to me :/

    Moodle 2.0 is very much a .0 release as it stands, lots of unresolved bugs and add-ons not been updated yet... tread carefully and wait for the 2.1 release is my advice
    Yes. I've been experiencing some of the bugs myself. Can't get the Google Docs repository working at all. The work i've done with the file repository seems to be working well (in testing).
    Our goal is moodle 2.0 (or hopefully 2.1) for Sept 2011

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