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Abstract

Using the Internet to enhance e-learning has become a trend in modern higher education institutes. E-learning systems are increasingly becoming an important part of the strategy for delivering online and flexible e-learning. The main advantage of e-learning is the opportunity for students to interact electronically with each other and their teachers during forums, on discussion boards, by e-mail and in chat rooms. Though recognizing that the world at large will continue to use terminology in different and often ambiguous ways, the term of Virtual Learning Environments (VLE) is used to refer to the on-line interactions of a variety of kinds that take place between learners and instructors. There are many pieces of software available that provide VLE systems, both commercial and Open Source Software (OSS). One such system that has been gradually gaining worldwide popularity is known as Moodle. This paper focuses on this platform and on a comparison between VLE (Moodle) and other VLE systems in order to discover their strengths and limitations. The comparative study is in two phases. The first phase is based on the features and capabilities of VLE tools and the second phase is based on the technical aspects of the VLE platforms.
Why Moodle
Abstract
Using the Internet to enhance e-learning has
become a trend in modern higher education institutes.
E-learning systems are increasingly becoming an
important part of the strategy for delivering online and
flexible e-learning. The main advantage of e-learning
is the opportunity for students to interact electronically
with each other and their teachers during forums, on
discussion boards, by e-mail and in chat rooms.
Though recognizing that the world at large will
continue to use terminology in different and often
ambiguous ways, the term of Virtual Learning
Environments (VLE) is used to refer to the on-line
interactions of a variety of kinds that take place
between learners and instructors. There are many
pieces of software available that provide VLE systems,
both commercial and Open Source Software (OSS).
One such system that has been gradually gaining
worldwide popularity is known as Moodle. This paper
focuses on this platform and on a comparison between
VLE (Moodle) and other VLE systems in order to
discover their strengths and limitations. The
comparative study is in two phases. The first phase is
based on the features and capabilities of VLE tools and
the second phase is based on the technical aspects of
the VLE platforms.
Keywords
E-learning, Virtual Learning Environment, Open
Source Software, Moodle.
1. Introduction
Together with the rapidly increasing popularity of
the Internet in recent years, there is an increasing
demand for methodologies and technologies for e-
learning. E-learning is an interactive learning in which
the learning content is available on-line and provides
automatic feedback to the student’s learning activities
[1]. Therefore, there has been an increasing demand for
VLE methodologies and technologies. VLE is defined
as interactive learning in which the learning content is
available on-line and provides automatic feedback to
the student’s learning activities. While recognizing that
the world at large will continue to use terminology in
different and often ambiguous ways, the term of VLE
is used here to refer to on-line interactions of various
kinds including on-line learning that takes place
between learners and instructors [2-4].
Currently, there are already more than 250
providers of commercial e-learning and more than 45
of them are Open Source Software (OSS) offerings as
free VLE systems. Of the better-known OSS are
Moodle, Ilias, eduplone, Claroline, SAKAI, WebCT
and Bscw, and they have wide developer communities
who present robust arguments for considering OSS as a
straightforward and potentially feasible competitor to
commercial products. One OSS project that has
emerged to meet the growing interest in OSS is
Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning
Environment (Moodle) [6, 7].
Moodle is a web-based Learning Content
Management System (LCMS), i.e. a Course
Management System (CMS) and VLE designed around
pedagogical principles, namely a social constructivist
philosophy using the collaborative possibilities of the
Internet [8]. It allows teachers to provide and share
documents, graded assignments, quizzes, etc. with
students in an easy-to-learn way, and to create quality
on-line courses. Moodle is a free OSS, which means
users are free to download, use, modify and even to
distribute it under the terms of GNU [5, 9].
An important resource for higher education,
especially universities, is VLE, which has been
enhancing students’ progress with high quality learning
around the world. In 2004, Qassim University was
established in the district of Qassim in Saudi Arabia. It
has 15 colleges, around 900 teachers, and more than
17000 students. This paper will propose a suitable e-
learning system for Qassim University through a
Hussein Zedan
Software Technology Research
Laboratory (STRL)
De Montfort University
The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH, UK.
hzedan@dmu.ac.uk
Ajlan Al-Ajlan
Software Technology Research
Laboratory (STRL)
De Montfort University
The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH, UK.
ajlan2003@yahoo.com
12th IEEE International Workshop on Future Trends of Distributed Computing Systems
1071-0485/08 $25.00 © 2008 IEEE
DOI 10.1109/FTDCS.2008.22
58
comparative study of the most well-known e-learning
systems.
This paper is structured as follows. A literature
review of VLE is presented in Section 2, containing the
reasons for choosing Moodle together with its
limitations. The significant section is the comparative
study between Moodle and other VLE systems, which
is described in Section 3. A brief discussion on the
findings of this paper is described in Section 4. Finally,
the conclusion and future work are described in
Section 5.
2. Moodle as E-learning System
Currently, there is an increasing demand for on-line
learning methodologies and technologies, especially
for e-learning. E-learning is a group effort, where
educators, designers, administrators, and users from
other areas of expertise come together in order to serve
a community of learners [10, 11]. VLE is a form of e-
learning that enables on-line interactions of various
kinds to take place between teachers and students. VLE
offers for institutes a number of benefits, such as
access anytime and anywhere, better integration of
application technology tools, opportunities for
independent learning, improved motivation, and access
to novel learning styles. In order for current and future
generations of personalized VLE to improve learning
efficiency and effectiveness, there are essential
requirements that have to be realized [6, 12].
Moodle enables teachers to provide graded
assignments, lessons, and choice, to share documents,
quizzes, workshops, and chat, and to offer a forum for
learners, in a manner that is both easy and offers high
quality learning. Moodle is one of the most user-
friendly and flexible of the globally-free open source
courseware products available, and is specifically
designed to help educators who want to create high
quality on-line courses [5, 13, 14]. It has excellent
documentation, strong support for security and
administration, and is evolving towards Information
Management System/Shareable Content Object
Reference Model (IMS/SCORM) standards [6, 8, 9].
Moodle, as an e-learning system, has been
developed by a long list of specialists who have
contributed to the development of its many stages. It
contains all development information as well as a
roadmap, a coding guide, and a commonly-used way of
managing source codes for large software projects
when accessing source codes. Moodle is available in a
variety of download packages with different levels of
constancy from http://download.moodle.org [5, 15].
Moodle as a VLE has an important feature which is
the Moodle.org web site, which provides a central
point for information and collaboration among Moodle
users, who include system administrators, instructional
designers and of course, developers. This site is always
evolving to suit the needs of the community. Moodle is
now used not only in universities, but also in high and
primary schools, non-profit organizations and private
companies, by independent teachers and even home-
schooling parents. A growing number of people from
around the world are contributing to Moodle in
different ways [2, 5, 16].
Moodle is based on Social Constructionist
Pedagogy, which is a learner-oriented philosophy and
most VLE modules are based on it. They are largely
concerned with how course contents are delivered to
students who are involved in constructing their own
learning package [14, 17]. The learner-oriented
philosophy to learning is where learners actively
construct new knowledge through personalized
modification by adopting a more subjective stance to
the knowledge being created, and they learn even more
by explaining what they have learnt to others. These
ideas run parallel to the way open-source development
works, in which the developers are also often users,
where everyone is free to tinker with the software, and
where codes are constructed, peer-reviewed and
refined by means of open discussion [6, 18].
2.1. The Reasons for Choosing Moodle
The importance of Moodle is that it rates well
according to many reports, has a high grade of
acceptance in the community and in a number of
institutions, and has a wide variety of active courses,
available in many languages [14, 15]. It gives users the
ability to post news items, assignments, electronic
journals and resources, and to collect assignments etc.
The greatest strength of Moodle is that the community
has grown around the project; both developers and
users participate in Moodle's active discussion forums,
sharing tips, posting code snippets, helping new users,
sharing resources and debating new ideas [8, 18, 19].
Therefore, we have chosen the software of Moodle
to be our field of research and analysis. It is important
to understand the Moodle environment, and to explore
its functionalities and limitations in order to develop
practical examples for the use of VLE in Qassim
University. We list here the most important reasons for
choosing Moodle:
1. It is an OSS, which means users are free to
download it, use it, modify it and even distribute it
under the terms of the GNU license [2, 5, 8, 18, 20];
2. It is a CMS & VLE that lets teachers provide and
share documents, graded assignments, discussion
59
forums, etc. with their students in an easy-to-learn
fashion, and in high quality on-line courses [5, 6];
3. Moodle can be used on almost all servers that can
use PHP. Users can download and use it on any
computer and can easily upgrade it from one
version to the next [16, 18, 19];
4. The key to Moodle is that is developed with both
pedagogy and technology in mind. One of the main
advantages of Moodle over other systems is its
strong grounding in social constructionist pedagogy
and good educational tools [21];
5. The Moodle software is used all over the world
by independent teachers, schools, universities
and companies. The credibility of Moodle is very
high. Currently, there are 3324 web sites from
175 countries that have registered with it, and it
has 75 languages [5, 6, 18];
6. Moodle runs without modification on any system
that supports PHP such as Unix, Linux and
Windows. It uses MySQL, PostgreSQL and
Oracle databases, and others are also supported
[20].
7. It has many features useful to potential students
such as easy installation, customization of
options and settings, good support/help, and good
educational tools. Moreover, it has excellent
documentation, and strong support for security
and administration [21].
2.2. The Limitations of Moodle
Moodle’s low cost, flexibility and ease of use
helps bring VLE technology within the reach of those
with limited technical or financial resources [15]. On
the other hand, Moodle has some limitations as
follows:
1. Moodle is only for IT experts. It is complex for
normal users to use and more than 66% of them are
teachers, researchers and administrators [18];
2. It is difficult for beginner technicians to install and
use Moodle, because there are many technical word
lists in installation instructions [15];
3. Moodle will work, but not by itself. If there is not
a course administrator that can work with both
teachers and technicians in creating on-line
materials, then Moodle will remain an empty shell,
like a good aircraft but with no pilot;
4. Lack of simple-to-obtain support. Forums carry a
great deal of information, but nearly all forums are
in the English language [18];
3. Comparative Study between Moodle
and other VLE Platforms
This paper proposes a comparative study between
Moodle and other VLE systems that will aid Qassim
University in determining the best system to meet its
needs. It is important to make this comparative study
between Moodle and other VLE products in order to
explore their strengths and limitations. This
comparative study is conducted in two phases. The first
phase is based on the features and capabilities of VLE
tools, and the second study is based on the technical
aspects of VLE systems.
3.1. Comparative Study Based on Features
and Capabilities of VLE Tools
VLEs have many features and capabilities expected
from e-learning counting forums, content management,
quizzes with different kinds of questions, and a number
of activity modules [8]. Table 1 below shows the VLE
products that have been selected in this study, which
are 10 products including Moodle. The comparison is
based on the features and capabilities of their VLE
tools. There is no single product that can meet all of
these criteria and the ideal may not be obtainable for
interface, technical, functional, or cost reasons [5, 22].
The comparison focuses on two kinds of products.
The first is commercial e-learning systems, and
includes Desire2Learn 8.1, KEWL, Blackboard
Learning System (V.7), ANGEL Learning
Management Suite (7.1)
and eCollege. The second is
OSS and includes
Moodle 1.8, Claroline 1.6, Dokeos 2.1.1,
OLAT and Sakai 2.3.1. The comparison has two
answers, Y or N; Y means the product has the feature
and N means the product does not.
VLEs, as e-learning systems, have many features
and capabilities but in order to simplify and clarify the
comparison, we have divided these features and
capabilities into three phases, which are Learner Tools,
Support Tools and Technical Tools, as in Tables 1, 2
and 3. Also, this comparison has two kinds of answers
Yes (Y) or No (N). In this session, we will focus on
each phase separately as follows:
3.1.1 . Learner Tools. These tools contain three kinds
of tools, which are Communication Tools, Productivity
Tools and Student Involvement Tools. Each kind of
Learner Tool contains various features and capabilities,
and each product has some of them, as in Table 1.
60
Table 1: The Comparison between the Selected VLE
Products based on Learner Tools.
No
1 2
3
4 5 6 7 8 9
Desire2Learn 8.1
KEWL
ANGEL Learning
Management Suite (7.1)
eCo
ll
ege
M
ood
l
e
1
.8
C
l
a
r
o
lin
e
1
.6
D
o
k
eos
2
.
1
.
1
O
LAT
Sa
k
a
i 2
.3.
1
1. Learner Tools
1.1. Communication Tools
D
iscussion
F
orums
Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
D
iscussion
M
anagement
Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
ile Exchange Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
I
nternal Email Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
On-line Journal Y Y Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
R
eal-time Chat Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
V
ideo Services N N N N N Y N N N N
W
hiteboard Y N Y Y Y Y N N Y Y
1.2. Productivity Tools
B
ookmarks Y Y Y Y N N Y N N Y
Calenda
r
Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Orientation Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y Y Y
Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y Y
W
ork Off-line Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y Y Y
1.3. Student Involvement Tools
Group wor
k
Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y Y
Community Y
Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y
1 2 1 2 2 1 5 4 3 1
As we can see in Table 1, the comparison between
the VLE products is based on Learner Tools. Four
products are shown to be the best with almost the
maximum number of features - 15 out of 16 features or
capabilities of Learner Tools. These products are
Moodle, Desire2Learn, ANGEL Learning
Management Suite, and Sakai. The Claroline 1.6
product has the minimum features and capabilities of
Learner Tools, missing 5 out of 16 features and
capabilities. KEWL, eCollege and The Blackboard
Learning System platforms have missed 2 out of 16.
Moodle is the best with three products missing only
one feature. Overall the best OSSs are Moodle and
Sakai respectively, which missed 1 out of 16 Learner
Tools.
3.1.2. Support Tools. These phases contain three
kinds of tools, which are Administration Tools,
Course Delivery Tools, and Content Development
Tools; all kinds of Support Tools have features and
capabilities, as in Table 3.
Table 2: The Comparison between the Selected VLE
Products based on Support Tools.
2. Support Tools
2.1. Administration Tools
Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
A
uthorization
Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
R
egistration
I
ntegration
Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
2.2. Course Delivery Tools
Test Types
Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
A
utomated
M
anagement
Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
A
utomated
Support
Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Course
M
anagement
Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y Y
2.3. Content Development Tools
A
ccessibility
Y Y Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y
Y Y Y Y N Y Y Y Y Y
Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
L
ook and Feel
Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
D
esign
Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
I
nstructional
Standards
Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0
As we can see in Table 2, the comparison between
the VLE products is based on Support Tools. In this
phase, all products have all features and capabilities
except eCollege,
Dokeos 2.1.1 and The Blackboard
Learning System (V.7). This means that Moodle and
the other remaining products are strong on Support
Tools.
3.1.3. Technical Specifications Tools. These tools
contain two kinds of tools, which are
Hardware/Software tools and Pricing/Licensing; all
kinds of Support Tools have some features and
capabilities, as in Table 3. The Costs feature is
different from other features because if the product has
no cost, it means that product has an advantage and we
will calculate it as Yes (Y). For example, in Table 3,
Moodle has two N and we calculated N of cost as Y, so
in the final score Moodle has missed just one feature.
16
16
16
16
16
16
16
16
16
15
14
15
14
15
11
12
13
1616
16
16
16
16
16
16
16
16 16 16 15
16 16 15 16
16
15
16
16
14
15
Product
Name
Tools
The Blackboard
Learning System
10
Content Sharing
Course Templates
Authentication
File Exchange
Student Trackin
g
On-line Grading
Total Missin
g
Total available
Total Features
Total Features
Total
Available
Total Missing
Searching Course
Student Portfolios
61
Table 3: The Comparison between the Selected VLE
Systems based on Technical Specifications Tools.
3. Technical Specifications
3.1. Hardware/Software Tools
Client Required Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y N Y
D
atabase
R
equirements
Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
U
nix Serve
r
N N N N Y Y Y Y Y Y
W
indows Y Y Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y
3.2. Pricing/Licensing Tools
Company Profile
Y Y Y Y Y N N N Y N
Costs N N N N N Y Y Y Y
Y
Open Source N N N N N Y Y N Y Y
Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y Y Y
8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
6 5 5 4 6 7 5 6 7 7
2 3 3 4 2 1 3 2 1 1
As we can see in Table 3, the comparison is based
on Technical Specifications Tools. In this phase, the
best products are Moodle 1.8, Sakai 2.3.1 and OLAT,
which have missed only 1 out of 8 Technical
Specifications Tools, and then Desire2Learn 8.1, The
Blackboard Learning System and Dokeos 2.1.1, which
missed 2 out of 8. The weakest products are KEWL
and Claroline 1.6, which missed 4 out of 8 Technical
Specifications Tools.
3.1.4. The Final Result of the Comparison between
Ten VLE Products. From Table 4, we can see the
final result of the comparison between the ten VLE
products. The best products are Moodle (1.8) and Sakai
2.3.1, which have missed just 2 out of 40 features, and
the second products are Desire2Learn 8.1 and ANGEL
Learning Management Suite (7.1) equally, which have
missed 3 out of 40 features. KEWL, Blackboard
Learning System and OLAT have a similar number,
which each missed 5 out of 40 features. The weakest
product is Claroline 1.6, which missed 8 out of 40
features.
Table 4: The Final Result of the Comparison between the
Ten VLE Products
No
1 2
3
4 5 6 7 8 9
Desire2Learn 8.1
KEWL
ANGEL Learning
Management Suite (7.1)
eCo
ll
ege
M
ood
l
e
1
.8
C
l
a
r
o
lin
e
1
.6
D
o
k
eos
2
.
1
.
1
O
LAT
Sa
k
a
i 2
.3.
1
5 3 7 5 2 8 7 5 2
3.2 Comparative Study Based on the
Technical Aspects of the VLE Platforms
In this session, the compression between the
systems is based on technical categories. All VLE
systems will be compared with the Moodle system as
part of our study. As in our literature review, we have
selected three studies focusing on this kind of
comparison.
3.2.1. First Study. This study depends on some of the
technical aspects of e-learning, as in Table 5. It
displays a comparison between Moodle and two VLE
systems.
Table 5: Comparison based on focusing on the Technical
Aspects of the VLE Systems
Category Product ATutor ILIAS Moodle
Architecture Weak Good
Implementation Weak Good
Inter-operability Bad Good Good
Cost of ownership High Free
Strength of Community Low Medium High
Licensing GPL GPL GPL
Internationalization Weak Average Good
Accessibility Bad Average
No Average No
Table 5 displays that Atutor, while strong in
features and usability, has serious architectural
limitations and, although some features in Atutor
warrant further investigation, it may be that candidates
will opt for Moodle.
ILIAS, while promising, has a complex architecture
with tight coupling that is hard to work with and
debug. The code is new, and lacks maturity. The
developer community of ILIAS is small outside the
core team. Some features in ILIAS deserve to be
reviewed before opting for Moodle.
Moodle has a good architecture, implementation,
inter-operability, and internationalization, and also has
the strength of the community. It is free and its
accessibility is average. On the other hand, it has
limitations, notably lack of SCORM support, and its
roles and permissions system is limited. However,
these limitations can be fixed, and are part of the
project roadmap [13].
3.2.2. Second Study. Table 6 shows the comparison
between four VLE systems. The comparison is based
on categories as [23] has selected them. This study has
proved that Moodle outperforms all other systems and
scored 4.467 out of 5. In contrast, Boddington gained
the lowest score, at 2.439.
10
40
40
40
40
40
40
40
40
40
40
37
35
37
33
38 32
33
35
35
38
3
O
p
tional Extras
Total Features
Total available
Total Missin
g
Total Features
Total Available
Total Missin
g
Document Transformation
Excellent
Medium
Com
p
lex
Com
p
lex
Product
Name
Tools
The Blackboard
Learning System
62
Table 6: Comparison based on some VLE Features and
Categories.
Functionality 1.25 .75 .25 .25
Usability .8 .8 .6 .65
Documentation .645 .465 .54 .54
Community .6 .384 .24 .288
Security .42 .34 .28 .42
Support .4 .15 .35 .15
Adoption .352 .336 .208 .336
Score (0 out 5) 4.467 3.225 2.468 2.439
Moodle has nearly the maximum score because it
has many of the features expected from an e-learning
platform, including forums, resources, quizzes with
different kinds of questions, and a number of activity
modules. Furthermore, Moodle is very beneficial for
language teaching and learning because the interactive
tools, such as wiki, discussion forums, and quizzes, can
be selectively employed to meet the objectives of the
course and to motivate students.
3.2.3 . Third Study. In [17], the study reports that the
result of the evaluation shows that Moodle has the best
rating in the adaptation category; it can be seen in
Table 7 as the best system concerning adaptation
issues. It dominates the evaluation by achieving the
best value five times. The strengths of Moodle are the
realization of communication tools, the creation and
administration of learning objects, the comprehensive
didactical concepts and the tracking of data. In
addition, the outstanding usability of Moodle leads to
the maximum evaluation value in the usability
category. Concerning the other platforms, ILIAS
obtained the best values in the categories for technical
aspects, administration, and course management.
Table 7: Results of the Adaptation Category
ATutor | # # | 3
Dokeos | 0 * + 2
dotLRN + + * 0 2
ILIAS + # * 0 2
LON-CAPA
+ # # | 2
Moodle # + * | 1
OpenUSS # # # 0 2
Sakai 0 0 * 0 3
+ # + 0 3
Moodle has gained the best results, especially in the
specific adaptation evaluation. It supports an adaptive
feature called “lesson” where learners can be routed
automatically through pages depending on the answer
to a question after each page. Furthermore, the
extensibility is supported very well by a documented
API, detailed guidelines, and templates for
programming. In addition personalization and
adaptability features are present in Moodle.
4. Discussion
This paper is aimed at taking the right decision
when choosing a suitable VLE platform to meet the
requirements of Qassim University. This is a large
university and needs a strong VLE that meets all its
needs. This is an initial study to aid Qassim University
in that search for the best VLE system. It has focused
on a comparison between Moodle and other VLE
systems, and is based on two kinds of comparison. The
first phase is based on the features and capabilities of
VLE, and the second is based on the technical aspects
of the VLE tools.
The first study compared Moodle with nine VLE
platforms based on features and capabilities of VLE
tools, as in Section 3.1. This study has proved that the
best platforms are Moodle and Sakai, which have
missed just two out of forty features. The weakest
product is Claroline 1.6, which missed 8 out of 40
features. Desire2Learn and ANGEL Learning
Management Suite have taken the number two spot
equally as they both missed three features. Blackboard
Learning System and
OLAT are number four equally as
they both missed five features and capabilities.
The second study compared Moodle with other
VLE platforms based on the technical aspects of VLEs,
as in Section 3.2. In general, this study has strongly
recommended choosing Moodle as the optimal VLE
platform for Qassim University.
The first and second studies have proved that
Moodle has the best results. In addition, it has the
advantages mentioned in Section 2.1, and we therefore
strongly recommend Moodle as the best choice for
higher education generally, and for Qassim University
in particular.
5. Conclusion and Future Work
Moodle is a kind of VLE and it is now widely used
all over the world by schools, institutes, universities,
companies, independent educators, and home
schooling parents. It has great potential for creating a
successful e-learning experience by providing an
abundance of excellent tools that can be used to
enhance conventional classroom instruction in any
VLE system. Moodle can scale from a single-teacher
site to a more than 50-thousand-student university.
Boddington
ATutor
Sakai
Moodle
Product
Categor
y
Product
Feature
Spaghettilearning
Ranking
Personalization
Extensibility
Adaptively
Adaptability
63
This paper has made a comparative study between
Moodle and other VLE systems, and this was based on
two kinds of comparison. The first phase was based on
the features and capabilities of VLE tools, and the
second one was based on the technical aspects of VLE
systems. From this paper, we aimed to discover the
best and most suitable choice of VLE systems that
would meet the requirements of Qassim University. In
this, our initial assessment, we have succeeded in
finding that optimal VLE platform, and it is Moodle.
This paper has presented the work that has been
done to date. The future work is to work hard within
Moodle and to test it with a sample by using
departments in some colleges at Qassim University in
order to discover all possible problems that could occur
when using it. Initially, there will be a survey for
obtaining information directly from different sources,
including participants who are in a position to provide
such information. Many variables will be considered at
this point and the study will attempt to identify the
relationships among such variables.
To collect the necessary information, we intend to
use personal interviews with people in the following
positions: the general instructor of Qassim University
and his assistants, course tutors (especially those who
teach in VLEs), students (especially those who are on
VLE courses), and other staff members who are
working at Qassim University. A questionnaire will be
sent to any available instructors, teachers, students and
staff members for about 300 samples.
6. Acknowledgment
The authors wish to acknowledge contributions
from many people, including M. Dougiamas who is the
author of Moodle. Also, J. Filip, M. Solanki, and M.
Langhoff. We also acknowledge those individually
with whom we discussed issues that are addressed in
this paper, including A. Al-Marghilani, B. Zafar, R.
Obaid, A. Al-Zahrani, A. Al-Gamdi and O. Al-Hassan.
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64
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