The Web Science Trust

Discovering DIMDIM: A heuristic evaluation of MOODLE's synchronous open source perspective

Lalos, Petros and Datsikas, Christos and Dimakopoulos, Nikos and S. Tombras, George (2009) Discovering DIMDIM: A heuristic evaluation of MOODLE's synchronous open source perspective. In: Proceedings of the WebSci'09: Society On-Line, 18-20 March 2009, Athens, Greece. (In Press)

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Moodle is a course management system (CMS) - a free, Open Source software package designed using sound pedagogical principles, to help educators create effective online learning communities. Moodle has been widely used with success in many Universities. It covers all the main aspects of Asynchronous e-Learning but lacks on modern Synchronous e-learning features like hosting virtual classrooms. Dimdim steps in to fill the gap between Moodle and other commercial Learning Management Systems by providing virtual classroom features while simultaneously remaining available as open source software. Today's modern learning environment with continuous learning and training needs considers face-to-face meetings with all learning participants present in one place as an unrealistic approach. Synchronous learning features are essential for a successful e-learning program implementation. Dimdim's virtual classroom solution enables the learning participants to conduct online virtual classroom meetings over the internet easily and without cost under GNU-GPL. Furthermore, DIMDIM provides for integration with MOODLE, one of the widely known open source course management systems, allowing the utilization of virtual classrooms sessions through the use of MOODLE's environment and MOODLE's single sign on (SSO) feature. Using Dimdim, teachers can conduct classes as web conferences so that their physical presence along with the physical presence of their students is not necessary. Also the archived sessions can be used by students for later reference as well by the teacher as a teaching tool. Dimdim is offered along with integrated packages that allow the implementation of the synchronous software into Moodle's platform. Moodle's instructor views Dimdim e-classroom as a learning activity and controls all of Dimdim's features through Moodle's administrating environment after the implementation of the package. Using Dimdim an Instructor/Teacher, can share his presentation, applications and even his desktop with his students or trainees or other attendees spread across the different locations. The learning session participants need only an internet connection and a browser and no installation of software or configuration of firewall or proxies is needed. They can see and talk with each other as if they are sitting next to each other. This paper will present a heuristic evaluation regarding Dimdim's e-classroom features. This presentation will include a detailed description of Dimdim features along with a contrast with features found in modern Synchronous e-learning Systems (SABA-CENTRA) that are too expensive and not available under GNU-GPL. Finally, it will publish recordings of users (teachers and students) evaluations collected during a test e-classroom use of Dimdim and conduct an overall appraisal of this synchronous e-learning software.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Synchronous & asynchronous, Open source, e-learning
Subjects:Web Science Events > Web Science 2009
ID Code:115
Deposited By: W S T Administrator
Deposited On:24 Jan 2009 08:45
Last Modified:25 Oct 2011 16:36

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