As of August 31, Moodle will be the sole enterprise course management system (CMS) at the University of Minnesota. The University opted for an open source solution for many reasons, not the least of which was the thriving and passionate community of developers behind it. People across the globe who see the potential of Moodle--to provide greater access to education, to help instructors teach and students learn--devote their time and apply their skill to improving and enhancing it. The University has been an active member of that community since 2006, when we first installed Moodle.
What We GetInnovative Learning Spaces: In some cases, UMN instructors leverage pedagogical techniques in Moodle to create new and innovative learning spaces using a broad spectrum of Moodle's tools to provide quizzes, image libraries, and videos; facilitate discussion and group work; enable peer review; and more.
Enhancements on What is Already Working: In many cases, University instructors enhance their courses with Moodle, using the CMS to organize course work, share documents and links, and provide an easy way for students to upload assignments and track their grades.
Moodle Implementation GuidanceThe CMS Implementation Group was formed to guide and enact the transition away from WebVista and the upgrade from Moodle 1.9 to Moodle 2. Over time, this group has become an active Moodle community. Made up largely of technology professionals who support instructors in their use of Moodle, the group has made major contributions to planning, testing, implementing, and suggesting enhancements. Because of this group's work, Office of Information Technology developers have made enhancements that could benefit Moodle users around the world.
What We Give BackThe UMN Moodle community contributes to the global Moodle community in many ways, from participating in discussion boards, to writing and/or providing feedback on documentation, to developing our own plug-ins to share. Plug-ins created at UMN include:
Mass Actions Block: (published on Moodle.org) enables instructors to perform updates to many items in a single action and is widely used by the global Moodle community. UMN developed this block first for Moodle 1.9, and then updated it for 2.
Activity Clipboard Block: (scheduled to be published on moodle.org) enables instructors to easily copy activities between courses. This block was developed by a non-UMN developer for Moodle 1.9, but was not recreated for 2. Since UMN instructors found it useful, University staff developed a completely new block for Moodle 2.
Theme Customizer Plugin: (under development) enables support personnel to develop and maintain their own custom themes. It is in the final testing stages now, and will be in production within the next month or so.
Forum Navigation Block: (under development) provides enhanced navigation capabilities through a block. Rather than modifying the core code on the UMN instance of Moodle, we are developing this as a block so that it can be easily distributed and adopted by the global community. This is in the prototype stage.
Learn more about Moodle at the University of Minnesota.