A steady stream of communication is essential for learner engagement. There are a few common tools available for communication in Moodle: Forum modules, blogs, messaging, and attendance.
Single simple discussion - In this format, a single topic discussion is developed on one page. This is useful for short, focussed discussions, as it is only available within one group, not throughout separate groups.
Standard forum for general use - This type of forum is open, so anyone can make posts, or start new topics at any time. For general forums, this is the recommended format.
Each person posts one discussion - This is a useful format if you’d like each student to start a weekly discussion, for example. Even though each student can only post one new discussion topic, everyone can reply to them.
Q and A forum - Instead of an open discussion, here participants post questions as the initial discussion starter. Students can post their answers, and they will not be able to see other responses until they have done so.
Standard forum - Posts in this type of forum are displayed in a blog-like format
Blogs - The term blog is short for “web log.” Every Moodle user has their own blog, but users can also register their external blogs (Eg. Blogger, Wordpress) so that these external entries can automatically be posted in their Moodle blog. In Moodle blog posts, users can include files, they can go back and edit posts, and they can also register external blogs (Eg. Wordpress, Blogger) so that external entries can automatically be posted in their Moodle blog.
Messaging - There are two different forms of messaging in Moodle - instant messaging, and message alerts. Instant messaging can be enabled to allow users to communicate instantly with one another, in real time. This isn’t always the most efficient form of communication (Eg. If there is much to discuss, if there needs to be more than 2 people involved, etc.), but it quick. Please note that instant messaging is a new feature of Moodle 2.9, so it will only be available to those who have upgraded to the newest version.
Message alerts can be enabled so that users can receive notifications when things are happening in Moodle. For example, if someone writes a new forum post, if a new assignment is submitted, if a message is received, users (both teachers and students) will be notified.
Attendance - This module is pretty self explanatory - it’s used by teachers to take attendance during class. It also allows students to access and view their own attendance records (If the Moodle admin has made this visible to them). The default attendance statuses are “present”, “absent”, “late”, or “excused”, but it’s also possible to add your own statuses as you wish. Attendance reports can either be run individually, or for an entire class.
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