More Journeys In The Land of Moodle

Lots of talk about Moodle around me lately.

Tim wrote about Moodle being used here in New Jersey in a school that partnered with NJIT. And we use it here at NJIT as an alternative to WebCT for some faculty and groups.

Tim and I are participating in a Learning Management System Demonstration on Moodle held at NJIT on August 22. NJEDge.Net had previously coordinated one that was hosted by Rutgers that demonstrated their Sakai use and as interest in both systems seems high right now as schools continue to feel dissatisfied with the support they are receiving from Blackboard, they asked us to do one on Moodle. Rutgers College "decommissioned" their WebCT this summer. (I'm planning to post some materials from our 8/22 event here.)

I continue to be impressed with the use of Moodle in the K-12 community. It seems to be a good fit as far as the cost (open source) and customization, but not in that it requires a commitment to the all important support side in money and especially in staffing. I'm talking both kinds of IT - the usual information type and the instructional technology, of which I'm more interested.

I've written here before about both the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia and their Moodle site and Montclair Kimberley Academy here in north Jersey. MKA has every class K-12 in Moodle courses.

Last month I did some more searching online and found some information via Jeffrey L. Jones in Kentucky about schools using it there.

Unfortunately, as with most Blackboard and other LMS installations, you can't usually enter their courses to look around because of the usual security. I have a few suggestions at the end of this post about that...

It looks like the Paul L. Dunbar HS started a pilot with a half dozen courses when I first looked and there are about 18 now at

Another KY system using it with a very much standard look is Clark County at

There are also some districts that use Moodle to deliver almost all their web content (public info like this jobs area, sites for each school like this high school) and also the course content you would expect to find in Moodle. Woodford County has a very nice looking template. You might not even know it's Moodle without the logo at the bottom.

Since Moodle does offer wikis, blogs, chat, forums and a lot of the Web 2.0 that districts fear, but it's offered in a way that can be open only to your school community, it may be one way of doing 2.0 more safely.

If you do want to enter an actual Moodle course and look around, here are a few suggestions:

(1) The Paul L. Dunbar site offers a Moodle training course that is currently open and has a few demo Flash movies (looks like they was done in Captivate).
(2) Go to the source - at, register for a user account, and log into one of their demonstration courses.
(3) Probably the most interesting experience can be had at their site. This site is set up so that you can practice using the most recent stable released version of Moodle from the view and permissions of an administrator, teacher or student!

As an admin, for example, I can open the SERVER folder and look at the settings and info for System Paths, Email, Session Handling, RSS, Debugging, Statistics, HTTP, Maintenance mode etc.

The interesting thing is that the database and files for this demo course are erased and restored to a clean state every hour on the hour, so you can muck things up as much as you want intentionally or unintentionally and you won't do any real damage. Caveat - you are probably not the only person in the world using this admin account at the same time, so you may see some unexpected things happen while you're there. LMS administration doesn't get any closer to being Indiana Jones than this!

Finally, Moodle offers you a chance to play in the next version to be released. As of today, at, I can work in version 1.9. Try to get access to the next version of any of the big pay-to-play learning management systems.


Trackback specific URI for this entry


Display comments as Linear | Threaded

No comments

Add Comment

Enclosing asterisks marks text as bold (*word*), underscore are made via _word_.
Standard emoticons like :-) and ;-) are converted to images.
BBCode format allowed
E-Mail addresses will not be displayed and will only be used for E-Mail notifications.
To leave a comment you must approve it via e-mail, which will be sent to your address after submission.

To prevent automated Bots from commentspamming, please enter the string you see in the image below in the appropriate input box. Your comment will only be submitted if the strings match. Please ensure that your browser supports and accepts cookies, or your comment cannot be verified correctly.