Thursday, June 02, 2005

To Moodle or Not to Moodle, That is the Question

As a mere faculty member, I'm not privy to the size of the annual fee that my university pays for its chosen course management system, which is WebCT. I've heard rumors that its about $40,000 a year for the Campus Edition, but that the fee for the new, improved version, WebCT Vista, is many times that number. In any case, there are cheaper alternatives. And by cheaper, I mean FREE!

Moodle is free course managment software. Here's what the introduction page on the Moodle web site says:

Moodle is a software package for producing internet-based courses and web sites. It's an ongoing development project designed to support a
social constructionist framework of education.

Moodle is provided freely as
Open Source software (under the GNU Public License). Basically this means Moodle is copyrighted, but that you have additional freedoms. You are allowed to copy, use and modify Moodle provided that you agree to: provide the source to others; not modify or remove the original license and copyrights, and apply this same license to any derivative work. Read the license for full details and please contact the copyright holder directly if you have any questions.

Moodle will run on any computer that can run
PHP, and can support many types of database (particularly MySQL).

The open source movement, in which useful educational software is written and then offered to users free of charge, is a surprising offshoot of the development of the Internet. And not a bad one. Schools that might not be able to easily afford the cost of commercial products such as WebCT and Blackboard can put their faculty to teaching with technology.
Link

3 Comments:

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9:08 PM  
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10:42 PM  

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