I have been thinking for a long time about the Moodle issue that is the “scroll of death”. I wrote my first piece on this after the Ireland and UK Moodlemoot 2012.
Quite a few people have provided me with a variety of solutions that means learners do not have to contend with the “scroll of death”. However what these solutions do not solve, is the fundamental problem, which is…
If you use Moodle “out of the box” and create a course; so you add a link to a page, a link to a file, a link to a forum, a link to a quiz and the odd lable or two, the end result will be the “scroll of death” and a long list of links… rather than an engaging and interactive learning experience. The learners will have a more difficult and challenging experience when using Moodle. As a result you will have disengaged learners and the complaint that Moodle is “boring”.
I also know that some of the training at my college in using Moodle has exacerbated these issues. We show people different features of Moodle and of course they then want to add them to their courses. What we don’t do (very well) is get them to think about the whole of their course and not only about how it looks, but also about how the learner experiences and interacts with the course.
Yes of course you can apply solutions, after the result, however why is it that the “out of the box” vanilla experience isn’t right in the first place?
It would be nice if the initial approach to using Moodle got the user thinking not about adding links, but about whole course design.
The problem with this is that most educators I talk to rarely think about whole course design, and are more concerned about planning what they are going to do tomorrow or next week rather than thinking about the course as a whole.
The more I think about it the more I think that this is the real problem and that Moodle is only a symptom of that issue of the lack of whole course planning by some educators. It’s not as though they don’t plan, I am sure they produce schemes of work and have a fair idea of what they are going to do over the course. However what will be missing will be the detail and the “big picture”.
So the question I am asking now, is Moodle the answer to this problem?
In my last blog posting on this, I wrote:
We might need to take a step back and work out what we actually want Moodle to do and start again.
Could we in fact get Moodle to be part of the solution rather than than the face of the problem?
In a future posting I am going to discuss the issues of Moodle UI and Moodle UX and look at some of the points that came out of this discussion on the Moodle Forums that was point out to me by Stuart Lamour, who you may recall got me thinking about all of this at Moodlemoot in the first place.
What are your thoughts?