I am inclined to think that Moodle offers a far more comprehensive environment, but maybe HotPot is an easier way to start that could be eventually connected to Moodle. I have never used HotPot, and am uncertain about its future.
The biggest differences is that with hotpot there is very little in the way of student tracking/control. Hotpot tests are for fun, unless one joins the online tracking service that they provide at a fee, or oen uses Thomas Robbs great extension module to allow Hotpot quizzes to be added to Moodle.
If security/tracking/control is not an issue then I think that Hotpot quizzes are more attractive for language teaching purposes. Most of the same quiz types are available too.0 If secutiry/trackingare an issue or there are nay maths teachers then I would start with moodle.
short term "fun" with HOTPOT or long term happiness with Moodle
Yes, I think this is exactly the trade-off that you're facing. HotPots allow beginners to have stunning results at a cost of a very short learning curve (especially if you do not introduce things like the CGI reporting, the advanced mode of JQuiz or the hybrid questions). Once they get a good grasp of the basics, they may venture into more difficult Hotpot customization.
On the other hand, Moodle requires a little more training time, but in the long run can be much more rewarding (because it is not just a quizzing tool, but a full-blown CMS)
So, I think it very much depends on who your trainees are and how much they are motivated to use ICT to enhance their teaching. If they are resistant, show them the basics of Hotpots first, get them hooked and then tell them about Moodle. If they are determined to learn how to use ICT in teaching, you may as well start with Moodle.
Hope this helps,
Of course, a LOT more people have access to web servers than they do Moodle servers but teaching them how to create Hot Pot activities must go hand in hand with teaching them how to create a website and how to upload their files to it. If Moodle is available, then there is no need to learn how to FTP files, or to create a home page from which the Hotpot files can be accessed.
1. Have a public site (hosted or own web server)
2. Know how to set up a homepage from which to access Hot Potatoes
3. Know how to FTP the newly created HP files up into the site.
Since I have a Moodle server ready for all participants to use freely for a year, a new user needs to...
1. Just learn Moodle, especially the quiz section.
Most participants are reluctant and have little web background, so HP is attractive because the activities are more varied and interesting than in Moodle. However, given my workshop situation, Moodle is easier for a 90 minute workshop because we don't have to teach homepage making and FTP usage.
Another question, now that Moodle has a new quiz structure in 1.4dev, Martin says it will be easier for developers to add new quiz types. Is anyone currently planning to create HP style quiz types in the near future? And what are the most interesting HP quiz item types that are missing from Moodle?
Technically - yes.
Legally - it's a little more complicated:
- If you have paid for the HP then you are freen to distribute your HP files in any way.
- If you are using HP for free, you are required to make your exercises freely available on the Web. You can distribute them on a floppy provided that you also publish them somewhere on the web.
I have used HotPot to make some English puzzles and quizzes for our old school homepage. As an internet accessible addition to a regular lesson to help kids remember learned words and phrases HotPot is great, but as a independent learning module it doesn't work for me. I think it has wonderful possibilities as an addition to the regular work you give in a course. It is really easy to use and can be fun for students making learning more enjoyable. I don't think of it as a competitor for moodle but as a fun learning addition to any e-learning system. I use Mac so unfortunetly the newest Java version is still in beta with only a couple of modules available but I still like what they have done. Have a good one!
I know that this reply is well out of date and that you will have planned your workshop by now, but I would agree that if security etc. is important then Moodle Quizzes are a good way to go. However, Hot Pot is very easy to use and I have found that teaching students how to author it is a great way to encourage them to spend time working on grammar specifics. The JMix module is also extremely good for encouraging students to develop the idea of 'chunking' language as a reading strategy.
If you could combine the two via an introduction to Moodle and its CMS/VLE aspects, a quick look at Lessons and an overview of the Quiz settings before a short intro to Hot pot, you would be giving your delegates a great idea of several possibilities. Hotpot does have a really good tutorial which would allow people to develop the exercises on their own. Uploading to a site is not that difficult and, in many places, not something which teachers actually have to do.
I think that, if it's possible, let people gain a little exposure to both.