Comparisons and advocacy

Is this comparison accurate against Moodle?

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Russell Waldron
Re: Is this comparison accurate against Moodle?

Yes: What Marcus said. Comparing individual features is not very meaningful.

It may be more helpful to imagine the narrative for a high-profile course - a learner's journey - in each system, and to compare the "hidden curriculum" (what learners will come to believe about self and agency and epistemology) to decide which environment is more in keeping with the mission of your organisation.

Now as to detail: most of the "features" are just too ambiguous, and the ratings may contain errors. For example:

  • Extended Group Functions - in Moodle, remarkably complex interactions can be managed with overlapping groups and groupings (cohorts); permissions on individual activities or resources tied to specific groups, separate or hidden groups; and enrolment in groups by individual selection or upload or self-nomination or complementary attributes (TeamBuilder) ...
  • Install service and support - for Moodle is available from partners and integrators, and simpler than Sharepoint
  • CEO/Parent access - in Moodle is available through roles with permissions that can be tailored in individual courses (so for example, you can have a CEO who can see everything except the Union forum, or parents who can see their own daughter's assignments but not the Dialogue between child and counsellor)
  • Homework control - in Moodle can be implemented in assignments (if not scheduled too tightly) or in quizzes (if scheduled but not social) or in synchronous chats or forum sessions (if social). Some teachers use the Completion report (an overview for teachers) and the Progress bar plugin (for students).
  • MS .NET coding - is a disadvantageous platform dependency. Moodle uses PHP instead, which is free, multi-platform, open-source and very well supported.
  • Advanced quizzes - Moodle has a very broad range of Question Types in core and more in contributed plugins. Quiz logic includes distinct scoring and feedback on correct, partially correct and incorrect answers, or different hints on successive attempts, distinct feedback during the attempt, immediately after the attempt, and after a deadline. Quizzes can be individualised by including multiple sets of randomly selected questions from distinct question banks (Question Categories), and sets of related numerical questions using randomly generated numbers. Question text can be lengthy and include embedded multimedia and links. Question banks can be imported from a variety of sources in a variety of formats. Access can be restricted by start time, finish time, duration, IP address or subnet, number of attempts...
  • Advanced subscriptions - Moodle does RSS, email, digests, and can allow users to opt-out of individual discussions (Forums) even within a course. However, email is "So yesterday"...
  • Advanced surveys - Moodle questionnaires are easy to set up and track and harvest, for both anonymous and identified responses, both single or unlimited responses, multipage including multimedia objects, optional immediate or delayed automatic disclosure of aggregated results to respondents, acknowledgement email, and email notification to a collector. However, Moodle offers no branching.
  • Advanced e-portfolio - Look at Mahoodle (Moodle-Mahara integration).
  • Flash tutorials - arguably, a disadvantageous platform choice. There are abundant short tutorial videos on specific aspects of Moodle on Youtube, training videos in Lynda, books, and instructor-led training opportunities.
  • Flash media server conference with recordings - some people have successfully done this. Moodle has had varying degrees of integration for a number of other webinar and media platforms including Adobe connect, Wimba, Big Blue Button, WizIQ, OpenMeeting.
  • Support choices - this is ridiculously wrong. Choices range from fully managed SaaS down to self-hosting with packaged, project or ad hoc training, administration, customisation or coding. Searching this discussion site is a reasonable first step in seeking help with any problem.
  • MS SharePoint server 2007 MOSS and WSS - the platform is superfluous for Moodle, not an asset. Many people do run Moodle on Windows.
  • Office Communication Server 2007 - the platform is irrelevant for Moodle. There are instant messaging, presence, conferencing, and voice tools within Moodle. You can use integrated messaging tools to send to external mail and messaging systems.
  • Custom development support - this is ridiculously wrong. See Moodle Development forum.

I guess I'm saying it is not a fair one-to-one feature comparison, even if a feature comparison was desired.

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