Moodle

Moodle 2.5 Learning Management System is available

Given our open source roots as well as our broad definition of a CMS, we thought this would be a good time to revisit Moodle by mentioning that Moodle 2.5 was released last week. This is the first release under their new May/November release schedule. With version 2.5, the Moodle community has managed to address 705 issues through code contributions from 112 developers.

Moodle is a software package for producing Internet-based courses and web sites that we like to call a learning content management system (LCMS or LMS). Moodle 2.5 includes three significant features:

Popular Content Management Systems Supported by Budget Host Providers

Finding the right content management system (CMS) for a website takes a little research and effort on the part of the webmaster. Understanding what a CMS is, how it works, and what features are needed for each website will help the webmaster choose not only the best CMS but also the web hosting service that offers and supports that  CMS.

Moodle 2.3 adds Course Interface and File Management Improvements

Call me a sucker for education, but despite the fact that CMS Report retired Moodle from our Top 30 list last year, I still insist on posting Moodle articles from time to time. The supporters and developers of Moodle have released Moodle 2.3, a new version of their open source CMS. The "CMS" in this case stands for Course Management System.

CMS Report's Ten Additional Stories for 2011

The problem I have with top ten lists is that inevitably there is a story that should have made the list but didn't. Last week, I posted CMS Report's Top Ten Stories of 2011 and wished I could have included additional stories. The articles listed were ranked by popularity based by how many times viewed and the rate that they were viewed through the year. Popular stories do not always signify well written articles and they aren't always an indication of my personal favorites.

In case you missed these stories the first time around, below are ten additional content management articles we published in 2011. Every article deserves a second chance to be highlighted or tweeted again.

Moodle 2.0.3 and Moodle 1.9.12 released

The folks over at Moodle have released versions 2.0.3 and 1.9.12 of their open source learning management system (LMS). Helen Foster writes in the Moodle announcement:

In addition to a number of bug fixes and small improvements, five security vulnerabilities (4 major, 1 minor) in 2.0.2 and two security vulnerabilities (both major) in 1.9.11 have been discovered and fixed. Thanks to the reporters and to all the team responsible for fixing these security issues.

Moodle 2.0 to be released this summer

Perhaps because I like to think of myself as a constant learner, I like to keep keep my eyes open for what is happening with learning/course management systems. CMS Report has been covering Moodle since the early days of our website and I believe it to be one of the more popular open source LMS out there. Moodle 2.0 is currently under development and with an estimated release date of July 20, 2010.

Although Moodle 2.0 hasn't been officially released, the developers did reach important milestones this month with the release of Moodle 2.0 Preview 1 and  Preview 2. These previews give you an idea just how all the new features and improvements are coming together for the next release of Moodle. There are a ton of new features and improvements coming to Moodle to be excited about. Below is a list of major new features we've gleamed of the Moodle 2.0 release notes.

  • Community Hubs - Anybody can set up a Community Hub, which is a directory of courses for public use or for private communities. The code is implemented as separate GPL plugin for Moodle.
  • Repository Support - Moodle now supports integration with external repositories of content, making it really simple to bring documents and media into Moodle via an AJAX interface that looks like a standard Open dialogue in desktop applications.
  • Portfolio Support - Modules can now export their data to external systems, particularly useful for portfolios where snapshots of forums, assignments and other things in Moodle are useful to record in a journal or a portfolio of evidence
  • Completion -  Teachers can now specify conditions that define when any activity or course is seen as completed by a student.
  • Conditional activities - Access to activities can be restricted based on certain criteria, such as dates, grade obtained, or the completion of another activity.
  • Cohorts - Also known as "Site-wide groups", these are site-wide collections of users that can be enrolled into courses in one action, either manually or synchronized automatically
  • Web Services Support - Support for standards-based web services across the entire Moodle code base, allowing the admin to expose particular functions of Moodle for use by: 1) Administrative systems such as HR or SIS applications and 2) Mobile clients.
  • IMS Common Cartridge - Moodle can now import courses in IMS Common Cartridge format (commonly used by publishers)
  • New blocks - Comments block, Private files block, Community block, and Completion block.

Moodle 2.0 Preview 2 can be dowloaded from the Moodle download server.