Thanks - I will let my students know that that is an option since most of them do use IE. I encourage the use of Firefox mostly because I like tabbed browsing - especially when working with Moodle. I generally do encourage my students to use a word processor for writing their papers just in case something happens to their internet connection there is less risk of them 'losing' work.
As for aspell/pspell It seems to me that providing a PHP solution (via the pspell extension) to spell checking would be desirable; however, I am not sure how other folks feel about changing. Granted on a linux box it is not an issue; however, for the time being I will be running on a WIMP server. Peace.