Hello friendly and helpful Moodlers,
I'm an IDT (Instructional Design & Technology) student, and I'm wanting to create some online courses as class projects (independent study) to give my theoretical studies some practical exercise. I heard Moodle was a free LMS, and decided to try it, since that should be easier than building an entire HTML website from scratch (which I don't actually have the skills to do anyway). But I'm having trouble getting this thing off the ground, so I can actually focus on the instructional design part! I've read through as much documentation as I could stand, but I'm getting so confused with the techie stuff... Please help!
So, some specific questions are:
They keep talking about a server. I've built basic websites in the past (the extent of my website knowledge is some basic HTML and basic CSS), and have always paid a hosting company for server space. Do I need to do this for a Moodle course? Or do I need to buy a server? Can I just save my courses on my own hard drive or on a cloud somewhere? At this point, the only people who need to see the course are myself, one collaborator (a subject matter expert), and my professor, so if I could store the files on a cloud, I could share with those two people, right? I'd also like to be able to test my courses with a couple outsiders, for clarity, quality, etc.
I downloaded the MAMP package onto my MacBook Pro (OSX 10.8), as the documentation told me to do, and I got so far as to go to that fake webpage. (I call it a fake webpage, not to be insulting, but because I can recognize that it isn't a normal website that I could send someone a link to). The MAMP thingie told me to go to "localhost:8888/Moodle24" (the fake webpage I mentioned) in my browser, which I did, and was able to start playing around. But I have no idea if what I'm doing in there is valid, if it is being saved somewhere (I'm assuming it's saved somewhere, because I was able to come back to it after closing...), or how I will share my work with others.
I guess I'm basically wanting to get out of the birth canal of all these technical setup issues, and into the real world of designing educational environments. Anyone a good midwife in this area?
Thanks so much.