udutu – The price is right, free if you don’t use their server.
It’s fairly straightforward to use –
You can put it up on Facebook and learners can access it there –
The teacher’s view above and the learners’ below –
I like udutu’s encouraging course creators to use the assessment tool for learners to self-assess, rather than scoring with it. It allows learners to repeat going through the materials as often as they want.
I like the ease of use with no coding, and only some figuring out needed. The small “course” I created took 2 to 3 hours and was based on a pre-existing PowerPoint, an udutu suggestion. That’s pretty quick for a first try.
I like the appearance, what the pages look like.
I have two provisos:
- For a highly factual content course, it might be a good fit, but for a course with a lot of student input, the kind I usually teach, it could be too prescribed.
- As the early WebCT did for me, udutu could provide a kind of scaffolding for teachers new to using the web in their teaching. However, having read Weinberger’s Small Pieces Loosely Joined – http://www.smallpieces.com/ – at an impressionable stage in my learning about the web, I prefer to use separate applications linked to each other. For my fall course, students will be using a class wiki, which will be linked to a class community blog, which will be, of course, linked back to the wiki. Within the wiki and the blog, there will be other links
- to web applications needed to complete the course
- to tutorials and information about those web applications
- to student-chosen links
- to assignments
To me, this is the most efficient way to set up a class, and it matches the overall web culture, as I understand it. Students will be living, learning and working in that culture in their futures, so why put them in a tight framework in this part of their learning.
So udutu might work for some purposes, but not for my current ones.