A Complete Introduction on Using and Managing Moodle.
Moodle: E-Learning Course Development is a complete guide to using and managing Moodle. It introduces all aspects of Moodle from technical issues on how to install, backup, restore, where to edit PHP codes, to pedagogic issues on how to put in contents - resources and activities. Each chapter is independent for your reference, but is also developed from simple to advanced control of Moodle system. The book is well-organized with no difficult technical terms or complicated explanation for any teacher who want to use Moodle.
Although some teachers are afraid of the technical issues, such as MySQL database, installation, backup/restore, it is worthwhile to have the necessary technical ideas that will help you to design and manage your course. The book offers the minimal knowledge of server, Php, database for teachers to understand the Moodle system, and then to know how and when to use different tools provided by Moodle.
The book also gives its readers detailed instruction of how to create and mange a course. While there are many options in the Moodle system, the book tell you when and how to use different options. The book categorizes course materials into 3 categories: Static Course Material (text pages, web pages, links to web, file directories, label), Interactive Course Material (assignment, choice, journal, lesson, quiz, SCORM, survey), and Social Course Material (chat, forum, glossary, wiki, workshop). All these are tools to add Resource and Activity in Moodle system. Besides explaining how to add these materials, the book tells you in what occasion to apply the material. For some complicated materials, such as Lesson, Workshop and Wiki, the author gives a very good instruction on how to set up and when to use them. A fly in the ointment is without demonstrative examples. Thus, the readers should not just read, but have to experiment each adding tools by themselves.
The last three chapters are useful for teachers to manage a more inviting course in Moodle including 1) changing or editing theme, logo, header and footer; 2) analyzing students' logs and grades; 3) installing other modules and different ways of backuping Moodle system. These are powerful tools and safety of a Moodle system that teachers should know if they want to have complete control of Moodle.
Moodle is a free course management system which is especially good at social interaction. This system is even better than the commercial WebCT and Blackboard. Teachers should not wait for their institute to install a course management system for them, but begin to follow the instruction of this book to persuade your institute to set up a Moodle or even install a Moodle by yourself. It is a time of open source. Join open source club, and open your mind.