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Moodle 1.9 E-Learning Course Development Format Kindle
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Using open source software can be a daunting experience, regardless of your technical or business experience, and this text's purpose is to shorten users' path to competency in the application. Broadly speaking, the text covers four Moodle-related activities:
* Installing and configuring Moodle 1.9
* E-Learning course development and delivery
* E-Learning course management
* Moodle administration and maintenance
The author assumes zero previous knowledge of the application, and Moodle 1.9 E-Learning Course Developmentbegins by describing Moodle's Social-Constructionist approach to learning, before bringing the reader on a whistle-stop tour of Moodle 1.9's features and functionality- a very good idea indeed, as this goes some way to providing an understanding of why Moodle 1.9 looks and works the way it does for newcomers, acts as a pertinent reminder for experienced Moodlers, and sets the context for the course creation sections later in the book.
The book is structured in a logical and linear fashion: the author aims to guide you through the full application implementation and course development process. The text seems to be aimed primarily at teachers and trainers and the author spends the majority of the manual discussing - in detail and very effectively - the processes, "how-to's" and "gotchas" of using Moodle from a teaching and training perspective. I must point out that something strange must have happened during the editing process of the book, as there's some glaring typos (and even a whole word omitted from the back cover of the text) which are a distraction, but do not deter from the usability of the manual.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, this book was my companion through a recent upgrade from Moodle 1.6 to 1.9, and it did not let me down. As an experienced Moodle user, I used the book very much as a "just enough, just in time" resource rather than as an end-to-end guide through the application. My experience was that the text works very well when used in this fashion. Some other positive aspects of my "user experience" of the text included the author's accessible and direct writing style and use of web-based resources like a downloadable Moodle Project Plan. In my view this text is a straightforward and reliable companion for those who seek to find out more about - and use - Moodle 1.9.
While Moodle is very intuitive to use, it is important to know what you are doing and why. This helps to save time and create a usable online training experience without having to repeat your steps over and over again to get it right.
This book not only showed me how to use Moodle to its fullest, but gave me incredible insight into how my courses should be created and administered in the Moodle LCMS. The book showed me how to create the best online experience for students. How to set up Moodle properly during installation to get the resulting online experience. How to use each facet of Moodle once it is installed, and more.
I am only half-way through the book, but I have to say this has saved me countless hours trying to figure it out on my own. I know that my courses will be intuitive and easy to use thanks to the way in which the author has written this book.
Other Moodle books I have used in the past are either directed to the LMS admin installing and maintaining the database or the Trainer/Teacher creating class pages. William Rice does a great job of covering all aspects for those of you out there who are doing it all which I am sure is more and more in the current economy.
Something I like about this book is the plain language it is written in. Often times when I am reading forum posts in the Moodle Community I get lost in the "Techno Speak" and it seems like some of the Moodle gurus out there are trying to show off how much they know by explaining in a way that few people will understand. The downside to this plain language is that in many cases you don't get the whole story from the instructions in the book and will need to refer to the Moodle community to fill in the blanks.
Overall it's a good book to get you started with Moodle but it's also important to know that not all of the issues you will come across are covered in this book. It's a great reference to have on your desk while working your way through a Moodle implementation but you will also want to have the Moodle community bookmarked for the unique situations that are not covered in detail in the book.
This text spoke to me clearly - William's insight on how to get started and all the way through to advance user topics were covered well. Other reviews here seem to get hung up on the fact that the text did not cover the Gradebook module. It is my opinion to get hung up on a module should not shun a well written text - especially when modules for open-source software are constantly in flux.
This is definitely the way you want to get going with moodle!