I've been browsing the Moodle partner sites looking at hosting/technical support pricing. Is anyone using Moodlerooms, Classroom Revolution, or Remote-Learning? If so, what has your experience been as far as technical support?
It's funny you should ask this. I just started a trial project with Classroom Revolutions and have a tech question that I've been waiting to get a response about. I've phone (no answer...just voice mail), submitted a help desk ticket, and sent email to an individual I heard from when I initially set up the account. No reply from anyone yet (it's been several days). I like the format and it's a reasonable, but I'm frustrated that I can't get a response.
I got your post. I am trying to figure out what you need. I build e-learning web sites. Also, at the moment, I host my web site located at http://www.omnitechnologies.net/moodler.
Maybe, if I know exactly what you want, I can better assist you. For instance, with a little effort, you
could also host a web site on your machine or mine.
Please see if you like my site. It's a full-fletched polytechnic institute.
Dr. Gregory I. Umukoro,CCP
I have a flair for following the standard. I liked what I saw and adapted it as a course outline. This truly has helped me focused on mastering Moodle.
Since then I have also taken on other vital and interesting materials that are, perhaps, more practical.
Also, I started with Moodle from the top. About 4 years ago, I was first introduced to a CMS package known as Drupal. Drupal was exciting but laborious. It's goal is to be used to build any type of CMS applications. So in the two years that I used it, I had developed almost every thing I need to build an online institution. But I soon grew tired of it.
Then, I stumbled into Moodle with every thing I had prepared from using Drupal.
So to answer your question, you are going to get a live walk-through of Moodle and overall technologies needed to put your moodle web site online by yourself if that is your wish.
I started working with Moodle from the top. That is, instead of learning Moodle separately before applying it, I simply set out to build a standard Polytechnic Institute, using Moodle. It was like learning on the job. I was also able to host the Moodle site right from my machine.
Also, my site is set up to make you feel like you in an online IVY League school. All the tools needed to succeed are available.
Dr. Gregory Umukoro,CCP
Please I am at a loss here. What is the difference between a Moodle Partner and a Moodlerooms Office.
How does one become affiliated to either or both?
Gregory I. Umukoro,CCP
The Moodle Partners are a worldwide group of authorised service companies committed to financially supporting the open source Moodle project. They provide a range of optional commercial services for Moodle users around the world.
Moodlerooms is one of several US Moodle Partners.
For further information on the Moodle Partner programme, please see Moodle Partners - moodle.com.
This is so clever!Most of us that have been part of this community for a few years or so recognize Marc as the gadfly who just can't stand that 1.) Moodle has become successful worldwide and 2.) Moodle partners have played a role in that success. Rather than celebrating that success Marc and his handlers have gone out of their way on many occasions to badmouth Moodle and MP's, wherever they can find a platform of potential listeners (such as this post) to stand on.
MPs can be (and arguably have been) clueless.
I especially like this comment... soooo very clever! Self (serving) evidence is always the best type, right Marc? Let's correct one rather erroneous perception you have right now. Moodle partners are vetted for their knowledge of Moodle and areas of support they plan to offer, as well as financial stability and potential to secure commercial services. The vetting process begins when an application is submitted, which as a rule of thumb will give HQ enough general information to determine whether or not they will dig deeper into an applicants qualifications. That process may eventually lead to submitting a formal MP application and possibly the selection process. There are actually 50 Moodle partner company's today worldwide, or approximately 10 partners admitted per year since the program started in 2004. Disclaimer: I work for an MP company.
The application process all takes a bit of time as HQ is doing a vetting process on several levels. Since this may involve exchange of confidential information it's not a public process (why should it be). Lastly, once an organization joins the MP program they are expected to abide by set standards or risk being tossed out (that has happened). If you understood the law you would know that HQ cannot possibly vett or indemnify an individual Moodle partner company; they can only set controls on the companies practices, which if violated can result is being kicked out of the program. Your rants over secret packs are totally delusional. That a company gains MP status, after a rigorous application process, is an indication that Moodle HQ stands behind that organization as having the competence to provide commercial Moodle services. That HQ has this confidence and you don't speaks far more about you than it does HQ or the Moodle partner selection process. You just don't know what you're talking about on this issue.
1) If by gadfly you mean someone who wants to keep the record straight and make sure that everyone works from the same accurate facts, Guilty as charged.
2) I am pleased as punch that Moodle is successful and I support that success by responding to questions here as a PHM, by writing documentation, by teaching courses in Moodle, etc
3) NO, Bryan, MD made it very clear that Moodle.com did not in any way vet the expertise of MP's, and Moodle.com in fact sent me a little missive indicating that the documentation I referenced was written by Gustav Delius which was not the position of Moodle.com, and MD at the time went through a good deal of Moodle.org's docs amending any text suggesting anything other than what appears at Moodle.com.
4) I did not suggest that the process shuld be made public, only noted that the terms of the partneship contract are secret and moodle.com will not provide a copy of the Partnership Contract until after one has applied to be a Partner - even you, Bryan, can see that this arguably problematic as who in their right mind would ask to be a partner without having details of the incidences of such a partnership?
5) Suggesting that I don't understand the law is a potential professional libel, Bryan. Are you sure you want to go there? In fact, having been a reseller or rep for many a vendor it is rather more usual for a company to make the terms of the agreement available to interested persons, and quite a few vendors do require that their reps demonstrate basic competencies. That is not to suggest that the vendor has agreed to indemnifying the rep. (typically, that is excluded.) The point here is that Moodle.com specifically indicated (gee, MD's comments are even published) that Moodle.com does not certify in any way the level of competence or skill possessed by MPs (my words, not MDs, but his are available.)
6) Why is all that an issue? Because some MP's (gee, didn't you know who call you to task for this as well) especially in the UK, failed to secure their clients' Moodles though it would appear they had an obligation so to do, while others did not advise their clients of known security risks which were in play in the condition the MP delivered the Moodle. Some supporters of Moodle were very concerned that MP's who we thought at the time were vetted as to their expertise, could allow this to happen and thereby to embarrass our entire community. Some MP's seemed to suggest that it was all the fault of clients, though the facts suggested that in many instances that certainly was not the case as suggested above.
7) Pact, Bryan, spelled p-a-c-t
8) No rant, the partnership agreements are secret. Period. Moodle.com won't even offer generic terms. However, Bryan, let's be logical, yes? If you want someone to believe that an MP is held to specific standards, required to demonstrate specific competencies, etc., for the purpose of inspiring confidence in the public, doesn't that imply that you publish same? Not only has Moodle.com refused to publish such criteria as you allege, but as noted above MD scoured (OK, maybe thats a bit dramatic) moodle.org to eliminate any suggestion that moodle.com certified in any way the competency of MPs. SOunds like your argument is with MD not me.... I am simply pointing out that there are no published criteria, standards, competencies and that faced with what appeared to the public to be a crisis, Moodle.com did not publicly remonstrate any MP, though hundreds of UK Moodle school sites were disfigured as a result of the MP admin's apparent failure to secure the sites.
9) Don't have a clue about what you mean by self serving evidence, Bryan, and I did not pick a fight with you here, but if you want one, well, it is pretty well known that your firm's clients suffered from profile porn for months after you were advised that it was an issue and I have it on good authority that for months your firm did little or nothing to either rectify the situation or advise your clients, and if you want to set that record straight feel free so to do, Bryan, as others had asked you to do so and you apparently ducked and ran, which I think is what one really means when one talks about self serving..... What I meant by my statement was that while it was simple enough to secure one's site from things as profile spam it appeared that MP's did not advise clients of the issue or how to address same even months after the problem was discussed in moodle.org forums and in the cases where the MP was the actual admin it was noted that there were a variety of security issues that had not been addressed. To me, an MP that undertakes to provide and serve as an admin of a public school Moodle which doesn't effect security measures that should be obvious to any experienced Moodle user is, well, clueless..... I suppose if you were someone described as above and you didn't want people to know about such matters, well your behavior would be, wait for it...... self serving.....
10) no one handles me except my wife, and anyone who wants to argue to the contrary will be taking that up with her.
My apologies to one and all for having to extend this discussion as I thought my earlier brief caveat was the end of it.... This is not the first time Bryan has gone off and one can only hope that he will moderate his posts in future, but personal attacks, libel and the like are no more appropriate from Bryan as from anyone else....
To be accurate, I removed the use of the word "certified" from one page in the docs as soon as it was brought to my attention. (Gustav had erroneously put it there long ago).
The particular word "certified" has certain connotations and I don't use it. However, just because partners aren't "certified" doesn't mean that they aren't fairly thoroughly vetted in the first place and periodically reviewed afterwards. They are. We spend a lot of time doing this. We also help educate Partners in new Moodle issues as they arise. We've also terminated several partnerships that were not meeting certain levels of quality.
The partnership contract is nothing unusual in the business world. The general terms are well known (I talk about it at every Moodlemoot,for example) and are that partners are allowed to use the Moodle trademark to advertise their services, and in return they pay 10% of gross revenue to the Moodle Trust.
What would be unusual would be publishing full private contracts on the web or sending them to unqualified inquirers so that they can publish it. I don't know any companies that do. Perhaps you can email me some links.
(P.S. Out of interest (IANAL) are you serious about libel? Your profile and presence on these forums don't suggest that you are a practicing lawyer so I don't know how we are supposed to know if you are, but I'd appreciate knowing how the statement "If you understood law you would know that xxx..." is a libelous statement.)
This whole affair seems to have started with a article in a British News Paper refering to a profile attack. http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6007883&navcode=94
One of the blogers is a entity called net_boy who is revealed by there profile to be Marc Grober. In his blogs there is resounding criticism of a Moodle Partner at the time by the name of "WebAnywhere." The critisum was retorted by Martin Dougiamas.
At this point the dust should have settled. But no. We find Marc Grober bloging on moodle.org http://moodle.org/blog/index.php?userid=482910&courseid=55
again reflecting his comments in the new paper blog.
Enter Bryan Williams taking up the charge and rebutting the criticism.
This whole debate if there ever way one, is turning into a free for all.
Time Gentlemen, Time.
I collected material in my moodle blog so as to provide a reference once docs were changed, and as it happened that was a great idea because it allowed moodle.com to eventually review the material provided there and note that the language suggesting that mps were vetted was created by Gustav delius and was not from moodle.org.
MD argued as I recall that such events did not reflect poorly on the community and that things had been fixed. While I acknowledged the changes to moodle that were made to address such matters, I felt the response from HQ was still inadequate. Our discussion was civil and rational.
I don't recall that Bryan has ever added anything productive to such discussions and I think continues to believe that Steve is attacking him unfairly (as I recall he even published some silliness about going to the "authorities")
fast forward to the present and I merely offered a caveat based on past behavior, and I do recommend the excellent doc developed by AT to assist persons looking for web hosts, which opines that no matter your provider, a robust SLA is your best recourse. However, anytime Someones religious fervor results in their publishing ignorant ad homina I will be happy to respond.....
Nor did I say that vendors published their rep contracts on line, though some do ( as I recall SCO and Novel did at one and I think viewsonic may still do that, but it has been some time) . I pointed out that no vendor I have worked with ever required you submit a complete application before sharing boilerplate of agreement. My argument is addressed to the resolving the concerns that have been expressed in that removing any secrecy should also remove much of the controversy as with any conspiracy theory (though the birthers would apparently argue against me on that one)
and quite a few vendors run certified reseller type programs, some requiring actual testing. This does not mean that the vendor assumes all rrsponsibility for the rep, only that the vendor has taken the additional step of requiring that the rep evidence and continue to demonstrate competence. I have heard lots of complaints about MP frontline staff from MP clients who are frankly afraid of publishing their experiences. I always recommend that they review their SLA and the providers performance thereunder with the provider, but the point is that things might be better if HQ implemented a comprehensive Cert program for MP staff- then again, as I think you argue, that might be a waste of time.
While Steve would argue that all MPs are evil, I have simply argued for openness and accountability.
I would not presume to put words in Steve's mouth (he has always been more than capable of saying what is on his mind) but my impression was that he thought the hubris engendered by virtue of the current structural issues he saw and argued precluded the kind of systemic changes he felt were necessary for moodle's future success. I think he was getting angry, and fear and anger on not elements of a healthy lifestyle.
We (the community) have lost human resources over frustration, disgust, etc. and while in all but one case it was the decision of the individual, if we don't come to own the basis for such loss I am afraid we will continue to loss such resources. Steve? Why would he come back? We had talked about his taking a break from the blog before any threats were made, and as I recall he did take a break for a bit. I don't know that threats had anything to do with his decision (I don't recall there was any actual legal authority for the prosecution promoted) so much as despair over HQ's response..... But that is all conjecture on my part.
I think Steve has put his energies into teaching in environments more conducive to effecting change. While I miss his admonitions and the tremendous energy he brought to the community I can't say I blame him, though I continue to hope that MD and others will eventually acknowledge that they made a terrible mistake. In the meantime, Steven's students' gain is our loss.
Steve was very helpful here on Moodle.org and apparently also at Wordpress.org but seems to run into problems with the 'authority' that is imposed by moderators, brand-holders, etc. What amused me about his (addictive- yes Mary!) blog (and I am going from memory as Google cache does not seem to 'have' this) is that he was draconian in his own protocols for whose comments he would post at moodleus.org (a domain that is now something else entirely). I am in the interesting (but probably not unique) position at Moodle.org in having attracted hostile IMHO responses from both Steve Hyndman and Bryan Williams. There is a genuine tension between OSS developers, 'ordinary' OSS community members and those who are trying to make a legitimate living (and sustaining the product development) from OSS services - training, consultancy, support, etc. So, taking a very big step backwards, here are some questions:
- How can the wonderful OSS development movement engage with commerce in such a way that the products are sustained and disseminated and 'free' development AND support is recognised rather than exploited?
- How can dialogue (within OSS communities or elsewhere) be conducted in such a way that it actually addresses the productive tensions between the 'free' development and support activities and the 'commercial' service provision activities in an atmosphere conducive to productive dialogue as opposed to invective and defence? (BTW a colleague of mine Frank Thissen describes this (referring to Buber ) as something where parties enter into it with the possibility that they ay change their minds.
In any event, I think our community should explore such issues in-community (without banning) but dialog, no matter the conventions, still required engagement, and I think Steve's argument at it's core was that MPs and Moodle HQ were not engaged. Whether true or not is not as important to dialog as the perception, and those engaged must be willing to accept others bona fides; where there is fear and anger understanding will not dwell.
I think we need a new forum to focus in house on such questions, but it will be of no use unless all concerned engage ......
Lastly, orthodoxy is a sociological response to perceived threat which most often acts by way of creating heresy. In a sense it is not that some have trouble with authority, it is that authority has trouble with some, and despite the contention that this is no more than chicken and egging, I would not agree. But then I suppose most would identify my heroes, American Transcendentalist and Greek Cynics, as "troublemakers". As I have opined before, the tale of the Emperor's new clothes can be told to teach two contrary lessons, and one of those roads is one I would not travel.
Freedom (e.g. from banning) comes with responsibilites, and the Kantian libertarian ethic so dear to many early inhabitants of the 'electronic frontier' is exclusive to those who don't subscribe to it. The early Internet was dominated by white middle class men and that had an impact on what was accepted as Internet mores. I think that it behoves any 'community' to examine how they manage to sustain participation outside that envelope.
I have no idea, apart from my subjective impressions, about gender and race demographics (let alone age/ sexual orientation) within Moodle.org. If Moodle.org collectively wishes to have an inclusive discussion about how the commons and commerce can work together the I think it (the collective) needs to encourage a diversity of responses and individuals need to exercise restraint and promote inclusivity in their responses. But then, that is just my opinion ;)
"To be accurate, I removed the use of the word "certified" from one page in the docs as soon as it was brought to my attention."
Yea...just so happens it was brought to you attention when you started feeling the heat of the UK Moodle Porn problem...you're welcome, by the way. Hope to do you another favor real soon
"(P.S. Out of interest (IANAL) are you serious about libel? Your profile and presence on these forums don't suggest that you are a practicing lawyer so I don't know how we are supposed to know if you are, but I'd appreciate knowing how the statement "If you understood law you would know that xxx..." is a libelous statement.)"
I don't know whether to laugh or just feel sorry for you...your double standards are...well, let's just let others judge...see the shot at Marc above...now, click the link below and scroll down to the one comment by "dougiamas"...pay particular attention to this first sentence...."slanderous"...such a big word for a non-lawyer
Keep the Cool Aid flowing......and by the way, you people who are hosting with Moodle Partner Bryan Williams, you had better have good lawyers on staff....
Our hospital education department is looking to get moodle for our course management and a place to put all our medical resources.
I have contacted Remote Learner and they seem the best fit.They recommended getting the online training for administrator and staff.
However, my concern is the initial startup. What is the sequence of events?
It would be great if we could discuss this. Please email me-
Thanks so much!
You have at least 3 major security/privacy issues on that site. A competent host would as least inform you of them. Virtually anyone with basic competence in Moodle administration in a real-world educational setting could tell you what they are. However, I doubt your host would be able to identify them.
The site in question currently reports a Moodle version of 1.9.5+, which could lead some to believe that is does not contain the latest security patches included in 1.9.6. At Remote Learner, we apply patches directly to installed baselines before we upgrade the entire site. This particular site has been patched to the 1.9.6 security release.
There are other "potential" security issues that can be chosen to be enabled by a site, such as self-registration and open profiles. In certain cases, sites choose to enable these features and accept the security risks over the benefit of the feature. In this case, the client has not.
If there are other security issues beyond what Moodle has already provided, it would be invaluable for the community to know. Perhaps you could share those in the tracker using a security issue selection?
Why don't you share:
a) how you found the issues
b) a demonstration of the issue
c) some history on why you think remote-learner has not provided the service the customer believes she has received.
Of course, it seems to me that such discussions are dangerous as I have heard that at least one person was banned from moodle for doing just that - lol
April, are you still with Classroom Revolution? If so, how are they doing for you?