Use free Moodle software for Project Admin

Moodle is the world’s leading web-based learning management system (LMS). It is designed to organize training documents and assessments, but it is also an effective intranet for project-based organizations.

It is the first choice for project administration for my mid-sized engineering clients. Although it takes experience to set it up well, the software itself is open source and free (with all that means).

Moodle doesn’t have per user license fees. It is very suited to companies with projects that grow and shrink quickly. You are not limited to a certain number of “desks”, or a certain number of administrators. Your storage space can scale and expand. Because it is designed around the needs of universities, it has superb security around intellectual property.

How is Moodle structured?

Moodle has a logical, flexible hierarchical structure. Activities or Resources belong to Topics, which belong to a course that is housed in a category. So think about how you want to organize your information so the hierarchy makes sense.

It is easy to move items around within topics. It’s easy to move and duplicate courses. A course can have a default structure and templates.

For example in a traditional education environment, Moodle would look like this:

  • Subject: History
    • Course: South African History 101
      • Topic: South African Statesmen
        • Page/s: Nelson Mandela
        • Video links to speeches
        • PowerPoint presentation
        • Folders and Files: photos and PDFs

How this relates to a project-based engineering company

  • Subject: = Project
    • Course: = Planning, Estimating, Design, H&S, Plumbing, Electrical.
      • Topic: H&S Safety Data sheets
        • Folders and Files: PDF files
        • Zoom meeting recordings
        • Training materials
        • FAQs

Setting up the right initial structure is one of the most important tasks during installation, and InTouch24-7 can assist you in defining a structure that is flexible and practical.

What is a Resource?

  • The most common resource is a file like a PDF.  Zip up your master files in a hierarchy, and then unzip them into the topic with one click.
  • The most common training resource is a URL – often to a private YouTube video, or a Scorm package.
  • A Zoom meeting is a resource. It becomes active at a certain day and time (which could be recurring).
  • A page is easy to create and used for permanent information. It can display media or photos, and should be no more than one screen length.
  • Resources can be tracked. Who has looked at what, when.
  • Resources can be secured and role based. Who is allowed to look at them. Or you need to view A before you are allowed to open B.

What is an Activity?

Team members can work together, or with the project administrator.  If your content includes training, this section is very useful.

  • There are over 10 quiz question types
  • Lessons are complex workflows and used for self-directed learning
  • A Wiki or Glossary is a collection of web pages that anyone can add to or edit

How do team members interact?

  • The Forum is a fun community resource rich with information and good for support.
  • Chat allows participants to have a real-time discussions
  • Surveys can nag people to give an opinion.
  • Keep track of future events and appointments with subscriptions.

There are many ways that Moodle can be useful in a project-based company to expand and improve project administration. Visit www.moodle.org for further information.

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