Moodle Blog

Moodle, Motor Mechanics (and Medicine)

I have a younger brother, David, and for a long time I thought we had nothing in common except our parents. I love reading and writing, am an “academic” and have no manual skills whatsoever; he can’t string two sentences together, has never read a book in his life and left school at 16 to become an apprentice car mechanic. Thirty years on, while I count the pennies on a part-time teacher’s salary, he runs a major MOT and Auto repair centre in the Midlands, has two holiday homes and earns more in a week than I make in a month. And yet, it occurred to me the other day when I was helping someone with a problem on Moodle.org – we are extremely similar!

My hobby is answering questions on the help forums of www.moodle.org I enjoy it and whenever I have a spare moment (or even when I don’t) I will go and see if there is a way I can contribute. In my view,  Moodle’s biggest asset is  the free online help 24/7 from the global community. (Despite that fact, some people actually like to pay for help as well; we have a merry band of clients who get me to solve their VLE  problems via email and Paypal. They don’t  get any  better or quicker answers, but they seem happy, so that’s fine by me!) So what’s the appeal of my hobby?  I have long pondered this. For sure, it is lovely when people are grateful and publicly post their thanks or rate you “useful”, but I think I’d probably do it anyway. And many people get their solution and move on, so you can’t rely on   gratitude supplying the “fix”. What then?

Onne morning and I rang my brother (who lives 100 miles away) and it  suddenly came to me:“When did it last work fine?” he said “Did you notice any strange sounds as you were driving it?”  “What noise does it make when you turn the key?” “Can you push start it?”

I realised he was doing exactly the same as I do when a Moodler has a problem: you answer their question with more questions; you are mentally following certain paths of enquiry, ticking off certain boxes, moving onto other scenarios until you can narrow it down. My brother does this every day and loves it. So do I. Troubleshooting, problem solving, Miss Marpling… we are like your GP when you go to the surgery… “You have a pain in your side?  Which side is it? When did you last eat? Is it always tender or only when you move?” We’re both the same except I do it from the comfort of my laptop whereas he is often on his back under a car.

So there you have it. It’s diagnostics. Helping out on www.moodle.org is like Medicine without the blood. Or, in my case, Motor Mechanics without the Oil 🙂

Dieser Beitrag wurde am Tuesday, 24. July 2012 um 16:41 Uhr veröffentlicht und wurde unter der Kategorie Moodle abgelegt. Du kannst die Kommentare zu diesen Eintrag durch den RSS-Feed verfolgen. Du hast die Möglichkeit einen Kommentar zu hinterlassen, oder einen Trackback von deinem Weblog zu senden.

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