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Moodle, A Freely Available Open Source Virtual Learning Environment....but what are the actual costs?. Eric D Clarke; Claire Doody; Ruaidhri McVey Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland MedBiquitous Annual Conference May 13-15, 2008 Baltimore, Maryland. Overview What is Moodle? Actual costs

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moodle a freely available open source virtual learning environment but what are the actual costs

Moodle, A Freely Available Open Source Virtual Learning Environment....but what are the actual costs?

Eric D Clarke; Claire Doody; Ruaidhri McVey

Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

MedBiquitous Annual Conference

May 13-15, 2008

Baltimore, Maryland

slide2

Overview

  • What is Moodle?
  • Actual costs
  • Hidden costs
    • (The Moodle effect, parts 1, 2, 3……)
  • Future costs
slide3

My VLE is bigger than your VLE.

My open source platform has more potential

than yours. I am really tired of the rhetoric and

really ready for collaborative learning platforms.

Dispatches From the Course-Management Wars

EDUCAUSE, Seattle, October 07 - Josh Fischman

Blackboard Biggest booth

Angel Learning “We’re kind of the upstarts”

Desire2Learn Touting an oxygen bar at their booth

Desire2Learn skirmishing with Blackboard

in the exhibit hall, with lawyers seeking

to collect evidence that the bigger company

may be engaging in unfair competitive practices

major market share
Major market share?

Moodle.org

  • Sites: 35,143
  • Users: 14,920,616
  • Community members: 335,971

Size matters? (BRNO University, CZ)

  • Courses: 19,223
  • Users: 41,305
slide5

Law Society

Of Ireland

slide6

1000 Users

750 users

Since October 2005

500 users

5200 users

what s going on
What’s going on?

Content

Academic (Basic and enhanced)

Admin information

Communication

Assessment (Formative and summative)

300 MCQs live now

Group assessments

Wikis

Assignments (Clinical case uploads)

30,000 since Jan 07

social uses
Social uses

20,000 IMs per month

support costs
Support costs

Third party support€50k pa

4 Moodle sites

  • 1 site pending

Providing…

Knowledge base

Disaster recovery

Developments (SMS)

Code “fixes”

costs
Costs

HEAnet Services €55k pa

Network connection

Server/back up €30k

User support €?

we took a terrifying step
We took a terrifying step……..

We asked the students what they thought!

The Moodle effect part 1

maybe its required action that scared us
Maybe its required actionthat scared us!

We need 24/7 support technical support

Moodle is ugly

Too much dependence on Moodle

It’s a ‘dumping ground’ for information

Becoming a valid excuse for students who should be spending time on wards

slide13

“I feel like I am Married to Moodle”

How much space is there in a medical student’s head?

What is the cost to the student if we try to overfill their head?

peripheral hospitals
Peripheral hospitals

“To ensure proper use of Moodle and online resources students need consistent and reliable internet access on all RCSI sites. We need reliable connections!”

slide15

Wifi in 11 Clinical teaching sites

€30k

Cannot cover everywhere!

3G on all student laptops?

€20 per month per students

laptop ownership scheme
Laptop ownership scheme
  • Before Moodle laptop use was “optional”
  • Heavy reliance on Moodle in clinical years
    • Clinical case uploads, MCQs
    • Elective sign ups
    • Video grand rounds/lectures
  • “My four year old laptop is not up to the job”
laptop ownership scheme17
Laptop ownership scheme
  • Review of laptop scheme €700K
    • Standard PC on entry
    • Tablet PC year 3 to 4

Can I have it in Red?

moodle effect part 2
Moodle effect - Part 2
  • Research (Funding)
  • Dedicated departmental staff and time?
  • All staff taking ownership of content?
  • Moodle administration
  • Dedicated Moodle development team
moodle effect part 3
Moodle effect - Part 3
  • Higher “production values” and costs
  • Tools/training for staff
    • Camtasia
    • Audacity
    • Online assessment techniques
  • Group based learning
    • eModerating skills
  • Move away from traditional teaching techniques
    • Pre-clinical online courses
slide20

Student

Management

System

Curriculum

Mapping

ePortfolio

New

ventures

Competency

Tracking

Quality

Assurance

Future costs

future costs
Future costs
  • RCSI has made 27 code changes to core Moodle code
  • All these will need to be coded to Version 1.9
  • And all subsequent upgrades!
  • This all costs €600 a day!!
slide22

What does Moodle really cost?

TANSTAAFL

There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

Robert A. Heinlein

slide23

“He who studies medicine without books sails an uncharted sea, but he who studies medicine without patients does not go to sea at all.”

Sir William Osler

Thank you for your time and attention

Any questions?