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What Moodle? Meet the Distance Learning Platform | Education

Moodle is an open code system for creating online courses. Also known as the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), the platform used by students and teachers to support distance learning in over 220 countries. In Brazil, the solution has already been adopted by universities such as USP (University of So Paulo), UFBA (Federal University of Bahia) and UNB (University of Brasilia) to unify access to institutions' systems and services.

Acronym in English for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning EnvironmentIn other words, Object-Oriented Modular Learning Environment, Moodle works as an online classroom where teachers can provide learning material and propose interactive tasks such as quizzes and forum discussions. For students, the environment facilitates the exchange of knowledge and multimedia files.

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Open source Moodle that lets you create online learning environments Photo: Reproduo / Connect SafelyOpen source Moodle that lets you create online learning environments Photo: Reproduo / Connect Safely

Open source Moodle that lets you create online learning environments Photo: Reproduo / Connect Safely

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The system consists of free and open source software, which means that anyone or institution can download the program and adapt it to their needs. With this, programmers, designers and educators from different countries can contribute to product development collaboratively. Moodle is available for Linux, Windows and macOS systems.

To customize the learning environment, Moodle offers developers a series of plugins, able to add new features to the site. There are extensions for different purposes, from creating instant correction assessments to generating custom course completion certificates and scheduling video conferences. There are still engagement tools: the plugin Level Up!For example, it allows students to level up and offers rewards as their performance evolves.

Although Moodle is available for download by any user, you need programming skills, especially in PHP and MySQL code languages, to create your own virtual learning space according to your needs.

Moodle offers video playback tools and questions Photo: Playback / MoodleMoodle offers video playback tools and questions Photo: Playback / Moodle

Moodle offers video playback tools and questions Photo: Playback / Moodle

The first step to using Moodle is to register with the educational institution in question. In most cases, the platform is used as a support system for university or educational center subjects, so you must be a student enrolled in the institution to gain access to the materials. Some websites, however, offer courses open to visitors such as the UFSC VLE (Federal University of Santa Catarina), for example.

It is noteworthy that, in Brazil, Moodle is used not only in public and private universities, but also in language schools and corporate training centers. On the Moodle page, you can see a list of all the sites registered in the system (https://moodle.net/sites/index.php?country=BR).

As it supports distance education, Moodle has among its main features the upload of video lessons, a didactic form of teaching that comes closest to the experience in a classroom classroom. However, the cost of video production means that few educational institutions invest in this tool. Most commonly, the virtual learning environment works from forums and chat rooms.

In the forums, teachers can publish base texts and propose questions for discussion, deepening the content covered in the teaching materials. Already the chat rooms are the ideal space to doubt the teachers. You can schedule specific meeting times.

Moodle also allows the teacher to assign tasks to the student and make files available for download. It is noteworthy that, as the fully customizable platform, these features may vary by educational institution.

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