Moodle is a course management system that creates an organic learning environment. The organic aspect of this environment is created by learners and facilitators Moodle is an open source application written in PHP. This means that anyone who downloads and installs this application may modify the source code for their convenience. This organic learning environment is created using a learning theory called social constructionism. Now don't be afraid of the last two sentences, it took me several months to come to understand what this learning theory was all about. In this post I'll try to explain how the technologies within Moodle create this organic learning environment.
First let's explain what social constructionism really means. Social constructionism is a learning theory that requires the learner to construct knowledge as they are learning. An example of this would be a learner reading a document and then blogging about what they learned. The real power comes when several people read the same document and then blog about what each of them has learned. Then others can see what you have learned as well as what others have learned.
So how does Moodle create this organic learning environment? By using a technology called Web 2.0. Web 2.0 allows a user to update content on the Web without having a HTML editing program. Before Web 2.0, web pages were static and usually updated only by a webmaster. When an instructor creates a Moodle course, he or she has the option of adding activities. Some of the following activities can be included: assignment, chat, choice, feedback, forum, wiki and blogs. Each one of these activities can be used by a learner to provide constructed knowledge.
In closing, Moodle has been compared to a Swiss Army knife. By using an approach like Web 2.0, learners are able to construct and share knowledge within a social setting with other learners.