7.04.2008

Learning to Tweak Moodle: It Sucks Less Than Others

I'm still a Moodle newbie. I feel I must jump into this application and really learn how to harness its power as both an Administrator and an Instructor. I know this app is powerful and can serve my organization's needs as a Corporate Learning Managment System, since so many other organizations are using it that way successfully - and these are much bigger, more complex deployments than what I'm attempting.

But I'm also a geek who likes to tweak. Does that make me a geak? Or tweek? I think the key to my successful deployment of Moodle is to learn how the programmers envisioned the application to work; learn the modules; learn the framework, structure and parameters of the app. Then, tweak it to fit my needs.

This requires a balance of IT geekiness along with solid Instructional Design understanding; and that must be paired with the specific learning requirements for my organization: mid-sized community hospital.

First, I'm tasked with eliminating our current LMS which is very costly to use and update - and its not user friendly (no one likes this application!). Since that application "sucks", hopefully I can create a solution in Moodle which is significantly less "sucky".

I think a combination of built-in Moodle modules (content and quizzes mostly, along with some forums and wikis) and Adobe Captivate for software simulations will do the trick. I plan to also add other multimedia such as video or Flash and perhaps a PowerPoint or two.

In the upcoming weeks I shall endeavor to see how much Moodle sucks less than our previous LMS. I hope to be pleasantly surprised. And I'm thankful for the helpful Moodle community of users and Admins.

2 comments:

Chris @ eQuixotic said...

I'd love to know if your previous "sucky LMS" is the same as our current "sucky LMS" (it rhymes with "fat toe").

Or is LMS software just inherently sucky? Probably.

everdream said...

Chris - no our current (but on the way out) LMS is targeted for the Healthcare field, called NetLearning. It used to be owned by Thomson / Course technology and has been merged or bought out by Cengage now. I'm not 100% certain that its as bad as we all claim it to be, but the feature set that we have paid for is very lacking, as well as the canned healthcare content we purchased.

I believe with Moodle and some SMEs in my organization we can do a better job and create an LMS that works for our needs. The only thing I feel we lack is a business relationship with a Moodle parter for support. We're hosting Moodle internally on our own Linux box.

We haven't hit any "plateaus" yet! (wink).

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