To that end, I'm trying to figure out if Moodle can do the following things (without requiring extensive home-brewed programming).
- Auto-notify students via e-mail WRT needing to complete training in subjects x, y, and z;
- Auto-confirm via e-mail when students have completed the training and passed the test;
- Allow enrollment based on JOB roles (ex: study coordinator vs. secretary vs. nurse).
Can anyone verify?
I have been looking at a similar deployment. Suggest you take a look at the discussion on the “Economics of Moodle”. In short, it may be free but you could be swapping money for time…and possibly spend more money on development and support, not to mention risk.
Jay (Moodle Confused)
refer Using Moodle » Forums » Comparisons and Advocacy » The Economics of Moodle?
I'd say that the discussion you link to is rather misleading
It boils down to this - when you get your hands on complex software, can choose to do things yourself on the technical side and on the "how to start using it" side, or you can hire someone to do that for you. And this is regardless of whether you pay a license or not
Now, in some cases, people will sell you a license for a software and throw in some training, books or some configuration for you. Nice, but then you are paying for the license and indirectly (or inadvertently) for those extras. In the case of Moodle, noone charges for the license so they can't "throw in" other bits; so if you wanted those extras, you may want to pay for them.
You could say that the bundling is a bit different.
So the end result is that you
- choose whether to pay or do-it-yourself
- when you pay, you pay significantly less (you need to be a smart shopper!)
- with a proprietary LMS, the training and support come from a single company, so if the program is good, but support is bad, tough. with moodle you can shop around for good quality training
In short - it's a big win for anyone who shops with their eyes open.
In a related note, and addressing the original question, Moodle is incredibly popular for corporate training in NZ -- it's spread like wildfire with government and many large and midsized corporates.
RE I'd say that the discussion you link to is rather misleading".
"The Emperor has no clothes"
I think the Moodle model is good for some i.e. where they have access to significant budgets like your examples of government, but the issue still remains for me that it has to make GOOD BUSINESS SENSE regardless of how many are using it which seems to be mainly larger institutions who would spend the money regardless.
For me the main issue is good support both in learning design and technology. Actually, learning design is more important because I have found a lot of suppliers are mainly just IT companies pretending to know about learning methodologies, so obviously that’s the first thing to look for. Remember, the client is king and some of the examples on the web of e-learning courses using Moodle are terrible. That’s not the fault of Moodle that just bad design and ignorance of instructional design principles….probably driven by an IT methodolgy.
Re “if the program is good, but support is bad, tough”. That to me would be the same if it was Moodle or proprietary software. I would still have to pay money to find a new support partner. So whether a support partner is using Moodle or some propriety software I care little. If the support is good that’s all that matters as long as I know I can get good support and quick service. You can protect yourself anyway with propriety software by have an escrow agreement in place.
I don’t think a company would be silly enough to provide bad service in these tough times anyway. I’m not sure what the advantage is of having complex software? Seems like a bunch of trouble to me unless I hire someone to look after it. Which brings me back to my main point ….it will cost me money anyway so where is the advantage from a business persepctive?
Jay (Moodle Confused)
Hmmm, this emperor has a great wardrobe and a great many tailors
You can buy transparent fabric that feels like air if you want, but that is your choice. If you buy such lightweight garment, and feel a bit naked, change tailor.
If with BB the support is bad, you can only call BB Inc. Don't like it? Well, you're locked in, only BB Inc can give you support with it -- if you made a significant time, training and content creation investment with BB, tough.
With Moodle + company A support is bad, change to company B. No need to worry about the tool.
I agree with what you say not company would give bad service willingly. But software is hard, and it is very tricky to attract and retain the talent. So the company may not have anyone that really knows what they are doing. In the industry this affects most companies.
I repeat myself -- most of your arguments are fairly misleading. I can only recommend a very good book called Open Sources that explains how these mechanics work in an open market. Lots of fairly smart companies have embraced the very same model that Moodle is using, and are doing fantastic.
If you are -- as you say -- confused, open your mind to some new concepts. Not so new actually -- they've been working fantastically well for an industry that's been growing like wildfire for 10 years, and has a very long list of happy clients.
If the clients stay with OSS with no lock-in to force them to stay, and recommend it highly, you could conclude that the emperor's clothes are quite warm indeed.
Edit: for those on the sidelines, I have to add that I've done a good chunk of work in the proprietary world. It was fairly bad for me as a programmer, and I could see how the model was frankly disastrous for my clients.
And some of the govt depts I am talking about are doing this on a shoestring budget. You'd laugh if I could quote the numbers (but it'd get me in trouble). Let's say they wouldn't buy a bikini with the $, if we're to stay with the clothing theme...
I also think your arguments maybe a little misleading. I suspect that you do not own a business therefore business risk is not high on your agenda. I also suspect, from your profound knowledge of Moodle implementations, that you are working for a Moodle partner?
If so, doesn’t that make your rationale slightly biased? Or is your reason for commenting a thinly disguised marketing ploy since you seem to make quite disparaging remarks about the proprietary world.
I would really only be interested in comments that are objective.
Jay (Moodle Confused) This is my last comment, its getting too fanatical for me!
I used to work for a Moodle Partner. I now work for the OLPC Foundation -- more info in my profile page, click on my name in the header of this post.
But I've run my own business for several years (a nice, growing business, cut short by a huge economic crisis that took things back to barter). My bets on proprietary software did see onsome of the key risks materialse -- products I was basing my work on were discontinued, which hurt my projects badly.
Even worse, I hit rather serious, undocumented bugs in proprietary programming engines I was paying a license for. Macromedia (for Director) and MS (for VB and later VBS/IIS) both told me after much chasing that they knew the bugs and that they may or may not get fixed in the following release. My clients weren't impressed with my inability to deliver.
If I had been using an open engine, I would have had alternatives -- either fix it myself, if I was able, or hire one of many possible professionals to fix it for me. Or with a bit more patience wait for others to do it in their own interest and time, but I was in a hurry with impatient clients on the line.
I learned my lesson in risks -- migrated to Perl on IIS and later Perl on Apache/Linux. Unfortunately, Director/Shockwave/Flash has continued to be prevalent, but I haven't coded on that platform much since. Seems to have gotten better
In any case, risks analysis with OSS is valid, but the criteria change a bit. When evaluating proprietary sw, you look for long-lived companies with positive cashflow, etc. With OSS, you look for a healthy ecosystem of many contributors from different backgrounds and motivations. This was part of the analysis -- which took over 3 months of fulltime work -- I did looking for the best long-term option for the tertiary sector in NZ. In the case of Moodle, you'll see a large group of companies offering services (not just the Moodle Partners!), people in tertiaries, corporates and several independent parties... all of them doing bits and pieces of the work involved. Bugfixing, documenting, polishing.
That wide range of participants means various good things. No particular interest can hijack the project, no single company can decide that it's in its best interest to raise its prices or deny any option to you. Noone gets to say "ah, LDAP is enteprisey so we only put it in the premium version". All those things have been happening quite a bit in the proprietary side of the LMS world in the last 4 years -- and very visibly so because industry players are seeing this as a segment "in consolidation" (and I suspect some may be executing exit strategies, but those are hard to tell from unrefined incompetence).
Given that you are on moodle.org, you're unlikely to find completely unbiased opinions -- people here tend to like Moodle! But I sure hope you find intellingent, insightful and useful discussion. We don't switch our brains off
I sense some strange deja vu in your comments. However, you are in the wrong place for an unbiased view of open source and Moodle. I, for one, have always been very open about that. While I am always ready to say that Moodle may not be the answer in a given situation, I am certainly biased. My point is that you will find a lot of that here.
However, remember that we don't sell Moodle. If, with my Moodle partner hat on, you pay for my services I don't get a penny from your decision to use Moodle. It's only once you have decided that that I charge money. So, what do you expect people to say in a forum for advocating Moodle?
It's also helpful to know what other LMS applications you've setup, managed, developed or developed for, etc. Many folks put that sort of thing in their profile so it's easy to learn more about what experiences they bring to the table -'lo the stack traces I have seen....'.
When looking at LMS's, it's essential to look at the cost over a period of time as discussed here the average LMS cost of $375,000 for 10,000 users.
Often the requirements you list are handled by the enrollment mgt/HR system (such as Peoplesoft HR)rather than the LMS - these backend systems often cost 10s of thousands to millions of dollars - if you have one then Moodle offers a number of methods of integration. As an example we built an integration with Salesforce, the client uses Salesforce for enrollment, notification, etc. and sends web services messages to Moodle to create the classes, enroll users, and we send grade and certifications back to Salesforce for archival data, reporting, etc.
There are a number of other backend systems that can be integrated with Moodle, look especially for ones that support LDAP, Shibboleth, SAML 2.0, or web services.
It looks like the discussion has moved away from actually answering your questions. I'll try..
The first two are sort-of "no but soon". There are two major new features in the next (2.0) version of Moodle that will probably be what you need...
The third question really depends on how these roles are identified. But it's probably relatively easy. If you have an external database that contains this information then Moodle can access that.
Regarding the other stuff in this thread, there comes a point that you have to believe that going with open source is a good idea (or not). I'm biased of course but, despite some ups and downs, I've found it a much better bet than most commercial projects I have been involved with. At least you have some choice and some control.
These requirements are quite common in corporate RFPs, and the features are usual in corporate LMSs, but those do also tend to cost hundreds of thousands of USD (at least for the ones that can handle 10,000 concurrent users.
The main thing that takes time, actually, is logging every transaction and error, anticipating and providing for a wide variety of client use cases, handling corner cases when the 'automatic' process fails, and testing, testing, testing.
Its also important to note that many corporate LMSs come pre-configured for typical corporate environments, which is also a big part of the cost - so while it may be possible to do all this with 2.0 or 2.1 or 3.0, it's still going to take someone some time to setup the default installation with the right roles, categories, settings, etc.
Moodle with some customization and configuration can certainly handle this all at a very competitive ROI, but it's also important to respect that the corporate LMSs like Saba, SumTotal, Plateau, etc. do have some justification for their costs, and while it's reasonable for a client to expect to realize significant savings over time, the savings are not going to be several orders of magnitude for the equivalent set of features without a significant reduction in features at some point.
All perfectly true. However, does all this not presume quite a lot given the original posts few lines of information? Once the requirements are available, it may turn out to be very simple and straightforward. It may turn out to be highly complex and, indeed, Moodle may (even) not turn out to be the most cost-effective solution.
I'm a bit confused to be honest, it almost sounds like you are trying to scare off a potential user by making it sound difficult before establishing if it is difficult or not
Maybe they don't actually need a clutch, (and I never ever told someone they did when they didn't), but if they do, having put in quite a few of them, I know a ballpark of what it's going to cost.
Sorry if I scared anyone 8-(.
*PS, Moo, I ran my own business as a mechanic (along with stonemasonry on the side, and it was going fine. Back in '95, I decided to go into computers because it was much easier to clean up afterwards.
I find myself in just the position you are in. If you find a cost effective way to put Moodle--or something else, for that matter--to work for your healthcare setting, please do let us all know about it.
At the risk of further enflaming passions here, I would like to make an observation or two:
I am a BIG fan of open source. I've been searching for a corporate LMS for non-profits for several years & I keep coming back to open source hoping for a solution that suits us.
What frustrates me about Moodle as a potential solution is seeing the increasing amount of press about how great Moodle is for corporate use while not finding any packages that deliver on that press. Moodle for academic is wide open & by all accounts a great system. When it comes to Moodle for corporate--or even any non-profit outside academia--however, it seems the door slams shut.
Or perhaps I just haven't looked in the right places. Can anybody tell me what a non-profit hospital would need (core, modules, etc.) to make a go of Moodle as an LMS?
Online skills training? Skill certifications & notification of certification expiration? CEUs & CEU tracking? We're doing some work now to track time spent on a video lesson to match (US) state requirements, as well as adaptive lesson delivery that may be useful in your case as well.
We're also working with a number of institutions (see ciscoinstitute.net for example) to share the effort of building new tools for Moodle to meet corporate learning, skills training, multiple learning styles support and continuing ed. requirements.
Feel free to contact me for more information/demo if you would like (contact info. in my profile).
>>what roles are you hoping Moodle will fill? Online skills training? Skill certifications & notification of certification expiration? CEUs & CEU tracking?
All the above <grin>, along w/ user role management that reflects corporate structure rather than academic, to include multiple levels of management reporting. Also management of ILT classes & resources. One nice thing about Moodle's academic structure is the catalog since our organization is exploring adopting a corporate university model for our training.
Corporate/governmental is widely using Moodle as illustrated is the e-Learning Guild's recent LMS report. Each year this report comes out Moodle's market share grows. You can download this report free now, you don't have to be an e-Learning Guild member to get their 360 Reports. Many large and SMB's are using Moodle, I can testify to that. If the frustration is over content, that of course is another matter. Moodle is just the delivery platform with a great toolset for creating original content or adding third party content, and managing your learners activity. There are additional features some of the Moodle partners have added over the years which make a corporate training managers job easier. Contact me offline and I'll send you something that will be released next month that may be of help.
We're currently using 4 separate installations of Moodle accessed from a single login portal. Each site (we call them organizations) utilize a common user and records storage database. User management allows definition of users on a "job role" basis. Users are directed on login to their appropriate site based on their job/position. Course and activity assignments can be made based on job role and/or specific users. Individual sites may also be designated as "learning hubs" which can be used to deploy training to users of any organization utilizing modifications to the Moodle Networking functionality.
There's not much room here for a full discussion on all of our project. However, I'm currently in process of building a deployable open-source work with all of the functionality mentioned here and more. It will be distributed and maintained by me and freely distributed along with a community support site. I feel this might help propel Moodle further into the corporate community.
If anyone has any questions on this project or input regarding desired functionality, please message me.
Since most of these posts are several years old I would love to hear a current response from anyone who is successfully using, or who has abandoned using, moodle for corporate training. In addition to how you configure courses for mandatory and optional training I would like to know how you manage enrollment and also reporting to managers and supervisors. Thanks.
I don't use it personally but did you know there is a book Moodle 2 for Business which you can find out about in the Books and manual section in the Support tab on this site?
I learned about the moodle book and am reading through Chapter 4 which is available for free at http://www.packtpub.com/sites/default/files/4200OS-Chapter-4-Moodle-for-Managing-Compliance-Training.pdf?utm_source=packtpub&utm_medium=free&utm_campaign=pdf.
The set up seems complex. Do you know if a course could be set up as a template and then copied so that all the settings do not have to be reconfigured for every new course that will have the same flow?
You can backup and restore courses - so that would be the same as copying a template I suppose.
Hi Gail: Yes, it is very easy to set up a course as a template and use it over and over. I do this by creating a "master" course and then copying it (Moodle calls it "restore"). Moodle asks, "Do you want to restore to an existing course or a new course?" It's almost exactly like using "Save as" in Microsoft Word.
Whoever has admin privileges on your Moodle site will be able to do this. The process is pretty intuitive, but an admin can learn how to do it by looking up "Backup and restore" in the "help" documentation. Good luck.
Hi Teresa (and everyone),
Not sure if anyone's still following this thread, but if you are...
I looked at modifying moodle to work for industry a few years ago, and realized that it would be less work to start from scratch. Moodle is great for simple training with the student-class model, but it ignores many corporate needs, such as:
- expiry notifications to workers and supervisors when training expires (e.g., first aid, safe work process, WHMIS, etc.)
- position or role-based training assignments (Instead of manually assigning each training requirement, the training requirements should be based on the user's job. That way, they change when the job changes. Also, positions/roles should be effective-dated for historical reporting.
- reporting based on training category (for instance, you might want to create reports on safety training that don't have HR training, or vice versa).
- SCORM 2004/Tin Can compliance (Moodle doesn't have it.)
I think we've approached these issues in a way nobody else has yet. If this is something that you're interested in, check out the fruits of our labour: www.rightontrack.ca
You can try it out for free with no credit card. Also, it's based on a subscription model, so you don't have the big up-front cost that many LMS products seem to have.
Cheers & good luck!
Hi Tara, yes, I wondered why someone would be reactivating a thread now 6 years, and mumbledy-mumbledy versions, old. First, please remember that Moodle's original intent was as a learning tool for schools. The fact that it has been seized and utilized by other organizations for their own training purposes was an unforeseen consequence of it being more than just a tool useful in a limited range of applications, (you cannot use a flat screwdriver on Phillips head screws for example.) Moodle can be used for not just training, but as you can see with the forums here, it does a good job for hosting forums.
The real benefit of being Open Source is that others can take the base code and manipulate it for their own purposes. Moodle is a tool that is in constant development, in constant flux, what it doesn't do this week, it probably will next, or the one after, While other, proprietary tools, make the same claim,development is slow, reactions to changing conditions is slower. When they speed it up, as did Adobe with the first, (and likely last) ever 0.5 version, (CS5.5,) speeding things up can also have its downside in a proprietary tool.
Of course, if your company has used Moodle at its core, then the SCORM 2004/TinCan module might be compatible as a pligin. That might help.... .