Comparisons and advocacy

Moodle 3.3 is less intuitive than eFront 3.6.15 (2 years ago)

 
Picture of David ROUMANET
Moodle 3.3 is less intuitive than eFront 3.6.15 (2 years ago)
 

Hello Moodle community,

Sorry to start my first discussion with this comparison but... there are lot of things and don't find easy to do with Moodle !

First I've to say I've tested eFront LMS in open-source for about 3-4 days, and I'm working on Moodle for 6 days.

  1. Progression : eFront did it naturally, for each page in a course, but I can change a "weight" to give more importance to a particular one. Moodle do it... but for each activity : a book is weighted the same as a simple webpage !!! No
  2. Following a lesson : in eFront, I can navigate automaticaly between page. It adds all "Next" and "Prec" buttons at the end of each page. I just have to sort them when the course is ready (if never it's not created in right order). Moodle have the same possibility but only in book. If I want to use lesson, I've to manually create my "Next" and "previous" button... and I don't speak about pages : there are just placed on the courses but not linked or useable for a lessons or a book (I can't create a book with all pages already present in the course) No
  3. Badges : ok, Moodle is able to manage them and not eFront Yes
  4. Tests : eFront gives tips to help writing tests. With Moodle, I've to learn before, how to write a test : is this for teachers or developpers ? No


Here is what I've done in 3 days with eFront... and try to do with Moodle...



 
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Picture of Marcus Green
Re: Moodle 3.3 is less intuitive than eFront 3.6.15 (2 years ago)
Core developersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developersTesters

Hi David

Don't apologise for comparing, all feedback is useful. There is a new version of Moodle approximately every 6 months and each time it has changes that improves it's usability

Could you explain what you mean by "weight", what effect does that have on what the student sees, or is it about the weighting when things are being scored? I may have missed some detail from your screen shot as my french stopped just after "La plume de ma tante est dans le jardin".


 
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Picture of David ROUMANET
Re: Moodle 3.3 is less intuitive than eFront 3.6.15 (2 years ago)
 

Hi Marcus,

thanks to answer me (it's a way for me to hope for easiest practices with Moodle smile ).

The weight is a difficulty for questions in tests (from easy to hard). That way, eFront is able to make a ponderation on each questions.

For progression, you'll agree it's not the same to read a whole book, or read just one page, but Moodle count them as one activity for each. And more important, if the book is big, student doesn't know how he have progressed on it.

Better than pictures, the way to work with eFront is easy : I'm teaching in computing science, I can use any kind of interfaces and learn... but all my colleagues aren't so good ! Moodle have to enhance it interface (not graphicaly, but actions to do for creating one task). The picture presented before, show for a question what a student could answer :

  1. you just have to write ### that create a blank
  2. when clicking [Create empty spaces], for each blank eFront create empty fields where to write answers (each responses for this field is separated by '|' character)
  3. If checking the box "Selection box", eFront will show a list menu rather an empty field in student's view
  4. Each question could receive a time to answer (avoid student to search on Internet or ask to a neighboor)

With one question type, I could do what need to types in Moodle : and in an ergonomic manner.

I really try to work with Moodle (because eFront community is a kind of "abandonware") but I feel doing lot of click for small results mixed

For the end, I'm not able to place "La plume de ma tante est dans le jardin" in the real world big grin

As your message is positive, I would to let you know I really want to help to enhance Moodle and be a part of Moodle community smile


 
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moi!!! it is what is is...
Re: Moodle 3.3 is less intuitive than eFront 3.6.15 (2 years ago)
Documentation writersParticularly helpful Moodlers

Marcus is quite right, all feedback is useful. After all, if Moodle wants to improve its image, its reliability, its capabilities, then it must always be held up to other products. Please bear in mind though, all LMS' have good points and not-so-good points. The other LMS' I have used have all been left behind by Moodle and I have never heard of eFront until now. Be interested to find out a bit more about it. 

UPDATE: Google search reveals: 

eFront Google discovery

Not too keen on the "This site may be hacked" tag... and something of a surprise I admit. 

The other thing also to bear in mind, eFront is a commercial proposition, licensing and ongoing support fees, I expect. Moodle is not. It's not that Moodle is a "poor man's LMS", it is not a commercially profit making product for Moodle.org, it is Open Source so very big difference.  

 
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Picture of David ROUMANET
Re: Moodle 3.3 is less intuitive than eFront 3.6.15 (2 years ago)
 

Hi Colin,

I was looking on vulnerabilities in eFront 3.6.15 (the last open-source version). All 4.x and upper version are the commercial one.

Vulnerabilities are listed here : https://www.exploit-db.com/search/?action=search&q=efront

The code is open-source, https://sourceforge.net/projects/efrontlearning/

Moodle should keep in mind that teachers aren't ready to take lot of time in converting their courses in electronic web version. In France, the success of Moodle, is because National Education don't want to buy (or advices) commercials solutions, not because because they want the simpliest tools !

"What is well conceived is clearly stated - And the words to say it happen easily." Boileau Nicolas (french poet)

 
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Picture of Ger Tielemans
Re: Moodle 3.3 is less intuitive than eFront 3.6.15 (2 years ago)
 

Long, long ago..

.. we were creating beautiful programs where students were guided through complex problems and finished with great results... (tools like Hypercard (1987) and Course of Action (1985) on the Mac,)
Even today you have great tools to support this follow-me approach:  Xerte Toolkits, ExeLearning, Lectora, etc (see: https://elearningindustry.com/turn-your-presentation-into-an-interactive-elearning-course)


...We were in these days very happy with the results until we said to students: "Now switch the computer off and do it on your own with this new problem." ..complete failure of students: 

read some research on this topic: Google for Fullan, Joyce & Showers, Marzano, Hattie, Geoff Patty.... 

Since then we learned a lot: students learn better when they get more control over their own learning, taking responsibility, make choices, communicate with others about these topics, go back to previous parts of the course, etc.   

Around Moodle 1.4.6 a Canadian came with a patch to have more control for (conditional) linking activities: We tested that with some teachers, but removed it when we saw that teachers were creating follow-me tours.. I fear the same effect of the current conditional linking options in Moodle 3

instead of offering a follow-me tour with previous and next buttons, they need an overview of the topic, devised in logical sets: You can see the sections of Moodle as the canvas for these sets: a title on top of the sections, resources organised with the outline function of Moodle to show the importance and activities visual grouped around the resources in the outline. 

Nothing wrong with using book, a forked lesson or a (third party  adaptive) quiz but they should be part of the bigger educational picture: students more in control, reflecting on what they are doing.

.. And yes, Moodle can be very confusing: so start always with the default settings, click on the bottom of each page on the hyperlink "Moodle docs for this page"  and look for plugins to make your live more easy, like the "fill in the blanks button" as extension for the WYSiWYG editor.

Succes and stay critical, these Trumpian Moodle developers need that.


 
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moi!!! it is what is is...
Re: Moodle 3.3 is less intuitive than eFront 3.6.15 (2 years ago)
Documentation writersParticularly helpful Moodlers

"Trumpian Moodle developers" don't know what that means, Ger,..mmm "Triumphalist.." yes, Does "Trumpian" mean "arrogant, rude, and likely to wreck everything?"

OK, how about this David. "The only thing we have to fear.. is fear itself." FDR.  or “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown” HP Lovecraft. 

That is what holds people back from exploring things, few of us are explorers. Same is true of Moodle users, stick with what is familiar, don't try anything new. Oh, a new version? Does that mean I am going to lose something I know and love to use? Nonsense really. The angst that developed around and between the change from v1.9.x to v2.0 was really unnecessary, but we went through it anyway. Sure, I lost my Book for a while, but it made a comeback, thanks to the Herculean efforts of Peter Skoda, (skodak). 

I suppose the point I am trying to make, albeit badly, is that it doesn't matter what tool you use, it is the outcomes that really count. Are you using to tool that supports your required outcomes? Do you have a tool that can be used to support those outcomes? Can the tool you use be improved to allow you a better chance at consistently gaining the required outcomes? 

The real kicker here, for me, is- "Is the tool I am using better for me or my students?" If the answer is not students... 

 
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Picture of David ROUMANET
Re: Moodle 3.3 is less intuitive than eFront 3.6.15 (2 years ago)
 

Well, I'm working in computer science : it's a domain with lot of concepts : KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid), Kaizen, Scrum/Kanban cyclic dev mode, etc.

I agree with these methods because it gives less importance to technic and more for human spirit !

Back to Moodle, it has to be simple to use (students) and to edit (teachers) : more time I take for managing how it works, less time I've got for lessons conceptions.

I'm very interesting in discuss about your experiences (Colin and Ger, others are welcome) : here in France, we've to create a progress canvas for any module (even if not using à LMS, of course). My colleagues are using PDF files with linear lessons (Word or Powerpoint)

Evaluations are done during courses (in classroom).

I would to change that and try inverted classroom (students read lessons at home, and try some basics tests, then works on projects in classroom).

Back (again) to Moodle, I need to have a king of redline, with lessons and progressions, to see where are students in the module's part.

And I need to do that easely (sorry, my english could be a little bad... but as an "old" frenchy, I suppose I couldn't do better) : good indicators, simple views, etc.


 
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Mary Cooch
Re: Moodle 3.3 is less intuitive than eFront 3.6.15 (2 years ago)
Documentation writersMoodle Course Creator Certificate holdersMoodle HQParticularly helpful MoodlersTestersTranslators

Re your comment I need to have a king of redline, with lessons and progressions, to see where are students in the module's part.

Do you mean you want a clear way to see how students are progressing? The teacher has a good activity completion report here for example (screenshot attached)

Also, re your comment sorry, my english could be a little bad... but as an "old" frenchy, I suppose I couldn't do better) avez-vous pensé à vous inscrire au forum francophone ici?


 
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Picture of David ROUMANET
Re: Moodle 3.3 is less intuitive than eFront 3.6.15 (2 years ago)
 

Something like this... but my students are 18 years old : they're able to check all link without reading !

eFront gave me the possibility to rate a time passed on a page : it doesn't garanty to me it has been read, but it's more difficult to check all items in a short time.

And please have a look at the eFront screenshot : students have a kind of summary in pourcentage (the summary fill in only one screen, no need to scroll). the view offers a rapide summary (for the student himself).

Something like this :

I still need to understand how to use section, pages and others items, but here is how we think to use them :

Course ► is a 6 month module (we have SI1 to SI7, SLAM1 to SLAM5, SISR1 to SISR5, UE22, etc.)

Section ► is a chapter in the module

Activity or resource ► is a lesson from the chapter


Is this right (or am I wrong ) ?

Thanks


 
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Mary Cooch
Re: Moodle 3.3 is less intuitive than eFront 3.6.15 (2 years ago)
Documentation writersMoodle Course Creator Certificate holdersMoodle HQParticularly helpful MoodlersTestersTranslators

Ok I have no experience with eFront but I think your screenshot shows the a percentage completion of activities in a course? You can have this in several ways for a student. With activity and course completion enabled you can add the course completion block to the side of a course page and it will display the number of activities completed as in this screenshot:

Course completion block

The student has completed five out of eight activities - if they click More details they can see what is still to do (although they can see that by looking at the unticked boxes on the course page as well) Alternatively as you have no doubt already seen in Moodle 3.3 the dashboard shows a percentage completed of courses, as in this screenshot:

Course overview

Combine both of these and students have a good view of their progress. When they log in they are directed immediately to their dashboard where they can see course percentage if they wish - and when they go directly to a course if you have the course completion block top right (as your percentage in eFront) they can see where they are - as well as seeing for each individual activity if it is completed.

It's not possible with standard Moodle to show time passed in a whole course (although I think there was/is a plugin) but you can do this with a Lesson activity - you can require them to spend a certain period of time before the Lesson activity is marked as complete. Does that help?

 
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Picture of David ROUMANET
Re: Moodle 3.3 is less intuitive than eFront 3.6.15 (2 years ago)
 

is the plugin available for Moodle 3.3 ? cannot found it with word "completion"...

 
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Mary Cooch
Re: Moodle 3.3 is less intuitive than eFront 3.6.15 (2 years ago)
Documentation writersMoodle Course Creator Certificate holdersMoodle HQParticularly helpful MoodlersTestersTranslators

Here is the one I was thinking of (but I have never tried it) https://moodle.org/plugins/block_dedication

 
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moi!!! it is what is is...
Re: Moodle 3.3 is less intuitive than eFront 3.6.15 (2 years ago)
Documentation writersParticularly helpful Moodlers

In Oz, we haven't had to go that far and create a progress canvas, but we are expected to both teach students and do their learning for them. 

"I would to change that and try inverted classroom (students read lessons at home, and try some basics tests, then works on projects in classroom)."

This is called Flipped Learning. Having tried it, and not getting a lot of positive response to it amongst the lower year levels, I can say it seems to mostly work with Year 12s, senior students, partly work with Year 11s, and drops of alarmingly after that. However, where possible, I have had some success with simply getting related videos for students to watch before classes which has helped. I suspect it is something of a cultural thing amongst younger students, watching a video is not as demanding as actually writing something, Not every student is successful but hopefully, this encourages students to move to more detailed homework in preparation for Year 12. 

I would suggest that you look at the Completion Progress Bar for a tool that can provide you with individual course assignment completions.   

 
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Picture of David ROUMANET
Re: Moodle 3.3 is less intuitive than eFront 3.6.15 (2 years ago)
 

Your experience is intersting for me : our students are 17-19 years old and formation is post baccalaureat (should be BTEC Higher National Diploma in others countries.)

They want to have fun courses and to not work (not learning), especially with homework.

I was thinking flipped learning (thanks for right definition) could be a solution, with active projects in classroom and learning as homework (still working for projects, of course).

Few years before, students were more interested by formation, but now, they are thinking computer science are easy as using a smartphone, or designing with Gimp/Photoshop... they've lot of difficulties with PHP, C# or other POO languages (Java for example).

Completion progress bar wasn't compatible with Moodle 3.3 version but I'll check again, thanks smile

 
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