Moodle For Me (For Now)

I've been beta-testing Moodle at my organization since mid-2007, version 1.7.2. I like that Moodle is Open Source Software. I've now officially joined the Moodle forum and even posted in a forum for corporate users of Moodle. I don't have any experience on other Learning Mangement Systems, but I have 8 years experience using Content Management Systems starting with Mambo, then Joomla and now also Drupal and about a year's worth of time using blogs such as Blogger and Wordpress. I've found that Moodle is comparable to managing those other systems, but I'd like to have a little more control at block positioning like I can with Joomla.

One problem I have with Moodle is the categories / subcategories / courses displayed on the front page. I have many items to fit into each of these and I'd like a way to expand/collapse that on the front page. I think it's overwhelming for my users to see all those options and I'd like to limit their choices. In Moodle you either see them all or you don't see any. I can restrict to show only categories, but all the subcategories will display with them. That is still too overwhelming for a user interface.

My solution was to code a table in HTML and insert icons from the Nuvola series and use this as my course navigation tool. Users can click on an icon/category to view the courses and subcategories in each. It's much prettier this way; easy on the eyes; not overwhelming for users. Here is a screenshot of it:

Another problem I've found is the implementation of the blog and wiki modules. I'd like the blog module to be more like Wordpress or Blogger - full-featured. The Moodle blog could be very valuable as a site-wide blog if it had more features and lived "outside" of the Moodle world instead of always being tied to courses. The same could be said for the wiki module. Both are good ideas, but need to be further developed. As it stands I won't be implementing the blog or wiki features of Moodle. Instead I have deployed TWiki and WordPress on Linux sandbox servers.

Too bad about the blog and wiki modules, because I'd like to use Moodle as a complete Knowledge Management platform at my organization. Instead we have a hodge podge mix of using Shared directories, Outlook/Exchange, SharePoint (the free one), and now Twiki and WordPress - all hosted onsite on our own servers.


Anonymous said...


Thanks for your write-up. I'm involved in Moodle since a long time and appreciate your feedback.

I must agree with you that the Wiki and Blog modules are not in par with the popular "stand-alone" tools. Moodle was designed for something different, say extend the class-room into the web. Obviously it can't be everything for everybody!

mchance47 said...

If you don't mind telling us, is yours a business or academic Moodle installation?

I'm in a business, also in the Ozarks, just beginning to look at Moodle as a possible replacement for our current LMS. From your blog, it sounds like we may be forced to use some non-Moodle tools to achieve our ends. We were hoping that would not be the case.


Mike Chance
Manager, Instructional Technology
J. B. Hunt Transport, Inc.
615 J.B. Hunt Corporate Drive
Training and Development
Lowell, AR 72745
479-899-7206 (cell)

everdream said...

Mine is a business installation. I've worked in healthcare now for almost three years after 10 years in public education as a teacher and technology coordinator.

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