I’ve just obtained a ‘sandbox’ account with Angel Learning. Angel is another course management suite, and I was interested to see how it compares with Moodle. The following is a stream-of-consciousness exploration of the platform…
It certainly is a very different kettle of fish. I started exploring the ‘eportfolio’ section. For an online student, keeping a portfolio of the different resources you’ve come across, the different bits of writing that you’ve done, and so on, can be quite cumbersome. As a prof, I think I would really like to see what materials my students are using. This eportfolio might address both issues – the student can ‘publish’ a selection of materials from the portfolio to display. So the portfolio feature certainly seems promising. The eportfolio allows the student to upload ‘artifacts’, be they files or links to websites. The screen-shot below shows the creation of a rubric under a page called ‘Achievements’. Presumably this means that I as a prof could set up a rubric for a literature review assignment, and then the students can add materials to their portfolio to indicate that they have ‘achieved’ the goals of the assignment (formative assessment, I guess!).
Ah. Just found the relevant help file:
ANGEL ePortfolio 2.1 allows students and instructors the ability to create an evolving picture of educational as well as personal growth and development. It allows individuals to link progress to institutional, course, and personal achievements, and includes the concept of “certified” artifacts – artifacts imported from ANGEL Courses that include grades and instructor comments. ANGEL ePortfolio’s blogging capabilities allow students and instructors to maintain an ongoing record of educational and co-curricular activities. Finally, sharing elements of an ePortfolio can be accomplished by creating “Publications” – custom web pages consisting of various artifacts from a student’s ePortfolio – and emailing or granting other ePortfolio users permission to see specific aspects of one’s work.
So on first impressions, the eportfolio allow seems to be an extremely valuable tool for an online instructor. Moodle allows that sort of thing, too, but I’ve not personally had much success with my students in that regard. Of course, that may well say more about the instructor than the platform.
The layout is simpler than in Moodle, but there seems to be much less customization available. The screenshot below shows the ‘art history’ template, and the opening screen that you see when you’re not in the e-portfolio.
This next screen shot gives an idea of the various options available to you as an instructor to create your course. Everything is tabbed, once you select a particular option. I set about creating a test, and found it to be fairly similar to setting one up in Moodle, but the layout was much more user-friendly.
Some kinds can be automatically graded, others require manual intervention.
As time allows, I’m going to try to migrate some courses I built in Moodle, to the Angel Sandbox, and we’ll see how easy/frustrating that process might be…
Some reviews of Angel, and Angel v. Moodle v. other CMS…
FindArticles – Technology review: ANGEL(TM) courseware by Angel Learning
Community College Enterprise, The, Spring 2005, by Harris, Mark