Movements Towards Moodle

December 11, 2008 § Leave a comment

The question appears simple the answer is far from it. Which VLE?

Before I go on to explain our journey at Hamble College, let me summarise the variable I have encountered that influence the decision making process. Its a lengthy list and each variable could be expanded, so to spare you, excuse the brevity.

1. Budget.

2. Previous experiences of the school, of governors, of the teachers and of the potential users – the students.

3. County decision making, decision makers, IT agreements and partnerships with VLE providers.

4. Onsite expertise, or lack of expertise.

5. What are the Jone’s using?

6. National deadlines.

7. MIS data interoperability.

8. Who is going to implement the training, drive the VLE and support the teachers. This should include the students but it is generally accepted that the students will be more easily included.

9. What are your local education Consortium using?

10. Additional impact on current IT infrastructure?

11. IT infrastructure maturity with the College?

12. How the VLE impacts on other strategies in the College, eg Netbooks, website, MIS.

For the past 12 months I have been trying to find the answer (really its a solution) to this question. Within 3 months I had looked at a number of VLEs and concluded that either Moodle or Studywiz were right for our College. Then the process become more complicated as more variables were uncovered. A further 7 months on and we have gone for Moodle. I have learnt that regardless of the final decision, right or wrong, make a decision. I have consulted with a range of schools with various VLE solutions and what is clear, it is the nect 6 months that is important. We are not looking to go for the ‘big bang’ approach to the VLE but for a slow, organic deployment with significant departmental support.

What institutional changes have left us in a position to use Moodle? An opening in the office staff to share Sims integration with Moodle deployment permitting more personal support. A partnership with an IT firm with the expertise to integrate Sims and cosmetic branding. As this experience unfolds, I will update the blog.



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