Moodle: a new way to approach online instruction

screenshot of Moodle

Over the past several years, there has been a rapid increase in the amount of online course material available. Many colleges have dramatically increased the number of classes provided online as a way to stretch resources, as well as allowing more independently paced study. Re-entry students who have full-time jobs, for example, can "attend" class during evenings and weekends, whereas they might not be able to come to a physical classroom during the day in the middle of a work week.

There are many challenges that come up in making online classes informative and relevant for the needs of their students. One way to try to make the online learning experience better for students is through tools like Moodle.

Moodle calls itself a "course management system." It provides a framework for creating Internet-based courses of instruction and the supporting web sites. Based on a philosophy called "social constructionist pedagogy", which takes advantage of interactions among the community as well as content provided by the instructor, Moodle allows instructors to create opportunity for rich interaction, including elements such as wikis, forums, and blogs, as well as quizzes, surveys, and other activities.

There is extensive documentation available on the Moodle website. If you are responsible for the design or execution of online instruction, it may be worth your while to take a look and examine in depth the types of resources that Moodle can make available for you.

Moodle is available both for Windows and Mac systems running OS X, as well as systems running various flavors of Linux–basically any system that can support PHP, and requires a database such as MySQL or PostgreSQL.

Download Moodle

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