"Moodle stands for "Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment." Moodle is an open source Learning Management System (LMS), originally developed by Martin Dougiamas. It is used by thousands of educational institutions around the world to provide an organized interface for eLearning, or learning over the Internet. Moodle allows educators to create online courses, which students can access from anywhere there is a computer with Internet connectivity and a browser.
If you work in a New Zealand school you may be interested in accessing the NZ Ministry of Education's resource around LMSs, and which refers to some of the project currently underway.
Moodle's short video provides a very useful overview of how it works and how it benefits learners, and if you are a more visual person you might want to watch this You Tube video , which explains Moodle using Lego. In addition, Moodle.org is an NZ site with a number of other useful resources of interest to teacher and learner, and should you wish to try out Moodle you can use this sandbox provided for new users to come to grips with its capabilities.
A useful review (from BECTA) can be read by clicking this link to download the .pdf file.
The report is based on case studies from twelve schools in the UK (six primary and six secondary), and uses these to collate a set of benefits around using LMSs, as well as the conditions required for effective learning. Some of the key benefits include:
Conditions that were identified as enabling these positive influences on learning were leadership, implementation of the innovative use of ICTELT, a shared sense of ownership, and prioritisation of continuing professional development and support. This tends to lead to high-quality interactions and content via the school's LMS in a manner that is inclusive of the wider community and parents.
Moodle mobile has applications for web-enabled phones.
While it is possible to use Moodle merely as a repository for content, it is its interactive potential that gives the learning platform its value as a pedagogical tool. Interactive (dynamic) applications available include:
Moodle.org have links to a range of case studies of Moodle used in education - click HERE to access them. Also, this article provides an example of how Moodle was used to integrate a language course in a secondary school.
You could also watch these videos (access part 2 by clocking HERE), which is the first of two that shows how mostly standard features of Moodle are used by classroom teachers in a high school in Australia. A nice scenario / overview of what can happen when a whole school gradually embraces ICT enhanced learning.
For a collection of links to resources about the potential of how Moodle could be used to enhance the learning experience for students, as well as practical demonstrations of how to do things, try out the Moodle Habitudes wiki.
This slide show presents ideas about Moodle's advantages and disadvantages.
Moodle isn't the only LMS around, and you may wish to look into your options. To begin with you could access the resource from Barry Sampson "Open Source LMS - 10 Alternatives to Moodle" where he gives brief overviews of 10 platforms and their main focus. There is a pretty interesting conversation around the post too, so it is well worth looking through the comments at the bottom of the page.
Moodle by Ethos Consultancy NZ is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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