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Moodle For Dummies Paperback – 6 May 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (6 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470949422
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470949429
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 2.3 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 303,622 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Stop noodling, start Moodling!

This guide helps you get your course online withMoodle

You′ve heard about the learning content management system withthe funny name Moodle. You′ve been wondering if it′s rightfor your students. This book explains Moodle and what you can dowith it. Then it helps you create your front page, add content andresources, incorporate chats and blogs, build and score quizzes,and become a true Moodler!

  • Make sense of Moodle learn what Moodle does, how tonavigate it, what goes into a great Moodle course, and how tounderstand your learners

  • Class act develop and manage class content, incorporateaudio and video, and evaluate student progress

  • Interact generate interest by adding forums and chatsand let students collaborate using wikis

  • Make the grade create assignments, manage submissions,and develop and score quizzes

  • Manage Moodle use Moodle tools to manage your coursesand users, track and report class data, keep logs, and reusecourses

Visit the companion Web site at www.dummies.com/go/moodlefd forbonus chapters, source code, and additional information aboutMoodle

Open the book and find:

  • Moodle terms, conventions, and roles

  • How to use the Web–based editor

  • Different eLearning methods

  • Things to consider when creating a Moodle course

  • How the grade book works

  • Effective ways to use blogs and chats

  • Tips on using databases and RSS feeds

  • Creative ways to keep your students engaged and encourageparticipation

Learn to:

  • Set up Moodle, add learners, and manage your online courses

  • Develop your own custom courses and use Moodle′s collaborationfeatures

  • Create assessment tools and add media

  • Add forums and wikis for group projects

About the Author

Radana Dvorak has been involved in computer–based training since 1989. As an adjunct professor at PSU Graduate School of Education, she teaches trainers and educators how to use Moodle. She also heads a company that designs software tools.

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Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mary Cooch on 3 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
Disclosure: I write and review Moodle books for Packt Publishing. However, I bought this book myself from Amazon.co.uk so this is an objective review by a reader who paid her own way :)

Its Big Plus: it is much cheaper than the Packt series of Moodle books and, as with all Dummies books, I presume it will be available in stores in the Real World rather than POD (I bought mine from Amazon where it was not much more than a tenner) Its big Minus: it is written for 1.9 and although as the author says, much of the content is transferable, there are some significant differences and major additions that it lacks.

If you want to skip to the conclusion: this is a helpful book, written in a easy to read style. The book is divided up into five sections: Getting Started with Moodle where we consider course layout and enrolment; Creating and Managing Course Content , which is mainly static resources including multimedia and the gradebook; Adding Activities - as you'd expect! followed by Moodle Management and then The Parts of Tens, which fifth section is mainly ideas and suggestions for engaging your learners and keeping them involved.

Each chapter is fully illustrated with clear screenshots and explanatory tables and I cannot praise enough the author's personable style. Having read and reviewed a fair number of Moodle books now, it is increasingly apparent to me that it's difficult to strike a balance between Moodle for admins and Moodle for teachers. If your book IS for Admins or specifically for teachers, then that's fine - but some books, such as Wm Rice's E Learning Course Development (which is being revised for 2.0 ) and indeed my own Moodle 2.0 First Look try to cover both aspects, and it's not at all straightforward.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Reader on 15 July 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a useful, general book on Moodle, very well-organised, chokka with necessary detail and well-written, in an accessible style. It will get you going with Moodle. Excellent work Radana.

A few minor grumbles which I hope will be picked up on for the next edition...

1. Just before this book came out, it was claimed that it would be Moodle 2.0 compatible. It isn't quite, some differences in Moodle v2 are mentioned, but references to important features such as user 'repositories' for example, are omitted. This is inevitable with a system which is continuously improving, thanks to its attentive programmers.

2. It would be great if all sub-headings were *numbered*, to help readers to navigate, as many of the chapters inter-relate.

3. Serif font is used in the text, I'd have preferred sans-serif which is easier on the eye.

4. A *major* irritation I found is the author's almost constant referral to students as 'learners'. Arrgh! Why re-invent the wheel? - Would you call a trainee chef a 'cooker', or someone in a canteen an 'eater'? We are /all/ 'learners', which makes it difficult to distinguish between teachers and students -something rather important in Moodle. Head for the 'find and replace'. 'Nuff said.

5. There are minor grammatical errors, e.g. 'Setting up different types of user account*s*' (p305), (should be 'Setting up different types of user accoun*t*'.)

If you want to learn Moodle, this book will help you get to grips with it, but wait until the *real* version 2 one comes out (if it does), or use this version in conjunction with Mary Cooch's book: Moodle 2.0 First Look. I am glad I bought Radana Dvorak's manual.
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By Henrik Sune Pedersen on 22 Dec. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very old outdated. Would not buy it again. or recomment any one to buy it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 21 reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Very readable - let's hope there is a 2.0 version soon 4 Jun. 2011
By Mary Cooch - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Disclosure: I write and review Moodle books for Packt Publishing. However, I bought this book myself from Amazon.co.uk so this is an objective review by a reader who paid her own way :)

Its Big Plus: it is much cheaper than the Packt series of Moodle books and, as with all Dummies books, I presume it will be available in stores in the Real World rather than POD (I bought mine from Amazon.co.u. where it was not much more than GBP£10) Its big Minus: it is written for 1.9 and although as the author says, much of the content is transferable, there are some significant differences and major additions that it lacks.

If you want to skip to the conclusion: this is a helpful book, written in a easy to read style. The book is divided up into five sections: Getting Started with Moodle where we consider course layout and enrolment; Creating and Managing Course Content , which is mainly static resources including multimedia and the gradebook; Adding Activities - as you'd expect! followed by Moodle Management and then The Parts of Tens, which fifth section is mainly ideas and suggestions for engaging your learners and keeping them involved.

Each chapter is fully illustrated with clear screenshots and explanatory tables and I cannot praise enough the author's personable style. Having read and reviewed a fair number of Moodle books now, it is increasingly apparent to me that it's difficult to strike a balance between Moodle for admins and Moodle for teachers. If your book IS for Admins or specifically for teachers, then that's fine - but some books, such as Wm Rice's E Learning Course Development (which is being revised for 2.0 ) and indeed my own Moodle 2.0 First Look try to cover both aspects, and it's not at all straightforward. You have to be careful if you are an admin and also a teacher that you don't confuse teacher readers by lettting them think they have more admin rights than they actually do (this was a criticism of the Wm Rice book which I think will be redressed) On the other hand, if you are an admin reading the book, then you will want to know about server issues, bulk user upload, site backup/upgrading etc and not feel sidelined by pedagogical discussions. My own criticism of my own Moodle 2.0 book is that it didn't cover those admin issues in enough detail. Radana's balancing act is a good one as she frequently points readers to the section of admin/teacher that applies to them or to the moodle docs. (Actually, the docs have been altered in the last day, so I presume her links will now redirect to the 2.0 docs) If there is a bias, I feel it is towards the teacher side of Moodle - and that's no bad thing. While the reader is told how they can get hold of a Moodle, there aren't detailed instructions on setting up your own - I reckon, possibly if you are a potential admin with your own server and knowledge of PHP and MySQL, then you probably won't be reading a Dummies book. On the other hand, if you want a quick, no-nonsense intro to Moodle's many activities then this book is very readable.

The first couple of chapters deal with the definitions of CMS. LMS, VLE, LCMS etc and also - to my interest- how to understand our learners and their generational differences. We're in the territory of Digital Natives vs Digital Immigrants here - and, courtesy of Radana, I now know that I am a Digital Immigrant Baby Boomer II whereas my children are Digital Natives Generation Y After busting some Moodle myths, we get on to setting up a course, enrolling users and managing groups. I'd have liked to have metacourses explained here, and also groupings as I think groupings is a very valuable feature especially if you have several groups in one course and you don't want them to see each other's work. Chapters 5 to 7 cover creating content mainly from the "add a resource" drop down, the HMTL editor and also choice and surveys. A section on multimedia is followed by a handy look in at Moodle's gradebook, although again, while the reader is shown how to add new scales, they are not introduced to outcomes and yet I am finding outcomes (criteria/goals/competencies, whatever you call them) are increasingly popular.

The book really comes into its own in the third section where, from chapters 8 to 12 we are taken through Moodle's many activity modules. Radana makes even the highly complex Lesson module accessible to all. Neither the workshop nor the HotPot module is covered here and I think that was a justifiable decision by Radana because in 1.9 the workshop, while usable, wasn't really recommended in its previous state. It's come back with a vengeance in 2.0 though. HotPotatoes was standard in 1.9 but with its eye closed and in 2.0 it has been moved to contrib. (It's still great!!)

If there was a weak area, I would say it was (similar to mine) in the Moodle Management section, Chapter 13 on admin. I felt it was an all too brief run through the admin settings with the occasional inaccuracy and confusion. For instance, if your Moodle front page is your showcase then you need to know more about managing Site Files than you learn here. Additionally, one of the most frequently asked questions on the moodle.org forums is missing - how to get a space in the middle of your front page to add images and wording (tick "include a topic section" in front page settings) That said, the emphasis is definitely on the individual course manager and his/her course, and Chapter 14 is a useful resource for those many readers with that role. The strength of the book lies in its style and the fact that it is written by an educator heavily involved in elearning, keen to link pedagogy to practice.

Not being familiar with the Dummies series, I wasn't aware until I read it that the final part of the book The Part of Tens is meant to include the little extras that don't fit in elsewhere. What a good idea! I enjoyed this - ten questions to ask before creating your course and ten ways to keep your learners involved.

In conclusion then -if you are a techie you might find the book lacking in some areas (which might be filled by Alex Büchner's Moodle Admin soon also available in a 2.o flavour.) However, if you are new to Moodle 1.9 then this book is written in an approachable way, especially if you are a relatively non -technical person "saddled" with admin but mainly focused on using it with your learners. Let's hope there will be a 2.0 version.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Low Tech & No Tech Teachers Will Love This Book Too 4 Aug. 2011
By PDXMEG - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Several of my teaching colleagues are self-taught Moodle users. They have been doing the best they can without instruction, advice or support, but they were only using a small percentage of Moodle's features. I bought this book for our professional development library and have lent it out several times already. It is a popular resource because of the author's clear, concise directions and relevant examples. My beginning level users are becoming more proficient and as their confidence grows, they are willing to explore and try new options. When educators learn how to use a cool new tool, their synapses start firing as they make connections and imagine ways to apply their new skills to stretch their own students.

Whether you read the book from cover to cover or use it as a how to guide (hmmm, I wonder how to embed video in this unit?) your mastery of Moodle, the free open source Course Management System (aka Learning Management System), will certainly improve your on-line courses and supplement your in-person classes.

I had the opportunity to take beginning and intermediate Moodle classes at Portland State University with Dr. Radana Dvorak, the book's author. Her teaching style and this book make it clear that she understands the adult learner and has compassion for the low-tech and no-tech among us. Fear not! You are not a dummy and can learn to use new technologies!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Another Helpful "Dummies" Book 29 Nov. 2011
By Kathy Nicholls - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This past year I decided to take the plunge and install Moodle on one of my websites. I have worked with other learning management systems before, but in the past I just haven't been able to grasp how to actually set one up from scratch. While the Moodle site is very helpful, I really do much better with a book that I can mark in, bookmark pages, etc.

While I have a newer version of Moodle than what is referenced in the book, that really didn't seem to matter much. This made it so clear and easy to understand. It's a definite on my list of recommendations if you're trying to set up a Moodle site. It has allowed me to get my site live and have students!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Assumes way too much!!! 9 Jan. 2014
By J. Hafner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is NOT the book to buy if you have never used Moodle before.

The author makes these assumptions:

You already have a Moodle site, with a username and a password
You already have a Moodle course, hosted on a Moodle website
You know what LCMS stands for, and a number of other unexplained acronyms.

It would have been extremely simple to explain HOW to get a username and password, and HOW to create a new course but these things are not included in the book. It's also fairly hard to discover how to do these things - basically you can download a program that enables you to host a Moodle Site on your OWN computer - see [...] (beware there is a lot of jargon on this link) OR you can contact someone you know in your organisation who already has a Moodle Site and ask if they would be happy for you to start creating your course on their server. They would need to provide you with a username and password to give you access.
After that, creating a new course is done by clicking on "All Courses" under the COURSES tab, and then clicking on the "Add New Course" button. None of this is explained in this book.
I have to give it 2 stars for that reason - it is NOT a very good book for beginners.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Good luck trying to launch a moodle site 22 Sept. 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book seems to assume that you already have a moodle site up and running, even though the front cover says "Learn to: Set up Moodle".

So this might be helpful if you're at a college where a team of programmers has built a moodle site, and you just have to create some courses on your own.

There are some particularly pointless and skippable chapters at the beginning (Ch2), perhaps there is a minimum page count the author had to deliver?

If you need a laugh, the section on Moodle Myths is good.
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