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1419225289941042481502895600<br />VSCONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM COMPARISON<br />IT5600<br />May 5, 2010<br />CMS Explorers<br />Bruce Barker<br />Ming-Yuan Chen<br />Linda Mejia<br />Ellen Reeder<br />REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL<br />Date: 4/21/10<br />Re: CMS Development Tool<br />From: Fred Schnikeldorf, Superintendent of Fred’s School District<br /> <br /> <br />We need to develop a CMS supported website for online training and instruction for both our “consumers” and internal staff. We would like a solution that could meet no less than 4 of the following:<br /> <br />Multiple content creators supported<br />The ability to deliver assessment and receive and store data<br />The ability to receive user feedback<br />The ability to create social networking<br />The ability to maintain a consistent look throughout the site <br />The ability to be hosted with a variety of host providers (not vendor or provider dependent)<br /> <br />We would like a consultation report from you that would compare and contrast two viable options and indicate your recommendation for the preferred solution.<br /> <br />In addition to evaluating the solutions based on the above needs, please include an assessment of your preferred solution based on:<br /> <br />Cost (tool and hosting)<br />Ease of use<br />Ease of installation<br />Need for technical support<br />Overall effectiveness as a training platform<br /> <br />Please submit a written report of your analysis and a matrix used in the evaluation to go with a 10-minute presentation to our instructional design and technical support teams. Please be prepared to demonstrate the tools you evaluated and highlight your preferred choice on May 5th at 5:00 p.m.<br /> <br />Sincerely,<br />Fred Schnikeldorf<br />Introduction<br />A robust course management software (CMS), also known as a Learning Management System (LMS) or Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), is key to creating successful online learning programs. Our team, the CMS Explorers, has been tasked with conducting a search of potential CMS’s, and making a consultation report that compares the two viable options which we conclude are the best for your needs. We will also make a recommendation for the preferred option. <br />Some of the CMS’s that we looked at include the open-source solutions: Joomla, Sakai, Moodle and WordPress, and hosted systems such as: edu 2.0, Blackboard, SharePointLMS and Hotchalk. After comparing and contrasting CMSs, taking into account the required criteria, our team has decided the best two options would be edu2.0 and Moodle. Armed with a greater understanding of CMS choices, you will be able to make a fully informed decision about which system will best meet your needs. <br />CMS Comparison<br />MOODLE<br />Moodle stands for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment. This software produces internet-based courses and web sites and was created as a global development project designed to support a collaborative, or social constructionist, framework of education.<br />Developed in 1999 by Martin Dougiamas, Moodle has become so popular, that those who use it often, maybe obsessively, are called 'Moodlers'. The word “Moodle” can also function as a verb that describes the process of lazily meandering through something, doing things as it occurs to you to do them, leading to insight and creativity. <br />Moodle in Action: Meeting all required criteria<br />Moodle is a free, open-source Course Management System (CMS) that is extensible from a single user site to thousands of students/trainees in an organization. Being open-source, used by millions of users, and customized and extended by thousands of programmers, many third-party (e.g., Web 2.0) tools and content can be easily integrated into Moodle. Moodle thus supports multiple content creators. One unique feature of Moodle is that it supports a wider variety of user roles than other CMS’s, including: teacher, student, guest, authenticated user, non-editing teacher, course creator, and administrator. Administrators may also change the names of these roles, such as non-editing teacher to tutor or mentor, or teacher to facilitator.<br />Moodle is made to deliver courses that contain a wide variety of activities and resources. There are more than 20 different types of activities in the base version, and many more via plug-in modules, which may be customized to meet teacher and student needs. There is a core set of Moodle developers and a wide variety of Moodle user groups through which administrators and teachers can give and receive user feedback about a variety of issues, and suggest improvements and enhancements for the next Moodle release. A major release – 2.0 – is due within the next few months, which will incorporate hundreds of fixes, enhancements, and new features which have been gathered and decided upon by the extensive user community.<br />Moodle easily accommodates social networking. You can build a community of learners with blogs, chat, and forums to share information about content and learning. Students can experience learning through wikis, assignments, quizzes, polls, databases, and SCORM players. Research can be done through links to internet sites, communities of interest, web quests, and glossaries.<br />For example in a literacy class, a teacher can post a process study or an entire unit of work or do a day or week at a time. Assignments can be turned on or off as needed. Students can keep track of their reading, record their learning strengths, and post responses to text or other people’s writing pieces. Students can upload their own writing, or other assignments, their multimedia projects, and have discussions about these assignments or the hot topic of the day. It is all orchestrated by the teacher according to student need. Videos, webinars, screencasts, and other learning tools can be used to guide students.<br />Moodle is best used for uploading, managing and tracking your content. Assessment is very easy, and all the data is stored and displayed in a chart where instructors can transfer the grades easily since the work is basically done for them. Students can even have their very own Moodle site in order to log their progress and store their documents. Analysis has shown Moodle to be an efficient and highly-rated Course Management System.<br />Users reviewed and graded the Moodle system highly in the categories of navigation, images and accessibility, design, teacher pages, intranet options, parent/student log in capabilities, calendar options, student email, classroom tools, maintenance, templates and cost. Moodle makes it easy to maintain a consistent look throughout the developed site.<br />Moodle can be hosted through a variety of host providers. It can be installed on any computer that can run PHP, the widely-used web scripting language, and can support an SQL type database. It can be run on Windows and Mac operating systems and also varieties of Linux. <br />School districts and business that have compared several platforms usually choose Moodle because of price and flexibility. A comparison of features between Moodle and other comparable systems shows that Moodle does not provide substantially different tools or functions from other open-source or commercial learning management systems.<br />Rubric Assessment of Moodle<br />Cost (tool and hosting) <br />Moodle is Open Source, and requires not software and licensing costs. But costs of the following must be taken into account:<br />Hosting<br />Training<br />Development (for customization)<br />Support staff<br />Administration<br />Linda’s school district reports $1,600 per year total cost to run throughout the district. A community college reports complete hosting and development was about $20,000. <br />Ease of Use<br />Once installed, Moodle is very easy to use with some training required to navigate through the system. The Moodle.org website has a very good system of contextual help, a collection of online reference manuals, and an extensive list of user forums with which to address problems and usage tips.<br />Ease of Installation<br />Since Moodle is an open-source software solution, a hosting site must be purchased and configured. Complete installation instructions are available on the Moodle website at http://188.8.131.52/en/Installing_Moodle. IT support is recommended when supporting a large group of users with a variety of customization needs. There are also a wide variety of companies that will host and or support your Moodle system.<br />Need for Technical Support <br />Due to the hosting, installation, and possible customization needs, in-house IT support or a Moodle hosting/support company is recommended. Organizations may also need administrators and/or coaches to help train and support other employees.<br />Overall Effectiveness as a Training Platform <br />Moodle is often chosen because of its simplicity, ease of use, low cost, and customizability – for both look-and-feel and functionality. Legions of enthusiastic users expound its virtues across the Internet and around the world. Moodle is a highly effective CMS, especially for those who have a need to customize their system – for a variety of functionality, users, and website purposes.<br />edu2.0<br />Edu2.0 was developed by Graham Glass. Mr. Glass was very interested in Education when he was in college, but realized that he couldn’t make any money that way. So he went into computers and started a technology company which he later sold and made a lot of money. He then decided to get back into his original passion – education, and developed edu2.0 – a full-featured, hosted CMS/LMS which he initially offered in 2007 for free. Since the initial release, edu2.0 has been split into two separate sites – one for education, with two additional premium (pay) plans, and one for business – which is all for pay, though currently less than $1 per month per student.<br />Edu2.0 in Action: Meets 5 out 6 criteria<br />Edu2.0 is proprietary system (non open-source), so it’s not possible to integrate third-party content so that the output results (e.g., from a custom quiz type) are transferred into the grade book components. However, it is possible to link or embed various tools and media into edu2.0 lessons. It is also possible to import courses from other CMS/LMS’s into edu2.0. Therefore, edu2.0 supports multiple content creators, though not always seamlessly.<br />Edu2.0 has a large variety of quiz types, many of which can be automatically graded and integrated into a grade book, which supports weighting, shows statistics and graphs, and can be exported to other systems. Teachers can build assessments from a question banks. One of the most unique features of edu2.0 is the ability to define the proficiencies for a course (e.g., based on state standards), identify the proficiencies for each lesson and assessment, and give the teacher an analysis of whether the course fully covers all of the objectives. Hence, edu2.0 has a very robust assessment feature which can receive and store data.<br />Edu2.0 users can receive feedback from other users on several different levels. Teachers can get feedback from students via surveys, discussions, wiki's, blogs, chats, debates and email. Students can communicate with each other via a robust group function, where each group includes a forum with auto-notification, chat room, and mailing list. There are community forums in which teachers can communicate amongst themselves and with edu2.0 developers.<br />An outstanding feature of edu2.0 is its communication facilities. It can send automatic notifications to students for discussion posts, graded work, new lessons and assignments, reminders for impending due dates, and other events.<br />Edu2.0 supports social networking is a few ways. It has a Friends capability, in which users can ‘friend’ each other and give gifts based on the points they have earned by their class participation. The group function mentioned above provides a variety of networking options – for study groups, school clubs, on a certain topic with the whole edu2.0 community, etc. They also support professional interest communities amongst teachers. Discussions and wikis also serve to connect groups of varying interests and connections.<br />Edu2.0 is definitely among the CMS leaders in providing a consistent look throughout the site. Very little customization is allowed of administrators or teachers – who can choose from a few color schemes, upload a school or course picture (which is checked by the edu2.0 team), choose between a few windows for the home page, and choose which features are available to the school or class. Students can only choose their user graphic (if allowed). <br />Edu2.0 is hosted only by edu20.org. Hence, users have no access to the code, and cannot extend their system functionality beyond the set that comes with their plan. This makes it an ideal choice for a single or small group of teachers who do not have the money or technical expertise to configure and install open-source software on a private server. For those organizations which have a wide variety of users and needs, this CMS might be too restrictive. <br />Rubric assessment of edu2.0<br />Cost (tool and hosting) <br />Edu2.0 is free for the basic Education (bronze) package – for both the system and the hosting. The silver (with features like communications monitoring, foreign domain support and student certificates) and gold packages (silver package plus e-commerce pay features, district-wide reporting, etc.) require a monthly fee (less than $1 per student per month) based on the number of students. The Business version of edu2.0 includes all features, and costs less than $1 per month per student.<br />Ease of use<br />Edu2.0 provides step-by-step guides for developing courses, lessons, lesson sections, assignments, groups, etc. Since it has such a consistent interface, users know what to expect in any edu2.0 school. However, compared to some other systems, such as Moodle, the navigation can be somewhat ponderous at times. For instance, editing an item in a lesson might require a lengthy navigation sequence to get to it.<br />Ease of installation<br />‘Installation’ is extremely easy. In fact, installation in the traditional sense is not even needed, since the system is completely hosted on the edu20.org servers. All a user must do to create a school is create a login and select from a small set of setup options, which can be accomplished in about 15 minutes!<br />Need for technical support <br />An edu2.0 school requires virtually no technical support. Any bugs encountered with the system are directed to the edu2.0 team via a community forum or email. Enhancement requests are submitted the same way, and are often completed quickly. The only real need for support might be for an experienced user to help train other teachers/trainers how to start using the system, use other tools to incorporate content into their courses, etc.<br />Overall effectiveness as a training platform <br />Edu2.0 is extremely effective as a training platform. It is ideal for a single teacher or group of teachers/trainers who want to add an online component to their classes, or to start up an online school with an extremely short learning curve and low to no cost, Ideal for any school or training department whose primary need is for online courses, along with a strong set of administrative functions (grade books, parent communications, course catalogs, etc.) – especially if the IT budget is small.<br />Comparison Matrix for Moodle and edu2.0<br />Criteriaedu2.0DescriptionMoodleDescriptionSupports Multiple Content CreatorsYesAny teacher or admin. may create content.Can link or embed most media and Web2.0 tools along with built-in edu2.0 content.Can port several other CMS's courses into edu2.0YesSupports a large variety of user types, with different levels of content creation privileges.Can easily integrate/embed many other content creation (e.g., Web 2.0) tools.Can give assessments and receive and store dataYesMany quiz types, with auto-grading and rubric integration. Results into grade book w/ weighting, stat's & graphs.Reusable question bank.Can integrate course proficiencies. YesSurveys and auto graded quizzesCan create custom question types Develop quiz questions in Notepad and review the results using the 'Item Analysis' tool. Generates reports on the students' progress, results, and utilization of Moodle.Workshop module for peer review & assessmentCan receive user feedbackYesCommunity forums for users to communicate with edu2.0 developers.Surveys, discussions, wiki's, blogs, chats and email for feedback between students and teachers.Auto notifications for lesson and assignment availability, reminders and gradesYesUsers may communicate with edu2.0 developers via forums and email.Surveys, discussion forums, wiki’s, etc. for student-teacher feedback.Workshop module for peer review & assessment.Can create social networkingYesTeacher and student-created groups (class, club, project, topic, professional, etc.), each with a forum & chat room.Discussion forums integrated into email system.Can 'Friend' and give gifts to other users (w/ discussion points)YesForum, chat, and workshop features, plus a variety of plug-in module. Students or teachers can create chartrooms, which can be moderated.Student-created online clubs, study and interest groups.Posts integrated with email notifications.Can maintain a consistent look throughout the siteYesExtremely consistent interface.Very little user control of layout, so CAN'T make it inconsistentYesChoices of layout themes; admin can enforce a consistency by controlling theme selection.Flexibility in organizing courses, lessons and resources by teachers.Can be hosted with a variety of host providers (not vendor or provider dependent)NoOnly hosted on edu2.0's servers. Can pay to look like a private site (in url)YesCan be installed on any computer that can run PHP and support an SQL database.It can be run on Windows, Mac, and many Linux operating systems.<br />Rubricedu2.0DescriptionMoodleDescriptionCost (tools and hosting)Free to very cheapEducation version: 3 cost levels (Bronze, Silver, Gold) Bronze level (majority of features) is free.Business version: less than $1/month per student, with all features.Moderately cheapFree open-source code, but requires hosting.Need technical support and administrator(s) One school district reports $1,600 per year total cost to run throughout the district.Ease of useFairly easyVery consistent user interface.Steps user through lesson and assignment creation.Navigation can be confusing and lengthyLimited help (not contextual) Fairly easy, depending on customizationsVery easy to use with some training in order to navigate the system.Usually requires some customization and additional functionality via module and block plug-ins, which can make more complicatedOnline manuals and contextual help. Ease of installationExtremely easyOnly a few setup screens to register a school.No hosting, installation, plug-ins, etc. requiredModerateHas to be downloaded to server and installed. Needs tech support or someone trained in using plug-ins and system set up, especially in larger schools and districts.Extensive online community support forums.Need for technical supportNo, or very littleNo in-house technical support neededReport bugs or enhancement requests to edu2.0 organization.Might need some minimal training or mentoring from experienced user. YesNeeded for installation, customizing, user problems.Large online community network for technical issues.Moodle partners provide fully supported and hosted Moodle systems (for $'s)Overall effectiveness as a training platformVery effectiveBest for individual teachers/trainers or small schools without tech support for a CMS.Very effectiveGood for larger schools or districts, who have a wider variety of needs, and which have the money and technical support personnel.<br />Highlights of Differences between Moodle and edu2.0<br />CriteriaWinnerWhyCostedu2.0(mostly) free for schools. Moodle needs server and tech support(*Moodle has free plug-ins for premium edu2.0 features)(*edu2.0 for Business charges < $1 /student/month – all features)CustomizableConsistent LookMaintainableMoodleedu2.0edu2.0100’s of plug-ins (633 modules & blocks, 240 themes)Almost no customization possibleNo maintenance required; just tell edu2.0 if problemsContent IntegrationMoodleEasy integration with many 3rd party, Web 2.0 toolsNavigationMoodleQuicker, more directLanguage SupportMoodle70+ languages, 20+ for edu2.0HelpMoodleContextual help, manuals, many user forumsCommunicationedu2.0Better auto-notification, user groups, etc.Proficienciesedu2.0Define course prof’s, tie to lessons & assess’s, auto-analyzeLongevityMoodleCan only be sold if ALL contributors agree; & have the codeMisc Featuresa wash?Both have features other doesn’t (or better ones)<br />SUMMARY<br />Moodle provides an excellent option for those organizations that require a higher level of flexibility, and customization of site organization and functionality. We recommend it for organizations with more financial and financial resources (e.g., a school district) that have users with diverse needs, such as an online academy, professional development, database sites, hybrid or self-paced courses. Either an IT department or a hosting support company would be needed to provide installation, customization other support services.<br />Edu2.0 provides an excellent option for those teachers and trainers who don’t have the need for, or ready access to IT support – or the money to pay for hosting and customization services. It is possible to build an entire online school for either no, or very low cost, depending on whether you require certain specialized features. If you want to build a school without hosting it yourself, using a CMS that provides guidance and ease of installation, choose edu2.0. <br />Moodle is a proven star with millions of users worldwide. Edu2.0 is a rising star, growing and improving every day. Based on the currently-identified needs and resources of Fred’s School District, we have determined that either of these systems could serve as total solutions. However, if an impending financial crunch is foreseen, edu2.0 would probably be preferable. Alternatively, if you decide that you would like to roll some of your existing non-course functionality (e.g., searchable resource databases, informational sites, etc.) into your LMS/CMS, or if you think the variety of functionality demands from your teachers and support staff with increase, you should consider adopting Moodle.<br />RESOURCES<br />Alsagoff, Z.A. (November 12, 2009). Moodle is an airport, not a total solution. [Web log comment]. Retrieved from http://zaidlearn.blogspot.com/2009/11/moodle-is-airport-not-total-solution.html<br />Cost-analysis-feedback: comments from the Blackboard listserv on “Cost analysis of Open Source.” [Web log coment]. February 24, 2009. Retrieved from http://moodle.wiki.usfca.edu/cost-analysis-feedback?f=print<br />Edu Tools. (2010). CMS Product Comparison System. Retrieved May 03, 2010 from http://www.edutools.info/compare.jsp?pj=4&i=601,616<br /> <br />Glass, B. Code (March 1, 2008). stats: edu2.0, Moodle, Sakai; Retrieved April 27 from: http://grahamglass.blogs.com/main/2008/03/code-stats-edu2.html <br />Moodle Features. (Updated May 1, 2010). Retrieved from http://docs.moodle.org/en/Features<br />Norton, S. (2007) Why Moodle? Using a virtual learning environment to promote learning & communication [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/nosh0502/why-moodle<br /> <br />