I currently teach an Academic Preparation course, and as I wrote in my previous blog, last summer I set up a Moodle-based course site. The purpose of the Moodle site is to give students access to course material from home, as well as give them experience with using these kinds of sites, since they will most likely have to use them in whichever college or university they go to from my class.
Practical Moodle Usage
Moodle is an incredibly versatile platform, and there are a number of things it can be used for. If desired, an entire course or program could be run entirely through such a site.
My course consists of 3 modules of 4 weeks each. Each day, there are 4 classes (Vocabulary, Reading/Writing, Listening, and Speaking), so the content on the site is divided into weekly and class sections that students can access at any time.
In the image below, you can see an example of Week 1 of Module 1, with the different resources and activities available for students. Each icon represents a different type of material. Please note that I am using version 2.4, so the icons may vary with different versions.
- The ‘book’ icon contains material in a book-like format, with different chapters and pages. This is best for sets of pages like textbook pages or groups of handouts on a specific topic.
- The ‘check mark’ icon is for quizzes students can take. These can be ‘review’ quizzes that students can re-take as many times as they like, or for official quizzes that count for marks.
- The ‘page’ icon links to simple files. Some of the course material that is just one page is presented in this way (instead of in book form).
- The ‘headphones’ icon links to audio files that students can listen to.
- The ‘movie reel’ icon links to video files.
- The ‘folder’ icon is for collections of files for download. Here, students can easily and quickly download copies of class material or assignments.
- Class Material. By far the number one reason students log into the site is to access course material. It took some time, but I have uploaded all the handouts and in-house materials used in class. This allows students to access the material from home if they forget their books at school.
As well, our listening class is based on practicing note-taking skills while watching video lectures. Many students access the Moodle site to watch or listen to these lectures at home.
Below are some screen captures of these sections.
(Class material presented in book format – note the table of contents on the left)
- Review Exercises. The other popular use of the course site is for the review quizzes. Twice a month, students have quizzes in their Vocabulary class, and for each unit, there are review quizzes that help them prepare for the quiz.
The review quizzes vary in format: multiple choice, fill in the blanks, true/false, and matching. Students seem to really enjoy the opportunity to have the extra practice before the class quizzes.
Overall, I’ve found Moodle to be a very useful and easy-to-use resource for students.
As you can see, I’ve only been using Moodle for a fraction of what it is capable of – I’d love to hear how you’re using it, and whether you’ve made the leap to fully integrating Moodle into your course!