What is Moodle?
Moodle is Reed's learning management system. It provides easy-to-use tools that let you build interactive course websites where your students can download documents, participate in discussions, see course events on a calendar, work collaboratively, submit assignments, and much more. Read more about Moodle.
How is Moodle used at Reed?
Many professors use Moodle to post resources like course syllabi, readings, and links to useful websites. This gives students a central location to find materials for their courses and can save you lots of time photocopying and distributing documents. If you're using electronic reserve materials in your course, library staff can post the scanned readings directly to your Moodle course. Other popular features include:
- Using the news forum to send announcements to your students' email addresses and maintain an archive of past announcements for easy reference
- Discussion forums where students and faculty can post questions in preparation for class discussions and continue conversations outside of class
- Wikis where students can collaborate on projects as a class or in smaller groups
- Electronic drop boxes that allow students to upload one or more files that only the professor can read
What else can Moodle do for me?
Moodle has some great features that you won't find anywhere else:
- Once your students have submitted their files to your electronic drop box, you can download a .zip archive of all of their submissions, with their names added to the filenames—so you won't have to spend time downloading individual files, and when your students all name their files "Paper 1," you'll still be able to tell them apart.
- You can create anonymous (or not) surveys with multiple-choice and open-ended questions, and see a detailed analysis of the results. This can be very useful if you want to conduct mid-term evaluations, among other things.
- You and your students can easily work together to build a searchable glossary for your course, with definitions of the specialized terms of your topic or discipline. The glossary can include links, images, audio recordings, and other files. This feature is also great for foreign language classes at any level.
How do I get started?
To request a Moodle site—either for a course or just to see what Moodle can do—fill out our online form. If you have questions or would like to set up a meeting, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get back to you right away.
Moodle was originally developed in 1999 by Martin Dougiamas, an Australian graduate student and systems administrator, and has evolved with contributions from software developers all over the world. It has a huge user community centered around the moodle.org website. Unlike Blackboard or WebCT, Moodle is open source software, so we can modify it to suit our needs. Reed is an active participant in CLAMP, a group of colleges and universities that develops tools to make Moodle more useful in a liberal arts environment. You can read more about CLAMP in this recent Academic Commons case study.
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