January 13th, 2016 LearnDash Tips

If you haven’t seen, Moodle recently pushed out a new version (3.0) in November 2015.

According to the official release page:

Moodle 3.0 combines popularity with efficiency offering enhanced options for installing plugins, four new quiz question types, tagging and course editing improvements along with a number of other welcome features.

This is a welcomed step for Moodle which is the most popular open-source learning management system available.

The four new question types are sure to please the Moodle faithful. In case you’re curious, the new question types are:

  • Select missing words
  • Drag and drop into text (i.e. missing words into sentences)
  • Drag and drop onto an image (place text or small images onto another image)
  • Drag and drop markers (placing marketers onto an image)

Another highlight for this release is the ability for users to chat with one another. Certainly a useful feature to have as elearning courses now emphasize collaboration and communication.

If you’re interested, screenshots and a full list of of features can be found on the Moodle 3.0 official release page.

What About The User?

While I am happy that Moodle is showing some progress in coming up to speed with the demands of today’s learner, I’m surprised at how lopsided these updates were for the strict-functionality, and not for the user experience.

I wrote about this once before, and sadly the situation is still the same.

In case you were wondering, yes Moodle is still employing the 2002 block-style functionality.

I logged in as a student from their demo site and was presented with the familiar layout (albeit with some extra color this time).

Not very inspiring.

I’ve been trying to wrap my head around the possible reasons why Moodle is neglecting any kind of modern visuals in their system.

Perhaps the idea is that vendors will create their own templates and structure for clients while Moodle focuses mainly on the “bones”. It  would seem like the bones still are limiting in what can actually be done from a design perspective.

Another possible reason may be because many organizations use Moodle to launch courses created in programs like Adobe Captivate or Articulate Storyline, both of which allow for visually attractive course content.

So I suppose those are two explanations, but are they good ones?

The current user experience (for both the learner and admin) on Moodle is lacking.

There are countless learning management systems out there that are absolutely killing it in this area with the same functionality and less bloat as a typical Moodle install.

Hopefully come Moodle 4.0 we’ll see an entire new system, scrapping the old configuration entirely.

It will be a tough and difficult transition, but nothing worth doing is easy.

Come on Moodle, we’re all pulling for you!

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About Justin Ferriman

Justin Ferriman started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Justin's Homepage | Twitter

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7 responses

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Actually, I’d love to switch from Moodle to WordPress/Learndash.

Just curious: How is that Moodle import function comming along?

Hi Alexandra-

Thanks for the comment. It’s still in the works as recent enhancements in WordPress (the general JavaScript direction) may have an impact on how it can be best accomplished.

Ooh! Those question types look fun! I hope LearnDash is considering adding some more fun question types like this in the future. 🙂

Avatar Michelle

Good write-up! I’d just like to add that the lack of visual stimuli is indeed an invitation for 3rd parties to deliver – and I sure hope they will!

The clients that we work with in the UK are typically at the starting block of selling online courses to grow their brand and expand into new markets. We have worked in Moodle before and obviously they have a big share of the market as an open source solution that is very robust, but that robustness can often be a turn-off for clients that want a solution tailored on a unique UX and modern visual style that helps new venture penetrate the market with fresh ideas.
It’s this very reason that we always keep coming back to LearnDash as our development platform of choice.

The UI/UX of https://learn.unitedforwildlife.org is mind-blowing. And it’s still Moodle

Avatar Michael Yu

Agree, very well done. A great example of what can be accomplished with healthy financial investment to strip Moodle from anything resembling its out-of-box appearance.

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