I have to admit I am not sure if this is a logical next step or a backward one….
Uploading files to Moodle has never been easier. The Office Add-in for Moodle (OAM) is an add-in for Microsoft Office (versions 2003 and 2007) that allows teachers to open and save Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents to a Moodle website. Today, teachers who use Office and Moodle have to switch back and forth between their web browser and Office applications. With the OAM, teachers can create, open, edit, and save Moodle documents from within the Office applications. You no longer need to use your web browser when working with Office documents stored in Moodle.
So what do you need in order to start using the add-in? OAM does not require anything to be installed on the Moodle server (but note we only tested against Moodle versions 1.X-1.X). Anyone who is the teacher or owner of a Moodle course can install the add-in and access their documents. Once installed, the add-in adds two menu items to your File menu (Office 2003) or the Office Button menu: Open from Moodle and Save to Moodle. In order to browse course files on your Moodle you will need to first tell the add-in the address of your Moodle and the credentials you use to log in. Once added you can view the list of courses you are enrolled in. Naturally, students and others can access the content directly from Moodle as they normally would.
This makes it very simple for practitioners to add content to a Moodle course using tools they are familar with. They can use Office in the usual way, open files…
…and then save those files direct to Moodle.
Now this is great for those staff who upload Office documents to their Moodle courses, now they don’t even need to use a Web Browser…
However I do wonder if this is a forward step in making it easier to use VLE or a backward step with a focus on content and Office documents rather than open standards and engaging content.
What’s your verdict?