Moodle

Fall is the last semester to use Moodle 1

Hello Faculty and Staff,

Hope you are enjoying the summer!

Many of you have already started planning out your Fall courses. Keep in mind Fall semester will be the last semester Moodle 1 will be used. After Fall semester, only Moodle 2 courses will be available. All Moodle 1 courses will be archived in case you need to access them in the future.

Many of you have already made the transition to Moodle 2 and have provided us with valuable feedback. For those interested in transitioning to Moodle 2 for the Fall term, we've created a video and documentation to help make the process quick and easy:
https://www.plymouth.edu/webapp/help/wiki/Copy_your_Moodle_1_course_into_Moodle_2

Other common Moodle questions (and answers!):
Q:
I'm completely new to the Moodle system. Can I get an overview of what Moodle is and what it looks like?
A: Please refer to the following video tutorial for a "Moodle 101" walk through: https://www.plymouth.edu/webapp/help/wiki/Welcome_to_Moodle_2

Q:
What's the difference between Moodle 1 and Moodle 2?
A: Moodle 2 is considered an "update" to Moodle 1. Follow the link below for a full list of the changes in Moodle 2: https://www.plymouth.edu/webapp/help/wiki/What%27s_different_in_Moodle_2%3F

If you have any questions about the Moodle 2 transition, please contact the Learning Technologies and Online Education staff. Also, please visit our Moodle Help site for supporting documentation: go.plymouth.edu/moodlehelp

Thank you for your time! And again, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
- LTOE Team

Categories: Moodle

Moodle for f2f courses

While most people associate Learning Management Systems (Moodle for example) with online learning, there are a number of ways that an LMS like Moodle can support f2f instruction.  I'll start off with some of the more obvious ways, and then talk about some that aren't so obvious.

First, Moodle can host all the documents you would normally pass out in class (making your course more green) and providing unlimited copies of the documents to students who lose them regularly.  It can also be a place where you post lecture notes, or even recordings of your lectures, so students can review them later.  But, in addition to these, the LMS can be used in such a way as to free up more time for you to interact with students personally, or in way that allows for a deeper examination of content.

One of the techniques that allows for this is called "front-loading".  When you front-load a course, you provide some course content (that normally would be given in-class) online.  So, in essence, the homework comes first.  The nice thing about having this homework online is that you can literally see who looks at it; and if it requires some sort of interaction with the material, you can see whose done the activity.  For example: it might make more sense to upload a recording of your lecture and require students to watch it before class, then in-class provide an activity that will encourage them to apply the information given in the lecture.  This allows you to walk around and interact with the students, drawing them to a deeper understanding of the information.

Back-loading is a technique usually used with graduate level students.  Students are given the content in-class and then homework that is used to stimulate the application of that material.  So, discussions and group-work (for example) would be moved online.  In the online environment it is easier to monitor discussions for all groups, and can encourage students who might be reluctant to share their opinion in-class, to do so.  If a wiki is used for group projects, it will be easier to see who has contributed to the project, and how much they contributed.

Grading quizzes, providing feedback on assignments, etc, are also facilitated in the online environment.  You certainly can't be accused of losing someone's homework, and the date and time they submitted their assignments will be clear as well.

There are a number of other ways Moodle can support your f2f class, and students will thank you for it.

Categories: Moodle

A few tips about your course

When designing your course page, think of it like you would a web page.  If you were viewing your course for the first time (as a prospective student) how would you feel about it?  Is there any text on it that explains the course?  Would it make sense to you?  Would you want to explore?  Or would it simply look like a bunch of documents and links?

Design your course page as if it was a web page.  Design it as you might if you were going to showcase it for other faculty members.  Your students should find the course welcoming, not intimidating.  They should be able to easily scan the course page and get an idea about the structure of the course.  It should make sense visually.

There are very simple things that can make the course more inviting:

1. Add a "welcome" to your course in Topic 0.  Use a large font and make it Bold.  You can even add an image or a banner.  To do these things, turn editing on and click the pencil tool at the top of that section.

2.Put all the general course related materials in the Welcome section (syllabus, general forum, etc).

3. Label each topic: click the pencil tool next to the number of the topic to do that.  Use a relatively large font and make it bold.

4. Use labels to explain some of the items on your course page.  For example: in Topic #1 you might have a label for Readings, Assignments, and Discussions.  You can access "labels" in the "add a resource" menu.

5. Eliminate blocks you are not using--both the ones on either side of the content area, and the topic blocks you aren't using.

These steps will make the course much more inviting, and make navigating the course easier for students.  (It will make a bit more sense to them visually)

Categories: Moodle | Tags:

Making your Moodle courses, like, WOW!

Okay, so Moodle is just plain cool, so why allow your course to be merely a list of links to readings, and a few forums thrown in for interactivity?  Your course could be so much more!  Think about adding a few blocks of html with some personalized text, or adding an occasional poll by using "Choice", or maybe an RSS feed from your favorite news source.  Just a minute of extra time here or there could really make a difference in the look and feel of your course.

And, if you really want to be creative, take a look at these fabulous ideas called 3 Ways to Jazz up Your Moodle:

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

And, when you've got it looking good, share it with us.  We'd love to see it!

Categories: Moodle

Welcome to a New Year

Classes officially begin today and it promises to be an exciting year at Plymouth!  In the next few months we will complete our move off of Blackboard and on to Moodle.  The adoption has been swift and from what I've seen of the courses now on Moodle, faculty are using their creative talents to develop some truly engaging course pages.  There is a block on Moodle's homepage that shows who's online, and at any given time this morning, there were over 100 active Moodlers!  In addition, we continue to see more use of our fabulous ePortfolio system (Mahara).  Speaking of Mahara, PSU will be hosting New Hampshire's first "Focus on ePortfolio Day" on October 4th.  There will be wonderful presentations by folks from K-12 on how they are using ePortfolios in their schools, and panel discussions in the afternoon.  The event has gotten attention from as far away as New Zealand--K-12 and Higher Ed working together on ePortfolios!  We are excited that PSU is able to host this significant event.  If you have not registered, be sure to do so asap as seating is limited to the first 150.  You can register here: http://www.plymouth.edu/online/events/nhfocus_2010.html

We're off to an exciting start.  Check back often for resources, tips, and news.

Categories: Moodle

MoodleNews

MoodleNewsMoodleNews is an online journal that provides all sorts of information regarding Moodle: everything from cool ways to use Moodle, to new techniques, to plugins and addons.  According to the website, they "scour the web for the freshest, most interesting and valuable Moodle information.  I recently saw an interesting article on how to embed Google forms into a course page.  Check it out and see what might inspire you in your use of Moodle.  If you find an add-on you like to have for your course, contact us and we'll see what we can do.   Happy Moodling...

Categories: Moodle | Tags:

Meet Moodle

As you know, PSU has made the decision to use Moodle as our new Learning Management System.  If you've never seen Moodle, the video below will give you an introduction to Moodle and some idea on what your Moodle courses could look like.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3sRwXih4ZY[/youtube]

Categories: Moodle | Tags: , ,

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