Friday, January 05, 2007

Moodle on SUSE Server

Though our back-end network is primarily Microsoft Server 2003, our use of Linux laptops has certainly opened our eyes to the power and flexibility of Linux servers. Last summer I saw a presentation on Moodle, the open source e-learning platform so we launched a pilot Moodle server for our dean of faculty to manage the faculty resource web page.

The resources of Moodle were quickly in demand in the classroom. By exam time in December, we had several classes hosting forums and posting work. A freshman biology section had over 40 threads with some threads containing as many as 155 replies! The amazing part is that the forum was only a week old! Students used it as a forum for preparing for the exam.

We realized we needed to put some more thought behind our Moodle deployment and so we built a new SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 server from scratch and installed Moodle. I don't know anything about mySQL or php and that made things a little difficult for me. However, between the powerful system tool SUSE uses, called YaST and some custom scripting by a brilliant Linux partner of ours, we've made the installation of this secure and pretty fool-proof. Click on the post title or on the link along the side of the page to get the directions we created. The directions will link you to the Moodle software and the little tool we created to help you with your setup.

Moodle is a powerful tool that you can really grow with.


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