Saturday, April 18, 2009

Moodle Vs. Sharepoint

I have started to research the benefits of Moodle vs. Sharepoint. I have a couple of needs that I would like to address. I first want to provide an opportunity for teachers in my middle and high school to be able to extend their classroom beyond the 4 walls of their room. I would like to introduce tools such as blogs, wiki's, multimedia etc.. Moodle seems to be my best option for setting up these virtual courses. It is a perfect solution to have all of these tools centralized in one place. It seems easy to use and simple to setup. The best part is that it is free.  I have worked with moodle briefly on my own professional development site.

My second goal is to provide an intranet portal for our high school. Currently faculty members receive numerous emails throughout the day. These emails include: daily attendance lists, lists of students attending field trips, lunch menus etc.. Many times we receive two or three revisions of each memo. What I would like to do is to create an intranet webpage to host all of this information. Through windows group policy we could make this page the Internet explorer home page for all staff members.

Based on my research to date it appears that Sharepoint will work best for this problem. Our district currently has a license for sharepoint server 2003. This is the full version of sharepoint. There is a free version of sharepoint called sharepoint services that is available on any windows 2003 server. Although it does not have all of the features on the full version. The free version would most likely be a good enough solution for the project.

Sharepoint appears to manage announcements and document distribution/revisions very well. It is also LDAP compatible. This should allow all authenticated users in the school to not have to log in. It is fully integrated with active directory. 

Moodle does not appear to organize an intranet start page as well as Sharepoint. I have found that everything is based on courses. Once you create a course you have the ability to do everything that I require. I am concerned about staff having to click too deep to get what they need. I want to make it simple to retrieve the information they require. 

Sharepoint does not appear to organize the class materials as well as Moodle. I have not found an option for gradebooks or quizzes. Moodle also appears to organizes the class sites in a much more user friendly manner.

There was a discussion on this same topic on Classroom 2.0.

I welcome input from everyone regarding this comparison. My current decision is to use both. I will use Moodle for courses and sharepoint to manage information and documents sent to faculty members.

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