A Brief Introduction.
The software works with tools that simplify the cooperation in the joint creation of learning content. Moodle has many standard features as well as ones for individual configuration.
The first Moodle prototypes appeared in 1999. In 2001 the current architecture of the product was developed, as significant improvements regardless its layout and accessibility were imported. During the next years the software quickly gained popularity and in 2007 it won several awards from the Guild of online learning.
Moodle is published under the GNU General Public License.
The learning management system is built on the idea that online learning should focus on the opportunities that would be useful for students - interacting with their students, tutors have to create content that fits their needs and desires.
The users of the platform in 2004. are 1000, in 2008 - 500 000, in 2010 - over 1 000 000 (+ 50 partners). Among them are many universities, high schools, primary schools, government departments, military organizations, military and air lines, etc. We can highlight the following examples: Ministry of Education - Austria, San Francisco State University, University of Genoa, GAP technologies.
All of these organizations and institutions have chosen to use Moodle for a number of reasons – some of them are listed in the following lines:
• Moodle is a free software.
• Moodle can be used by users who do not have experience with other similar software.
• Moodle is applicable in various areas of education and training.
• Moodle is a system, which simplifies the creation and sharing of information.
• Moodle has many users, forming helpful community.
• Moodle meets the following standards: IMS LTI™, Scorm 1.2. Scorm 4, Mozilla’s open badges.
• The system has a modern and easy to navigate interface.
• The design and the layout can be customized, as configuration does not require much efforts.
• Moodle has more than 50 options for authentication and enrollment.
• The system supports and works on various languages.
• There are functionalities for mass course import, backup and recovery.
• The users with special permissions can administrate the roles and rights of other users.
• In Moodle users can easily integrate external for the system applications or create their own plugins.
• The software regularly updates the security patches.
• There is also a function for tracking of the users’ activity and creating the respective reports.
Functionalities for Course Creation and Management.
• Teachers in Moodle can create and manage courses in order to meet diverse needs and requirements. Courses can be made in a way that they are suitable for different types of educational approaches (self-training or training with a teacher) and different forms of education (online or blended).
• There are options for collaboration in the processes of content creation and delivery.
• Moodle has functionalities for linking with external resources, for example – learning materials from other websites.
• Teachers can integrate multimedia files in courses.
• Group members can share courses, allocate the common activities, facilitating the work of the whole team.
• Teachers can easily manage the assessment systems and the assessment process.
• Some options such as those for conducting seminars and surveys, allow learners to see and assess their own activity as well as the activity of the other participants of the group.
The basic software requirements for running Moodle are as follows:
• OS: Windows or Linux (recommended).
• Web server: Apache.
• Programming language : PHP – minimum version 5.3.3.
• Data bases:
o MySQL – minimum version 5.1.33;
o MariaDB – minimum version 5.3.5;
o PostgreSQL – minimum version 8.3;
o MSSQL – minimum version 9.0;
o Oracle – minimum version 10.2 (not recommended).
Possible Uses of Moodle.
Moodle can be applied in various activities such as:
• Moodle can be used for creation and conduction of distance or blended learning. Creation and implementation of courses is a central idea in Moodle, and therefore there are available features for practical grouping and sharing of informational resources.
• Creation of dictionaries.
• The functionalities for communication and mutual evaluation between students would improve the quality of education and its goals.
• The courses, created in Moodle, can be made available for download, which could turn the system into a large digital library.
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