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November 20, 2011 / Kyle

Thinking of starting your own Moodle for your school or college? [Part 1]

If you have recently been thinking of getting your own Moodle installation for your school or college congratulations, you have made the first step! It’s a slippery slope from here and you will day-by-day, see how you can save even more time and deliver a course efficiently with Moodle.

So, what do I need?

This post is all about the basics of getting started, assuming you are an educator who has previously had no experience at all with the virtual learning world, this is a great starting point.

If you have no experience with Moodle at all, don’t worry Moodle is without a doubt one of the simplest and most user-friendly systems you could ever work with, no prior knowledge needed!

The very first thing you need is a basic hosting package.

Hosting is the fancy word we use for the computer equivalent of hosting a party, instead, we need somewhere to host our Moodle. Before you jump into the deep end, here is a little primer about the differences between hosting packages:

All hosting packages do one thing; they host our files (or webpage  / Moodle) for us. Each hosting package offers a little bit more then the other, each with different tools for different tasks.

 

What we need to make sure is that our hosting package offers us support to run PHP pages, because Moodle was wrote in HTML and PHP. PHP can be considered the “Engine” That runs the code which the Moodle developers wrote. It is used the world over and you should not have any issues finding a hosting package which offers PHP support.

The second thing we need is support for a database. The specific database that we need support for is a MySQL database.

And that’s it! Once you got a hosting package with PHP and MySQL you are ready to go. All the other options available to us don’t matter, if you have them fine, if you don’t then don’t worry because we will not be using them.

Which package should I choose?

 

Hosting companies generally offer the above in different packages, usually a small, a medium and a large package. As this is your first time setting up a Moodle installation, a good bet is usually to start of with the smaller package. In time if we need a bigger package, we can always upgrade!

 

You will notice that each of the hosting packages tells you how many MySQL databases it offers, we only need one and basic packages usually come with 10 or more.

Ok now what?

 

Next you need a Moodle 2.0 installation package, which can be downloaded from the download section of moodle.org. The package will be zipped up in a .zip file. (If you have never used zip files before Google “How to unzip a file”).

And that’s it you’re ready to start the installation process of your new Moodle. Check back next week for the second half of this tutorial!

 

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