In online learning, the Moodle platform is one software that has made great strides and had gained widespread popularity as a free source software.With most aspects of our lives going online, it is almost a requirement to employ effective software to make exchange of information and interactions more efficient.
As you probably know, standing for modular object-oriented dynamic learning environment, Moodle is a free online learning software for virtual learning environments. It’s main focus is an effective online platform of interactive and collaborative construction of content. Since its debut in 2002, Moodle has been adopted by many leading learning institutions as the primary online learning platform.
As an e-Learning tool, it includes many useful elements for effective communication and feedback between instructors and students. Recently, the software has expanded beyond learning to training, development, and business settings. The versatility and usefulness of Moodle has gained widespread acceptance amongst users as a reliable learning resource and platform.
A Complete Moodle Platform Overview
Many features of the Moodle platform are aimed to make the online and electronic technology smooth and easy.
Assignment submission: this is a submission management system feature that allows the electronic. exchange of assignments and feedback between two parties. Through the feature allows submission, processing, management, and feedback of electronic submissions. This creates an efficient online electronic processes that occurs in real time.
Discussion forum: through this element, members can conduct discussions. Members can collaborate on matters online and electronically. This enables real time exchange of ideas on assignments and other tasks.
Files download: this allows downloading of material and files between two parties. Instructors are able to share notes with students and file downloading has made it easier for exchange of materials.
Grading: following submission of assignments, this component allows instructors to communicate students’ performances in real time. It also allows students to track their performance.
Moodle instant messages: instant messages on the software allow live communication between users. This feature makes it easier for communication between two parties when in different places.
Online calendar: this tool allows communication of important dates, due dates, cancellations etc.
Online news and announcements: on the homepage, this allows important news to be displayed. Users can first see important happenings and updates on the homepage and click on the specific link for more information.
Online quiz: this allows conduction of assessments directly online from the software. Time limit can be adjusted on this feature according to the number of questions. The instructor has a number of options to choose from when it comes to quiz and assessment construction: multiple choice, true or false, fill in the blank, open ended questions.
At the end of the quiz, there is an option for automatic grading.
Activities: interactive activities for math and word games to improve abilities and for practice. Instructors can set the activities according to modules learned. It is an interactive tool for students to get more practice and more acquainted with lessons on an online platform.
Graphical themes: the interface is fun and interactive for users by the conservative yet decorative use of useful graphics. They are well integrated in the interface in a way that makes sense to the users and makes the navigation process easier.
Authentication methods: allows authentication of users by asking for a username and password from users. Usually users can obtain their login information from the institution they are working with.
Additional third party plugins: the open source software development approach has made it easier for others to contribute to the software.
Being an open source software has allowed for many developments for Moodle. Unlike other software with similar capabilities, Moodle has a definite edge when it comes to additional resource plugins. This allows greater amount of information and in different forms to be shared between different parties in different means. Also being an open source software allows developers to constantly be innovative in any improvement that may and can be done regarding to the site, giving way to more up to date functionality to the software.
As an online learning tool, Moodle has allowed much flexibility in conducting lessons, assessments, and evaluations. In summary, it has the ability to do the following:
Track and manage variety of electronic learning material and resources, including PDF, audio, video, and others.
Ability to integrate with other systems such as Active Directory, GoogleDrive, Open Badges, and YouTube into the system for a more well rounded platform.
- Utilize a calendar to keep track of submission deadlines and other events.
- Create surveys and quizzes for assessment purposes.
- Provide space for discussion forums
- Uploading capabilities of various file types.
- Provide platform for peer reviewed workshops and wikis
- Provide access for different languages (over 70 languages)
Institutions using Moodle have benefited from the various interactive and useful tools it offers. For instructors, the ability to communicate to students is more efficient and readily available through the different platforms. With a compatible Internet browser, real time communication through chat and messaging are important for both instructors and students alike for clarification purposes. For students, features available help in practice for further exploration and deeper understanding of materials covered. This is made possible by integration of third party plug ins which allow greater capability to connect to secondary sources.
Assessment of course material is then undertaken by the built in quiz platform which allows instructors to form comprehensive quizzes and assessments which can be taken in real time and graded by the software, hence, minimizing time spent hand grading and making the process much more expedient.
Moodle has proven to be a highly effective online learning tool by the many who have chosen to use it. It is extensively thought out and adequately planned to make an effective learning platform. The different platforms have undergone much research in the part of system developers in the last twelve years and it is expected that improvements and other features will be added to make the experiences even better. Some speculate that the next big thing in line for Moodle is the implementation of video conferencing. By allowing this feature, online learning through the Moodle platform will be much more interactive and perhaps more effective.