Monday, November 8th, 2010
Moodle, which stands for Modular, Object-Oriented, Dynamic, Learning Environment, is the world’s leading learning management software (LMS). Because Moodle is both modular in design, and developed using open-source technologies such as MySQL and PHP, the Moodle Community has been able to create and support a number of innovative third-party modules. In order to bring new features and capabilities to Moodle, these modules have taken many forms, including: filters, resources, activities, and blocks, which have been made available through an online database maintained by the Moodle Community.
As a Moodle Partner, we have fielded hundreds of inquiries regarding the capabilities of many different third-party modules. On behalf of our Moodle hosting clients, we have engaged in testing and found a number of third-party modules to be very useful, including:
- Book activity: Create multi-page resources with a book-like format. Currently under development for use with Moodle 2.0.
- Certificate activity: Provide students with a PDF certificate upon meeting specified course criteria. Currently under development for use with Moodle 2.0.
- Configurable Reports block: Examine custom course and user reports and custom MySQL queries.
- Dimdim Web Meeting activity: Integrate Dimdim webinar capabilities which allow opportunities for blended learning within a Moodle course.
- Feedback activity: Survey your students with custom questions and scales which is now a part of the standard distribution in Moodle 2.0!
- Login & Logout block: Promote social networking features in Moodle by providing users with a time-based greeting, user profile image, last login data and profile update link.
- Menu block: Elimates the endless scrolling required by lengthy Moodle courses. Center section summaries are used to create navigation buttons that can collapse all other center sections. Moodle 2.0 includes a new Navigation block with similar features.
- MrCUTE Jr. File Repository block: A simple file repository that allows file sharing among courses. Moodle 2.0 contains a file repository API to better facilitate repository integration.
- Register activity: Track and calculate time spent by a user working on a Moodle course.
- Sidebar block: Allows activities and resources within multiple instances of a block.
- User Administration block: Provides numerous tools to ease user administration tasks in Moodle.
Moodle 2.0 has incorporated the Feedback activity and also provides a variety of other new features and tools such as the Navigation block. However, existing third-party modules developed for use with Moodle 1.x will no longer work with Moodle 2.0. In time, patrons and developers may release updated modules designed to work with Moodle 2.0, thereby continuing the tradition of third-party development which has so dynamically enhanced the efforts of the Moodle Community.