Book Review Moodle 2.0 First Look by Mary Cooch

“Discover what’s new in Moodle 2.0, how the new features work, and how it will impact you”.

That’s the books subtitle and it really does deliver on its promise.

What’s great about this book is that it dives straight into what’s new in Moodle 2.0, the book assumes the reader is already familiar with Moodle and therefore doesn’t get bogged down with explaining the core concepts and functionality that is already native to Moodle. Instead the reader gets an early digest of what’s to come.

Of course a lot has changed with Moodle 2.0 and this book does a fantastic job of holding your hand as it guides you through the changes. The new file system is explained very delicately with supporting screenshots and the whole writing process appears very natural. Mary’s teaching background plays a very important role here and she manages to illustrate the technical changes without becoming too technical.

The book not only explains the changes in Moodle 2.0 but also provides short tutorials which show you how to manage the new features and how to implement them. This for me extends the value of the book as it has enough content to come back to and re-use once your Moodle 2.0 setup is underway.

Later chapters include conditional learning and managing learning paths and this chapter is invaluable for anyone who is new to this practice. Blackboard has had conditional learning for a long time and this approach is new to Moodle. Mary explains the whole process very well and the accompanying screenshots are brilliant. What is most interesting here is that the book stays very balanced on the use of learning paths, as anyone involved in e-Learning will know, is it always the best option to limit students learning and lock things down conditionally? The book manages to voice both sides of the debate.

The workshop has changed dramatically in Moodle 2.0 and this book dedicates a lengthy section to it. As the online documentation has always been sketchy when it comes to the workshop module this book breathes new life into it and does a fantastic job of selling the benefits of using the module.

The last chapter of the book is written for administrators and covers some of the fundamental changes. Although there are no tutorials here, this chapter is more of a run down of what things Moodle administrators can expect to see. And as Mary quite clearly points out, this isn’t an Administrators book and those seeking a more technical guide should refer to Alex Buchner’s book also from Pact Publishing.

So who is the book for? And why should you consider buying it?

It’s perhaps the most comprehensive guide as to what is new in Moodle 2.0. The subject has been researched thoroughly and the features have been quite clearly test driven by Mary herself. And this is what sets the book apart from a simple feature list you will read on the Internet. Mary has spent an awfully long time working with Moodle 2.0 and not only highlights the changes but explains how they work and how to work with them.

This book is a must for any person thinking about an upgrade to Moodle 2.0, and let’s face it, anyone running a functional Moodle installation will have to make this decision sooner or later.

If you are trying to convince your organisation to move towards Moodle 2.0 then this book would be more than enough to highlight the benefits and would serve as a basis for a fantastic presentation.

Currently, there is no better resource on Moodle 2.0, and it’s written by one of the most keen and experienced Moodlers in the community.

For further information on this book please click here

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