So – I was quoted in the State News today about MSU’s Moodle LFT (limited field trial) and that’s not exactly what I said.
I was asked if there would be technical issues. I said with any technology there are bound to be glitches and bumps, but nothing out of the ordinary should be expected just because it’s Moodle (the article implies otherwise.) If anything, there is such a vibrant strong open source community around Moodle that problems can sometimes be solved faster than working with a pay-for product.
There were two very important points that I emphasized, both were left out.
First – it doesn’t matter which car you drive, as long as it runs you’ll still get where you’re going. I’m CMS agnostic – yes different systems have affordances and constraints – and yes I prefer open source flexible systems, but my primary concern and focus is on the content and pedagogy. I mold the technology around those focus points. I am very lucky that I have a choice in the CMS that I use as an instructor. Many of the K12 teachers I work with do not have a choice and must use the CMS provided to them by their school district.
Second – I’m very excited MSU is supporting a university wide install of an open source software. This is a tremendous opportunity for the university and VuDAT to make contributions to the code by improving the install for large scale university implementation and by creating modules and plug-ins that fit with university structure and pedagogy.
My personal use of Moodle has been more from the administrative end – in CEP 820 we have our own install and I create the course shells for students, install plug-ins and modules and help them through their course design decisions. I’m very excited to have the opportunity to run a “real” course in Moodle and see how it feels from the instructor side.
Others at MSU can play in the Moodle sandbox by visiting – https://qa.moodle.msu.edu/
I’m also hoping sometime in the fall we could rouse enough interest in an MSU MoodleMoot!