I’ve been using Moodle for 3-4 years now but as a big part of my job is to train our teachers in it, it seemed wise to sign up for the new Teaching with Moodle MOOC being offered by Moodle.
It’s run by Mary Cooch (@moodlefairy) and her deep knowledge of the tool and the pedagogical approaches that work with it are on display from the get go.
This MOOC is aimed at beginner users but I have to admit I still picked up some handy tips – the ability to show one topic/section per page – and there is already a rich bank of posts and questions on the discussion board about user experiences around the world.
Teaching with Moodle only started on Sunday this week so there is plenty of time to get up to speed. I was able to whip through the activities and resources for the week in a bit over an hour. As with all MOOCs, it does suffer from the overwhelming weight of numbers in some of the discussions (1500+ introduction posts) but this is a minor quibble.
Here are a couple of guides that I have put together to help teachers and students use the Badge tool in Moodle (built on OpenBadges)
It is a slightly convoluted process that hopefully will be simplified in coming upgrades otherwise I question whether anyone other than the most tech-savvy users will really embrace Badges, which is a shame as I think they have the potential to be a useful tool for engagement.
These guides – which you are free to modify and use for non-commercial (or educational) purposes with acknowledgement – were initially designed for our Moodle system here at CIT – eLearn. Clearly some screenshots and layouts may vary.
The first in our series of CITFLN TeacherNet Show and tell sessions went well with Jo Whitfield sharing some ideas about using the Feedback tool for more than student evaluations and I presented Padlet, an embeddable interactive wall.
The following short video (5:03) showcases some of the fantastic design work that one of our Creative Industries teachers – Karyn Milne – has done in her Moodle course. (We call our Moodle system eLearn, in case you find references to eLearn in the video confusing).
The main tips that I have taken from this are:
Use advance organisers to give learners a context and a framework for the activities and resources that are coming. In this instance it is as simple as expanding on the topic heading – Printing (Technology, literacy and cultural change) or The Bauhaus (Form follows function – and the new hopes)
Visual representations of the content help add extra meaning. Now Karyn is a skilled graphic designer so maybe your topic banners might not be quite as artistic but it is still relatively easy to add simple images that also help to break up the dreaded Moodle wall of text
Provide simple and direct instructions with the actions emphasised
Provide a range of different resources and activities – in these two topics we have documents, videos, a quiz and a discussion forum.