Thursday, June 26, 2014

Drowning in LMS Solutions: #Moodle

Ever feel overwhelmed by the number of awesome solutions available for facilitating online and/or blended learning with students and staff? Well, you're not alone! That's why edcamps are great when they allow practitioners to share what and how they are using technology to enhance teaching and learning in K-12 and adult learning environments.

This past week, I had the chance to attend edcampsa, hosted by NorthEast ISD's Churchhill High School and organized by Dr.Roland Rios (TCEA Area 20 Director). Below, you can see the cafeteria (ah, will we ever escape uncomfortable seating in a cafeteria? Fortunately, we weren't there for long!) full of folks...there were a lot more, all staring with rapt attention at the schedule on the big screen.

East Central ISD team members--Marguerite Lowak, Jennifer Smith and Helen Zenner--played an important role in converting the post its being put on the wall grid into digital format.

One of the sessions focused on Moodle. As a veteran Moodler, I was curious as to what I might learn by attending. In fact, there was a lot to learn! Unfortunately, there weren't a lot of folks in the room. Some of the great ideas shared included the following:

  • Build SCORM modules using tools like Articulate ($700 cost?)
  • Take advantage of a GUI

Earlier in the week, I'd added the following link to my ReadItLater's Pocket and left it there to respond to. I found this particular perspective to be insightful:

It is because of Moodle’s general lack of pleasant visuals, clunky navigation, and overall complexity that I am animate about using WordPress as an LMS – in fact there are many benefits to doing so.

The two pain-points I mention are immediately removed when using WordPress, and with the advent of Tin Can API, you can easily launch Articulate Storyline or Adobe Captivate courses – removing the need for Moodle altogether and opening up a world of possibilities through WordPress’ plugin repository and overall user-friendliness.

If you are still using Moodle, you should strongly consider removing the Moodle handcuffs and exploring the exciting alternatives. 
If you consider these 3 paragraphs, there's a lot of great info in them. Sure, you could use something else to house SCORM modules created with Articulate or Adobe Captivate. Instead of Wordpress, which you would still have to house and theme yourself, you could also use GoogleSites.

Consider SCORM Cloud for GoogleApps:

  • Deliver and track training within your Google domain via emails and calendar invites
  • Assign courses from within Google Apps using “groups” of contacts
  • Track training from within your Google Apps dashboard
  • Use a widget to launch courses from the company “start” page
  • Employees can use the app to see details of their assignments, scores and completions, as well as look for additional courses
  • Supports the Tin Can API (the next generation of SCORM)


Pretty interesting, huh? The problem is, how many teachers are developing SCORM Modules using high-priced tools?

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