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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, Selecting the right VLE in Technical; We are exploring alternative VLE's. Currently we have Uniservity and having looked at their new Life VLE have decided this ...
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    Selecting the right VLE

    We are exploring alternative VLE's. Currently we have Uniservity and having looked at their new Life VLE have decided this is not the way we want to go.

    We want a dashboard, single sign on, Sharepoint based system (we think) and have looked at Open Hive and Core Education's VLE both of which are impressive. Open Hive is a Cloud based system, the Core Education VLE would be hosted in house.

    Does anyone have any experience and or view's to share?

    A lot of you are very keen on Moodle, I have no experience of this and am put off because of what I perceive to be significant in house resource to manage this? Also not sure it would allow us to do everything we want to, ie dashboard, single sign on, Sharepoint doc management, web parts including links to Sims info etc., seemlessly.

    Thanks

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    TechMonkey's Avatar
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    Can I ask what you mean by dashboard?

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    Something that looks a bit like iGoogle with a personalised dashboard, so uers can see their email, calendar, access applications, documents, resources etc, web parts, Sims etc from one place, dependant on permissions and with single sign on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ebarr View Post
    A lot of you are very keen on Moodle, I have no experience of this and am put off because of what I perceive to be significant in house resource to manage this?
    Then pay for external support - either a hosted solution or for someone external to manage your Moodle installation for you. It's likly to be a very similar price to any other paid-for solution but with no vendor lock-in - if you go for the latter option, it should be simple enough to switch contractors should you wish to.

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    I've used OpenHive, and it's not necessarily cloud based, you could have it on your own server, but I have no idea of costs. Built on Sharepoint it's very good at handling documents. Creating courses in OpenHive is about as difficult as doing the same in Moodle, though the teachers I sat with who were used to using Moodle didn't agree with that. The front end, and the front end 'back end' if you get my drift, of the version I used wasn't of good design as far as I was concerned. The way a 'course' was laid out for the pupil wasn't intuitive, but again, this could simply be down to the way the front end was designed.
    We currently use Moodle at our school, and have done ever since the concept of a VLE/Learning Platform was introduced to the school. Some four years after unveiling it to staff and pupils there is still a lot of learning to do to get the best out of the system.
    Sharepoint offers manifold ways to deal with documents, and if used properly can cut costs simply by saving on paper.
    There are several threads regarding Uniservity, which may have changed its name to Life. You can find the most recent here. I attended a demonstration several years ago, and to be perfectly honest it looked so poorly designed that it was a complete turn-off, even before getting in to the nuts and bolts of it.
    Last edited by beeswax; 8th June 2011 at 06:13 PM. Reason: typo

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    Your comment re Moodle "We currently use Moodle at our school, and have done ever since the concept of a VLE/Learning Platform was introduced to the school. Some four years after unveiling it to staff and pupils there is still a lot of learning to do to get the best out of the system." is exactly the reason I am looking to find a system where users automatically get all their resources from one screen after single signon , so it's not a case of further logging on to any VLE. I agree with you re Uniservity, we have decided we don't want to continue with it or move to the new Life product which was very unimpressive I thought. Anyone looked at the Core Education Sharepoint VLE?

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    It sounds like you may need to go for a custom solution using Sharepoint to be honest. I am doing some informal research into a similar issue and it may be that a custom build using a sharepoint web parts is what you need but this does incur significant effort and cost, either that or you hire/get someone to run it almost full time. What's your schedule for getting it running?

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    beeswax's Avatar
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    @ebarr pm sent

    Just come across this site - PixelMill Sharepoint Templates and SharePoint Customization which on first inspection looks promising, apart from the price of a template. I believe Artisteer is working towards enabling you to create templates for Sharepoint and Moodle, and from what I've read this version is due later this year.

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    Interesting comments re Open Hive. I will take a look at Pixelmill. Our schedule is to get it up and running for March/April 2012.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ebarr View Post
    A lot of you are very keen on Moodle, I have no experience of this and am put off because of what I perceive to be significant in house resource to manage this? Also not sure it would allow us to do everything we want to, ie dashboard, single sign on, Sharepoint doc management, web parts including links to Sims info etc., seemlessly.
    Significant in house resources? Initially you'll need a member of technical staff who is trained as a Mooodle administrator and content creator. You can host you're site either in house or in the cloud. We pay around £300 a year for "unlimited" bandwidth and "unlimited" file space. If we ever max this out I'll talk to our provider to see what they can do.

    Like any other VLE you'll need department champions to disseminate info to their depts. You'll need to arrange staff training and guidance sessions with bookable one to one's or small groups. You'll find that once you start, members of staff will take on responsibility for their areas and require less training and support.

    I believe the Moodle 2.0 Google Apps SSO mod is now working.

    SIMS2Moodle - Enrolment Plug-in is a part preconfigured version of moodle's external database plug-in tailored for use with SIMS.net.

    Dashboards are distracting, trust me the quicker staff and students can get in, get what they want and get out the better. Speed of information access is both vital and critical. Intuitive course creation and simple layouts far outweigh glossy, shiny interfaces. Facebook, case and point.

    Just to add, Google Apps for education can provide all the comms and collaboration tools you'll likely need - for free and it promotes inclusion. We've been using it since 2008 - it's the best cloud based comms system I've seen to date. Everything else is miles behind.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by mrweekender; 22nd June 2011 at 09:40 PM.

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    beeswax's Avatar
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    Just an update on the info I posted about Artisteer; they have now released a beta which supports Sharepoint templates - Artisteer SharePoint Templates.

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    If you have Sharepoint 2010, this:

    sharepointedutech DOT COM/2010/02/15/using-powerpoint-2010-themes-in-sharepoint-2010-in-6-easy-steps/

    ...is much simpler than using Artisteer (I use Artisteer for many other websites, but wouldn't use it for Sharepoint).

  13. Thanks to PaulFlynn from:

    beeswax (20th July 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulFlynn View Post
    If you have Sharepoint 2010, this:

    Using PowerPoint 2010 themes in SharePoint 2010 In 6 Easy Steps - SharePointEduTech

    ...is much simpler than using Artisteer (I use Artisteer for many other websites, but wouldn't use it for Sharepoint).
    Yep, another good post from Dave and co.

    It is also worth looking at SP365 blog too for more ideas.

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    were frog here, you can setup a custom dashboard and get additional widgets, RSS feeds etc. However I wish we had Moodle, just for the intergration of office 2010 lite.

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    Are you primary or secondary?

    Something that looks a bit like iGoogle with a personalised dashboard, so uers can see their email, calendar, access applications, documents, resources etc
    You could use Google apps for Education, its free or MS 365 thingy.

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