Moodle -CMS: Moodle is an Open Source Course Management System that organizations and even individuals use to add wed technology to their courses. As of October 2012, over 70,000 organizations around the world currently use Moodle to deliver online courses and supplement traditional face-to-face learning environment.
Moodle is the acronym for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment. Moodle offers a range of functionality designed around a core structure of a customizable homepage with learning activities organized into “courses”. Students/participants are given login access to the Moodle and then enrolled on “courses” relevant to them. The homepage can be customized, using “blocks” to meet the needs of individual organizations and a users view of the homepage is personal to the access rights given to them e.g. a participant will see entries on the calendar personal to them or relevant to their courses whereas an administrator will see all events and courses.
Other reasons for implementing Moodle are:
- Moodle is free– Since it is an open source.
- Moodle is easy to use – Whether as an administrator, educator or learner, Moodle is easy to use due to its graphic user interface.
- Moodle is intuitive– Due to its easy to use, many of its functions are geared towards students learning, thus Moodle is designed with education in mind.
- Moodle is feature rich– Moodle has an endless list of resources and activities. Each course can be designed to include resources and activities and each course can use any combination of activities and resources. Typical activities include: assignment, quizzes, questionnaire, forum, chat, messages, RSS feeds, Wiki or SCORM content. Typical resources include: files, links or html pages. Teachers can mark and review assignments, view and download answers and results, control timing of events, block and monitor access. One can assign enrollment keys to filter out users or assign them to groups. It is easy to link and connect with other content rich sites outside Moodle without leaving its environment or opening a new browser.
- Moodle has pedagogies – In Moodle, constructivism, social constructivism and connectivism are all adopted as its pedagogy. It means that knowledge can be built and developed through constant interaction and cooperation. All the more that knowledge is processed then therefore learners are also immersed during the process.
- Moodle is Student-Centered/Active Learning– Using Moodle gives teachers another alternative for students to learn independently and interdependently by giving them the opportunity to study online. Students learn how to assimilate and process information(as in Constructivism), and also learn to cooperate and interact with one another while engaging themselves in student centered learning activities like wiki projects, workshops and forums(as in Social Constructivism). Students learn while fulfilling tasks set upon by the teacher in Moodle.
- Moodle gives Instant Feedback– Using Moodle, gone are the days wherein you have to manually correct student papers. Students who took their tests, quizzes, and projects in Moodle can view their grades and results almost instantly. All teachers need to do is to assign how students are to be assessed and just choose an option of points (let’s say the total score for an activity is ten or one hundred). When teachers and students are all simultaneously logged in, they can give and read their comments and replies using chat and forums in real time.
- Moodle is Integrated– The learning resources, activities and features are modular which means it can stand alone but they are also designed to complement each other. Examples are: the default news forum can be complemented with the calendar which is offered as an optional block. Resources like text and web page can be complemented by uploading files like podcast to enhance the learning experience of your students.
- Moodle is Multi-functional-The Moodle environment offers feature rich elements starting with the block elements like calendar, student activities and text up to activities like chat and forum and wikis. Since it is not exclusive unlike commercial software, Moodle supports operating systems like Linux and its other versions. Moodle can be used also as a project collaboration site, news website, school portal, and the list of possible uses is limited only to the users imagination.
- Moodle is Interactive-Whether you like it synchronous or asynchronous, it will never be a problem when you use Moodle. It is designed to engage learners to participate and collaborate with one another. Elements like chat and forums are there to instill the value of active participation and self-initiative. Projects like wiki and workshop helps learners to study the inner workings of the ideas found in a lesson and to study it with others interdependently.
Finally, when you experiment with Moodle and use it, you will not benefit yourself but your students too. Just don’t believe this my word for it. But Try it!