Moodle is a one-stop-shop for student learning. By effectively organizing your course and utilizing built-in modules, students can engage in class discussions, complete course projects and review materials, complete assessments, collaborate with peers, and provide and receive feedback.
Your course structure matters! Structuring your course well helps reduce anxiety and confusion for students, aids in effective teaching flow, and is essential to help students actively participate in your course.
- Course Layout – choosing how your main course page displays content (by topic, date, grid, etc.)
- Side Blocks – what are they, how to add them, and how you can effectively use them to engage students
Managing your course files – how you organize files (documents, instructions, images, links) on your course page can help lead students toward pressing materials and prevent scroll fatigue.
- Using a Page – condense multiple links, paragraphs, images, or other content into a separate page to keep the main course page looking cleaner and more organized.
- Using Folders – if you have multiple PDFs, documents, images, sound files, etc. you need students to have access to, consider using a folder to keep similar items bundled together. Students have the option to download the entire folder at once.
- Using a Book – this is a great option if you have a significant amount of content to share with students, organized into chapters or topic headings. A table of contents helps students easily identify sections of the book to navigate content.
Course Resources and Activities
Choosing which resources and activities to implement in Moodle can sometimes feel like a daunting task. You want to provide students with content, have them engage with material or peers in some manner, assess them, provide feedback, and gather some sense of how they are progressing through the course. Students also want access to materials, the ability to easily engage with material or peers, believe they are being fairly assessed on what they have learned, and have a sense of how they are doing in the course. So how do you decide which tools to use?
- Labels – don’t be afraid to use them! Labels are a great way to break up content within a topic or highlight specific areas of the overall course. Labels can include plain text, HTML text, images, and links.
- Moodle Assignments – used to collect submitted work, essays, or group work from students. Teachers can provide annotated feedback directly in the grading form.
- Turnitin Assignments – used to collect submitted work, filtered through a plagiarism filter. Can also be used for Peer Review using PeerMark. Teachers can provide immediate written, audio, or uploaded feedback through Feedback Studio.
- External Tool (LTI) – external tools configured to link into Moodle for ease of access and grade sync with the Moodle gradebook. (examples: McGraw Hill, Ensemble Quizzes, Perusall, etc.)
Collaboration and Communication Tools:
- Chat – real-time, synchronous discussions in a Moodle course
- Database – allows teachers and/or students to create and search a structured bank of entries
- Forum – asynchronous discussion threads, allowing students to collaborate with one another and the instructor
- Glossary – create a collaborative list of entries, definitions, or topics
- OUBlog – students can collaborate on one blog or keep individual blogs as a type of journal to instructor only, or have individual blogs that are visible and allow comments by other course members for collaboration.
- Quickmail – the default and preferred method for emailing students. This is a block that you can add to your course and quickly email individual students or the entire class.
- Student Folder – allows students to upload documents for other participants to view either immediately or after the instructor gives consent. This activity is great for student collaboration, peer review, and group work.
- Wiki – collaboratively create content as a class, or students can individually create their own content
- Workshop – a powerful peer and self assessment tool (does require quite a bit of backend setup by the instructor)
Assessments and Surveys:
- Quiz – can be used for unit exams, mini-tests at the end of a reading or topic, exam practice, immediate feedback for workbook activities or labs, or even self-assessments.
- Questionnaire – a simplified version of the Quiz activity, which more closely resembles a customizable survey tool. Rather than testing students, you are gathering data.
- Choice – simple polling activity to stimulate thinking about a topic; to allow the class to vote on a direction for the course, or to gauge progress.
Tools for Student Management:
- Attendance – allows faculty to record student attendance for the class. Can be graded or ungraded.
- Checklist – as advertised, a checklist of items students need to complete for the course that students check off as they complete. Customizable.
- Scheduler – allows faculty to setup and schedule 1:1 appointments with students. Great for office hours, paper reviews, or other meetings.
Interactive Content Delivery
- Ensemble Quizzes – this online video quiz tool increases active viewing, enables user-focused measurement, and provides another way to improve teaching and learning. Integrates directly into Moodle via External Tool and integrates into the Moodle gradebook.
- H5P – create content such as interactive videos, quizzes and presentations.
- Lesson – an adaptive learning module that gives users options directing them to the next content
Effectively using your Moodle course means not only providing content, activities, and assessments, but also tracking student progress and managing your course well for future use.
- Time Saving Tips for Course Creation – simple techniques to help you save time and energy when setting up your courses.
- Assessing and Evaluating Students – use tools such as the Forum, Wiki, OUBlog, Workshop, Quiz, Assignment, and Questionnaire to assess student understanding and evaluate progress.
- Course Reports and Activity logs – monitor student engagement using the built-in course reports; utilizing activity completion options within your course and activities can help direct students appropriately in your course and keep them on track.
- Backing up your Course – keeping a local copy of your course in its entirety can help you re-create course material and courses in the future, restore courses in the event of unforeseen mistakes, and guide future learning opportunities. Faculty can also backup specific activities and resources from their courses for future use or to import to another course.
- Providing feedback – providing feedback to students is critical. Many of the built-in activities in Moodle provide mechanisms for providing feedback, such as the PDF annotation within the Assignment module, Poodll audio and video feedback, comments and the ability to upload feedback files. Forums and OUBlogs offer options for instructor engagement and feedback throughout the discussion; Quizzes can be configured for immediate feedback through Question Behavior settings; and the Lesson module can offer students a guided approach to learning with embedded feedback along the way.
- Gathering student feedback – equally as important as providing students with timely feedback is receiving feedback, both on the course itself and on student progress and perceptions of growth. Student feedback could also be as simple as a poll or quick survey to help guide the course toward appropriate scaffolding needs. Simple tools that can be used to gather student feedback are the Choice, Questionnaire, or Feedback activities. Depending on privacy desires, the Forum could also be an effective tool.