May 4 2011

Five Ways To Teach With Moodle

Written by Jim Yupangco

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More and more university, high school and K-12 curriculums in the USA and Canada are incorporating Moodle as an online learning management system.  But are teachers using it to educate students?

Here are a few ideas that have worked well, straight from the teachers who are already using Moodle in the classroom:

1) Collaborative storytelling using a Moodle wiki, suggested by Chris Shamburg:

For example, with graduate students in my ed tech courses I start with a short 'fair use'/copyright scenario. There's a short scenario about copying material and an analysis of why the scenario is most likely fair use (four factors in the US for using the copyrighted material of others without permission). Each user has to change the scenario and analysis. The process, product, and history are all illuminating and plug students into the wiki tool.

2) Get your students to create Moodle quizzes and tests for you by installing Activities, suggested by Frederic Nevers

Once it is is very easy to create your first activity. You only need to select what type of questions you want your students to create and how many e.g. students to create at least 3 ‘multiple-choice’ questions, and 2 ‘Yes/No’ questions. I find that the first time you use this assignment type, you are better off using simple question types, such as those aforementioned…

In the example provided, the teacher decided to get his students to create questions at the ‘end’ of a learning cycle, as a review activity. It provided him with ‘data’ which is probably a lot more useful than what he would have got with a more traditional end of unit test. On top of that, students had a much better time doing this activity than doing a test.

3) Creative ideas or stories using Moodle glossaries, suggested by A.T. Wyatt

I had fun using the glossary for:

book reviews (with a picture of the cover from one of the big book ordering sites)

* biographies of people in the field (in our case, we did photographers--they added a link for more information and a link to their favorite picture)

* tutorials for photoshop (they uploaded their created image, linked to the tutorial, and gave it a rating for quality)

4) Use forums to pose questions and gage individual student skills, suggested by David Wright.

I see the power of Moodle by getting a better picture of my students level of understanding.  By using the forums, specifically the Q&A Forums, I can pose a question and have all of the students reply to my question.  Sometimes as teachers we fall into teacher call back questions and the advanced students drive the lesson.  The Q&A forum allows all of the students to show exactly their level of understanding and once they've submitted an answer, they can see other colleagues’ responses.  I like the fact that I can just browse responses and can tailor and re-teach class lessons.

5) Use group chat capabilities to focus on communications skills:

In my classes, students are allotted time to do a group talk, though it's limited to students who are in the classroom at that time. When my class does a group chat exercises online, I grade students' writing and award or subtract points for complete or incomplete sentences. This exercise is part of our school-wide focus to build writing skills. Once students are done chatting, I save the group talk log files and then ask students to revise any incomplete sentences. 

Are you a teacher using Moodle in your classroom? Leave a comment and let us know how you are using Moodle to teach your students.

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