Book review moodle-1.9

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Book review moodle-1.9

  1. 1. » Title:» Moodle 1.9 – Teaching Techniques» Authors:» William Rice & Susan Smith Nash» Reviewer:» Kent Villard» Publisher:» Birmingham, UK: PACKT Publishing» Year of publication: 2010» Type of publication: e-book» URL: http://proquest.safaribooksonline.com/?uiCode=stanford&xmlId=9781849 510066» Price: Free access through academic libraries; US $14.84 from publisher» (http://www.packtpub.com/moodle-1-9-teaching-techniques/book )» ISBN 978-1-849510-06-6
  2. 2. » Theme: From Technology to Solution - Creative ways to build powerful and effective online courses» Thesis: Moodle is an educational platform based on sociocultural theory with a consistent user interface that facilitates interaction between students and teachers in a consistent way with variety of asynchronous and synchronous resources and activities.
  3. 3. » William Rice wrote the first edition of this book to help teachers launch their first Moodle course. Susan Smith Nash built on an earlier version and expanded it to create the second edition. She is convinced that Moodle is a good environment to create a positive e-learning experience for students. The authors use their expertise in Moodle to describe procedures for the development of reusable instructional elements for an object- oriented online course. The authors are experts in e-learning and Moodle who regularly publishes texts on their blogs and websites.
  4. 4. » The authors’ expertise transpires from the pages, since the book offers the approach of a “hands-on-project”. Icons that mark important notes as well as tips and tricks help the reader to find relevant information without having to spend a lot of time. However, the authors state several times that basic knowledge of Moodle is required in order to follow their instructions. It should also be noted that the book is clearly written for people with at least some knowledge of pedagogy and experience in teaching. Teachers will find this book a valuable resource as they prepare the design of their first online course. It is easy to read insofar as the use of jargon is avoided, and new terms are always explained.
  5. 5. » Concise introductions and summaries for every chapter help the reader to review and navigate the text. The Table of Contents resembles a “to-do” list for course design. This makes it easy to find topics of special interest to the reader. The reader will appreciate to find relevant information in every chapter on how to work around some Moodle administrative features to better serve the students and to get a course to work for an online teacher. All procedures are described in detail, complete with step-by-step Moodle screenshots, an approach that works well for visual learners.
  6. 6. » The authors’ enthusiasm for Moodle as a teaching tool and their wish to convince the novice Moodle teacher of their unreserved positive opinion about the software is frequently expressed in the text, which leaves a teacher with little experience in the field with the choice to agree or to agree. This may stir up some scepticism in the reader, since no caveats of Moodle are exposed in the book.» Nevertheless, I recommend this book as a reference for educators, corporate trainers, and university professors who are new to Moodle course design, especially because it discusses the student perspective of the online resources and activities in detail.
  7. 7. » William Rice regularly blogs about e- learning, Moodle, and Magento (http://williamriceinc.blogspot.com/).» Susan Smith Nash is also a blogger (http://elearnqueen.blogspot.com/)» Kent Villard blogs about Moodle (http://moodle.upeiblogs.ca/author/moodle/)
  8. 8. » The index helps to find information by keyword. There are no footnotes in the book, and, unfortunately, there is no bibliography, although the authors mention a few websites and scientific articles in the text.» The book is a good guide for teachers with basic knowledge of Moodle and confidence in their digital skills. The table of contents is a to-do list of sorts, and the reader will find insights about pedagogical issues related to the Moodle activities as well as some tips about best practice for Moodle teachers throughout the book. Particularly helpful are the introduction and summary sections of each chapter. They clearly state what to expect in the content and are an excellent short guide to each topic.
  9. 9. » This book review was prepared by Diethild Starkmeth in January 2012 as an assignment for the course M4T-A, offered by Integrating Technology http://www.integrating-technology.org/» Contact Information Twitter: Dista11 Email: diethild2009@gmail.com

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