I have to demo a Moodle 2.5 site to a compete newbie. Well his company's a newbie to Moodle. They deal with Education and languages. I want to, like, totally blow the audience away with the Wow factor of this newfangled website thingy called Moodle. Like, totally. So, what would be your top 3 (or more) "Wow Factor" of Moodle that you would consider as being a WOW Factor?
I'll start the ball rolling.
My 3 Wow Factor in Moodle is/are:
- Justin Hunt's Youtube Anywhere plugin (record direct into YT!)
- BigBlueButton video conferencing and BBB plugin for Moodle (Open Source Video Conferencing plugin)
- Facebook-like Wall (fun to use, instant postings anywhere in your coursepage)
I've found with tutors that have only scratched the surface of moodle or haven't had a go at all, that assignments are the killer app. You can see the realisation of the potential dawning across their faces when it's demo'd to them.
- Time saved
- Paper saved
- Students can hand in anytime
- A distancing of student from the tutor in submission process cuts down on late submissions, excuses, tutor effort
It's pedestrian and lacks a lot of glitter and excitement but for everyday use of Moodle it's invaluable.
Automatic badge awarding and Integration with OpenBadges.
I would say that all the PoodLL capability provided by the plugins from Justin Hunt definitely rate a WOW! It is nice to be able to do spelling tests, provide audio directions and questions for students who are not native speakers of English, etc. We even use PoodLL video assignments for creating short classroom newscast items which are available for watching from within our Moodle site.
Another, is the quiz module and all the different types of questions. What I really like about it is that I can show and convince kids during their first quiz of the year, that it is a waste of time trying to cheat because of being able to scramble questions and answers so they each get an individualized quiz.
My third suggestion would be to mention all the different grading possibilities - direct, marking guide, and rubric as well as the AJAX Marking Block that will show a teacher what assignments need grading without having to go look for them.
Specifically for languages, I think Audio Recorder is worth a mention:
I agree with the other comments that anything that makes teachers' admin and assessment tasks easier is likely to make them prick up their ears. Let's not forget the fundamentals like the grade book and how useful it can be for teacher, peer, and self assessment in the core Moodle activities (Forum, Glossary, Assignment, etc.) otherwise continuous assessment can be a massive undertaking. And making everyone's work, records, and grades available any time, anywhere and options to give learners and parents access to those can be advantageous.
How about the communication features? Like being able to send messages/emails to groups of learners. On going discourse between learners and mentors, i.e. learners/mentors can review their histories of interactions with each other. Great for reflective practice and reflective inquiry, personal learning plans, etc.
Moodle's course layout is unbeatable in my opinion; possibly one of it's strongest features but one that Moodlers seem to take for granted.
For larger organisations that have ongoing professional development programmes for their teaching staff, OpenBadges can offer a way of formally recording participation and awarding qualifications that other organisations might recognise. It'd certainly be more meaningful than traditional reference letters.
Personally, I don't like the PDF format per se. Online text writing assignments offer greater flexibility and more practical support for multimedia; images, audio, video, and animations. Teachers and mentors can give detailed feedback and can integrate it with other activity modules such as the Glossary module. Although the value of corrective feedback with regards to second language acquisition is questionable, most teachers and institutions still swear by it and Moodle can offer ways of making it more helpful to learners (explicit, meaningful, and coherent) and less labour intensive for teachers and mentors. See: http://blog.matbury.com/2012/03/01/using-moodle-for-written-corrective-feedback/
Then there's the SWF Activity Module for deploying engaging multimedia learning interactions. However, I don't think the branch for Moodle 2.5+ will be ready in time for your presentation.
And finally, by far THE biggest advantage that Moodle has is its community. Need help? Want to know something? Want to get some feedback on an idea? Here it is for free from a wide range of qualified, experienced educators and developers.
Hi Matt. Many thanks for the contribution of ideas and sharing of your thoughts! Will digest and ruminate through....!
>Then there's the SWF Activity Module for deploying engaging multimedia
>learning interactions. However, I don't think the branch for Moodle 2.5+
>will be ready in time for your presentation
That's a teaser, isn't it?
It's taking a lot longer than I thought for various reasons. The introduction of the File System repository http://docs.moodle.org/23/en/File_system_repository since Moodle 2.3 is one thing that has made it a practical possibility. I think I've finally got it worked out though. Just have to find the time to get it finished!
August 3rd 2013. Probably 10am Malaysia time. GMT +8 (Singapore/HoneKong timezone).
I'm adding some more features, like support for media players, especially this one: http://www.osmf.org/strobe_mediaplayback.html which supports playing videos from YouTube and SMIL XML, plus it's part of the Open Source Media Framework so customisations and developing additional plugins will be relatively easy to implement.
I've uploaded some Adobe demos of Strobe Media Playback here: http://matbury.com/strobe/
The Media Player module for Moodle 1.9 is a simplified version on the SWF Activity Module for Moodle 1.9 that uses the JW Player 5.5, http://www.longtailvideo.com/, to playback videos, audio, playlists, etc.
In Moodle 2.5, I'm experimenting with providing extensible media playback in the SWF Activity Module so that having 2 modules is no longer necessary. It will still support the old JW Player, which isn't free and open source, as well as StrobeMediaPlayback, which is free and open source and other media players can be added.
I've just finished putting in plugin/extension support for Flash applications but only for one plugin at a time at the moment, but both the JW Player and Strobe support XML configuration files and remotely hosted extensions.
It can also offer HTML5 video/audio fallback but I've yet to implement that.
So if all goes well, the SWF Activity Module for Moodle 2.5 will provide media playback with two media players, JW Player and Strobe, that have all kinds of plugins/extensions available as well as supporting other XML, web service, and database driven Flash learning applications like these: http://blog.matbury.com/call-software/
Mmm... a complicated answer to a simple question.
I hope this helps!