Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Many of you have likely used either Oncourse or OncourseCL. These are the default course management systems (CMS) for Indiana University. I too have used both of these and I have found them both severely lacking.

OncourseCL is the newest incarnation of the IU CMS. It has a number of really useful functions, but there is one major problem with the application. The discussion forum functions (there are actually 2 in this system) are terrible. Aside from reduced functionality over the previous application (Oncourse - original), the discussion function in OncourseCL is terribly slow.

I used OncourseCL with an online class in the spring for the first (and hopefully last) time. It was a nightmare.

First these reasons, I have chosen to use an outside system (hosted on my own service) called Moodle (
http://moodle.org). I used Moodle with an ESL methods course that I taught in fall 2005 as well as the CALL class last semester and it worked great on both occasions.

I think that you will find this a pleasure to use, once you get the hang of it. We will be using numerous functions build into Moodle. Primarily this space will provide discussion forums, group chats, and miscellaneous documents (readings, Web pages, and wikis) all wrapped up in a neat package.

However, you will also notice that we will not be bound to Moodle. We will be using numerous, free, online applications that will both provide us with opportunities to interact and will give you practice in using these technologies in an educational context.

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