One of the strongest reasons for using an Open Source GPL application is the freedom to bend it to your own requirements, to configure and customise it to your organisation’s business or process needs. With Moodle that often means using add-ons from the community. There is a wide variety of plugin types; some are simple and some are complex in both their installation and use.
To keep up-to-date with new add-ons, a few years back I started to active review them on this blog. Based on the reviews and on the experience of working with organisations using Moodle, I put together a list of “Essential plugins for Moodle”, which I have regularly updated and presented at conferences, including the recent Ireland & UK Moodlemoots and the iMoot in 2012.
Michael de Raadt is the Development Manager at Moodle HQ and has been actively developing Moodle plugins over the past few years including Progress Bar and Unanswered Discussions. In 2010 Michael wrote the book “Moodle 1.9 Top Extensions Cookbook” which showed examples of how the plugins could be used in teaching.
For the past year I have collaborated with Michael to write a book on Moodle add-ons and today we are delighted to announce that our book “Moodle Add-ons: Using add-ons to enhance your Moodle site” is now available to buy.
The book is available to buy on Createspace and on Amazon and other online retailers. For now it is just the paperback version but we will have the Kindle version formatted soon.
Our new book goes beyond the work we have done before, extending the presentations and reviews into a new context, providing more reasoned background about add-ons, their format and function, and on the process of evaluation.
The first three chapters explain Moodle add-ons in general, including the different types of add-on plugins available, how they are contributed and why people write an add-on. The book continues with a guide on how to install a Moodle environment to safely test add-ons, away from your production site, and explains how to install a sample add-on. Perhaps most valuable is the third chapter, which describes the many aspects an institution should consider before installing an add-on.
The rest of the chapters include comprehensive reviews on Add-ons broken down into the following areas:
- Resources and Activities
- Course Tracking
- Course Administration
- Site Administration
- Course Formats
- Virtual Conferencing
Hope you have as much fun reading the book as we had writing it.