From the day I started in my current position, back in 2009, I've used the term "Moodle shell" to refer to a Moodle "course." I never really asked why, I just accepted it. It seemed to make sense since we sometimes have "shells" for entire programs, or other non-academic purposes, where the term course seems inappropriate.
I've noticed that, even though I occasionally see others user this term, the word "shell" doesn't appear in the site glossary and there's no documentation referring to Moodle shells.
I'm just curious where this term came from and how prevalent is its use?
This is one of those things that make me go, "hmmm..."
I never use it. I have heard others use it - I think, primarily in America, and I've an idea it might be a term promoted by a former or current - not sure - Moodle partner, certainly a Moodle hosting organisation and not Moodle core.
I wasn't aware that "shell" is used in other LMS situations, but perhaps you know more about that than I do. I only know about Moodle
I tend not to recommend people use "shell" simply because they won't then find it in documentation etc and will be wondering what term we are using.
And while we are on the subject - another term I have noticed being used is "site" when they actually mean "course". I think that is even more confusing
Oh, when I mentioned "others" I didn't mean other LMSes. I meant I've seen it in the occasional online post.
Your logic for not using it makes perfect sense. I've been using it for so long, and including it in our documentation and training materials, I don't know how to backpedal out of that, at this point, without feeling like a total doofus (another North American term).
I've seen "site" used by some of our instructors and I always cringe inside.
We use “Shell” to talk about each individual instance of a course. a teacher may have three versions of a course (three separate “shells” but one “course” - full credit, Hale credit, and summer school shells), so we tell teachers to update their announcements in all of their shells. To students , we call it the main page of a course the Parts Page of Course Home page.
I think it's a Canadian thing
"Shell" is something we started with also, back in 2004/5. It was called that because it was just a shell of a course, not an actual course. A case or container. A place to put information into.
We have teachers that still use the term 'Shell' but I tend to mostly refer to them as Moodle Course Sites. I see you all cringing!!
The reason why I can't leave it as simply being as a "Course" is because it's not as far as what defines a course at our University. And what exists in Moodle is not necessarily the same as what exists in Banner (our Student Information System).
Some teachers don't even use Moodle. Some use it extensively and some use it for specific purposes such as gradebook or to load resources. Some are mixed mode and only a handful are actual "Courses" being offered online. The rest, in my mind, are supplements to a course hence the Moodle Course Site.
We've had a lot of bother with academic staff being sniffy about using the word "course" because they have a pretty clear idea in their head of what *they* mean by a course and it isn't that. So, things like "space" and just "a moodle" have become commonplace.
However, I just call them a "Moodle Course" (note capitals). I explain that's what Moodle calls it and to get over it
How we use terms
Shell = A future Moodle Course site not populated with resources or activities
Template = Another future Moodle site populated with with resources and activities to be used for Moodle Course sites
Moodle Course site = actively being used for a class.
I do have one person use the term "My Moodle Website" - I kinda cringe at that one.
Judging from the ratings your definitions have won. In my environment a Template is a _Course_, not a site, with no teaching content just some administrative content and formats, as in a MS Word dot file. (The 't' in dot is for template, I believe.) You call it the Shell. Your Template, a course with content, could be a Turn-key Course, for us.
Shell is out of bounds for us - too many IT folk: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shell_(computing).
For an empty/new course I generally use the term "course space" (although it sounds odd now that I've said it in my head a few times while thinking about this reply).
"Do you have a course space in our Moodle site yet?"
"I can set up a course space for you in our Moodle site"
I've heard shell, too.