Moodle, an acronym for “Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment”, is a free and open-source learning platform designed to provide educators, administrators and learners with a single robust, secure and integrated system to create personalized learning environments. It is a user-friendly tool which allows tutors to create, host and deliver courses, which can be enhanced with various functionalities and additional supporting material. A number of available functionalities also facilitate its usage by the learners who decide to participate in one of the courses hosted in a Moodle instance. During its about 10 years of existence, Moodle has more than 85,000 registered and verified sites all over the world, serving more than 7 million courses to more than 70 million learners.
agriMoodle is an extended bundle of the Moodle software which provides a feature-rich, fresh Moodle installation, integrating a set of green/agro-templates and themes, linking to interesting green/agri- information sources, and extended with specific modules and widget to serve the needs of the agricultural community. The objective of agriMoodle is to integrate different services for discovery of agricultural content that is suitable for educators and learners into Moodle, thus making it directly available through Moodle’s native environment, without requiring educators or learners to adopt to another environment or learn to use new tools, such as the ARIADNE Finder.
The agriMoodle platform includes three different tools /widgets to allow better connection to repositories and improve sharing data in an openly way, widgets that are pre-installed and can be configured with every new deployment of an agriMoodle instance. More specifically, the three widgets are the following:
- OER-Finder Widget, which provides an Open Educational Resources (OER) finder to search agricultural and green related content and can be used both by the content authors in order to locate useful resources and integrate them in their course, as well as by the learners who are given the opportunity to browse through a rich set of resources related to their current course.
- Metadata Editor Widget, which provides an intuitive, context-sensitive user interface to facilitate editing of the metadata of every learning resource by the manager of each course, in accordance to the Organic.Edunet ΙΕΕΕ LOM Application Profile. The metadata editor also supports the automatic translation of the metadata, using a domain-specific machine translation component.
- OAI-PMH Target Module, which allows the agriMoodle installation to provide an OAI-PMH (Open Archives Initiative – Protocol for Metadata Harvesting) target, thus serving as a source of metadata records, which can be harvested by any OAI-PMH compliant harvester across the globe.
These three widgets were developed in the context of the Organic.Lingua ICT-PSP project by the Agro-Know team. The agriMoodle is also being used in the context of the Herbal.Mednet LLP project for the support of the online trainings.
To sum up, agriMoodle is an enhanced version of a standard Moodle installation, adapted in a way to better serve the agricultural and green education and more specifically the development, hosting and delivery of green courses. In addition, it features components which enhance the interoperability of the platform and the dissemination of the courses through the use of standard metadata records. agriMoodle is free and open-source and ready to be used by any stakeholder of the agricultural and green learning community. You may find some additional information about agriMoodle in the following presentation by Tasos Koutoumanos, one of the people actively involved in the development of agriMoodle.