Here’s a pretty great presentation by Paul McKenzie (@paulbmckenzie) which highlights the pros and cons/problem and solution of using Moodle in the classroom. The pros, Paul says, are that Moodle has a great community, is open source, free to adopt (no license).  The cons include it’s course development learning curve and “walled garden” approach to building on the web.

Post Pages - Post Inline - WIRIS

The problem, as he sees it is Moodle’s standard feature set which is unappealing to students as is.  His solution includes a few key ways which you can use to “break” down some of the digital walls and integrate a more web2.0 look and feel into the classroom through embedding, RSS, iFrames, and by using Moodle’s standard features like the the Glossary, Wiki, Database and Forums which engage students more directly.

Here’s a direct link to the presentation [] and Paul’s blog [].  Check out the presentation on Prezi embedded below:

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  1. well…truth be told Moodle can already do what Instructure Canvas does (and is capable of more; case in point is the ability to import question banks from various other sources, Instructure doesn’t have that support yet [or didn’t last I checked]).

    You can easily create a course (or whole Moodle site) that is accessible to unauthenticated users or guests and the entirety of it’s content can be open to the public (like Instructure). What Paul is suggesting is integrating additional content into Moodle to make it more engaging using a few possible tools (iframes, embedded content, etc.). Instructure supports some of those means as well…

  2. It sounds to me like you don’t really understand what Canvas is or does. Oh well. Have fun in your walled garden!! 😉

  3. Walter, I have played with it, but not in production with live students. I would be interested to know how it differs in your opinion.

  4. Joseph,

    Just as an fyi, Canvas accepts QTI question bank imports from many different sources. Sounds like Canvas may have changed quite a bit since you used it last. You may want to give it another look.

    I think Moodle’s doing a pretty good job of keeping up with web technologies. Supporting iframe embeds, for example, goes a long way towards being “of the web”. I think the concerns around usability are valid, but Moodle seems more open to me than a lot of the other products out there.

    The trick going forward is going to be implementing things like the Repository API, in a dead-simple way. It’s one thing to say you *can* do something in an LMS, but it’s a whole different story to be able to say you can do it *easily*. I think Canvas still has quite the edge in that respect.


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