The reader also gets to learn about how enabling RSS feeds can improve communication.
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Chapter 7 is about web conferencing. Chapter 9 is about enrolment plugins how best to get your users onto your Moodle, allowing them to keep their existing corporate usernames and passwords. Finally, and just as important, we learn how to change the words on Moodle. In summary -if you are thinking of using Moodle in a commercial enteprise, then this is an extremely valuable book On a personal level, I enjoyed it because it shows Moodle being used differently from the norm I am familiar with, so it was an inspiring read.
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All in all this is strongly recommended reading for any curious person who uses Moodle professionally in an organization, no matter the level of their expertise. Seriously, Foyles is a treasure. As Packt also publishes a couple of other books on Moodle , I have decided to review these as well. So what does one expect from a Moodle book? I think the spectrum that these book try to cover runs from technology to pedagogy. I will look at each book in turn and give a short description of the book and what audience it is for, then look at each of the difficult Moodle topics and how they are covered in the book.
Moodle 1. It is written for beginners and advanced Moodle users. It quickly runs you through how to set up your own Moodle site, looks at most of the configuration options and then tries to cover all of the course functionalities that a teacher can use. It tries to do this quite extensively covering all options which sometimes does not help making it an engaging read. The chapters on creating course content are split into three: adding static course material, adding interactive course material and adding social course material.
When you read the book it is obvious that Rice has actually taught with Moodle. He manages to cover quite a bit of standard problems that first time Moodle user run into, although his solutions sometimes feel a bit idiosyncratic e. Roles are explained in the last chapter of the book.
Rice does a decent job and does explain how you can override permissions for a single activity. Everybody should heed to his recommendations for working with roles basically: start with the default system and only tweak when you actually want to change the default behaviour. I wish he would have put a chapter on roles in the beginning of the book so that he could have explained later on how you can allow students to rate each others forum posts for example. Currently the explanation on how to let students rate posts is not correct, the screenshot seems to come from an earlier version of Moodle.
Rice used a beta version of Moodle 1. Apparently the current 1. The concept is explained properly, but Rice does not go into the technicalities. Groupings are not discussed anywhere. The concept of a metacourse is explained with a useful example making it clear for the reader for what it can be used.
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Rice only explains the first scenario from the Meta Course page on MoodleDocs. The second scenario, which can be genuinely useful too, is not explained. Finally, the book gives scant pedagogical support. It is a big book pages or so trying to systematically cover all the relevant topics for an administrator using Moodle 1. The depth of this book is actually quite amazing and I think there is no quicker way for a person with a technical meaning non-teaching Moodle related role to get up to speed.
For example: Nowhere else can you find information on Moodle networking that is this extensive. This is a set of over tests related the performance, functionality, security and the system. Each test is linked back to the chapter which describes the actions you should take in more detail.
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If you follow all the advice you should end up with a healthy Moodle installation. Roles and permissions have their own chapter in this book.
It clearly describes the different contexts and permissions. It explains how permission conflicts are resolved and has an example of the non-standard parent or mentor role. The paragraph on best practice is a must read for anybody wanting to touch the role system. Unfortunately the gradebook, groups and groupings are not discussed in this book. Maybe something for a next version of the book? The concept of metacourses is explained properly and describes both ways of sharing enrolment across courses. Moodle has the power and flexibility to be used for multiple purposes within the organization, and a recent publication by Packt Publishing , Moodle 2.
For example, one can use Moodle in the hiring and interviewing process as a way to manage content and to collaborate with the search committee.
Perhaps one of the most compelling uses of Moodle is to use it for compliance training. Depending on the amount of instructional material readily available, Moodle can be set up very quickly and can accommodate a wide variety of roles and users. You can customize content and can track learning very easily.
The interactive elements and collaborative tools are perfect for answering questions and role-playing. Moodle allows you to purchase or buy a license to use the instructional material, so you'll still work with the publisher.
In this case, however, at the end of the day, you still have control over the way the material is presented, the way that assessment is administered, and how records are maintained.