It is one of these discussions that appear every now and then, with intentions and quality of feedback from across the whole spectrum. In essence, would Moodle be better off starting anew, leaving a few engineers supporting the old system while everyone else starts building the great new thing?
Veteran Moodlers have faced this old question before, and dramatism (“This platform has got worse in almost every way“—cue sad emoji) does not rejuvenate it. For the critics, unfortunately, their frustration is not likely to stop soon. Real-life projects involving lots of people, not just open software, in fact not just in software, need lots of time just to achieve a common language. Which is only the beginning, because the ongoing challenge is to explain mental models, often as they are being built.
Some people find this impossible to deal with. They might decide to move away. We hope they find better pastures where they are spared from the noise and the nonsense.
The debate, while predictable, still leaves us with some notable contributions:
Colin Fraser: “First stage of technical development is easy and simple to use. Second stage is complex and difficult to use. This is where Moodle is. Third stage is complex and easy to use. Most products don’t make it through the second stage, but Moodle just might.”
Chris Kenniburg: “Our homepage is designed to accomplish these goals via a theme and plugins we developed. They act as a traffic cop to direct the users to where they want to go (…) Moodle largely leaves big part of usability questions up to the school or end user to decide. But maybe they should be the ones answering them.”
William Stewart: “This is also more broadly a problem with educational technology. There are numerous tools available, but often what teachers do not receive is training and ongoing support. One-off workshops really are ineffective for the vast majority of users. Departments for some reason feel like it isn’t worth investing in them, and students are assumed to easily understand and navigate websites.”