Moodles in Science Education

Moodle is an open source e-learning platform (also known as a Course Management System (CMS) or Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)). It has a very large user base with 13,909 registered sites in 158 countries with 4,972,676 users in 455,685 courses (as of August 2, 2006) [1].
Moodle is designed to help educators create online courses with opportunities for rich interaction. Its open source license and modular design means that many people can develop additional functionality, and development is undertaken by a globally diffuse network of commercial and non-commercial users, spearheaded by the Moodle company based in Perth, Western Australia (Source: Wikipedia)

PMI on Moodles in Science Education


Plus
Well-structured tool allows faculty to easily create and control a dynamic, automated learning environment.
Flexible array of course activities can be selected - Forums, Journals, Quizzes, Surveys, Assignments, Chat, Blogs, Wikis, etc.
All scores for Forums, Journals, Quizzes and Assignments can be viewed on one page (and downloaded as a spreadsheet file).
New activities and tools to explore.
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, journal entries etc on one page.
Custom scales - faculty can define their own scales to be used for evaluating forums, assignments and journal entrys.
Simple mechanism for archiving, restoring and cloning existing courses.

Minus
Offers very little flexibility for appearance and navigational structure when used as a Program Web Site - limited editing of Moodle's structure and look.
All-in-one tools like Moodle can be good at many things but not neccessarily good at one thing. For example, Blogs and wikis within Moodle are not as elegant as the specialized blogging and wiki tools we offer.

Interesting
Will this be around in the future?
This is similar to Blackboard

Exemplars and Software Links
Free Moodle Training
http://www.atomiclearning.co.uk/moodle_wn

The Sandpit Edna Moodle - for trialling new technologies
http://sandpit.edna.edu.au/

General Education Moodle Links
Moodle Teacher's Guidebook on-line
Evergreen's Moodle Site
Evergreen Moodle Faculty Training Documentation for
Moodle.org
FacultyRoom.org - Introduction to using Moodle
Moodle Faculty Tutorial Site

Science Education Moodles Links
http://sandpit.edna.edu.au/course/view.php?id=101 (work in progress)
http://moodle.sandi.net/course/view.php?id=100

http://moodle.sandi.net/course/view.php?id=616

Dilemmas - Ethical dilemma stories about real-life examples of topical issues that relate to scientific concepts.
http://www.dilemmas.net.au/