What’s new for instructors in Moodle 2.0?

What new for instructors in Moodle 2.0? September, 2010. The Language Teacher. Vol 34, No. 5. p.51-53.

Moodle is a widely used Open Source Learning Management System (LMS) built on social constructionist learning principles. Moodle competes with proprietary systems such as Blackboard and Desire2Learn and offers similar functions supporting interactive, online education. Moodle can be used as a pure distance learning platform or as part of a Blended Learning strategy. Register at Moodle.org to find an active user community, documentation, links to commercial support partners, and a list of the many registered Moodle installations in Japan supporting thousands of users.

The Moodle 1.9 release was announced in March 2008—more than two years ago. There have been several delays during this longer than usual development cycle. However, the Moodle 2.0 Release Candidate 1 20 July 2010 was a usable major upgrade with significant improvements for teachers. Administrators wishing a detailed description of all changes should consult the release notes (Moodle Docs, 2010).

Beauty is skin deep: Better interface

Moodle has never tried to compete with glossier commercial products on esthetics. Although the platform has always been open to customization and can be made more attractive, this takes time and design skills. With Moodle 2.0 a concerted push to improve themes began even before the official release date (NewSchool, 2010). Average users without HTML, css, or php skills now have more options for Moodle installations with clean, professional designs to make their courses more appealing to students and staff.

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