#Microsoft #Office and it’s Moodle add-on (An overview)

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Big news hit the twitterverse and blogosphere yesterday in the announcement of Microsoft’s “Office Add-in for Moodle”.  The product is designed to simplify the addition and maintenance of Moodle files based on Microsoft’s popular productivity suite Office by creating a quick bridge between your open files and your Moodle classroom/installation.

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From the official site:

Uploading files to Moodle has never been easier.  The Office Add-in for Moodle (OAM) is an add-in for Microsoft Office (versions 2003 and 2007) that allows teachers to open and save Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents to a Moodle website. Today, teachers who use Office and Moodle have to switch back and forth between their web browser and Office applications.  With the OAM, teachers can create, open, edit, and save Moodle documents from within the Office applications.  You no longer need to use your web browser when working with Office documents stored in Moodle.

This add-on requires zero modification of your server and is a simple download and extension from MS that is accessible through any of your Office documents.  It’s only been tested for Moodle versions 1.8 and 1.9.

Once installed, a simple authentication to the Moodle server, and your username/password are needed to connect your running Office program to your courses.

So what’s it all mean?

The plugin gives teachers and students a quick and easy way to upload, manage and maintain files submitted to or uploaded to a course’s file structure.  Additionally, it’s possible to organize the Moodle course file structure more efficiently and effectively with the plugin.  What it doesn’t mean is movement towards a goal of offline Moodle availability or improved accessibility.  Students will still need to download the PowerPoint, Excel and Word documents uploaded to a classroom.

However, the ability to update and manage a shared directory of required documents will certainly give this Add-on some shelf-life.  Below is a picture of a Moodle course’s file structure as displayed through Microsoft Word.

Kudos to Dan Humpherson @MoodleDan for checking it out, getting it working and sharing his success.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. This is major… the whole concept is still a little fuzzy for me..So when you edit your file there is not extra upload step either? I wonder if there’s a demo up anywhere? I’ll check out the other links to see.

  2. Actually, it’s not that you don’t have to upload it again. It’s that you can open Word, “open from Moodle”, edit, then “save to Moodle”.

    The process is pretty slick. Could it be better? probably, but it’s great if you’re using MS Office regularly and adding those files to Moodle.

  3. Ah, there’s another post.. okay, I have to read that. Honestly, I’m pretty surprised, pleasantly, about this.

  4. Unfortunately, OAM requires your Moodle site be organized by Course listing. Since many Moodle sites use a Category/Course listing, it will not work with that scheme (it cannot determine the courses). I have provided feedback to MS Education Labs about this. If anyone has found a temporary workaround to this, please post. Many of us have sites for which the Category/Course listing is essential. I hope they get this fixed as the add-in has great potential and provides excellent efficiencies around Moodle content management.

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