It took awhile for me to finish reading “Moodle Course Conversion: Beginner’s Guide” by Ian Wild but definitely not because I did not enjoy it, I have simply been very busy! I recently read and reviewed “Moodle Administration”, which is also from Packt Publishing, and like that book I was impressed with this one as well. I was actually a little more impressed with the Course Conversion book!
One reason why I enjoyed reading this book so much is because it did a good job of covering a lot of topics without overloading your brain. It guided the reader from start to finish – creating a new course to backing that course up and everything in the middle. Of course the book could not explain every single feature in depth but I thought it did a great job of covering the main, important topics.
Another reason why I enjoyed this book is because it put the reader in the teacher role where I am used to being in the administrator role. The author told you his own experiences and it was good to know that he’s been in that teaching position so he knows what it’s like. The book even gives the reader web sites and resources to use within Moodle like Voki, Odeo and Slide.com.
A big reason why I think this book would be so useful for Moodle users is that it shows the reader real classroom applications. It goes through many common tasks that teachers will more than likely run into like working with PowerPoints, taking images from a Word document, how to zip files so you can upload multiple files at once to Moodle, using video in Moodle and more. Instead of focusing only on the “how tos” and explaining the actual Moodle features it showed how to use the features by using real examples such as embedding a YouTube video with “compose a web page” or transforming a project into Moodle assignments.
It would get very boring and probably overwhelm a reader if it were to give you step by step directions on “how to” use a Moodle resource or activity, so by giving the reader an example on when and how a feature could be used is much more engaging and memorable. It may also spark some ideas for the reader or they could even use that very example in their own Moodle course.
To sum it up, I would highly recommend this book for any teacher that is planning to start using Moodle with their class. This book gives you the knowledge and power to create an engaging Moodle course from start to finish by taking you along his own journey of converting his course into Moodle. If a reader were to read this book and follow along by creating their own course I would be confident that it would be a success. Being a Moodle admin/trainer/support I can greatly appreciate this book for showing me the “teacher side” of a Moodle course. What I’m also taking from this book is the knowledge of other resources to use in a Moodle course, some great ideas and information about Moodle feature settings I never knew (wikis, gradebook, scales, lessons). Finally, it has helped me and will continue to help me form and structure our district’s Moodle help page. I have always struggled with how to display and give Moodle help and support to users in an online format because there is just so much information. This book has given me a few ideas on how to structure online Moodle help.
I could go on and on about the specifics in this book and the interesting things I found but I would really recommend buying it so you can read for yourself and refer back to it in the future – I know I will! Now, I must get back to all of the post-its I stuck in the book to try out and explore on my own Moodle site!