January 2009 Archives

Moving from WebCT to Moodle

As most of you know, we rolled out a new online learning management system about a year ago. By all accounts, Moodle (or what we also call WOU Online) has been a raging success. There's already three to four times as many people using Moodle as WebCT. The vast majority of faculty, students, and staff have expressed how much they prefer this tool over WebCT, for a variety of reasons.

Although there are no immediate plans to phase out WebCT, the dire economic conditions in Oregon could force WOU to make budget cuts later this year. Every September, we pay an annual license fee of around $15,000 (and rising) for the right to use WebCT. It's quite possible that if we were asked to make budget cuts later this summer, the university would decide to discontinue WebCT to save this money.

Why am I telling you this? Because I feel like a lead time of six months is the absolute minimum for ensuring the most painless transition from WebCT to Moodle, I feel compelled to give you a heads up about this possibility. If you are using WebCT, you are no obligation to switch to Moodle, but I strongly encourage you to do so sometime in the next six months.

I'm happy to do all I can to help. I'll be scheduling a number of open workshops on Moodle in the near future, and I'm always available for one-on-one training. If you have a lot of content that needs to be transferred, I have some tools that can help copy courses from WebCT to Moodle. It's not completely painless -- the courses will need cleaning up once in Moodle -- but it can save you a bunch of time. Let me know, and I can get your courses on my list.

Again, no requirement to switch to Moodle at this time, but I really do suggest you make the move at some point in the next six months. We just can't guarantee that WebCT will be available to you any later than Summer 09.

Any questions, or to get WebCT courses on my list, let me know.

A couple of you have asked about this, so I thought it would benefit all of you . . . For those of you doing online quizzes with Moodle, I've found an Excel spreadsheet you can use for creating questions. It has a built-in macro that will put the quizzes in the proper GIFT format. It was developed by a guy named Jeff Sherk, and he made it available to everyone -- the nice thing about open source software. You can find the files here:


There's two files you need -- the Excel2GIFTv1.1.xls Excel spreadsheet, and the Excel2GIFTv1.1_Instructions.rtf document. The instructions seemed fairly straightforward, and everything worked when I tested it, but if you have questions, please let me know.

Of course, you can always create questions within Moodle itself, but this is a tool some of you might find useful.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2008 is the previous archive.

February 2009 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


Powered by Movable Type 4.23-en