Frequently Asked Questions About Moodle
How can I try out Moodle for my classes?
Contact Glenn Pillsbury to have a course site built for your class. Glenn is also your point of contact for all training and support questions related to Moodle.
How can I learn more about using Moodle?
In addition to scheduling one-on-one training with Glenn, Lynda.com offers excellent Moodle training videos for your viewing pleasure.
(Note: This URL requires a CSU Stan login and password.)
How is Moodle different from Blackboard?
The main difference is in how Moodle sites present links to all the course materials and activities on a single page that is visually divided into individual weeks or topics (depending on how the instructor decides to organize the course). On the other hand, Blackboard envisions that your course site will resemble a standard "web site" with many pages, sub-pages, folders, and tools that are organized via a navigation system. Basically, Moodle presents course material in a more direct fashion with less set-up required.
Moodle course formats
Currently, Moodle sites can arrange course topics or weeks into a "grid" or table format, or a scrolling list of sections. Moodle also offers a "social" course format that is organized around a stream of posts to a central course bulletin board. Posts can include links to resources and any regular Moodle activity. It's a social format because all participants can contribute posts and posts can be "liked" by participants. Think of the social format as "Facebook on steroids."
Does Moodle have the same features as Blackboard?
For the majority of tasks, Moodle and Blackboard are equal. However, Moodle offers more active learning options than Blackboard, and most of the differences are in how the system is designed. For example, Moodle has more pre-cast assignment types to choose from than Blackboard while Blackboard has clearer mechanisms for uploading specific kinds of content to a site. Moodle also has a robust video recording feature for recording webcam video anywhere in Moodle whereas no webcam video recording is possible with Blackboard. However, if there's a feature of Blackboard that you'd like to see in Moodle, it might be available as a plugin that can be installed by OIT.
For a more direct comparison, visit the Technology Tools page at the teachonline.csustan.edu web site, in the "Course web sites" section.
Are TurnItIn and Respondus available for Moodle?
Yes. You can create a TurnItIn assignment in Moodle just like in Blackboard. It is also possible to connect to your Moodle course through Respondus in order to import quiz questions.
How do students access Moodle?
At this time, instructors send out email invitations from within Moodle to students. Students accept the invitation and login to Moodle with their regular Warrior ID and Warrior Password. Once logged in, they are enrolled in the Moodle course.
Students login at the front page of Moodle: http://moodle.csustan.edu.
If I use Moodle, will I still have Blackboard course sites?
Yes, Blackboard sites will still be created for your courses each term, and students are automatically enrolled in those sites, even if you plan to use Moodle as the web front end for one or all of them. Though highly discouraged, it is possible to use both Moodle and Blackboard for the same course.
Can I copy my Blackboard site(s) into Moodle?
At this time, no. Materials from Blackboard will need to be manually uploaded and rebuilt in Moodle.
If Moodle is free, why don't we switch to it from Blackboard?
Moodle is "free like puppies," meaning it still requires care and feeding, and a paid infrastructure of some sort (server technicians, programmers, electricity, etc.) must be in place in order to maintain the system. Thus, campuses that have switched to Moodle from Blackboard have had to address the need to pay for support staff and equipment even as they have stopped paying a Blackboard license fee. OIT is always interested in feedback from faculty about the current LMS tools that are offered.