Category Archives: Moodle

All things Moodle

Moodle 2 Databases

Databases

The database activity module allows the teacher and/or students to build, display and search a bank of record entries about any conceivable topic. The format and structure of these entries can be almost unlimited, including images, files, URLs, numbers and text amongst other things. Similar to the glossary option the database module is a great activity that can be utilised as a student assessment, allowing students to generate content for the rest of the class (and future classes) to learn from. Three main features distinguish databases from glossaries

Databases allow the teacher to provide specific fields for students to populate with information

You have a variety of template options

You can format the how the final product looks very easily.

The screencast below illustrates how to set up databases

For more information go to:  http://docs.moodle.org/22/en/Database_activity_module

Removing the “scroll of death” in Moodle with Diigo

The scroll of death is an infamous feature of courses on moodle; a consequence of too much content on the one page and the user having to continually “scroll” down page to find the information they are after. This tip will help teachers minimise the scroll of death, while at the same time keeping course page up to date with minimal effort from the teachers point of view.

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Moodle Discussion forums to collect new class material

Discussion forums are extremely powerful tool help bring learning outside the classroom. However they also can be used to bring learning back into the classroom from the teachers point of view. This short youtube clip illustrates the different type of discussion forums available into moodle and also how to set them up.

Later clips will show you how to use this as an assignment that gets the students to assessment the contribution of their classmates

One page Guide for teachers using Moodle

Compliments of @catspyjamasnz

 

An excellent resource mapping potential tasks that teachers may have to the various tools within Moodle

Making online quizzes using Moodle

Frequent in-class quizzes have been associated with positive learning outcomes including increased student achievement, attendance, and confidence (Ruscio, 2001; Wilder, Flood, & Stomsnes, 2001). Frequent quizzing reportedly maintains student study effort and promotes course engagement (Smith et al., 2000; Sporer, 2001). In general students rate the quizzes favorably and believe they are helpful in preparing for in-class examinations. Practice tests help students evaluate their learning and focus study effort accordingly (Maki, 1998).

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Feedback through technology

The results of our assessment influence our students for the rest of their lives and careers – fine if we get it right, but unthinkable if we get it wrong. – Phil Race, 2009

There is a tremendous amount of work being done throughout the sector to enhance student feedback. Feedback is an essential part of effective learning. It helps students understand the subject being studied and gives them clear guidance on how to improve their learning. Feedback can improve a student’s confidence, self-awareness and enthusiasm for learning. Substantial developments in educational technology allow staff to speed up feedback provision, to provide more detailed feedback and to encourage greater engagement of students with the feedback process.

According to Gibbs and Simpson (2004), good teacher feedback should focus on what students have achieved and what they need to do next. It should be timely, so ideally it should be available when students are ‘stuck’, when it will have maximum impact, and in time to improve subsequent assignments. Nicol and Macfarlane-Dick (2006) maintained that good-quality feedback should ultimately be geared to helping students to learn to trouble-shoot and self-correct their own performance. This might be achieved by providing feedback which, rather than giving the answer, points students to where to find the answer (for example, ‘go back to p 35 in the text and rethink how you would explain this point in future’), or by providing feedback on students’ attempts to self-assess their own work.

Other strategies known to enhance the power of teacher feedback include linking feedback information to assessment criteria, providing corrective advice and not just information on strengths and weaknesses, and prioritising specific areas for improvement. There is evidence that ‘feed-forward’ information is more effective than feedback information. Such information does not just tell students where they went wrong, but also what to focus on to make improvements in subsequent tasks (Knight, 2006). This helps to stimulate transfer of learning to new problems.

Both Yorke (2005) and Tinto (2005) have argued that teacher feedback is of critical importance to student learning, especially in the first year of undergraduate study. Teacher feedback helps to reinforce academic expectations in the early stages of a module or programme, and is especially important when academic demands differ from those experienced by students before entering HE (Yorke and Longden, 2004). Teacher feedback is also a source against which students can check their understanding of assessment requirements, criteria and standards.

Through feedback, students can learn from their mistakes and misconceptions and build on achievements. Over time, teacher feedback should help students to develop accurate perceptions of their abilities and establish internal standards against which to evaluate their own work.  Research shows that a great deal of feedback given to students is delayed (for example, feedback on the first assignment not being given until after the second assignment is due), not understood, demotivating and does not provide any guidance for future action. So how can technology fix that? The following screencast illustrates how I have used two features of the learning management systems – Moodle, to issue timely comprehensive feedback to students.

I would appreciate any thoughts that you have on how technology can enhance feedback and possibly some examples that you would be willing to share.

Further weblinks – http://www.diigo.com/user/markglynn/feedback

Related posts: Rubrics, Audacity, Moodle

Reasons to move to Moodle 2 – over to you | Some Random Thoughts

Reasons to move to Moodle 2 – over to you | Some Random Thoughts.

Gavin Hendrick presented some great reasons why to make the move to Moodle 2. An incredibly informative session with Gavin and if you get the chance to sit down and wrack his technical brain on Moodle 2 – grab it with both hands

Moodle 2.0 – conditional activities

Conditional activities are a game changer in my opinion. It is an excellent new feature of Moodle 2 that will bring independent learning to a new level for Moodle users. For those not familiar with the concept, the introduction of conditional activities means a “teacher” can set it that their “student” will not be able to progress to topic B,before completing topic A to a specified standard e.g. achieve a certain grade in a quiz or read a document or powerpoint document.

They are incredibly easy to set up and numerous screencasts have already found their way onto YouTube. Here are a few  of the better screencasts on this topic

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Moodle 2.0 – Changing your password

Here is a short clip on how to change your password on Moodle 2

Moodle and schools

Not every school is blessed with ICT technical support but to me this just highlights an excellent opportunity for cooperation between second and third level. One area of cooperation that costs noting but time, is support schools to set up a LMS of their own. Simply by providing support to local schools in the early stages, institutes of technology would reap the benefits in the long term.

Why not contact your local Institute of technology and ask them to help you set up an instance of moodle. Go through the school liaison officers, try sell the idea as a promotion opportunity. Institutes won’t be able to take on every school but already Dundalk, Tallaght and Waterford have seen the value of such a venture. between them they offer Moodle to over 40 local schools. If you are interested in finding out more about benefits associated with this idea and how you could get involved, either as a school or a college please leave comments below.