Revision as of 15:13, 20 June 2008 by Scot Wilcoxon (→Enrolment: "group related" didn't look right)
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Moodle is an active and evolving product. This page lists just some of the many features it contains:
- 1 Overall design
- 2 Site management
- 3 User management
- 4 Course management
Moodle's overall design:
- Promotes a social constructionist pedagogy (collaboration, activities, critical reflection, etc)
- Suitable for 100% online classes as well as supplementing face-to-face learning
- Simple, lightweight, efficient, compatible, low-tech browser interface
- Easy to install on almost any platform that supports PHP. Requires only one database (and can share it).
- Full database abstraction supports all major brands of database (except for initial table definition)
- Course listing shows descriptions for every course on the server, including accessibility to guests.
- Courses can be categorised and searched - one Moodle site can support thousands of courses
- Emphasis on strong security throughout. Forms are all checked, data validated, cookies encrypted etc
- Most text entry areas (resources, forum postings etc) can be edited using an embedded WYSIWYG HTML editor
- Site is managed by an administrator user
- Site is defined during setup. Defaults can be edited during setup or globally accepted
- Site can be modified by a robust Site administration block.
- Plug-in "themes" allow the administrator to customize the site colors, fonts, layout etc to suit local needs
- Plug-in activity modules can be added to existing Moodle installations
- Plug-in language packs allow full localization to any language. These can be edited using a built-in web-based editor. Currently there are language packs for over 70 languages.
- The code is clearly-written PHP under a GPL license - easy to modify to suit your needs
- Goals are to reduce admin involvement to a minimum, while retaining high security
- Supports a range of authentication mechanisms through plug-in authentication modules, allowing easy integration with existing systems.
- Standard email method: students can create their own login accounts. Email addresses are verified by confirmation.
- LDAP method: account logins can be checked against an LDAP server. Admin can specify which fields to use.
- IMAP, POP3, NNTP: account logins are checked against a mail or news server. SSL, certificates and TLS are supported.
- Students are encouraged to build an online profile including photos, description. Email addresses can be protected from display if required.
- Every user can specify their own timezone, and every date in Moodle is translated to that timezone (e.g. posting dates, assignment due dates etc)
- Every user can choose the language used for the Moodle interface (English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese etc)
- Teachers can add an "enrolment key" to their courses to keep out non-students. They can give out this key face-to-face or via personal email etc
- Teachers can enrol students manually if desired
- Teachers can unenrol students manually if desired, otherwise they are automatically unenrolled after a certain period of inactivity (set by the admin)
- External database: any database containing at least two fields can be used as an external authentication source.
- Each person requires only one account for the whole server - each account can have different access
- Meta courses can group together related courses so participants can interact with each other
- Roles for specific participants can be defined for each course
- An admin account controls the creation of courses and creates teachers by assigning users to courses
- Course creators can create courses, teach in them, and assign others to teacher roles.
- Teachers are a role in a specific course.
- Non-editing teacher roles are available for adjuncts, and part-time tutors.
- A full teacher has full control over all settings for a course, including restricting other teachers
- Choice of course formats such as by week, by topic or a discussion-focussed social format
- Course Themes. A course can have its own theme of colors and layout.
- Flexible array of course activities - Forums, Quizzes, Glossaries, Resources, Choices, Surveys, Assignments, Chats, Workshops
- Groups - teacher(s) and students can be placed in one or more groups
- Recent changes to the course since the last login can be displayed on the course home page - helps give sense of community
- Most text entry areas (resources, forum postings etc) can be edited using an embedded WYSIWYG HTML editor
- All grades for Forums, Quizzes and Assignments can be viewed on one page (and downloaded as a spreadsheet file)
- Full user logging and tracking - activity reports for each student are available with graphs and details about each module (last access, number of times read) as well as a detailed "story" of each students involvement including postings etc on one page.
- Mail integration - copies of forum posts, teacher feedback etc can be mailed in HTML or plain text.
- Custom scales - teachers can define their own scales to be used for grading forums and assignments
- Courses can be packaged as a single zip file using the Backup function. These can be restored on any Moodle server.
- Assignments can be specified with a due date and a maximum grade.
- Students can upload their assignments (any file format) to the server - they are date-stamped.
- Late assignments are allowed, but the amount of lateness is shown clearly to the teacher
- For each particular assignment, the whole class can be assessed (grade and comment) on one page in one form.
- Teacher feedback is appended to the assignment page for each student, and notification is mailed out.
- The teacher can choose to allow resubmission of assignments after grading (for regrading)
- Allowing resubmissions can allow the teacher to progress monitor student projects/assignments as they evolve.
- Advanced assignments can allow multiple files to be uploaded. This could keep together preplanning maps, outlines, research papers and presentations. (Not for beginners)
- Allows smooth, synchronous text interaction
- Includes profile pictures in the chat window
- Supports URLs, smilies, embedded HTML, images etc
- All sessions are logged for later viewing, and these can also be made available to students
- Like a poll. Can either be used to vote on something, or to get feedback from every student (eg research consent)
- Teacher sees intuitive table view of who chose what
- Students can optionally be allowed to see an up-to-date graph of results
- Different types of forums are available, such as teacher-only, course news, open-to-all, and one-thread-per-user.
- All postings have the authors photo attached.
- Discussions can be viewed nested, flat or threaded, oldest or newest first.
- Individual forums can be subscribed to by each person so that copies are forwarded via email, or the teacher can force subscription for all
- The teacher can choose not to allow replies (eg for an announcements-only forum)
- Discussion threads can be easily moved between forums by the teacher
- Attached images are shown inline
- If forum ratings are being used, these can be restricted to a range of dates
- This is one of the modules that best illustrates the way that Moodle can fundamentally improve upon the experience of a traditional classroom
- When students contribute to a course in a public place like the glossary, their ideas are given weight and attention and often result in a greater pride or ownership of the assignment
- Allows participants to create and maintain a list of definitions, like a dictionary
- Student entries can be previewed by instructors before publishing
- Entries can be searched or browsed using alphabet, category, date, and author
- A glossary of terms can be easily referenced by students
- Almost any module of Moodle can be set to hyperlink - automatically - to any word or phrase that is stored in or added to the glossary
- Glossary items can be grouped in categories
- Participants can comment on glossary entries
- Entries can be rated using teacher-defined scales
- Glossaries can be easily exported and imported via xml
- Glossaries can be fully searched
- Glossaries can be viewed with different display formats
- A lesson is a series of pages which can be presented in a linear fashion, like a slide show, or in a non-linear, branching manner, or in a combination of the two.
- Navigation through the lesson can be straight forward or complex, logical or random
- Pages can allow students choices through answers to teacher directed questions or descriptions
- Each choice can be associated with jumps that link to other tables
- Offers different scoring and grading potentials
- Interfaces with Grade and Glossary modules
- Lessons can build upon each other through conditional dependencies upon one another
- Question pages include Multiple choice, Multi-answer, T/F, numeric, short answer and essay.
- Pages can be imported either as questions in a variety of formats or from PowerPoints
- Student attempts, time limits, minimum score and retakes can be set.
- Page content is HTML compatible, with a full set of edit tools for the teacher
- Students may see progress bars, running score, reinforcement to student questions
- Password, start and end times, and other restrictions can be placed on students.
- Teachers can define a database of questions for re-use in different quizzes
- Questions can be stored in categories for easy access, and these categories can be "published" to make them accessible from any course on the site.
- Quizzes are automatically graded, and can be re-graded if questions are modified
- Quizzes can have a limited time window outside of which they are not available
- At the teacher's option, quizzes can be attempted multiple times, and can show feedback and/or correct answers
- Quiz questions and quiz answers can be shuffled (randomised) to reduce cheating
- Questions allow HTML and images
- Questions can be imported from external text files
- Quizzes can be attempted multiple times, if desired
- Attempts can be cumulative, if desired, and finished over several sessions
- Multiple-choice questions supporting single or multiple answers
- Short Answer questions (words or phrases)
- True-False questions
- Matching questions
- Random questions
- Numerical questions (with allowable ranges)
- Embedded-answer questions (cloze style) with answers within passages of text
- Embedded descriptive text and graphics
- Supports display of any electronic content, Word, Powerpoint, Flash, Video, Sounds etc. that are stored locally, or remotely
- Files can be uploaded and managed (zipped, unzipped, renamed, moved, etc..) on the server
- Folders can be created and managed on the server and linked to
- Internal web pages (html formatted) can be created with WYSIWYG editor and linked to
- Internal text pages (no formatting) can be created and linked to
- External content on the web can be linked to or seamlessly included within the course interface.
- External web applications can be linked to with data passed to them
- Linked MP3 audio files will display with elegant flash player
- Built-in surveys (COLLES, ATTLS) have been proven as instruments for analysing online classes
- Online survey reports always available, including many graphs. Data is downloadable as an Excel spreadsheet or CSV text file.
- Survey interface prevents partly-finished surveys.
- Feedback is provided to the student of their results compared to the class averages
- Wiki is a web page that anyone can add to or edit
- It enables documents to be authored collectively and supports collaborative learning
- Old versions are not deleted and may be restored if required
- Allows peer assessement of documents, and the teacher can manage and grade the assessment.
- Supports a wide range of possible grading scales
- Teacher can provide sample documents for students to practice grading
- Very flexible with many options.