This is a guest post from Gavin Henrick, elearning consultant, blogger and co-author of Moodle for Business. Gavin is one of the organisers of the Moodle Conference taking place in Dublin on April 2-4. For more information follow gavin on Twitter @ghenrick or follow his blog for more information on Moodle and elearning.
What exactly, you may well ask, is Moodle? Well, for those not in the know, Moodle is an open source software LMS (Learning Management System) used by millions of people globally. Within an Irish context, Moodle can be found in an increasing number of third-level education institutions, either as the main LMS or in various departments within establishments such as DCU, NUI Maynooth, UCD, Royal College of Surgeons, Law Society of Ireland, ITs in Waterford, Tallaght, Athlone, Sligo, and many other schools.
Learning Management Systems are used to support and enhance the delivery of learning and include features such as online quizzes and tests, student collaboration tools, student assessment tools and course administration features.
There is a distinct financial advantage in engaging with open source software, notably in the way that colleges and universities can own their learning management software rather than paying a license for software. Apart from the license saving, the other primary benefit of using open source software is that it gives IT support and developers full access to the source code. Some institutions strengthen their IT departments by looking after the system in-house, but it can also enable the local software services industry to provide hosting, support, training, development and integration services.
For those who would like to find out more about Moodle, there is an Ireland & UK Moodlemoot Conference being held in Dublin. The conference (which takes place April 2-4, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Northwood, Santry, and includes presentations, workshops and a Gala Dinner) is operated in partnership with DCU, one of the earliest Moodle adopters in Ireland.
The impact of staging the conference in Dublin is intensified with recent pushes in cost effective service provision and the drive for cost reductions in colleges, ITs and universities.
To register for the conference, click here.
To see the draft programme click here.
To see the official list of Moodle partners, click here.