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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, Which VLE? in Technical; We have been using Moodle for years, hosted by our RBC. The school has decided to go for something different, ...
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    skunk's Avatar
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    Question Which VLE?

    We have been using Moodle for years, hosted by our RBC. The school has decided to go for something different, for a variety of reasons.

    What do you use, and what is great or terrible about it?

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    Butters's Avatar
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    You'd be one of the few ever to have moved away from Moodle.

    Which sector are you in and what's the reasons for moving away from Moodle?

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    skunk (24th May 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by skunk View Post
    We have been using Moodle for years, hosted by our RBC.
    My guess is that you'd be best off with a fresh install of Moodle, hosted by yourself.

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    skunk (24th May 2011)

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    +1 with what @dhicks recommends it works well and version 2 is so much better

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    skunk (24th May 2011)

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    Moodle is an exceptional VLE and you can do so much with it as it is open source.

    If you host it yourself you will probarbly have a better experience with it

    nick

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    gavlar (8th November 2011), skunk (24th May 2011)

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    skunk's Avatar
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    My VLE Manifesto:

    The VLE needs to cease to exist as a standalone system, teachers and students do not need to be aware of its existence. All they need to know is that there is an online system where communication and learning happens. This should be integrated with their emails, home directories, learning strands, notices, intranet, chat rooms and anything else the school uses. When they open Internet Explorer they should have everything they need for learning available at the first screen. It needs to be easy to use for teachers creating resources and managing their student's experiences. It needs to be accessible for staff as a file store, homework submission tool and come with a very shallow learning curve.

    Why Moodle is not the above, for us:

    The learning curve for Moodle is steep, especially for staff with no interest in IT. It is like Everest, unless you really know what you are doing you are not going to climb it. Resources are are hard to make and when they are made, difficult to get in the right places. Resources take a long time to write; teachers are stretched and will not use something new unless it actually saves them time. In my six or so years of using Moodle (hosted internally or externally) I have never saved time using it. And I know what I am doing. We do not have the internal resource to customise Moodle to the degree that would be needed to even make it useable within our environment. Integration with all our other communication systems is near impossible to achieve within the timeframe and at the level of integration we require.

    Why something else:

    We need something which is easy to use, saves staff time, benefits the student's learning and integrates with everything we run. Oh and cheap, cheap would be good too, but not likely.

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    Prob FROG but it costs a bomb

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    skunk (24th May 2011)

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    SharePoint it

    I would go for SharePoint simply because of the integration you require. You could probably get away with SharePoint foundation so cost would be minimal.

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    skunk (24th May 2011)

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    User3204's Avatar
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    Talk to someone at Core ECS CORE Education and Consulting Solutions (UK) Ltd - CORE ECS they do a whole sharepoint integration system, with plugins for email, moodle if you want it, SIMS LG, and their own Sharepointy VLE, which seems quite good.

    We're looking at this at the moment, I think it may come down to the budget we get this year.
    It's not cheap...

    They offer ongoing support.

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    skunk (24th May 2011)

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    I really like the look for Frog VLE, very expensive through, our school wouldnt pay it, big shame!

    So it seems they want an eportflio system, and gusse what! Frog has that feature!

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    skunk (24th May 2011)

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    bossman's Avatar
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    My daughters school bought Frog and she is quite IT literate yet hated the very essence of it.

    No VLE is going to be teacher friendly as most teachers want the content to be already in place as they don't want to have to learn anything and so any VLE you put in place will be money wasted.

    Your teachers need to be taught and guided by another teacher who is willing to push all the departments with the backing of the SLT and HT. Only teachers can produce the materials they need to use for lessons and so it should only be them that produce the content as trying to produce content by other means is bound to fail as it will not suit their individual needs.

    Most people in a job have to constantly upgrade their skills except for teachers who seem to think it is their right to demand something that costs a fortune and then decide not to use it because they cannot be a***d to learn new skills.

    Teachers are like every other person and must learn and adapt new skills or else they are not teaching to their full potential as the government has anounced today on the BBC, schools will be able to get rid of under performing teachers a lot easier than they used to.

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    skunk (24th May 2011)

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    bossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pritchardavid View Post
    So it seems they want an eportflio system, and gusse what! Frog has that feature!
    So does Moodle if you integrate Open source e-portfolio and social networking software - Mahara ePortfolio System

    works very well with moodle

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    We were shoved down from Moodle to Fronter by the LA and were now moving back to Moodle again, but going for a clean start and ditching the old one at the same time which was externally hosted to a nice new internally hosted Moodle.

    I have used SharePoint before and thats a great tool so I would consider looking at that if you don't feel that you could move to Moodle 2.0 and use its integration features as it can do home folders, Email, Sims etc as others have shown on here so you could probably bring in some external support from say The Cutter Project who maybe able to help you make more of an in-house Moodle perhaps than you can of the CLEO Moodle you are using at present.

    You can get some MS Office 2010 (and maybe 2007) add-ins to allow saving and working with Moodle as part of MS Office (they were posted on here a while ago) so they may also help improve the use of Moodle and simplify it?

    After doing a bit of quick research though I don't think you will find anything other than Moodle that fits the cheap / low cost requirement, most commercial VLEs are very expensive

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    skunk (25th May 2011)

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    skunk's Avatar
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    No VLE is going to be teacher friendly as most teachers want the content to be already in place as they don't want to have to learn anything and so any VLE you put in place will be money wasted.
    This is true, but the content has to go somewhere and Moodle isn't working as a repository for us.

    Most people in a job have to constantly upgrade their skills except for teachers who seem to think it is their right to demand something that costs a fortune and then decide not to use it because they cannot be a***d to learn new skills.
    Unfortunately this is the reality we live with and there is little will to implement change. Even in schools which are highly motivated to use technology there is a heck of a lot of pushing, cajoling and pressure to even use the VLE in the first place.

    Teachers are like every other person and must learn and adapt new skills or else they are not teaching to their full potential as the government has anounced today on the BBC, schools will be able to get rid of under performing teachers a lot easier than they used to.
    There is no will within the teaching profession to punish poor teaching. Doesn't matter what the government say.

    Thanks for the suggestions so far.

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    Like you we are looking at changing our Moodle system, for similar reasons.

    Had Frog in yesterday to show us their system and everyone were very impressed. We have looked at a different Moodle solution alongside Frog, but in terms of usability and functionality there is no competition.

    As a non-teacher, I appreciate the problems teachers have getting to grips with Moodle. The interface is so unintuitive. It's a shame resource is not thrown at developing a decent graphical user interface for Moodle. It is so 1980's.

    People love drag and drop and a visual interface, they are not going to go backwards to learn how to use an interface which hinders their creativity. The VLE must work for them, otherwise they will not use it. Whilst it is okay for us who are technically skilled and flexible because we have to use different interfaces to manage our IT systems, we have to accept that teachers skills are generally elsewhere and therefore the tools we supply should accommodate their skill-set.

    The way I see it, Moodle only works where you have an organisational structured to permanently hand-hold staff in getting the most out of the VLE. To do this costs a lot of money, as at least one person has to be paid to do the job. Going out and getting an VLE which is user friendly as well as delivering what the teachers need be it at a cost is overall cheaper and more effective than the DIY approach. Basically, yo need to see and understand the bigger picture when choosing any IT system and a VLE is no different.

    I await "incoming fire" for daring to knock Moodle and for supporting teachers ICT needs!

  26. Thanks to ictstbenedicts from:

    skunk (27th May 2011)

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