While traditional classrooms are still popular, e-learning is becoming a booming business, worth billions of dollars. The beauty of online learning is that it offers colleges and universities local and international reach while giving the student great flexibility and accessibility.
For an e-learning course to be successful however, colleges must be able to organise their online course content in a clear and structured way. This is where the Learning Management System (LMS) come into play. With the many free and paid LMS platforms available online, one LMS rises above all others, namely Moodle.
Here’s what I love about Moodle:
1. Firstly, Moodle is a free system which offers a wide range of customizable themes and features. Moodle is internationally available in 120 languages, and supports a wide range of plugins.
2. The Moodle dashboard is organized into “blocks” such as the course overview block in the middle of the screen by default and navigation and news blocks on the side. This layout is extremely flexible, and can be replaced, moved or deleted. New blocks can be set up to organize the course into modules or topics along with books, files, pages, URL’s and assessment tools. And if you stuff up your course, don’t worry as Moodle has a reset button that will restore it back to its original state.
3. Now some of you might say Moodle is ugly looking but thanks to the introduction of Moodle themes, your Moodle platform can now be “prettied up” to look just like a website. Moodle now has a large variety of themes that can be further customized to create exciting and dynamic online schools. You can add personal logos, background colours, headers, footers, and much more.
4. One other important feature of Moodle is its variety of resources and activities. These are the delivery tools you can use to interact and engage students. Activities include assignments, quizzes, lessons, forums, wiki’s and many more. As an instructor, you can host discussion posts, surveys, and chats through Moodle. Resources can be used to support your student’s learning experience by using books, files, video’s or website links.
5. Finally, Moodle’s richly featured grading system will allow you to track the progress of individuals and of your class as a whole through reports, charts, graphs, and stand-alone statistics. This will allow you to evaluate the progress of each student but also to evaluate the complexity and level of your own course by comparing students performance.
While it isn’t easy choosing an LMS, Moodle is without a doubt one of the best choice for online colleges. It’s easy to use for teachers who are new to e-learning, but can also be used as an interactive learning environment by teachers who want to offer students something more dynamic.