Solent Uni is switching to the Moodle VLE. It’s hoped that the system will be ready for the students by September 2007. I’m looking forward to developing some good interactive learning material over the summer. I’m also looking forward to playing around with the blog and wiki stuff. All journalism students need to blog and should be able to write and edit wiki content.
Moodle is the brainchild of Martin Dougiamas (Curtin University, Perth, Australia). Apparently, it was born out of frustration with WebCT (a commerical VLE which is still used by City University, London and many others). He was irritated that WebCT didn’t allow him to access source code and it was pretty expensive to implement.
Moodle is rapidly growing in popularity. A few articles and data…
- The Open University has decided to adopt Moodle and that has to be a good sign. After all, it knows a thing or two about e-learning. Its set to upload 900 hours of e-learning material for its 180,000 students. As this article on ZDnet mentions (Moodle tackles E-Learning muddle), the OU selected Moodle based on functionality (not cost). Other unis to adopt Moodle include: Bath Uni, Royal Holloway, Glasgow Uni, UCE Birmingham and UCL.
- There is no conclusive information about market share. The UK government-funded OSS Watch Survey reported that Moodle was the VLE of choice for 56% of UK FE institutions. But other research suggests that whilst Moodle has more "installations", Blackboard/WebCT (combined) has more "users". See Epic (2006: The Year For Moodle) for more stats.
- According to research into web traffic (compiled December 05 – Jan 06 by Justin Tilton): Blackboard was leader in terms of website hits. Moodle came in second – beating VLEs such as WebCT, Angel, ATutor, Desire2Learn and Sakai. See bar chart (this is on Moodle: so go in as a guest)
For an interesting comparison of VLE software, see the excellent blog by Emma Duke-Williams (Uni of Portsmouth) – Blogging IT and Education