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Moodle 1.9 E-Learning Course Development [Paperback]

William Rice

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Book Description

June 1 2008

In Detail

This unique book gives you more than just a guide to the Moodle software; it uses Moodle as a route to better teaching, more motivated students, and more successful courses. Moodle is the leading Open Source learning management system. Using Moodle, teachers can easily construct richly textured web based courses. A course can consist of a number of lessons, with each lesson including reading materials; activities such as quizzes, tests, surveys, and projects; and social elements that encourage interaction and group work between students.Moodle E-Learning Course Development shows you how to use Moodle as a tool to enhance your teaching. It will help you analyse your students' requirements, and come to an understanding of what Moodle can do for them. After that you'll see how to use every feature of Moodle to meet your course goals.

The social constructionist learning philosophy is at the heart of Moodle: we all "construct" knowledge through interation with one another and with learning materials in a social way. Moodle E-Learning Course Develelopment will show you how to add static learning material, interactive activities, and social features to your courses so that students reach their learning potential. Whether you want to support traditional class teaching or lecturing, or provide complete online and distance learning courses, this book will prove a powerful resource throughout your use of Moodle.

What you will learn from this book?

Once you read this book, you will:
  • Understand what Moodle can do, how it compares to other e-learning packages, and how it can support your teaching strategies
  • Install the Moodle software on your own computer or a server, and understand your way around it
  • Know how to create different kinds of courses. Moodle can support courses where the group works through the classes with a shared schedule, or where individual students work through at their own pace, or courses where students are free to explore the different topics in their own time. This book will show you how.
  • Understand all of Moodle's learning features. Moodle provides features for managing course content, interactive resources, and social activities such as forums and wikis. This book explains what each of these features are, how they work, and most importantly how and when to use them effectively.
  • Manage students - so that you can ensure that the right students are going to the right classes; allow students to enrol themselves, or invite students to join a course. You can even set up commercial courses where students pay to sign


William Rice is an experienced trainer and expert on learning and teaching practices. This experience and expertise forms the foundation of his approach: What do we want to teach? How would this best translate into a course? How best can Moodle support these course objectives?

Of course, the book contains everything you'd expect from an introduction to Moodle: clear step-by-step instructions, plenty of screenshots, explanations and guides through the many features and options that you have to choose from. Throughout the book, William develops an example course. He uses this example to explore the sort of decisions, design considerations, and thought that goes into developing a successful course.

Who this book is written for?

This book is for anyone who wants to get the best from Moodle. Beginners will get a thorough guide to how the software works, with great ideas for getting off to a good start with their first course. More experienced Moodlers will find powerful insights into developing more successful and educational courses.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (June 1 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847193536
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847193537
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 19 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 780 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #460,867 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A reliable and straightforward guide to using Moodle 1.9 Jan. 21 2009
By Michael Hanley - Published on
I opened my copy of Moodle 1.9 E-Learning Course Development by William Rice with a high expectation that it would be an informative and practical reference text. Why? I was about to upgrade to Moodle 1.9. Did it meet my expectations?

Now read on...

Using open source software can be a daunting experience, regardless of your technical or business experience, and this text's purpose is to shorten users' path to competency in the application. Broadly speaking, the text covers four Moodle-related activities:

* Installing and configuring Moodle 1.9
* E-Learning course development and delivery
* E-Learning course management
* Moodle administration and maintenance

The author assumes zero previous knowledge of the application, and Moodle 1.9 E-Learning Course Developmentbegins by describing Moodle's Social-Constructionist approach to learning, before bringing the reader on a whistle-stop tour of Moodle 1.9's features and functionality- a very good idea indeed, as this goes some way to providing an understanding of why Moodle 1.9 looks and works the way it does for newcomers, acts as a pertinent reminder for experienced Moodlers, and sets the context for the course creation sections later in the book.

The book is structured in a logical and linear fashion: the author aims to guide you through the full application implementation and course development process. The text seems to be aimed primarily at teachers and trainers and the author spends the majority of the manual discussing - in detail and very effectively - the processes, "how-to's" and "gotchas" of using Moodle from a teaching and training perspective. I must point out that something strange must have happened during the editing process of the book, as there's some glaring typos (and even a whole word omitted from the back cover of the text) which are a distraction, but do not deter from the usability of the manual.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, this book was my companion through a recent upgrade from Moodle 1.6 to 1.9, and it did not let me down. As an experienced Moodle user, I used the book very much as a "just enough, just in time" resource rather than as an end-to-end guide through the application. My experience was that the text works very well when used in this fashion. Some other positive aspects of my "user experience" of the text included the author's accessible and direct writing style and use of web-based resources like a downloadable Moodle Project Plan. In my view this text is a straightforward and reliable companion for those who seek to find out more about - and use - Moodle 1.9.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To create the best Moodle experience, use this book. Jan. 8 2009
By Marni J. Derr - Published on
Using any LCMS/CMS is fraught with learning curves, regardless of your level of experience or expertise, and writing a book to cover it all within the limitations of style, size, and editing, is an even bigger challenge. Some books will tell you how, but you don't know why. Some will tell you why, but you can't figure out the how. William Rice has done an excellent job of giving you both.

While Moodle is very intuitive to use, it is important to know what you are doing and why. This helps to save time and create a usable online training experience without having to repeat your steps over and over again to get it right.

This book not only showed me how to use Moodle to its fullest, but gave me incredible insight into how my courses should be created and administered in the Moodle LCMS. The book showed me how to create the best online experience for students. How to set up Moodle properly during installation to get the resulting online experience. How to use each facet of Moodle once it is installed, and more.

I am only half-way through the book, but I have to say this has saved me countless hours trying to figure it out on my own. I know that my courses will be intuitive and easy to use thanks to the way in which the author has written this book.

Well done.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Joe Deegan - Blender Training Solutions Blog March 20 2009
By Joseph Deegan - Published on
As I have been working my way through a Moodle implementation I have used several different resources to find answers for my Moodle questions. While the moodle community is fantastic for finding quick answers to random issues, I have found that Moodle 1.9 by William Rice is a great resource for support from installation to setting up class pages.

Other Moodle books I have used in the past are either directed to the LMS admin installing and maintaining the database or the Trainer/Teacher creating class pages. William Rice does a great job of covering all aspects for those of you out there who are doing it all which I am sure is more and more in the current economy.

Something I like about this book is the plain language it is written in. Often times when I am reading forum posts in the Moodle Community I get lost in the "Techno Speak" and it seems like some of the Moodle gurus out there are trying to show off how much they know by explaining in a way that few people will understand. The downside to this plain language is that in many cases you don't get the whole story from the instructions in the book and will need to refer to the Moodle community to fill in the blanks.

Overall it's a good book to get you started with Moodle but it's also important to know that not all of the issues you will come across are covered in this book. It's a great reference to have on your desk while working your way through a Moodle implementation but you will also want to have the Moodle community bookmarked for the unique situations that are not covered in detail in the book.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moodle this way! Nov. 17 2008
By Daniel Klinger - Published on
This book was a great way for me to get started with Moodle. Working for a large education institution as one of the occupational trainers - I was able to get up a test site with no fuss at all. It is currently under further development with our for one or two last user cases - and that is exactly what we have been looking for when it comes to an LMS - a system that will meet our scalable needs over time - something I was not able to achieve with Blackboard and other softwares quickly and efficently.

This text spoke to me clearly - William's insight on how to get started and all the way through to advance user topics were covered well. Other reviews here seem to get hung up on the fact that the text did not cover the Gradebook module. It is my opinion to get hung up on a module should not shun a well written text - especially when modules for open-source software are constantly in flux.

This is definitely the way you want to get going with moodle!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moodling Made Accessible... Nov. 27 2009
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having been involved with Moodle for several years, I have read many books on that subject and try to keep abreast of the newest and most usable features. Mr. Rice's newest contribution to the body of Moodle books is up to the usually high level expected from his books. Although it is quite clear enough for the novice, it also provides great insight into the subject which will benefit the professional. I will recommend this book highly to anyone who wishes to take the time to study this book thoroughly. The reward? A solid and practical overall understanding of Moodle and its many features.

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