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?


Tags: Moodle, Ning

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I currently use MOODLE and it has worked fine. Next year I am going to switch to Studeous because I feel that it is easier to negotiate for the students. Check it out at http://www.studeous.com
Have you set it up yet? Is it quicker to set up than a moodle site?
I have created a class and the setup for students is very similar. Each student needs to have an email and then you have them use a link that is provided by you.
Studeous is great. I would definitely give it a try if you haven't yet. There's no download or setup and it's free.
Hi Matt, after checking out the Studeous site I have to say that it is slick looking. ("Slick" in a good way.) I prefer to have our LMS hosted locally on our server. (In our case an older 1.8 Ghz PC, running RedHat Linux 4.)

You may be right about Studeous being easier for students to negotiate. I have been using Moodle successfully with middle school students (grades 6-8) and after a short introductory they manage very well. I like Moodle's philosophy and the dedication of its developers, and since it works well for us, we'll stay with it.
I've used both - and have found it easier to set up a Ning network for my colleagues than using Moodle. However, Ning just looks so "busy" that my colleagues have been put off the idea of trying to find their way around. I still believe it's a great system though I'm not sure how very different it is to using wikis.
I'm still trying to understand how moodle really works for me. I've been shown a number of times but I need to practice first. Having recently used moodle as a student - I was blown away by the the possibilties and the way it enriched my learning experience. As a teacher, I can see that there is a clear structure.
So for me, it's moodle for the LMS and Ning for the social networking. I still find wikis are a great place for me to be creative with my lessons and to store my work as all the pages can be linked (which I don't think happens in Ning).

I have both a Moodle and a NIng and do not see the Ning as a great choice for content management. It is the BEST, however for social networking! I have a Moodle and also have most of my content in an opensource platform DRUPAL! I use the Moodle as the closed platform and provide links to my www.masterymaze.com site for the podcast content as it allows me to host more files there with no limit issues. I am going to be teaching a college level course in the Spring and plan to use ANGEL with a link out to Ning which I will use to create the forum aspect. Moodle has a forum, but Ning is much better. You have to be careful with Ning as the kids will find their way to the "off topic" parts of the site. Do your best to try to keep the Ning closed, and use the Moodle for your content! That's my two cents worth!

Good Luck!

I only discovered Moodle yesterday and haven't had a lot of time to play around with it yet. Have you used Moodle as a social network for your students? My school has blocked Ning and claims they can't unblock the subdomains I created for my individual classes (i.e. italianouno.ning.com) because they can't manage it. (I am wary to believe them; I think they don't know what they are doing.) I was just going to ask if you know who provides the internet filter for your district. More later!
Moodle does have threaded discussions, which is a plus over blogs and wikis. I really don't think 6-12 graders need "social" sites attached to the classroom, IMHO you are asking for trouble if you try to secure and manage a ning for kids.
the problem here is, although ning has the powerful web 2.0 features, but lms can manage all the learning process from preparing, teaching to tests and learning tracking management. if we can rebuild ning with this procedure, and enhanced with more rich media support (video? Flash? HTML support?), it'll be almost a learning management system. is that all about lms besides the learning community?

william peterson
Hi All,

I'm still trying to sort all the new Web technologies into their proper places in my curriculum in progress. I can see that no one technology fits all of my needs, so my goal is to craft a solution that allows each to synergistically complement each other.

It seems to me that Moodle is feature-rich and designed to house all the tools that a teacher would want to deliver. However, the lack of attention to interface design is a deal breaker for me. In my opinion, interface design is vitally important to the success of integrating a web technology into the curriculum.

Clean design, a good menu system and proximity of services draw students into the course and help them use these tools efficiently and effectively.

For one way delivery of content and simple quizzes, I use a paid service. I recommend myteacherpages.com as it is very teacher-friendly with a professional looking interface. Moodle can deliver canned content, but in a text-base interface that is soo... 20th century.

Since myteacherpages.com doesn't have a rich set of blogging and commenting features, I create a lesson in myteacherpages with a link to Class Blogmeister. This allows me to create a easy-to-manage class blog, where students can journal and comment on other students' articles. I control both the username and passwords for each class so there is no need for students to register themselves with their own email addresses. Since all articles are moderated, I approve everything that goes up on the site and make sure there is no inappropriate use.

I am now exploring Wetpaint as for my class wikis. Wetpaint has a nicer interface than the typical wiki derived from the original wikipedia design. It provides templates for both classroom wikis and group projects.

My goal is to integrate several technologies by using a web 1.0 website (myteacherpages) to deliver the syllabus with weekly agendas and daily activity guides. These activity guides will contain instructions on the activity and a hyperlink to a web 2.0 site.

In this way, I can pick and choose the best of the latest Web 2.0 technologies for inclusion in my activities, while maintaining some of the logical structure of my course from year to year in an aesthetically pleasing and highly functional design.

I hope that helps.
I agree Gregory that accessible interfaces are essential for students yet this is where the web2 technology lets us down.
It's so good to read about someonef who has tried and tested some of the technology and can pass on your experiences. I'm going to look into this - but I fear (already) that our educational institution (TAFE - Technical and Further Education) in Sydney will block most of it. However, since reading your post, I feel more encouraged to keep trying.

I think you'll find that Wetpaint will work! I now use wikispaces to keep my resources on but it's not that user-friendly for students who have little computer or English speaking skills to begin with. Wepaint does indeed seem more user-friendly. I still love moodle for structure - but I really have to spend hours getting to grips with all its features (way too many for me) - but everything I do with my students has to go through a series of passwords and protocols before we can begin so maybe I'm being unfair to moodle.

I'll check the hosted site - though I wonder if this will work for me in Australia.



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