Has anyone tried using Ning as a LMS? Has it worked?

I am in negotiations with the IT dept at the high school that I work at about rolling out some online topics in classes that I teach. I was looking Moodle as the LMS, only because it is set up in the school already and I have played around with it a little. The Head of IT suggested using Ning. My only use of Ning has been as a social networking tool.

So I am wondering if there is anybody that has used Ning as a LMS? Has it been successful?

Cheers
Trent

Tags: Moodle, Ning

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Trent,

It all depends what it is you are trying to do. Can you be more specific? If you already have Moodle, what is there to negotiate?

Stu
I want to be able post tasks and units of work online for students to access. I realize that moodle is much more advanced in terms of allowing online testing to occur etc.

I think the IT dept were looking at it because it is supported off site and is a lot easier in that regard.

Also just looking for ideas about best practice at the moment in terms of online content delivery, I want the experience to be as flexible and enjoyable as possible for 14 year olds.

I personally see ning as a powerful social learning tool, but am interested in seeing if it is/can be successfully used as a LMS.

Trent
Would you use Resources Wiki to post your units? I'm asking being ignorant myself. If that was your thought, I suppose it would work. Has anyone else used the wiki to post complete lessons? Created a ning for their students to do this? Now you got me thinking!!
I certainly enjoy using Ning with my students, but as an LMS it is a challenge. I'm running a single site, with different classes using groups. it's a little bit of a nightmare when it comes to managing the users. I have a difficult time grouping the users. I leave everyone in the Ning even after the students have left the program. My goal is to have this as a continuing resource for students who have gone through the program (not much buy in yet).

I think that it might be a lot better if I had each class using their own site. However, that's just too much of a hassle to keep track of, in terms of the courses and users.

These days, though, I'm just using Ning for communication outside of the classroom (discussion forums and Web, audio, video resources). At this point, I'm just being 100% responsive, which makes using Ning ok. If I needed to put up lessons at the beginning of the semester or any sort of front loading, it would be a nightmare.

I have been thinking about creating a new tab and using that for the front-loaded content. Something that could be revealed and hidden when necessary. Not sure how to go about it yet or if it's even a good idea :)

In the end, Moodle does so much better with the management part that it's tough to switch to Ning.

Good luck.

Dan
Hi Trent. I think I agree with Stu's response. It depends on what you want to accomplish, manage, track, and share. Moodle comes basically ready to do everything, and you can add extras: wikis, blogs, embed video, link lists, etc. Ning might be too public for some educational settings, that is, for classes that keep student work in a private area reserved for their use only. I use Moodle for teaching online university classes. There's another option in Sakai - have you thought of that?
Hi, Dan. Have you tried using the group feature for managing the students?
Hi Steve,

I have each class as a group in my Ning. However, it's still difficult to keep track of what students are doing. Moodle was made for that (or at least with that in mind) and does it so much better.

I still like using Ning with my classes, but I just have to use it differently than I use Moodle and it takes me longer to keep up with my classes.

Dan
Hi Daniel,
I saw your post was a little older but felt my response may help.
Have you tried using an aggregator to keep track of things? This might make it easier for you to use multiple Nings. I have no idea how much you know about this, so I'd suggest checking out www.netvibes.com if you haven't already.
Hope your Nings are still going well.
Cheers,
Shelley
I'm a teacher librarian at the middle school level. I have a project going on right now with a 7th grade team using Ning. We're doing an interdisciplinary project on Asia. I set up the Ning site and put in a bunch of profile questions the kids have to answer before they can join. They've had to do research on Asia because the pages they're making aren't of themselves, they're of a person from an assigned city somewhere in Asia. The kids are basically creating like MySpace pages of their made up person. We are giving them some higher level thinking questions that they will have to post blogs about as the project goes on. We're tying in language arts standards with point of view, social studies with Asian countries, and science with environmental impacts. It's not a specific library use, but I'm working with the teachers to make it happen. Don't know if that's way off topic or if it helps at all, but we're excited about trying something new and the kids seem to be loving it. Our one concern is that fact that once we've signed them up for Ning, they can go create their own networks. Has anyone had problems with this?
Minda, what a great idea! This has to be one of the most creative uses of social network software I have read about. I love the way you created an interdisciplinary unit using Ning!

Personally, I wouldn't choose Ning over software that was designed as a Learning Management System (LMS) such as Moodle for a traditional online course. However, you couldn't easily do what you are doing in Moodle.

I am assuming that your Ning site is private. Is that correct? How did you deal with needing email addresses to set up Ning accounts? Was CIPA an issue with "fake" accounts? Would you be willing to share more of the details? Thanks...
Clearly Ning wasn't built as an LMS, but I've found that through the use of text boxes, widgets, and categorized forum discussions that a lot is possible! It does take some creativity. I think the Ning folks are blown away by the value of Ning networks in education, as I don't think they were thinking of that at all as they built it!
Hi.. would you like to explain me something about Nng? I mean... I have already open it and I have seen that there is for example a site where you can halp and be helped on studying spanish as a foreign language... how does it work? can I open this space only to some users or to eveybody?

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