Quick and Dirty Course Setup

Felt like throwing together a simple module recipe for course creation.  Of course I push ELMS as a collection of modules and settings to run a course management system (or at least manage courses…).  Here’s a quick list of the major modules living under ELMS hood that can get you up and developing a course quickly:

Using these 3 key modules you can create a quick and dirty framework for course content development.  Adding in some of the core optionals like color, book, comment, tracker, statistics, and upload and you’re most of the way there already!  Pixture is a great little color-wheel enabled theme that I usually use as my base for site creation to get up and running quickly.  Maybe throw in a few roles like “student” and “instructor”, maybe add in an initial book page to your first book so that the outline designer lets you build out the rest of the “course” quickly; who knows!

This may not be a complete recipe but the key to learning is doing.  And not just passive learning, active, hands on learning.  Experience is the best way to learn anything so,  I’m not going to just spoon feed you everything on this blog.  Trust me, I know Drupal is frustrating.  It’s one of the most difficult and frustrating learning processes that I’ve even undertaken (and still can be when learning about new projects).  The point of this blog though is to teach and give people enough knowledge to find direction so they can go off and become experts instead of constantly having to reference them! 🙂

Just know that if you learn enough about how these few projects work above that you can start rapidly building course materials!

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I am now not just another Drupal Zombie

I think people know (or at least it should be pretty obvious from everywhere my screen name shows up) that I am a Drupal robot.  I sleep, eat, and breathe Drupal and I push it every chance I get.  So it’s a little strange to me to be writing my first post in WordPress.  This is my first time even using WordPressin any way which is hilarious since I make so many arguments against it just from the standpoint of the power of Drupal.

Taking a step back I can say that in my limited experience, I see why WordPress != Drupal from first hand experience (finally).  Here’s a few comparisons between the two as I look quickly and get my first impressions.

WordPress First Impressions

  • Very obvious what I should do, update my first post to not say “Hello world!”
  • Wow this looks like a flexible blog
  • Slick interface, like the buttons; they are very non-threatening
  • Words + Icons are easy to understand

WordPress Dislikes

  • Didn’t expect the publish / update post button to be over on the right hand side (I don’t think that way about forms, probably from Drupal)
  • Has more of a Portal feel to it just from the layout and positioning of things
  • While I know it has lots you can do to expand it, I think it’s painted itself into a bit of a corner as a single-user, blog centric platform

Drupal First Impressions

  • What do I do?
  • Oh, admin ok, wow there’s a lot of options here
  • WOW this is flexible; I think I can make anything with this…if only I knew how!

Drupal Dislikes

  • Can be very confusing
  • Need to read up on what’s going on in the community, what modules do what before really knowing what you can do
  • Steep learning curve (rewarding, but steep!)

Is my point scewed? Yeah.  Do I still need to play around with WordPress more here (as well as locally)?  Hell yeah.  But I think what I’m finding by looking into this is that it’s a great, simple blogging platform that can get you up and running quickly.  This is what most people want to do who are trying to join in the conversation going on on the web.  For those want something more powerful, flexible, and thought of as a system, not just a website — then Drupal’s still for you.  I think I’ll start using WordPress for my blogs cause it’s so much easier to setup quickly then Drupal (I don’t love Drupal’s blogging only kind of environment / default install either where as this seems grreat).  For powerhouse sites / projects / systems, yeah; Drupal is still King here.