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Tuesday September 2nd 2014
Registration today WIRIS: Maths for Education

Happy Friday: my top 5 favorite Moodle sites

I’ve seen a lot of Moodles.  I can’t resist a new Moodle link, to see the theme, the apparent activity on the front page and the various courses that are available (even though they might be closed).  Checking out a new Moodle always gives me new ideas for posts, and how to design my own Moodle sites or courses.

Overtime I’ve visited a few over and over because they are just so cool.  So here are my all time favorite Moodle sites*

1. http://www.moodleinschools.org.nz/ – The theme and overall design of this site is AMAZING.  I love the palette.  As a resource site for New Zealand, it’s really a great destination for courses, learning and other information.  If you’re running a state or country based organization promoting Moodle, then this is a prime example of how to encourage Moodle with all of the right resources.
2. http://moodle.leedscitycollege.ac.uk/ – In my opinion: Best theme ever.  The Leeds Moodle team seems to be unleashing new features and aesthetic flavor every week.  Just check out Lewis Carr or Sukhwant Lota‘s blogs for the new features and tricks their posting on a regular basis.  Well worth a visit to any of their sites.
3. http://quantum.riverview.nsw.edu.au/Julian Ridden talks about this site and the basis for their design on a recent Moodlemayhem podcast.  His thoughts: help students own their Moodle site.  Another great example of a cool theme.
4. http://imoot.org – This was used in early 2010 for the first ever virtual Moodle Moot.  It is the first site I recall seeing with a modified 2 column layout (where the block columns are both on the same side).  It’s also had some cool features like Facebook Connect-based registration and the Moodle bar.  The cake though was the scheduling utility that was used.  It was both robust enough to manage scheduling for dozens of sessions but very easy to use.  Unfortunately some of the images are broken due to the prepping of iMoot 2011′s v2.0 site (but it was glorious in action).  Update 9/8/2010: the imoot site had it’s images restored (yay!)
5. http://moodle.aub.edu.lb/ – This was featured a few weeks ago because of the wealth of information provided to teachers and students through the use of the Moodle Books Module.  Though the theme is generally standard and basic, there’s a certain aesthetic which makes this site one of my favorites (perhaps I’m swayed by the direct link to Moodlenews…).
What’s your favorite Moodle?  Do you have an exemplary Moodle to share based on it’s theme, purpose or otherwise?  Share a link in the comments

*I reserve the right to revise this list at anytime.

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Reader Feedback

36 Responses to “Happy Friday: my top 5 favorite Moodle sites”

  1. Joseph Thibault says:

    Let me add another to the list http://learningspace.falmouth.ac.uk/

    that site is wicked.

  2. Joe Deegan says:

    Thanks for sharing! Always nice to have some great examples to get inspiration from. Keep up the good work with Moodle News.

  3. Melissa says:

    that first one was sweet!

  4. [...] out @MoodleNews blog post, Happy Friday: my top 5 favorite Moodle sites, which lists some of Joseph Thibault’s favorite Moodle sites. I’ve always loved Leeds [...]

  5. Sukhwant Lota says:

    I feel flattered that we’ve made your list!

  6. Joseph Thibault says:

    I’m flattered that you visit Moodlenews! Thanks for putting up such a great Moodle (it’s obvious that the students at Leeds enjoy their LMS)

  7. Lewis Carr says:

    I think http://www.moodleinschools.org.nz/ might be a Drupal Site! Still awesome though!

  8. Joseph Thibault says:

    Lewis, you are correct. The whole front end of the site is Drupal, but once you find the course view (when logged into a sample course) you can easily identify the 3 column Moodle layout: http://www.moodlenews.com/wp-content/uploads/fav-real-moodle-in-schools-nz.png (still pretty slick). Not to mention that it’s SSO for the Moodle sample courses and forums.

  9. Let’s not forget Newbury College – http://vle.newbury-college.ac.uk/

    Shaun Daubney makes some of the best themes around!!

  10. Joseph Thibault says:

    Chris, I agree completely. Shaun’s contributions to the Moodle theme database have all been great. I’m a huge fan of Aardvark and the variations it’s sired.

  11. Woops. Didn’t notice the broken images. I have updated the database so that the old iMoot site works properly. Hope to make th new iMoot site even bigger and better.

    Thankyou for listing two of my sites on your list. The challenge now is to make sure the next ones get even bigger and better than ever. I always like to focus on student engagement. This is WAYYYY more important than branding in my opinion

    Julian (aka Moodleman)

  12. Should also point out that iMoot was a variation on Shaun Daubney’s awesome Aardvark theme. So lots of the credit for that should go his way.

    Julian (aka Moodleman)

  13. Tim Chambers says:

    I’ve been looking for COOL Moodle sites to get inspired and motivated to use Moodle to teach my students. This was an absolutely fantastic post. I AM inspired! Thanks!!!

  14. Tim Chambers says:

    Reviewing these sites again, I’d like to know if it’s possible for a non-developer to create a cool front page in Moodle. Is it as simple as taking an existing theme and modify it with new images, layout, etc.? Anyone know of a resource that lays this out, step-by-step? I’ve got a brand spankin’ new domain and (blank) website/webpage, ready to go at this for my moodle site. Thanks for any help you can send. :)

  15. Joseph Thibault says:

    Tim, here are a couple of resources to start:

    creating your own theme @thematoweb

    Theme FAQ @Moodle.org

    Julian Ridden (Moodleman) also has a pretty extensive video series (http://www.youtube.com/user/moodleman) for creating/customizing themes. I can say that the Moodle community is great at Moodle.org and if you have a question about customizing a specific theme (downloaded from Moodle.org’s theme db) then you should ask it there and the original author will most likely help you achieve your goal.

  16. [...] Happy Friday: my top 5 favorite Moodle sites | Moodle News [...]

  17. marko says:

    I can say that the Moodle community is great at Moodle.org

  18. [...] Happy Friday: my top 5 favorite Moodle sites [...]

  19. Deepak Sharma says:

    Your first theme is NOT a moodle theme. It is drupal.

  20. Joseph Thibault says:

    Deepak, that’s acknowledged in the comments already. While it is Drupal, the site also has Moodle integrated and the theme is almost identical to the front end. It’s a great example of how Moodle can be themed to look like other open source products. Thanks,

    Joe

  21. [...] Finally, Moodle can be customized to look very nice [...]

  22. Fulwah Bin Sulayyih says:

    These are just amazing examples. Thank you for sharing. I would love to share them with my friends who are teachers.

  23. Fulwah Bin Sulayyih says:

    These are fantastic Moodle sites. Thank you for sharing.

  24. Joseph, thanks for the examples. My background is in experiential learning and curriculum design, but I’m also a video producer/graphic artist. I’ve been wanting to see the moodle platform become more interactive. I’ve seen some creative ideas on how to go beyond simple “discussion forums” to collaborative learning, but I’m wondering if you’d have examples you’ve seen where Moodle is being used to its full potential and not simply a place where you watch online lectures and then download class notes and readings.

  25. Joseph Thibault says:

    There are some good examples around the web. I like some of what’s going on at http://vle.olchs.lancs.sch.uk/

  26. Thanks for responding. However it still looks like something out of the days of animated gifs and Microsoft Publisher. It’s a problem for many who are trying to create learning environments that are inviting. (I realize that if you’re signed up for a university class and have plunked down your money or student loan to be there, other motivations push you through the sheer aesthetic pain.) But if your course were as interesting to look at as the learning you’re trying to pass on, it would be so much stronger. I’ve been looking at things like Apple U and the newest interactive textbooks, but I’m not wanting to cut myself off from the potential of academic institutions that won’t make those kinds of jumps any day soon.

  27. Joseph Thibault says:

    I hear what your saying but just because OLCHS doesn’t have a flashy theme doesn’t mean that collaborative learning isn’t happening. Another example is http://mathtrain.com/. It’s just a standard theme, but the site is anything but.

    There are tons of themes that can be applied. You asked for examples of collaborative learning and where Moodle is being used to its full potential; theme notwithstanding those are just two examples.

  28. Alek says:

    We believe that aesthetics can affect the way students view your product (whether that be educational or commercial). Apple has certainly proven that!

    We’ve taken the basic Fusion theme and applied a number of jquery effects across the site to make it look good.

    http://apps.tutoringzone.com/

    We’re working on building in toggled content, tabbed tables, and more. If you have any thoughts we’d appreciate feedback.

  29. LearnStart says:

    Imagine – this could be your Moodle site!

    http://demo.learnstart.net

  30. Great post and discussion. Have posted some other Moodle sites I like here http://www.slideshare.net/gideonwilliams/moodle-themes-and-icons but now need to update this with your choices and thoughts.

    Cheers

  31. Icemahn says:

    Check Otago Polytech (moodle.op.ac.nz)
    I like it

  32. Pascale says:

    Thanks for sharing this. It’s good to see how inventive you can be with themes and how effective some of them are but I think you meant best looking Moodle sites rather than best Moodle site. I was expecting to read on sites’ effective use of tools rather than looks.
    Another article one day perhaps?

  33. Joseph Thibault says:

    you are correct, this was just “best looking” based on themes. I think “best site” overall would be hard to gauge, there would need to be a composite of criteria that might include learner achievement, satisfaction, use of tools, active users, daily logins etc.

  34. I want to use Moodle for my consulting business. Can I set up password–protected customer profiles, so that they can log in see my comments and in turn respond to my comments?

  35. Joseph Thibault says:

    Nellsson, you can do a heck of a lot more feedback and connecting with users behind an authentication wall with Moodle. I recommend you check it out at moodle.org.

  36. Alek says:

    Hey Nellsson,

    Depending what features you need an LMS like moodle may be overly complicated.

    If you’re interested in having somebody set up either a Moodle or other CMS site for you (WordPress, squarespace all have password protected areas too) I do independent website contracting.

    http://hartzogtech.om

    Sorry to “sell” my stuff here Joseph, I was just subscribed to this thread haha.

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