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Re: [school-discuss] Re: [IIEP] Do know about any Moodle implementation in your institution?

On 13/09/06, Rob Rittenhouse <rob@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> I would like all participants in this discussion to answer this question
> "Do know about any Moodle implementation in your institution?" and give
> some detail about it.

Our university switched from Blackboard to Moodle this year after a year
long pilot hosted by the CS department and co-administered by yours
truly. Justification:
1. Cost: BB would cost us $12,000 which for a 1500 FTE school is rather
steep. BB licensing costs were rising rapidly and we believed BB was
more interested in large scale implementation than small schools such as
ourselves (unofficial motto -- "We have no money")
2. Features: Moodle offered us more (BB Basic is just that)
3. Moodle is a dynamic project with a supportive community. We felt it
was really going somewhere.

In addition to the university installation we are experimenting with
adapting Moodle as a portfolio support system and in using Moodle as a
collaborative work space and repository for departments, committees and
the like.

I've been using Moodle for my own courses for a year, and have started recruiting other teachers. So far we have around 20 courses, though not all of them are currently running. We have no official LMS at our university, though there is a big push in our department to use BeCampus, a program written by a university-owned company. (It used to be called the Virtual Campus, but they changed the name either because it was already trademarked or because teachers started calling it the Viral Campus.) I've never used it for more than ten minutes, because that's usually as long as it takes to get an error message (this is progress - earlier versions used to freeze my screen). Crashes aside, all the reasons for Moodle you give apply in this case, and teachers I know who've used both systems prefer Moodle. Incidentally, at our symposium in the summer, we had a talk from Martin Eayrs from Salford university on LMSs. We demonstrated various features of BB, which is what they use there, but admitted that Moodle was better, and he wished the universtiy admin had thought twice before getting locked into BB.

I'm also interested in using Moodle as a collaborative space, and in
fact set up two "courses" for teachers, one for educational technology
and one for general teaching/departmental issues. However, the uptake
has been fairly low. I think you have to get a large number of
teachers comfortable with using Moodle for their own courses before
they'll participate in such projects (the reverse of my original plan,
which was to get teachers using Moodle as a shared space first, which
I thought might encourage them to create their own courses).

Please keep us informed of how things go in your institution.

BTW, I don't know who you'd need to contact (possibly Alex Little),
but it would be worth checking out the Moodle implementation at the
Open University (www.open.ac.uk). They went over to Moodle in a big
way about a year ago. By "big" I mean 5m pounds big.

Best wishes,