I was using a Linux computer searching on the internet for educational tools back in 2007 and I came across Moodle. I was trying to find out if Moodle is an open-source system. I downloaded the Linux version and I installed it. I was impressed with what I saw, it is a wonderful system, free of charge, and it has everything you need.
I did some research and found out Moodle is a cloud-based system. I was able to host it and install it myself.
Initially, I was creating a classroom, similar to Google Classroom and I was putting all of my material on the platform and designing courses.
I used to be an English teacher. I was teaching English as a second language(EAL) in different language schools. I was originally keeping my materials in folders, in hard copies on storage devices which was difficult.
I decided that I would create a Moodle classroom, and I put all my material in the Moodle classroom. I organized my courses chapter by chapter. I put all of my lesson plans, lessons, classwork, assignments, and everything else I needed on the platform.
What I liked most about Moodle was that I could create nice online quizzes. It takes very little time to do. You don't have to even read the paper, it automatically evaluates the quizzes. It gives the student grades and provides a lot of useful statistics. For example, it indicates which question was the hardest, easiest, and where students made the most mistakes. Everything is available to you. You couldn't do this in regular paper test hard copies. This was my first use case.
I moved to Poland and that is where I am currently. At the school where I started working, they were organizing something similar to a nationwide math contest. Students are supposed to go to a center where they could take the test. There were hard copies of the test being sent around Poland to all of the schools. Teachers arranged when students were taking the test and it was done by writing on an answer sheet and they were sending it to us. We were evaluating, and getting back to them with the results. It was a lot of work, and many people had to be involved. It was a costly event.
I mentioned that I can do the whole contest in Moodle and it won't cost us anything. All we need to do was have a strong server because there will be many students taking the exam at the same time. The server will be our only cost.
I installed the Moodle on the server, and I created quiz classrooms for each year group, such as grades seven, eight, and nine. I created the test and assigned the starting time and duration. All the teachers needed to do was take the students to the IC lab and help them start the test. As soon as they submit the test, we had the results whole country-wide.
A large problem we had previously was if you were asking 20 or 50 math questions, and because it was similar to an Olympiad, you needed to have rankings, such as first, second, and third place. Sometimes it happens that several students are answering the same number of questions correctly. We did not know how we were going to decide who was going to be on the rankings list. The ranking was going to be a problem because you don't have any other way, but with Moodle, we were telling the students the ranking will be based on first, the points you receive, the number of questions you answer correctly, and a second criterion is the time. The time it took them to answer the questions. If the number of right answers is the same, the second criterion was the duration.
I could organize a nationwide exam, and nearly 10,000 students took part in it. This is a substantial accomplishment. Normally in order to organize what I did 10 years ago when these online solutions were not very common it was difficult.
I'm working for an international school and we have an admission period. During this time all those students come to enroll. We do a placement test before, usually math and English. They were the traditional way, we were taking them into a classroom, we were assigned a teacher, and the students would do the test. We had to read the test and get back to the parents with the result, which was taking a lot of time.
In 2015, I created a placement test in Moodle. No matter how many students came, or what time they came, we only needed to take them to the computer lab. They could start their own test, have their own duration, and as soon as they submit the test, we had the results.
Normally for every student, you had to arrange a teacher, because they come at different times.
I am stopped using Linux and I am on the Mac ecosystem. There's no point in using the software version of Moodle because it is best when it is on the cloud and it's accessible from everywhere by all of the students. If you want to only use it for yourself, for example, I want to have a system where I can put all of my material, you can use a software version of it. It will be private and only limited to you. One of the largest advantages of Moodle is that it has different user types, such as teachers and students with different roles.
I have tried different cloud services and different systems. There was one when I first came to the school here where I worked, they were using a local system. I used SiteGround and used another solution before. When I first started using Moodle, we had our own Linux server, which we were keeping internally.