Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Now Contributing to MoodleTuts

I’m happy to announce that I will now be contributing to MoodleTuts, the Moodle blog that makes learning Moodle easy.  If you’ve worked with Moodle you know it’s not easy to find what you are looking for in short easy steps.  MoodleTuts was started by Dave Mozealous with the intention of solving this problem through short, less than 5 minute video tutorials that make learning Moodle easy.  

As a contributor I will be posting videos on Moodle topics that I come across in my day to day work.  By contributing I am hoping to help make MoodleTuts an even better resource than it already is.  I’ve already posted my first MoodleTut about using SCORM with Articulate and Moodle and I am looking forward to posting many more.

If you are not familiar with MoodleTuts go check it out.  You might just learn something new in less than 5 minutes.  And if you have any topics you would like to see covered in a MoodleTut be sure to let me know by posting a comment below.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Articulate, Moodle, and SCORM

You've got Moodle and Articulate now you want them to talk to each other using SCORM.  One of the most common questions I see in forums, twitter, and blogs is how to use SCORM so that the results of eLearning courses developed with articulate can be tracked in the Moodle gradebook.  While it is a fairly simple process, many eLearning developers run into problems tracking scores for Articulate courses in Moodle.  All it takes is one wrong setting for your scores to not be tracked and there are a lot of SCORM settings to choose from in both programs. This blog post is an attempt at helping out eLearning developers having trouble using SCORM features in Articulate and Moodle.  I hope that the video and written instructions below help one of those many people encountering issues using SCORM with Articulate and Moodle.

How to use SCORM reporting with Articulate and Moodle:
The instructions below highlight some of the key points covered in the video.  For full details and a visual example please see the video above.
 Articulate Settings:
  • From within your Articulate Presenter project, access the "Publish" feature.
  • Select LMS as the publishing option
  • Click on the SCORM Reporting and Tracking button
  • Enter course description on "Reporting" tab (Optional)
  • Click on the "Tracking" tab and set the project to track slide views or a quiz score.
    • Slide views - Best used for Presenter projects that don't include a quizmaker or Learning Objects quiz.
    • Quiz score - Best used for Quizmaker and Presenter projects that include a Learning Objects quiz.
  • Click OK and Publish
  • After publishing, compress all of the published files into a compressed Zip folder
Moodle Settings:
  • From the Moodle course site in Editing Mode, add a "SCORM/AICC" Activity.  A common mistake is to use the "Link to file or web site" resource.
  • After selecting the "SCORM/AICC" activity, you will be able to upload the zipped folder of published articulate files.
  • After uploading the zipped folder, click the "Choose" option.
  • From here you will be able to adjust the rest of the settings to your liking.
  • Once you have all the settings adjusted you can go back to the course site and test your Articulate project.  After completing the project your grade should show up in the grade book on the course site.
Hope this helps out and let me know if you have any questions or alternative approaches to using Articulate, Moodle, and SCORM.

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Moodle Pros and Cons Update

With all the hype surrounding the upcoming arrival of Moodle 2.0, I thought it might be a good time to revisit what we love and hate about Moodle 1.9.  In a previous post, "Moodle Pros and Cons" I set out on a mission to build a robust list of Moodle Pros and Cons that would be a great resource to someone researching whether Moodle would fit their needs.  I thought a list created on my own would not be nearly as useful as a list created with the help of fellow moodlers who come from different perspectives so I created a wiki page and posted a call for help compiling the ultimate Pros and Cons list.  While the response wasn't enormous there were some great pros and cons added to the list from Joseph Thibault and other fellow Moodlers.  Now that we are getting ready to say goodbye to Moodle 1.9, I thought it would be a good time to post the updated pros and cons list and send out another call for help adding more pros and cons to the list.  If you have any contributions please click on the link below to add your thoughts to the Moodle pros and cons wiki page. 
Moodle BenefitsMoodle Drawbacks
Open Source - Free to download and lots of great plugins to customize to your needs. - Joe DeeganReporting - There is no simple way to run a site wide report with users grades in multiple courses. You are stuck going into each course site to view one courses grades at a time or using the overview report to view grades for one user at a time. - Joe Deegan
Great Community - There is a great community of Moodlers more than willing to help you solve any problems you may come across. - Joe DeeganUser management - No easy way to manage groups of students. It would be much easier if there was a way to manage groups site wide rather than on a course by course basis. I need to use groups for position and region which requires a lot of maintenance of the groups in each course site. - Joe Deegan
Customizable - There is a huge selection of plugins and add ons freely available to help you customize Moodle to your needs. - Joe DeeganTakes a little tech savvy - Not just any trainer or teacher can download Moodle and be up and running with a quality LMS. It takes a little tech savvy and access to IT Dept resources to implement. - Joe Deegan
Widely Available - Most low cost hosting solutions on the web will install Moodle for you at no cost through simple scripts or an easy to use interface (which makes starting up much easier than having to know/install php, etc.) - Joseph Thibault (MM - GC )Closed - if you're looking to create an open repository of information that anyone can browse and engage, Moodle is not necessarily the best tool. You can "open" your Moodle, but most installations require registration, and even more courses require course passwords (enrolment keys) - Joseph Thibault (MM - GC )
Actually, it is possible to set up a Moodle site so that anyone can read without registering and without login. And anyone can edit via self registering.
Sell content - one of the less talked about benefits is that for small businesses, Moodle offers a fully capable course delivery and sales platform. Just plugin your paypal email address and list prices. Though users will have to register before being able to make a purchase (which might be viewed as a drawback) - Joseph Thibault (MM - GC )the admin side is not very user friendly. many info on the web but its not that easy getting used to the Moodle logic as admin, especially as the whole thing is strictly course oriented (as pointed above). also the "helps" are rather brief and hardly offer help for a begginer.
but generally i do like moodle. guess im just a cons kind a guy...
Familiar - During workshops I like to put teachers at ease by letting them know if they've filled out an online application or form, they can master Moodle. All activities and resources are driven by similar form templates (title, description, etc.), if teachers can look past the fact that there are a lot of choices, working with Moodle to build content is easy - Joseph Thibault (MM - GC )The Real Cost - Upside Learning wrote a good post highlighting some important factors to take into consideration before implementing Moodle. While Moodle is free to download but in reality the costs can add up if you go with a "Do it yourself" approach. - Joe Deegan
Content - Moodle's backup and restore functions are two of my favorites. The shear number of sites and courses on the web is HUGE...so if you're willing to do a little research/searching odds are you can find a pre-constructed course that the author is willing to share with you. Check out sites like Moodlecommons.org and Moodle.org 's course exchange for free resources - Joseph Thibault (MM - GC

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