Gone Moodle 2.0: Latrobe University

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In light of the recent CLAMP report suggesting that the CLAMP member institutions stick with 1.9 for the 2012 Academic year it’s important to note that there are a few universities making the leap to Moodle 2.0 around the world.  One notable organization is the University of La Trobe in Victoria, Australia whose transition to Moodle 2.0 is highlighted in a recent white paper published by Netspot.

La Trobe opted to skip Moodle 1.9 when its previous LMS reached its end of life cycle, adopting an extremely aggressive 10 month implementation timeline with the help of an official Moodle Partner in Netspot.  From April 2010 to February 2011 6 months of beta testing and over 50 bug fixes were performed by the parties involved readying the Moodle 2.0 code for students in Semester 1 of 2011.

The decision to go with Moodle 2.0 rather than 1.9 was critical. Moodle 2.0 was untried and only recently released and Northern Hemisphere Moodle Partners had expressed caution in making the move until 2012. However, La Trobe was able to mitigate the risks involved in such a project through engaging leading Australian Moodle Partner, NetSpot, to support the transition through a range of expert professional services.

Important to note is that Moodle 2.0 was in beta preview release during some of this time which makes the adoption even more tenuous.  What’s clear is that Moodle 2.0 is ready for production at this point, but with caveats according to the white paper published by Netspot. It’s evident that several factors are required for a successful implementation, including

  • strong technical expertise and knowledge of the code-base (Moodle Partners can definitely help with this)
  • willingness and ability to fix bugs identified by students/teachers in pilot phase
  • strong financial support (while the implementation cost is unknown, it seems that a Moodle Partner with excellent understanding of the Moodle 2.0 code base might be required for an aggressive transition timeline such as Latrobe adopted–it may not be something that an institution’s IT department attempts on its own)

To read the full white paper submitted in our comments recently click here for the PDF.

In light of the CLAMP report this begs the question: Is Moodle 2.0 ready for schools?  Seems to be an apples and oranges comparison at the moment and the best answer perhaps is “depends”.  It depends on your current use of Moodle or another LMS, depends on the customizations you may have added to the platform post install, depends on your budget and timeline and a host of other factors.

What is clear is that pioneering organizations such as Netspot and La Trobe are paving the way for future colleges and readying a great product for easy adoption by the masses.  Which ever version you’re using currently, one thing you can be assured of is a bright and inviting future of Moodle.

One Response

  1. I think the 1.9 or 2.0 currently has a very clear answer:

    If your institution has never used Moodle before, and you are just starting, then start with 2.0.

    If you are already happily using Moodle 1.9, then you need to think very carefully about when to upgrade. You should certainly have started your careful thinking by now. When the right time to move is depends on how extensively you use Moodle (including third-party plugins which may not have been upgraded yet), your attitude to risk, and the available upgrade windows.

    In the Northern hemisphere, waiting for summer 2012 is terribly conservative. On the other hand, going to 2.1 this summer is a little bit risky. Neither option is going to be a terribly mistake. People not tied to upgrading during the summer break have more flexibility.

    Those in the summer hemisphere have an easier decision (if they are a typical school with a long summer break). Upgrade summer 2011/12.

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