Comparisons and advocacy

Choosing e-learning tools

 
Oriyomi Olukunbi
Choosing e-learning tools
 

Hello All,

We are an education Non Government Organization moving our local classes to e-learning mainly for web and mobile. I have personally tried to choose the best solution for my organization. We need easy to use and cost effective tools. We are based in West Africa, the challenge of access to technology by our users cannot be ignored.

Our goal is to achieve an application like KHAN Academy, after much research we will like to settle for Articulate, AmazonS3 and Moodle.

I need candid advice if we are on the right track. I also will like to know if its possible to get volunteers on our project to assist in setups and advice as we are unable to pay moodle partners or consultants.

Thanks

 
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moi!!! it is what is is...
Re: Choosing e-learning tools
Documentation writersParticularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Oriyomi, welcome, and good luck with your project. 

All Khan Academy is is a series of short, specific recordings on specific subjects. While there is a lot of really good information in those recordings, Salman's delivery is not always what you might call "first class" (in the Mathematics videos anyway). Also, realize that while it uses high tech approaches, it is actually a variation on the "chalk and talk" classroom, so on its own, the Khan Academy doesn't do anything more than your teacher in the classroom does. In fact, it may be it does less as students cannot ask for further information, just go and get another example. I have found that the Khan Academy does not go over with students as well as does the mathbff videos for some reason, mmmm . 

The point here is that while technology can do a lot of things, it cannot provide the basic inspiration that a real, live person can, so just be careful, technology is just a tool, not a complete learning experience. Having said that...

Articulate is not an easy tool to learn to use, but there is sufficient information on the web already to be able to pick it up quickly enough to get reasonable product out into your Moodle. Be careful here, you must make sure that the exported material is in the right SCORM (assuming you want to use SCORM) format to work in Moodle. That how I have always used it anyway, not that my use of Articulate has been all that great. 

Never used Amazon S3, and have heard about some mixed experiences with it, so I imagine it is like any other tool, you get it quickly or you don't, you find it easy to use, or you don't, it works well, or it doesn't, you persist and rave about it, or you don't and rubbish it. 

As for Moodle, the basics of Moodle are easy to work out, but I would seriously recommend you download a copy, install it onto a server, even your local machine, and get it working. Then just play with it. How do I create a course, what do I want in it? Can I upload a file, can I write a page, how can I add a blog, a label, a wiki. Once you get these things in place, which should take about as long as it takes to install Moodle, then you really need to work out where do I use these things, how do I get students to use these things. 

Perhaps a good place to start is to work out how you can train your teachers in using Moodle. One way is to learn it, write a course on how to use Moodle, how to create a course, how to add things to it, edit pages, upload files, create content. Design is always an issue so a second course, just on design might be useful. That can be done while learning about Moodle. 

Patience and persistence will be the keys here, accumulating knowledge and experience is the reward. The Community will help you as much as you need, through these forums and via the Moodle Docs. Just ask your questions and you will do fine.             

 
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Picture of Usman Asar
Re: Choosing e-learning tools
Particularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

I would rather recommend Lectora Inspire over Articulate, though expensive than Articulate, but eventually pays the price.

Also, rather than going straight for Amazon S3, it would be feasible going into expected registrants, concurrent users and Moodle content to better understand the needs of serving platform. creating droplets on digital ocean would be cheaper, if you are going for cloud platform.

 
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Picture of Marcus Green
Re: Choosing e-learning tools
Core developersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developersTesters

I agree with Colin and would focus on the part where Oriyomi says " I also will like to know if its possible to get volunteers on 

our project to assist in setups and advice as we are unable to pay Moodle Partners or consultants."


If you are limited in money then try to avoid the cost of licences for tools such as Articulate and focus on the free tools within Moodle. 

In terms of volunteers you may be able to sell this as a learning opportunity to people in West Africa. They will have a higher motivation than 

people from other parts of the world and will understand the subtleties of teaching and learning where you are. It seems clear to me that there is scope

for significant growth in Moodle usage in Africa as a whole and the use may differ from other parts of the world. For example you may find a more

rapid update of its use in the mobile sector.

 
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Oriyomi Olukunbi
Re: Choosing e-learning tools
 

Thanks a lot for your comments,

in the past couple of day I have been exploring every possibility to use moodle and installed it on my server.

It looks easier to use than I read in may forums online.


The issue I have now is to make a unique application with it, interactivity, social media.


I am really exploring my options and thanks for your comments but any one heard of learndash seem to have more features and usable with new technologies.

 
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Picture of dawn alderson
Re: Choosing e-learning tools
 

Hello Oriyomi Olukunbi, 

going to respond to two things in your last post-with the aim of being helpful, and I must say I am new to this too-developing my knowledge as I go along-building on what I know...not always getting it right mind you.

OK, social media: might be worth looking at Edmodo.  Reason I say that is because I have noted in my work- the following:

it is a free social network type download.....can be used for small class tweet-type chatter (infinite number of characters), been told-feels personal-as opposed to global reach: https://www.edmodo.com/  might be nice to 'train' students in social network learning-type skills/activities (has quiz option too) -forlearningand teaching especially to encourage those reluctant to engage with twitter...once on board then progress to Twitter.

That said, do check out the communication features in Moodle-such as chat/messaging etc maintains a nice sense of community alongside the use of Twitter stream in your moodle, and so on for wider reach ...see the Moodle docs

And, in terms of LearnDash, first and foremost it is not free.  You also need to think about scale, student numbers and what you wish to record/store in terms of student data.  I say this because LearnDash has been around for 3 years....and while it sets itself up, in terms of the following SCORM/or not reqs:

Elearning courses using the legacy versions of SCORM can be launched using LearnDash, but the SCORM data is not recorded. If you want the data to be recorded, you should publish your course(s) to Tin Can API (essentially, the newest version of SCORM).

You might need a specialist in the use of Tin Can API.

Here are some links for info:

http://tincanapi.com/what-is-tin-can/overview/scorm-vs-the-tin-can-api/

 http://tincanapi.com/what-is-tin-can/overview/scorm-vs-the-tin-can-api/

http://tincanapi.com/what-is-tin-can/adopters/

I know Moodle have had lots of discussions about Tin Can....and I am not going there today!

Cheeaars!

D



 
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Picture of john Simpson
Re: Choosing e-learning tools
 
Have you got your own website linked with moodle? That would be a good start with interactivity,
Perhaps blogs, a forum? Try joomla or Drupal, both being CMS and are free and open source.

As your title says choosing e-learning tools try hot potatoes, which can be used internally with moodle listed under moodle plug-ins, and on your website. http://hotpot.uvic.ca/

 
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Picture of Dave Perry
Re: Choosing e-learning tools
Particularly helpful MoodlersTesters

We used to have Hot Potatoes on college PCs. Then we went to Windows 7, and the software hasn't been updated for it, so we lost it.

Something to bear in mind.

 
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Mary Cooch
Re: Choosing e-learning tools
Documentation writersMoodle Course Creator Certificate holdersMoodle HQParticularly helpful MoodlersTestersTranslators

Surely  you can still use Hotpotatoes? The Hotpot plugin is up to date and although the HotPotatoes software hasn't been updated, as far as I am aware it still works fine? I made a few the other month on Windows 8 machine.

 
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Picture of john Simpson
Re: Choosing e-learning tools
 

There you go again, another LMS of which I didn't know about. What I can't understand is that you are not prepared to pay for a free open source Moodle, yet you are prepared to consider paying for an unknown commercial LMS which does cost money. It doesn't make any sense.

If you want to keep your budget low, use moodle, browse and lookup the additional plugins within moodle, search for all the open source desk top software available that will be useful for you in e-teaching, and you wont need anything else but moodle.

You only need one LMS, so you might as well use the one that's best known, and has the strongest support, and that is moodle. Search best open source LMS on google, and let me know what you find in your search?

 
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Picture of William Lu
Re: Choosing e-learning tools
Particularly helpful Moodlers

We had been tried use other CMS (Drupal, Joomla, Wordpress, PostNuke, TikiWi) as LMS for years. We also tried other tools like Captivate and Storyline and HotPotato. They are all good LMS or applications. But finally, we stay with Moodle, because as an non-profit organisation or as a department in University, we need a software which is serious on: free, big scale, reliable,  always up-to-date, customisable, strong community, no childish look and funny characters, fast, not heavy when loading,  can do everything of other software can do, has all kind of plugs, easy to use, easy to learn, can be access from any device, and millions other serious users around the world.  I suggest you don't waste your time to go through the learning curve again (Some software promise a lot, but when you really need a serious plugin or solution, you will be upset ). Start to download Moodle to your desktop today, you can start to use it and love it in minutes. No software allow you to try it on your local machine like this (and it is good for your situation when internet is not in everywhere), image how easy you can train your teaches and student to use it. If you check the LMS or CMS history, you can see many software died as a wave at the beach for a short period of time. Moodle has standed firmly for more than 10 years and you can find many Moodle contributors (long long name list) or evangelists like me (I am not a contributor) is willing to help you, because we love Moodle and are living on Moodle.... 

 
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Picture of john Simpson
Re: Choosing e-learning tools
 

Well said William.

Also in regards to Hotpot, if it doesn't work in the latest windows, it certainly works in the latest Linux, but best installed through wine.

 
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