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Presentation at Australian Moodle Moot in Sydney. July 2011.
Though designed initially as a tool to facilitate online or elearning, one of Moodle’s greatest strengths is that it mirrors actual classroom practice. It allows teachers to easily build course content as they go, and tailor it to the specific needs of a group of learners. And it is simple to add and edit content. There has been a downside to this – the now legendary toilet paper scroll appearance of many Moodle courses. Enter the Book module. It is not the only way of combating the endless scroll that a Moodle course can become, but it provides the opportunity of creating impressive looking content with built-in navigation. Often a teacher will get a web or instructional designer to design the Book module for them. Great – except that this runs the risk of negating another of Moodle’s strengths – that teachers are easily able to edit content on the fly. Editing the Book module adds a layer of complexity that may result in a teacher not being able to do this alone, and once again becoming dependent on others to manage their content. And does the endless scroll actually matter? Is it more important that teachers maintain their independence in maintaining their content and have slightly less impressive looking courses?