Excerpt from the Moodlerooms blog posting
Best Practices: Four Tips for Creating an Effective Online Syllabus

Tip #5: Make the most of Moodle modules.
As a best practice, we suggest using the Book module for your course syllabus. The Book module allows you to chunk your syllabus into logical segments (e.g., grading, participation, course description, course requirements, communication) using the Book’s chapter feature. It has in-module navigation that allows students to view the syllabus in chronological order, but also has a great Table of Contents, allowing students to jump to specific pages. The Book module also allows for printing—so students can print the syllabus for later use as well!

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Blackboard acquires Moodlerooms, NetSpot

Blackboard acquires Moodlerooms, NetSpot — from Blackboard
Company now one of world’s largest education open source service providers Moodlerooms, NetSpot will continue to operate independently

WASHINGTON – March 26, 2012 – Blackboard Inc. announced a major investment in open source today with news that it has acquired Moodlerooms and NetSpot, two leading providers of open source online learning solutions to the education industry. Both organizations will continue to operate independently to support their clients.

Moodlerooms and NetSpot are official Moodle Partners, and each will continue their current programs to support clients with no changes to their leadership or their support and service models.

In addition, each team will also become part of Blackboard’s new Education Open Source Services group, dedicated to supporting the use and development of open source learning technologies globally.

Leaders from each company recently traveled to Perth, Australia to meet with Martin Dougiamas, founder of Moodle and Managing Director of Moodle Pty Ltd, and present their plans. The meeting included Blackboard CEO Michael Chasen and Chief Technology Officer Ray Henderson, Moodlerooms CEO Lou Pugliese and Chief Architect Tom Murdock, and NetSpot Managing Director Allan Christie.

Also see:

Blackboard speaks out on open source move — by Dian Schaffhauser

Excerpt:

Blackboard’s announcement that it had acquired Moodle service providers Moodlerooms and NetSpot to create a new business division focused on delivering open source services to educational customers may well be met with the same kind of astonishment Mac users showed in 1997 when Steve Jobs announced that Microsoft was investing $150 million in Apple. When long-time competitors are suddenly on the same team, you can’t help but ask, what’s going to happen to the game?

In this interview Blackboard Learn President Ray Henderson and Moodlerooms Chairman and CEO Lou Pugliese explain why Blackboard is getting into the open source business, what’s different about delivering services to those customers versus Blackboard’s traditional customers, and what might be next on the open source agenda for the No. 1 learning management system company in the world.

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Is your Moodle “cheatable”? — from Moodle News

Excerpt:

The Rubric is available at http://jaredstein.org/cheat/ and you can check out Jared Stein’s Cheatability Factor Presentation at http://jaredstein.org/pres/cheatability/. Mr Stein works for UVU as Director of Instructional Design Services.

What the tool is getting at is the randomness of questions posed to students and what type of opportunities, if any, students have to cheat or collaborate on independent work. While most questions are straightforward there was the occasional curveball like this, “Could students find a paper on the topic just through Google? Or does the paper require individualized selection of topic, interpretation, analysis, and reflection?”  Not quite a yes/no question (but those are exactly the answer choices you have).

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From Daniel Christian -- November 2011 -- An important note to publishers of academic/educational materials!

 

From DSC:
We really need a much more granular approach — like an iTunes for academic content.

 

10 reasons to move to Moodle 2 from Moodle 1.9 — from somerandomthoughts.com by Gavin Henrick

Excerpt:

Presentations
Each presentation will be available on YouTube (slides & voice), the slides on Slideshare. I will be adding them as mp3s later on too.

“10 reasons to move to Moodle 2? (Part 1)

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New mentality entering LMS market — from deltainitiative.com by Phil Hill; this was also guest posted on Michael Feldstein’s eLiterate site

 Excerpt:

The real significance will be the entrance of a new mentality – one based on new investment (venture capital, private equity, strategic publisher moves), one based on startup companies willing to challenge the status quo with new approaches, and one that is almost naive in its assumptions about giving end users what they want.

http://mfeldstein.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/LMS_MarketShare_20110511_mid.jpg

Presentations from MoodleMoot - July 2011

Moodle Keynote Address in July 2011 by Martin Dougiamas

 

Quo vadis, LMS? Trends, predictions, commentary — from CampusTechnology.com

The LMS market is in flux. According to a 2010 survey conducted by the Campus Computing Project, Blackboard‘s dominance of the higher education market declined from 71 percent in 2006 to 57 percent in 2010. Open source alternatives Moodle and Sakai have continued to make inroads, as has Desire2Learn–together they now control over 30 percent of the market. The entry of Instructure, whose Canvas LMS recently scooped up the business of the Utah Education Network, provides an additional plot twist. And hanging over it all is the imminent migration of hundreds of legacy Blackboard clients to new systems as their existing platforms are retired.

Often overlooked in the numbers game, though, are more fundamental–even philosophical–questions about the evolving role of the LMS and its ability to meet the needs of higher education today. If the debate of recent years has been between open source and proprietary systems, the focus is gradually shifting to how all of these systems will tackle the thorny issues of informal learning, social networking, assessment, and a mobile learning environment.

To gauge what the future may hold, CT asked leading educators and vendors for their thoughts on the evolution of the LMS in higher education.

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10 things you can do with a Moodle webpage [Thibault]

10 things you can do with a Moodle webpage — from MoodleNews.com by Joseph Thibault

 

 

 

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Moodle Monday: Forums for individual groups

Moodle Monday: Forums for individual groups — from MoodleNews.com by Tim Dalton

 

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Moodle 2.0 integrations – Alfresco — from Synergy Learning by Joel Kerr

As Moodle 2.0 becomes more established we are finding more and more clients eager to upgrade from their current version.

Not only is the software being recognised for it’s new and improved features, it also makes integrating with third party tools a whole lot easier, opening up a whole new world of possibilities for those moving to Moodle 2.0.

Over the next few blog posts I am going to look at some of these external tools to see what benefits they can bring to your operations….starting with Alfresco.

Alfresco

If you haven’t heard of Alfresco before you might find it a rather useful tool.  It is a Content Management System (CMS), which basically means it can be used for managing the production of electronic content (text files, videos, graphics etc.) via a set of rules, processes and workflows.

Like Moodle and Mahara, Alfresco is Open Source and as a CMS it specializes in:

  1. Document Management
  2. Records Management
  3. Web Content Management
  4. Share
  5. Content Platform
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