Foundation Skills/I’m new to Moodle at Otago Polytechnic - where do I start?/Resources to help you design a great Moodle course

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Resources to help you design a great Moodle course

There is an increasing trend towards a more constructivist approach to learning and teaching. A more traditionalist approach assumes that the teacher knows everything and that students have to be highly dependent on the teacher. Constructivism, however, challenges this traditional notion and encourages discovery learning, co-creation of knowledge and problem-solving, often involving collaboration. The experiences of the learners contribute towards knowledge construction and there is greater emphasis on learner-centred learning approaches in the classroom.

The EdOnline website explains the concept of constructivism really well and reminds us that learning in a constructivist classroom is constructed, active, reflective, collaborative, inquiry-based and evolving. For more information on the concept of constructivism, visit the EdOnline page Constructivism as a Paradigm for Teaching and Learning.

In many ways, using Moodle in your teaching can facilitate a more constructivist approach in your classroom.

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Identify three differences between the traditional classroom and the constructivist classroom.

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Web Resources

There are numerous resources that can help you in the design of a great Moodle course. Before resorting to books and resources avaiable on the Web, remember that your own colleagues and peers are also a valuable resource. Ask them for advice, or permission to browse their Moodle sites so that you get a feel for what is possible.

I have found the following resources on the Web really useful for background information and guidance:

  • You may want to use a 'model' designed by an expert when you plan your Moodle course. Gilly Salmon is an old horse when it comes to online course design. Her 5-stage model is really useful and can be accessed at her e-Moderating page.
  • Mark Nichols of the Open Polytechnic has written five volumes of his e-Primer Series - these are located on the Ako Aotearoa website. The five volumes cover the topics: e-Learning in Context, e-Education and Faculty, Designing for e-learning, Online discourse, and Extending e-possibilities.