Tag: moodle courses

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

Using Moodle for Business: Moot Presentation

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Here is the presentation I gave at the Midwest Moodle Moot. You can view it online as a flip book (click the image below) and download the PDF from there or from the link at the bottom of this post.

Using Moodle for Business

PDF version only

Using Moodle for Business 6 steps - a printable tip sheetIf you’d like a summary tip sheet of the Six Steps, send me your snail mail address. Or, you can print your own from this PDF.

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Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

If Moodle is Free, Why Am I Paying You?

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One common question I get is “If Moodle is free, why is it going to cost me so much money?” 

Well, Moodle is free, but learning how to use it can take a long time.  Knowing how to create good training can take a lot longer.  You can invest the time to learn all the various aspects of training design and online technology, or you can hire someone who already knows. 

Moodle is “open source software”, which follows a different business model than “proprietary software”.  Both models require that someone - somewhere in the chain - has the skill to put together all of the elements.  This adds cost (because very few of us work for free), somewhere in the value chain, regardless of the model.  The open source software model isn’t about offering free software; it’s about free access to the software code

What you’re paying for is the expertise (mostly) and time associated with installation, maintenance, hosting, content development, and usage of Moodle.  

While someone who is proficient in computer applications might get the knack of the technical side of Moodle (or any other software application) in a few weeks, there’s no guarantee that he can design training that won’t bore the socks off people.  

On the other hand, someone who is a vibrant speaker or nurturing teacher might struggle mightily to figure out how to upload files or create online training courses.  Like anything else, merging these skills will take time, people…and money

The Moodle Community, just like those of other open source applications (such as WordPress), not only shares information (and code) freely, it is a thriving commercial entity where knowing Moodle is a useful job skill.  Individuals are hired by businesses (large and small), by academic institutions, and even governments, to design Moodle training, maintain Moodle installations, etc.  Small businesses all over the world take part in various ways, from obtaining Partner certification, to hosting, to theme design, to code customization, to course development activities.  The business model is built on trust and cooperation, not industrial espionage and law suits. 

What you pay for when you choose to become a member of the Moodle Community (a very wise choice!) includes:

  • Expert and worry-free Installation, Hosting, Maintenance of your Moodle site.
  • A deeply involved community where help is usually a forum-post away, if you want to “do it yourself”… if you have the time, skill, and desire to learn how.
  • Content development - the design and creation of your Moodle courses - if you don’t want to do it yourself. 
  • Training of your personnel as Moodle Teachers and Administrators (if you want) and/or someone to do this for you.
  • Third party plug-ins, custom code development, and modifications if what you want/need isn’t freely available.  Moodle Partners, Moodle Course Developers, and members of the Community usually know what’s out there already. 

Stay tuned for future posts on Open Source vs. Proprietary: What does it mean? and spotlights on members of the Moodle Community Working Together.

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