Foundation Skills/I’m new to Moodle at Otago Polytechnic - where do I start?/Basic design of a Moodle course

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Basic design of a Moodle course

Many teachers, when first using a Moodle course in their teaching, are inclined to use the Moodle site as a place to dump Word and pdf resources, with a few links to useful websites or video resources. While this is a good place to start, research shows that students are more likely to participate and learn in your course if there is opportunity for interaction and collaboration. Activities in Moodle that promote interaction include the Lesson, Quiz, Choice and Feedback tools. Collaboration can be facilitated, for example, through the use of a Forum, Chat, Wiki, Glossary, etc. If some of these activities are new to you, set yourself the challenge of developing a task in Moodle using the new activity and try it out with your students. And don't forget to ask them about their experiences with the new activity.

From my own personal experience, I have developed a few questions as a self-evaluation for my Moodle courses. I've summarised these questions in the graphic immediately below this text. Please feel free to use the checklist to evaluate your own Moodle courses. The questions are:

  • Clarity of information: Is all the information worded clearly? This is particularly important if you have international students or students who are more practically inclined.
  • Visually inviting: Does the physical appearance of the site look appealing and inviting? The use of graphics and different font sizes/types/colours will help.
  • Friendly text: Is the text written in a friendly rather than in an intimidating tone?
  • Ease of navigation: Are students easily able to navigate the site?
  • Spread of activities: Are activities spread over the whole course so as to even out the workload?
  • Variety of resources: Do you use a variety of resources to cater for diversity in your class? For example, are their graphics and video to assist visual learner, audio clips to appeal to auditory learners, etc.?
  • Opportunity for interactivity: Is there enough opportunity for student interaction, for example through quizzes, discussion forums, opportunities for students to ask questions or provide the teacher with feedback?
  • Discussion of feedback: Can students discuss feedback that you have provided on their progress?
  • Discussion with peers: Are their adequate opportunities for students to interact with their peers through discussion, e.g. is there a private space for them to discuss issues without a teacher presence?
  • Provide student motivation: In what ways do you provide motivation and praise for students?

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