Course Management Meets Social Networking in Moodle

Course Management Meets Social Networking in Moodle

Matt Crosslin (University of Texas at Arlington’s Center for Distance Education, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-100-3.ch308
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Moodle is currently one of the more popular opensource course management systems in online education. Some evaluations have also indicated that Moodle is one of the top-rated programs when compared to other open-source course management systems (Graf & List, 2005). The creators of Moodle describe their program as a course management system built on social constructivist pedagogy. Social constructivist pedagogy is a collaborative approach to learning based upon the works of Jerome Bruner, Lev Vygotsky, and Jean Piaget. Moodle’s unique focus on pedagogy allows online learning to cross over from the traditional educational realm of factual recall and rote memorization into the realm of social networking. Social networking has recently become one of the more popular uses of the Internet, with sites like MySpace and FaceBook attracting millions of users every month. Social networking Web sites began to appear on the Internet around 2002 (Downes, 2005). Social networks are now seen as an important component of modern society – even in educational contexts (Finin, Ding, Zhou, & Joshi, 2005). Current online social networking sites thrive on social constructivism pedagogy – whether the users or designers know this or not.

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