Ali Ozgur, a member of the development team at mTouch, set me up with a Developer’s version of the App a few weeks before release on the iPad. So I was able to use a fully functional version, but didn’t have to pay the normal $2.99 fee. Note that most of my testing of this app has occurred on the iPad version though you can easily test out the iPod Touch version by using the downloader/emulator that MoodleTouch has posted on their website (MoodleTouch.com).
As stated clearly on their site, this is the first “native app” for Moodle, which means that no server side installation is required. Getting started requires only a purchase and then entering your Moodle URL, username and password. It’s straightforward, though I have heard that some sites (subdomains or /moodle) can cause some (or once did cause) login issues.
First Impressions: The App is pretty nice aesthetically, with color coordinated resources/activities framing a digital blackboard. All the tools are pushed to the perimeter of the iPad (which displays only in landscape view). It also has a quick open clip board so that you can store copied text (making it available for pasting later…even in another session entirely).
Logged into a course it displays all of the topic weeks cleanly and without having to navigate several pages/touches. Each resource/activity opens as it’s own popup with a “O” signifying the button to close it (I griped about this one to the developers already). Most resources and activities (chat, glossary, upload/online assignment) open natively within the app, but a few, like the Choice activity open up a framed version of your site (sans theme).
One thing I don’t care for is that linked resources (like images, docs, or mp3s) open up a popup first, then finally open after clicking again. It’d be nice to cut down on the number of clicks but the overall the app works as advertised.
- Fully functional Moodle modules (at least all the standard ones)
- Nice design and easy to use layout
- Supports both topic and weekly formats
- Displays embedded images/videos in the course view (Awesome!)
- Some cool drag/release features to dock open resources/activities (makes multitasking in Moodle easier)
- Some extra tapping/touching required for linked resources
- Loads of buttons (not always a good thing)
- No block support
As a bonus, it appears that the MoodleTouch team is working on a project to create a cross platform app for Moodle which will make sites more accessible via any OS or phone. Seems like a much different project so I’ll run a separate review once it’s available to play with. More information available at http://mtouch.pragmasql.com/Home.mvc
¹Screenshots from the MoodleTouch official site (sorry no dice on making my own iPad screenshots yet)