Scholars Online Moodle Distance Learning Environment
Scholars Online uses an open source course management system called a Moodle (Modular Object-Oriented Distance Learning Environment). This teacher-designed package provides an integrated secure environment with most of the functions that we need for a distance-learning community. It includes course organization areas where teachers can list chats links, post and collect assignments, set up quizzes, record grades, link in outside resources, mail notices to course participants, foster communication between students with individual class or even class session forums, or add wikis and glossaries.
Students have individualized home pages in the Moodle, listing their own courses and links to their teachers. The calendar on this page contains all scheduled events for the student's classes, including quizzes and assignment due dates.
Individual course pages contain links to course resources, reminders of upcoming events like quizzes and homework assignments, and often sections with instructions for the current week.
Students, teachers, and parents (who have access to the general Moodle pages and — as we roll out the Mentor option — access to their own students' assignments) can message each other from within the Moodle, participate in open courses available to all members, and share informations, insights, and even jokes in the general forums.
Over 100,000 colleges, universities, and business training centers use the Moodle world-wide. The Moodle system is platform-independent, easily configurable, and its community of users are constantly adding new functionality, so we will be able to meet changing student needs, teacher requests for additional features, and emerging security threats with future updates.
The only software required by student or teacher is a standards-compliant browser. In our experience, the most recent versions of FireFox and Safari work best.