Hosting for moodle teachers

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 2.0. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version is available here: Hosting for moodle teachers.

The Moodle "editing teacher"

The "editing teacher" role on Moodle is the default role assigned to individuals who create course content and then use this content to teach students.

The "editing teacher" role is limited in some respects. For example, the course shell will likely be created and then assigned to the correct instructor for use. The name and particular settings for the "editing teacher" role may be customized by the Moodle admin. Limitations on upload settings for the site are managed by the Moodle admin. Additional rights may be assign to the "editing teacher" role by the Moodle admin, either across the entire site or on a case by case basis.

That having been said, the "editing teacher" has a control over the content of the course, usually over enrolling and unenrolling students in the course, and the day to day management of the course and student activities.

Much has been written elsewhere about how to use Moodle as an instructor:

Implications for hosting

It is our considered opinion that if you fall into this category and

  • Need support with learning to use moodle effectively (you may be able to do this on your own, depending on your experience level with learning management systems and the time you have to spend to experiment and build a course)
  • do not have experience with administering complex software for multiple users (including batch creation of user accounts and batch enrolling if you have too many to do this manually)
  • do not have experience with webservers, php, or databases (repairing tables, backing up and restoring databases, etc.) such as mySQL
  • do not have experience installing software such as cron or managing email
  • do not have experience with running a server and protecting it against a variety of attacks from the "outside"

then, you are probably a candidate for full hosting, either with a Moodle Partner or a full service host that is not a partner. Non-partner hosting may be provided by your local educational agency (your school district or a regional body that assists schools in your area), or company who offers such services for a negotiated fee.

The more limited your goals (one teacher, small number of courses and students) the more likely you are to be able to scale down your needs from the host and thus decrease the cost.

Although you may hear people say that "anyone" can run a moodle instance, regardless of skills and experience, this is not exactly true. The more features that are added to moodle, the steeper the learner curve for new users. Most teachers or instructors do not have time to learn to use all the moodle tools, engage students, AND run the system itself. There are a number of security issues, privacy issues, etc. that you might overlook if you don't have a good understanding of roles and role settings. If you are one of a group of teachers using moodle, then the complexity grows. Courses must be created, students must be added to the system and assigned to the right courses, and support must be provided for teachers and students.

Moodle is like any other complex piece of software. There are different "faces" of moodle (admin, teacher, student) and each has its own abilities and responsibilities. For a single individual to manage these different faces successfully, either the scale of the instance needs to be small or additional resources must be procured (generally at a cost).

Evaluate your own situation, your abilities, your knowledge, and the amount of time you can invest. If you can't do it on your own, then get some help. This help may be at various levels (you define this when you negotiate your bid for services), and it might be something that you can transition out of later.

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