Moodle 2.3

I’m in the process of updating my school’s online learning space to the latest and greatest from It’s a website that is especially designed to accommodate the needs of teachers to collaborate online with students in a classroom environment. I’ve used several versions of Moodle 1.x previously, and the takeaway with this version is that it’s finally beginning to feel like a modern tool. The main thing that’s influencing me to say that is that the software has finally stopped “rolling its own” user interface.

Consider in pervious versions moving things around. It was dreadful. First, indicate to the software that you want to do a move and which item you are about to move. Then wait for it to refresh. Then, click at the spot where you want the item to go. With 2.3, it’s as simple as drag-n-drop. Pick it up here and put it there.

When adding an item to a course, for example, you had to figure out if what you wanted was a “resource” or an “activity” before adding it. Modern software designs wouldn’t make such an academic distinction just to do a commonplace thing thing such as “add item”, but at least with Moddle 2.3 adding either is now the same click. Plus, it gives you a quick explanation of all those items as well in a stylish dialog box. Think Pages or Word when you click “New Document”: Moodle gives you a list of choices with some explanation of what every choice is good for. Truly amazing they didn’t have this before now though.

Probably even better than all of that, there is finally a course format that sets it up so that students can easily navigate around to the right content that they are looking for. Again, you’d figure that this kind of software would put navigation tools as a priority, but it’s only just now gotten around to solving the “scroll of death” so common with so many academic portals. Anyway, students can now see a summary list of topics and click through to the topic they are interested in, or the current topic, etc.

I’m still not entirely convinced Moodle is really all that though, though I understand that this is what many educators are claiming. I mean, a tool with the maturity of Plone where you can group items into collections and share them via RSS feeds. Now, that’s power. Or, heck, even a stable and normal full-site search tool. Alas, I don’t think Plone has really cornered the education market thus far.

Moodle 2.3 is probably good enough though.

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