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Moodle 101

October 2, 2008
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  • Know how you will use the application before you roll it out. "Start out slow to meet your needs today," says Carol Widstrand, training and technology communication specialist for Pediatric Home Service, a small children’s at-home health care provider in St. Paul, Minnesota. She suggests new users start by focusing on core competencies or individual departments, with initial rollouts to ease their way in and troubleshoot problems.

  • Consider an outsourcing partner. "The total cost of ownership when you scale up is really good" when an organization works with a Moodle outsourcing partner, says Vito Amato, solutions architect for Cisco. "You don’t have to buy hardware and software to run the app and you don’t need an IT staff."

  • If you do choose an outsourcing partner, be sure they are versed in Moodle and have the ability to adopt new versions. "Like any outsourcing relationship, you have to do your due diligence," says Darryl Draper, a national customer relationship and loyalty training manager for Subaru of America.

  • Take advantage of the interactive features, such as discussion forums. Draper says the conversations that take place in the online communities add a great deal of value to the learning programs, and she plays them up to users. Dealers can engage in real-time discussions with their peers about the everyday problems they encounter on the job, as well as some solutions.

  • Consider how your organization will track and store data for the long term. "People get promoted, or they leave the company, but you still may need to track their training data," says Becki Nielson, education manager for Pediatric Home Service. "It’s important to think about naming conventions and data storage strategies so that data doesn’t get lost."

  • Don’t expect it to do everything. "Moodle is not designed to be a stand-alone application," notes Amato. "Most people tie it into other systems."

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