First Look and Opinion of Moodle 3.0
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!