Until this last spring semester I had never heard of an online program to deliver course content called Moodle. I have taken a good part of my university courses online. I completed my Associate of General Studies degree at the community college through nearly all online courses. It saved me so much time and expense. I was able to double up and complete my undergraduate degree by doing the freshman and sophomore courses online through the community college and transferring them to the state university while I was working on two bachelor of arts, in art and music history.
The first two years of my undergraduate (2002 – 2006) degree that I completed through the community college were done through a combination of Web Campus and a web site built by the college for the professors to use. There were some difficulties with some of the course sites because the online teaching technology wasn’t uniform and a lot of the course structuring depended on the technological ability of the professors. Some put up very good sites that included their syllabus, lectures and links to tutorials and online information related to the course.
Other professors were not so capable with setting up their web sites and they were mainly an access to the online exams, assignments and class/individual statistics. The sites built using Web Campus were easier to use and over the years Web Campus came to be the required method of delivering course content and tracking grades.
I got used to using Web Campus and thought it worked very well by itself. After graduating from the university, I came back three years later to work on a masters degree. The classes are in classroom except for the computer technology and internet courses which are required or are electives in fulfilling the education masters degree. The professors in the Education Department decided to use Moodle.
Nothing was ever explained about it and I had no idea why they had installed it as a platform on top of Web Campus. There was a conglomeration of Blackboard Online, Web Campus, and Moodle. There was much less available with all three than the basic websites I was used to in the old community college courses. There was a section that had some links to various Google sites which I didn’t need. None of the students were interested in chatting, I couldn’t compare myself to the class to see how I was doing because there was no gradebook or statistics..
Moodle may have many benefits but they just weren’t being used by my professor. It did make everything harder as far as logging in and looking for things, leaving comments on the page listing the assignments and student/professor comments. It took two log ins, one to just log into the Web Campus where all the classes were held, then a second login through Moodle to get to the class I was registered in.
As with all of this new technology, it’s only helpful if it’s used or if the persons setting it up understand it or set it up for people who aren’t familiar with it so that they can use it. Here are a couple of websites for you to look at to familiarize yourself with Moodle.