Moodle. It's a funny word to say, but I am learning what a useful tool it can be when it comes to distance learning. Moodle is a tool that we use in our class. We are each creating our own specific class and adding resources to it to teach the lessons we want our participants to learn. As I am creating my Moodle, I am finding some aspects that I think are beneficial and some that are not.
The first advantage of the Moodle, for me at least, is its ease of use. I have not had any problems navigating it, adding resources, creating and uploading documents to it. The icons representing each action are clear and easy to understand. I can manipulate the materials which I have added by, for example, changing their order, making them visible or not, or by adding or taking away assignments. It is easy for a novice to edit their course to make it fit their needs and those of their students'. The tools that the Moodle provides are clear and simple, and for me that is its biggest benefit.
On the other hand, Moodle is not perfect. It does have some features that are disadvantageous. The first one, which luckily enough Dr. Sponder taught us a way to overcome, is the lack of a menu. As our own course, EDT 532, progressed, it got to be a pain in the neck to scroll up and down to find the section you wanted to be on. Sometimes I would scroll past it, miss it and have to start scrolling back up again. For me it was confusing because I want to be looking for, for example, this week's homework, but I will pass it.
Other than the lack of easily created menu, my biggest problem has nothing, specifically, to do with the Moodle. I am having difficulty changing my mindset from teaching children in person to teaching adults from a distance. However, I do think I am making progress in that area.
All in all, Moodle is a good program when it comes to creating online courses. I find it easy to naivigate and it is not hard to figure out how to add resources or make changes as you feel necessary. The biggest challenge with Moodle was that I was having to scroll down to find each specific lesson, but that has changed now that Dr. Sponder showed us how to create a menu. I just wish the menu was easier to figure out. I know I would not have been able to figure it out on my own.