Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Moodle musings

My elearning colleague Jim Judges has just posted a few interesting snippets on the Moodle UK users Jiscmail list. See the online archives here @ URL: . It's a closed list, but anyone can join by sending a request to the list moderator. For those new to Moodle, this is an email discussion list created for the community and used by the UK Moodle community. It's a very active list, which you need to request to join.

Also I just established that some clever people are linking Moodle to Google Docs. Interesting stuff.

Back to the plot

Coleg Gwent Moodle stuff

  • Paul Andrews (formerly of Coleg Gwent) has created an excellent Moodle visitors centre you just can drop in and wander around .

  • And... he has also made the teacher training resources avaialble for download here :

  • Plus a bespoke feedback tool available here :

  • And theres more. Paul has created a widget that allows easy adding of other widgets to your Moodle courses, here:

  • You can also access Paul's new icons here :

Mr Cute

Another colleague of ours here at the RSC is Mr Richard Goddard who is a very clever IT man who has received
JISC funding to develop a Moodle repository called Mr CUTE. It's a very powerful , taggable, searchable
object repository.

Mr CUTE can be download as a block from
or from http://tinyurl/5h6ofp. This tiny URL page
points to Richard's own website which also has a link to the Solihull College easy portfolio block - to download.
he good news is that Ricahrd has received some more JISC funding to further develop Mr CUTE2.
Mr CUTE2 will be able to;

  • automatically convert PPT & Word files to platform independent formats,
  • will be able to create simple IMS objects (like Xerte does ),
This is an intersting move, as it will allow users to create simple HTML/XML based learning objects directly in Moodle! A bit like Adobe Breeze did/does?

and.... Jorum want to work with Mr CUTE further somehow? Perhaps Richard will tell us more.

Richard also mentioned that you can now add the next generation of NLN materials as a link

(not to download) to Moodle using a new functionality called Noodle.

Object repositories primer

The reason object repositories are big business at the moment is because people are begining to add large
amounts of resources to their VLEs and are finding out the VLEs a re not very good at storing them.
Resulting in duplication + inability to tag & search, and therefore slow and bloated VLEs begin to run badly. The answer is to
remove all of your learining objects from your VLE and put them in a repository and link that to your
VLE. This ensures that all objects can be tagged, and therefore searched. And your VLE can operate
more effiently - because VLEs were not constructed to be object stores, which is unfortunately how they've
mostly (sadly) used. Popular object repositories inlcude intrallect & Harvest road Hive.

Oh ,yes they also work across dispersed campus' thereby creating an easily managed
federated system, acessed by all.

Mahara eportfolio tool

At the same event that Richard Goddard announced Mr CUTE 2, James Ballard from the
University of London Computer Centre announced their involvement ( official partner) of
the new Mahard eportfolio tool, which plugs into Moodle.

"Mahara is a fully featured electronic portfolio, weblog, resume builder and social networking
system, connecting users and creating online communities. Mahara provides you with the
tools to set up a personal learning and development environment."

As well as becoming the official Mahara partner, ULCC have previously developed
personalised learning plans as 4 separate blocks to plug in to Moodle. So this move to
partner Mahara is a natural progression for them. If you need a PLP or eportfolio tool that sits
nicely within your Moodle environment, ULCC will help you out and provide support.
Of course the tools they create are free from, but companies like ULCC,
the development manager and Moodledo provide the 3rd party support
we all need.

nb, you can run Mahara without Moodle, yet can be linked to it (single sign on, ID authentification, etc ).
Mahara will also export to the LEAP 2.0 eportfolio standard, thereby ensuring portability of data (I hope).
Mahara runs on LInux platforms only.
We are still awaiting to see what the OU are doing with their MY stuff eportfolio tool?

Learn more about eportfolios here :

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