Comparisons and advocacy

Can Moodle replace Smart Assessor?

 
Picture of Matt Trow
Can Moodle replace Smart Assessor?
 

We are in the process of finding another solution to the frankly inefficient Smart Assessor system. 

We have found it to be just not fit for purpose: As the user workflow is non-intuitive, there is endless duplication of feedback and comments, there are frequent glitches, it loses uploaded materials almost daily, often will not transfer information effectively over from Pics so it 'ghosts' and duplicates portfolios ( resulting in confused Trainers and duplicated work), it also refuses to accept many of our corporate and learner email formats,  and not to mention the utterly non-responsive customer service experience which characterises Smart Assessor..... (very many tickets submitted over a 4 month period and to date not one has yet answered, although lots have been cancelled by them without contact or reason!). 


Can anyone explain definitively whether we can duplicate the cross-referencing function of a LMS such as Smart Assessor/One File etc with VLE such as Moodle?

We work with UK Levy Standards Apprenticeships, BTEC Diplomas and NVQs as well as independent bespoke client training courses.

I will soon be meeting with a Moodle familiar IT/technical expert who is coming to speak to us, from a local college, but would really like a few more opinions in the meantime.

Any help and advice would be gratefully received!

Many thanks,

Matt.

 
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Picture of Marcus Green
Re: Can Moodle replace Smart Assessor?
Core developersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developersTesters

I cannot answer your question Matt as despite teaching in the FE sector for 12 years I have never heard of Smart Assessor. However it is worth being aware that Moodle is used by well over 117 million users globally and  there is a network of Moodle Partners who offer professional support and consultancy. I am the author of a plugin for grading BTEC's and work for one of the most awesome of the UK partners. So forum moderators, can I plug my employers here ? smile

 
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Picture of Dave Perry
Re: Can Moodle replace Smart Assessor?
Particularly helpful MoodlersTesters

Side note here, how does this sit with Bedford College-led BTEC grading tool?

We tried this out, a while back, but recent versions don't work with our moodle (something is clashing, but it's unclear what - the error logging even at debug is insufficient I'm told)

 
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Picture of Marcus Green
Re: Can Moodle replace Smart Assessor?
Core developersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developersTesters

I looked at the Bedford thing again recently

http://moodleportal.bedford.ac.uk

And again the complexity defeated me. I think it  appears complex because it does a great deal of stuff and much of that stuff is quite complex.  I suspect it is a really awesome tool and I am hoping one day to get a demo to get to that aha moment.

 
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Picture of Just H
Re: Can Moodle replace Smart Assessor?
Particularly helpful Moodlers

After hitting Google, and if the correct software, you're talking about an eportfolio. In which case, Mahara is more likely what you are looking for.

Note, there is close integration between Moodle and Mahara if your requirements grow.

 
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Picture of Matt Trow
Re: Can Moodle replace Smart Assessor?
 

Thanks folks, 

I do know of the benefits of using Moodle and know about Mahara, and am looking into that option.

However, my key question is that I have not yet found a forum where someone can tell me if Moodle/ Mahara (or similar) plug-ins 'can duplicate the cross-referencing function of an LMS such as Smart Assessor/One File etc' ? (With particular reference to NVQ/BTEC style UK qualifications).

If anyone has used these LMS systems and then successfully switched over to Mahara (or similar) so that these additional LMS systems are redundant, without sacrificing quality processes, I would be very interested in discussing how they got on with this?

Many thanks,

Matt.


 
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Picture of Marcus Green
Re: Can Moodle replace Smart Assessor?
Core developersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developersTesters

You will probably need to explain further what you mean. I am familiar with Moodle and Mahara and BTEC qualifications but I don't know what "the cross-referencing function of an LMS such as Smart Assessor/One File etc" refers to. 

 
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Picture of Joost Elshoff
Re: Can Moodle replace Smart Assessor?
Particularly helpful MoodlersTesters

From the commercial video on the Smart Assessor website, I concluded that it's not really a fully functional online learning environment like Moodle, or a fully functional online portfolio suite like Mahara, although it has some of the most used features. 

With the help of a Moodle/Mahara specialist like some Moodle Partners in the UK (I'm guessing here) it shouldn't be too difficult to have this set up properly.

Please note though, that Mahara isn't an LMS. It's a portfolio suite that focuses on the individual users creating and managing their portfolios, recording their development in educational or professional sense. Together with Moodle, however, you have a bit of magic (or a lot) to work with:

Moodle: ideal for teaching, testing, certification and grading

Mahara: ideal for recording an individual's development and progress through gathered evidence

Both work with competency frameworks, although slightly differently, so any evidence gathered can be directly linked to a previously established (set of) competencies. 

And with plugins like BigBlueButton for webinars and the Moodle Mobile app for recording video/audio and taking pictures as evidence, I see no reason why not to choose this combination.

 
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Picture of Dave Perry
Re: Can Moodle replace Smart Assessor?
Particularly helpful MoodlersTesters

We've previously had Moodle and Mahara paired - the steps are well documented, and there are Moodle plugins to submit portfolios as assignments and visa versa (I've only tried these loosely, when helping test a 'new' version a couple of years ago).

We've had no need to get into the Competencies of the 3.x moodles to comment on. Lewis Carr was the local moodle wiz we'd ask to chime in on these things - he runs his own show now (not listed on moodle.org as an official partner) but has been working with the FA lately (and did a stint as a Moodlerooms Solutions Engineer) so has a big enough profile to be trustworthy advice if he spots this / has time to contribute.

 
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