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Moodle & Mahara - Open Source Software in Education


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Keynote Presentation from elearn2009
Moodle is the world's most popular open-source virtual learning environment and Mahara is likely to follow suit in the e-portfolio space. After briefly describing the key features of both systems - one dealing with structured learning, the other with its reflective counterpart.

Published in: Education

Moodle & Mahara - Open Source Software in Education

  1. 1. Open Source Software in Education – Moodle & Mahara Alex Büchner Technical Director
  2. 2. Content <ul><li>Open-Source Software </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How does it work? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What’s the benefit and where’s the catch? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Open-Source Software in Education </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What’s wrong with Apple, Microsoft and Blackboard? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Moodle & Mahara </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Solutions for structured and reflective learning </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. The Love-Hate Triangle of Software We hate you, but we need you Everybody hates you You little geeky cute thing You look good, but I am stronger! You look good, but I am free! I’d sue you, but I can’t
  4. 4. Open-Source Definition (Open Source Initiative) <ul><li>Free Distribution </li></ul><ul><li>Source Code </li></ul><ul><li>Derived Works </li></ul><ul><li>Integrity of the Author’s Source Code </li></ul><ul><li>No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups </li></ul><ul><li>No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavour </li></ul><ul><li>Distribution of License </li></ul><ul><li>License Must Not Be Specific to a Product </li></ul><ul><li>License Must Not Restrict Other Software </li></ul><ul><li>License Must Be Technology-Neutral </li></ul>Source Code Ethical License
  5. 5. How does this work? <ul><li>Project is usually initiated and led by a single developer – (“benevolent dictator”) </li></ul><ul><li>Core developers, lieutenants and contributors </li></ul><ul><li>Public Version Control (spawns, forks, etc) </li></ul>
  6. 6. OSS Examples Back-End Application Front-End
  7. 7. Open Source Issues <ul><li>Open-Source Software is NOT FREE! </li></ul><ul><li>There is no licensing fee, but you still need... </li></ul><ul><li>... Hosting, Support, Training, Customisation etc </li></ul><ul><li>Large-scale projects work, small ones don’t </li></ul><ul><li>Majority of projects are dormant </li></ul><ul><li>Often daily releases </li></ul><ul><li>Documentation often patchy </li></ul>
  8. 8. Open Source Benefits <ul><li>No vendor or supplier lock-in </li></ul><ul><li>Source code can be modified </li></ul><ul><li>Community-based approach </li></ul><ul><li>Many eyeballs tame complexity </li></ul><ul><li>Darwinist development </li></ul><ul><li>“ The Cathedral & The Bazaar” – Eric Raymond </li></ul>
  9. 9. Open Source Business Models <ul><li>Dual Licensing (MySQL) </li></ul><ul><li>Distributions (Red Hat, Novell) </li></ul><ul><li>Support, Development and Consultancy </li></ul><ul><li>Franchise / Partner model (Moodle & Mahara) </li></ul><ul><li>Donations </li></ul><ul><li>Hybrids </li></ul>
  10. 10. Open-Source Software in Education <ul><li>Most OSS starts in (Higher) Education... </li></ul><ul><li>... but is OSS used in Education? </li></ul><ul><li>When is OSS in Education beneficial? </li></ul><ul><li>Switching to OSS </li></ul><ul><li>Initiating an OSS project </li></ul>
  11. 11. OSS in Education Debate
  12. 12. Switching to OSS <ul><li>Server Software </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strategic move </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Will be labour and time consuming </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Potentially big savings long-term </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Desktop Software </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Usually less expensive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Should be industry-driven </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Starting an OSS Project <ul><li>Don’t do it if ... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>there is already a (market-leading) product out there </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IP has to be protected </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>you don’t expect a (huge) networking effect </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the project will only be used internally </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the project is time-limited </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>your time is limited </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Moodle & Mahara <ul><li>Moodle is a Virtual Learning Environment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Structural Learning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mahara is an E-Portfolio System </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reflective Learning </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Moodle Overview <ul><li>>50,000 registered sites in 200 countries </li></ul><ul><li>Available in over 75 languages </li></ul><ul><li>Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment </li></ul><ul><li>to moodle [verb]: ‘ the process of lazily meandering through something, doing things as it occurs to you to do them, an enjoyable tinkering that often leads to insight and creativity ’. </li></ul><ul><li>Moodle is learning centred, not tool-centred </li></ul><ul><li>“ Social Constructionist Pedagogy” </li></ul><ul><li>Developed by Martin Dougiamas, Australia </li></ul>
  16. 17. Moodle Statistics
  17. 18. Moodle Statistics
  18. 19. Mahara Overview <ul><li>Government-funded Project started 2006 in NZ </li></ul><ul><li>E-Portfolio </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learners collect, reflect on and share their achievements and developments online, in a space they control </li></ul></ul><ul><li>(Social) Networking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learners create online communities and social network through Groups, Blogs and Forums </li></ul></ul>
  19. 20. Mahoodle! <ul><li>Peer-2-Peer / Community Hub (Single Sign-On) </li></ul><ul><li>Portfolio API </li></ul>User Data User Data Content User Data
  20. 21. Questions? <ul><li>Alex Büchner </li></ul><ul><li>Synergy Learning </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>