Moodle: It’s the experience not the content

A February 25, 2010 posting suggesting that Moodle content is being kept out of the general public has been getting some traction on twitter today. The author correctly points out that most of the learning content on Moodle servers around the world is closed to the general public. The article goes on to lament the lost learning because of this closed Moodle approach.

You can go to and read the whole article.

Moodle isn’t just a content management system it’s a learning management system and many of the best Moodle courses aren’t simple slide-flipper presentation with a quiz at the end. The truly
successful courses include teacher-student and student-student interactions. The true power of Moodle is the assignment system and the gradability of all the activities. The ease and flexibility of bringing a virtual instructor led course to a group of students using an on-line platform is what makes Moodle so popular and that’s why there are so many moodle servers with so much content.

Don’t forget that Moodle is being used by colleges as well as public schools. Students pay hefty sums in tuition to go to college and that premium price deserves a higher quality student experience. How would you feel if you paid your $30,000 and you had to share your Linux admin class with 29 other paying students and 200 free loaders? I use Moodle at VTC and I’ve got it locked down to only those students who are enrolled by the registrar in my course. They paid top dollar they deserve a top dollar experience and not an experience diluted by non-paying customers.

Even in a public school setting: the school network, the IT staff’s time, and the teacher’s salary all come out of one school’s budget. It’s unfair to take advantage of one school district because they Moodled their 8th grade US History course.

In the spirit of Open Source people could produce moodle courses and place them in a repository for use, there are tools in Moodle 2.0 to address this structure. But at the end of the day, the content producers are the ones responsible for sharing learning content, not the learning management system. Remeber: content alone doesn’t make a Moodle course. Great courses are a combination of good content and an active student group and an engaging instructor.

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