Since the pandemic learning management systems have become a common means of hosting online content. Beyond content, LMS provide security, accountability, feedback and various opportunities for collective and individualized learning. The Avenue project is hosted on the Moodle learning management system. Moodle arrives with a set of core activities that include:
Each of these allow students to view and manipulate language to ensure that learning is dynamic and not the ‘rote drill and kill’ activities that some instructors fear when they think of computer aided language learning.
Moodle, as is typical of open-source software, allows users to update the software as well as add additional plug-ins that provide more features. Over the past decade, the Avenue team have been working with the language teaching and settlement sector to refine online and blended learning events to enhance instruction through upgrades and trialing plug-ins with potential for language instruction.
An example of a Moodle plug-in feature is the Attendance Register plug-in. It tracks students’ time on the course and provides a report for the students and teachers.
Moodle plug-ins that we currently offer that can enhance language acquisition are briefly introduced below. While each of these plug-ins allow learners to practice and hopefully master structures and nuances in their target language, all of these plug-ins provide functions that are essential during this unusual and uncertain time when fully online and blended learning modes dominate the educational landscape. They provide learners the opportunity for repetition with automated and, when the teacher has the time to review, personal feedback. Learners are also motivated by the gamification characteristics of these plug-ins. Language learning is an individual challenge that does involve a great deal of social activity. These plug-ins provide diverse opportunities to simulate these types of activities with and without their peers online. Similar to most online activities, these plug-ins allow learners the autonomy to accelerate their learning or possibly take different pathways.
The RealTime quiz, allows a gamified synchronous quiz activity that is similar to Quizlet Live or Kahoot in a Moodle course. This activity allows students to participate in timed online quizzes with their classmates, no matter their location.
ReadAloud provides students with artificial intelligence assessed listening, pronunciation and reading practice. This is a valuable tool for instructors meeting the needs of learners who are trying to master discrete aspects of language through practice and repetition, while they are challenged to teach a social subject, with no or limited face-to-face time with their students
LeveLUp!, is a resource which provides customizable badging, progress tracking and gamification. It promotes course interest by tallying learner experience points for participation in course activities and resources. It displays progress visually in a Moodle block.
The WordCards activity allows teachers to create sets of flashcards for students to be introduced to and review concepts and vocabulary in 4 different modes. These are read, listen, speak and write.
Poodll Assignment Submission Audio/Video
The poodll plug-in allows teachers and students to record, view and share audio and video content throughout the Moodle LMS. Teachers can quickly provide an orientation video to an activity and students can record their voices or a video of themselves to respond to an assignment or a forum post.
These plug-ins can be used in synchronous online classes with the instructor leading and even learners co-leading. There are scores of Moodle plug-ins. The plug-ins that we have identified work well for language instructors. Since the onset of the pandemic, they have provided learning opportunities for our teachers and students. If you have time to explore, have a look at the poodll Moodle plug-ins page. Most of these are directly applicable to language instruction. Poodll audio and video recording plug-ins add a layer of authenticity for instruction, modelling, and learner production.
Are there any others that you have found helpful for learners in language acquisition? If so, comment and share below.
I will be facilitating a live Tutela webinar on this topic on Monday January 24th, 2022 at 07:00 PM EST to demonstrate these features. Come along to the live session or watch the archived recording to see how these features can benefit language learners.
Attendance Register Plug-in, https://moodle.org/plugins/mod_attendanceregister
poodll Moodle Plug-ins Directory, https://moodle.org/plugins/?q=poodll
Tutela webinar, Take Advantage of Moodle Plugins, https://tutela.ca/Event_41186
WordCards Moodle Plug-ins Directory, https://moodle.org/plugins/mod