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A Learning portal –Using Moodle-

L.F. van Heerden

St. Michael’s School for Girls in

collaboration with Centre for Higher
Education Studies and Development

E-Learning Division

Transformation What is e-Learning? LMS & VLE Examples Moodle

Modern learners What E-Learning is not

Why E-Learning?

Differences between e-Learning & Conventional methods

Today’s students are no longer the people our
educational system was designed to teach.
“Modern children!”
“Our Children are being socialised in a way that
is vastly different from their parents. The
numbers are overwhelming: over 10 000 hours
playing videogames, over 200 000 e-mails and
instant messages sent and received; over 10
000 hours talking on cell phones; over 20 000
hours watching TV (over 500 000 commercials)
– all before the kids leave college. And maybe at
most 5000 hours of book reading” -2001-
Modern children
Children raised with the computer “think
differently” from the rest. They develop
hypertext minds. They leap around.
-Dr. Michael S Gazzaniga-

Linear processes that dominate educational

systems now can actually retard learning for
brains developed through game and web-
surfing processes on the computer.”
-Peter Moore-
Modern children

“Academic learning must

seek out new and
innovative ways to attract,
retain & impact learners in
the knowledge age.” Philip Laird
What is e-learning?
“A process that allows learners to take charge of
their own learning.It can be customised to meet
the individual needs to different learning styles –
any place, any pace. It is learning on deman.
Technology is not e – learning, rather a tool to
deliver e – learning. I t engages learners to
construct knowledge or meaning or
understanding from information beyond the
classroom walls.” (Spender and
What e-learning is not?
•E-Learning is not the mere use of computers or
computer technology.
•E-Learning is not just to put content on a computer /
learning portal (LMS).
•E-Learning is not an attempt to take over the job of a
•E-Learning is not a quick fix to “educational problems”.
•E-Learning is not saving time in the short run.
•E-Learning is not something that all teachers will
Why e-learning?
•Through a range of online learning
• learners and teachers can engage in
synchronous as well as asynchronous
interaction across space, time, and pace.
Preparing learners for tertiary institutions
What is the difference between e-
learning and conventional teaching?
1. Teacher centred 1. Leaner centred
2. Teach 2. Learn
3. Learning when we want 3. Learning on demand

4. Integration of concepts &

4. No Integration of concepts & knowledge
knowledge (repetition)
5. Two way medium
5. One way medium
6. One voice speaks 6. Lots of voices
7. Content 7. Competency
8. Synchronous 8. Asynchronous

9. Not preparing learners for 9. Preparing learners for LMS”s

LMS’s (Tertiary Institutins) (Tertiary institutions)
Learning Management Systems


A Virtual Learning Environment

A Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is a
software system designed to facilitate teachers
in the management of educational courses for
their students, especially by helping teachers and
learners with course administration.

These systems usually run on servers, using

one or more databases and a programming or
scripting language to serve the course to
students as internet pages.
Such e-learning systems are sometimes also
called Learning Management Systems (LMS),
Course Management System (CMS), Managed
Learning Environments (MLE), education via
computer-mediated communication (CMC) or Online
To summariese a VLE should make it possible
for a course designer/teacher to present to
students (through a single, consistent, and intuitive
interface) all the components required for a
course of education, learning and facilitation.
Example of a Lesson
Lessons available
“Activities” present in lesson

The Council
A Poem
The Designer:
The designer is the person who is responsible
for creating the course and making the course
content available.

The designer, who often is also the teacher of

the course, can perform multiple tasks, such as :
• creating quizzes
• monitoring progress
• customising the course
The Students:
• Students cannot manipulate the course
content other than in the student
presentation areas as defined by the
About Moodle
•Moodle Acronym: Modular Object
Oriented Dynamic Learning
•Moodle is a open source product that
can be freely downloaded, modified
and distributed.
About Moodle
• It is a content management system
(CMS) some times also called as a
VLE (Virtual Learning Environment).
• It is used for online course
management and delivery.
About Moodle
•Download, installation information available
•Commercial and support information
available at
Content for a learning portal.
• The course is built around the course
content, not the Moodle tools.
Problems we experienced
• Time
• “Unlearning” the old ways / methods
• Examples
• Resistance to change
• Content is still old-technology-transfer,
rather than transformation to the new
Thanks to:

1. The Centre for Higher Education Studies and

Development (CHESD), especially Anton Pienaar &
Herbert Thomas (E-Learning Division) for there input and
2. St. Michael’s School for Girls for creating exciting
opportunities in education.
3. Intel for creating platforms like these.
4. Grey College for hosting the conference.