I have seen several people post items about Moodle. I am interesting in using this technology. I would like some basic information. How easy is it to use Moodle? I understand that you have to download it to use it. Is this process difficult? Are teachers using this site to design their own quizzes online? Please provide any information you can. Thanks.

Mel J. Janousek

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Mel, I'm not a Moodle expert. I was waiting for others to answer your questions but since they didn't I'll tell you what I know. Moodle needs to be hosted on a server. There are places that will host this for you either for free or a small fee. If you do a Google search for "hosting Moodle" you should get several hits. Our school hosts Moodle on it's own servers. I'm not privy to how it works so I don't know if it's an easy process. There is an excellent Moodle community at Moodle.org that will answer your questions.

How easy is it to use Moodle? This is a loaded question because I think it depends on your level of patience and attention to detail. Like most technologies the more you use it, the more familiar you are with it, the easier it becomes. Based on my experience, Moodle requires a lot of time upfront to create a quiz or assignment. It's not hard, it's just time intensive. However, the long term results I think are worth the time. If you create a quiz, Moodle will grade it for you. That saves you grading time. If it's a good quiz and you teach the same content again, you can reuse the quiz, saving you time in creation and grading. I also think students like taking quizzes on Moodle more than on paper because they can receive their scores at the end of their quiz. I normally take several days to get quizzes graded.

I teach German as a foreign language and I use Moodle for several types of assessments and review activities. I have normal questions but am also able to add pictures and sound files to my Moodle quizzes. Additionally, we installed a module that allows the students to talk and will record their voices for me to grade later.

A Moodle Quiz can be set up so that it is a true quiz in that the students take it and see their final grade after they've finished the quiz. You can also set up a "quiz" as a review activity so that students who miss a question will be notified immediately that they are wrong and have another chance to get it right. You can type in feedback so that when they miss a question, they'll know why. There is a lot of flexibility with Moodle in how you want Moodle to give the students' their scores and feedback.

Once you have lots of questions in Moodle you can have the program create a quiz using only 10 questions out of a bank of 15, 20 or even more questions. This guarantees that every student will have a different quiz. This is something that is tough to do on a paper quiz.

For me, learning how to use Moodle has definitely been worth the time and frustration. I was able to attend 2 Moodle training sessions where someone walked us through how to set up a quiz and what pitfalls to avoid. That helped tremendously. There are also lots of training videos online. One site appropriately called Moodle Tutorials has nothing but training videos. There are also videos on YouTube, TeacherTube and other video sites.

I believe many teachers are using Moodle for their own online quizzes. The fact that the program is free and open source is a bonus for many school districts. Talk to your IT professionals and see if they are willing to work with you on getting Moodle for your school.
Could you e-mail me about adding sound files to Moodle Quizzes
I don't see how to e-mail you the info so I left it on your Comment Wall on your Classroom 2.0 page.
Hi Mel,

I'm a Middle School tech coordinator and had a Moodle server on our internal network for 3 years, but last year moved to have a 3rd party Moodle provider. In my opinion, unless you have an IT department to truly manage the server correctly, meaning dealing with all the chores and security issues of having a server on the Internet, let a Moodle provider handle it. Our provider charges about $3/seat/year The slight downside is that you have slightly less control, but the benefits outweigh this.

How easy is Moodle to use? I agree with Julie's post when see says it's a loaded question. Moodle isn't a single tool, it's like a Swiss Army knife. It's a bunch of tools, the standard ones, plus any additional modules or activities that you might add. So initially, there is a significant learning curve -- learning how "Moodle" works and learning each tool, but since the tools are integrated, many of the skills you use in creating a webpage, assignment, etc. on a teachers Moodle site are transferrable. Also, every teacher is different, so not every teacher needs, or wants, to know every tool right away.

First, you'll need someone who is the Moodle administrator. He probably needs to know the most initially. He needs to know how to do things like create the teacher accounts, student accounts, passwords, etc. In my case, I'm the Moodle admin and trainer for our school. I'm also the liason between the Moodle vendor and school when an issue arises.

When I first introduced Moodle I showed teachers how to post materials online -- videos, audio, pdf's, create webpages, assignments, etc. It can be a brain overloading experience, but it takes practice like everything else.

Teachers can create their own online quizzes. Basically, the teacher creates their own bank of questions and answers, then can have quizzes created from this bank of questions. Since Moodle knows the answers, it can automatically grade the quiz and put the grade into Moodle's gradebook. This doesn't prevent adding essay questions to your quiz, but obviously, Moodle can't grade those automaticall. It's pretty flexible system, but it does require some work building your base of questions.

And that's the significant part of Moodle, it takes a fair amount of work to put stuff on Moodle initially, but once it's there, it's there.

Depending on your tech skills, if you want to download Moodle and set up a server to play with, it's not that difficult. But, I would not use this as a production Moodle site.

Tom
I think Moodle is a good learninng manage system, you could build Moodle on your webiste, it is free to use.
Moodle could let you create course and quiz onilne, here is a video tutorial about how to create quiz in Moodle (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFnoNNrTx3c), you also could make flash quiz for your moodle with some other quiz makers, such as QuizCreator ,the output SCORM compliant quiz could intergrate with Moodle easily.
Hi Mel~

I am using Moodle extensively in my high school social studies classes. I have also been training on it. If you visit my site www.spalmeronlne.com (which is a moodle) you can see how I am using it for PD as well as links to all of my other sites and classroom moodle. You may also get into the "Hybrid High School" course which I have created as part of a presentation I have where I talk about it for more info.

I am NOT a tech person and I have created my sites on my own. Moodle is very easy to use and with a little training even the least tech savvy teacher can get the hang of it. It has transformed my classroom of at risk students to a dynamic space extending learning beyond the class time.

I encourage you to explore Moodle!

Sue
www.spalmeronline.com
www.masterymaze.com
www.educationallysound.com
www.masteryreview.com
You might find the Using Moodle book helpful.
I have to agree with most of the replies, especially the comment about moodle being versatile like a swiss army knife. Moodle can do many things for your course. The first year I used moodle, it was as a document and link repository. I uploaded the syllabus, assignments, links, etc. After a few years, I discovered that Moodle can be interactive. In addition to having kids take quizzes online, they can also blog, take surveys/ polls, discuss in forums, edit a wiki and add entries to a course glossary. My understanding is that since moodle is open source, outside developers can create modules (glossaries, wikis, blogs, etc) that your IT staff can just add for you to use. I highly recommend Moodle, especially if you are interested in having a password protected website. I have moved away from Moodle because I want my students to create content accessible to the entire world. (BTW there is a way to allow outsiders access your Moodle page, but it is clunky.) The other downside is if your school sets up Moodle on it's server, they have complete control. If you decide to leave your school, then you may not have access to those resources--which is why I copied of my resources onto a wiki for future access.

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