Over the summer, Moodle has been implemented across campus, replacing the previously used LUVLE as a discussion space and area to download study materials from. There have been mixed reactions to the new service – some find it to be poorly implemented, with lecturers being unfamiliar with the service. Others, however, have found it to be reasonably well implemented, although with a few teething issues as lecturers adapted to the system.
But why was there any need to implement Moodle? Some might feel that the system doesn’t have any additional features in comparison with the previous Virtual Learning Environment, and that there was no real need to move to a new system. However, there are also a few positive points to be taken from the implementation – I always found LUVLE to be a disorganised mess, which made finding learning materials almost impossible. The layout for the new Moodle system, at least in my department, is a lot easier to manage – with materials organised by week, in an accessible layout. It is much easier to navigate than LUVLE, and you can view materials for all of your courses on a single page, making finding materials for each class quite simple. Furthermore, it incudes your timetable, allowing you to check rooms at the same time as you are downloading materials.
However, was this the only logical route to take? Could it not have been possible to simply reorganise LUVLE along similar lines, with a greater emphasis on organisation? Surely it would have been easier to overhaul an existing system, instead of scrapping it and bringing in an entirely new system as a replacement. Lecturers already understood how to use LUVLE, whereas towards the beginning of this term some lecturers had difficulty with Moodle. As one third year management school student complained, “many lecturers don’t seem to know how to use Moodle, which has led to confusion in my classes about which work needs to be done”. Surely this could have been implemented using the existing system, without the need for Moodle.
I don’t feel that Moodle was a necessary move for the University, and in some cases, it doesn’t appear to have been particularly well implemented so far. However, this would be the case for any new system, as teething issues need to be ironed out in the first few weeks of term. On the other hand, the service is much better organised and more accessible than LUVLE, and is, in my opinion, much easier to use. There will always be issues when a new technology system is implemented, and this will be no different. Hopefully these issues will be improved upon throughout the year, and Moodle will become a worthy successor to LUVLE.