I’ve been sussing out a CMS (course management system) called Moodle. I was first introduced to this open source package during my recent study of a distance education M.A. (Theology) subject through Moore College. It looks to be a very promising tool for the Year 13 program this year, and it opens up many possibilities.
Basically, it is like a MySpace/ Yahoo Group for students, but also includes online quizzes, wikis, discussion boards, and full marking and administration capabilities.
What is most exciting is the potential to use this package to provide students with the opportunity to bring their Year 13 studies into the rest of their week in an even more structured way. Rather than ask students to just read a chapter before they come to class, we could give them a short quiz to enhance their comprehension and track their progress. Even the journals that we required students to complete last year could be done online through this package.
The biggest difficulty I see is making sure that we keep the value of our face-to-face contact. We need to be able to love/serve/cry/sing/listen/pray together in a real place at a real time. However, this tool may even prove as an enhancement for that very objective, since some of the course delivery could happen online from home, leaving more time for discussion and community of the real type when we meet each Thursday and Friday.
Perhaps Moodle is the ideal learning tool for Gen Y?
Have you had any experience with online/distance learning? Have you used Moodle before? Do you have any suggestions about how it might be best implemented?