I'm writing for two reasons, the first which is most relevant to this topic:
1) What moodle-strategies are people using to nurture a social learning environment in the classroom?
I'm not sure how clear that is, so i'll provide an example from my own classroom environment. I have been using the Moodle's Topic view. Generally my topics are as follows:
- Each topic usually begins (as expected) with a relevant attention-grabbing activity/discussion of some sort designed to get people interested and focussed on the topic (This can be a simple HTML resource with links to interesting web-info).
- This is almost always followed by an HTML Resource containing the proposed learning outcomes for the topic (can be modified on the go if participants have other ideas for the topic).
- I usually follow this with a single-post forum containing some background questions related to the topic. Participants are required to reply to this post with their answers as well as links to where they found their information (sometimes this research is done in pairs). Hopefully this encourages participants' research skills. We then come together as a group and briefly outline the results of our research (I have the moodle forum projected at the front of the room).
- There is almost always a number of HTML Resources (or uploaded files) containing hands-on exercises for participants to learn the basics of the new skills in a number of different forms. This usually works towards apply the skills to our own projects.
- Sometimes the topic ends with a journal entry. Othertimes, it ends with a Workshop (if the learning can not be easily assessed in the major project). Very rarely I've included a choice (poll) but this is only because I often have difficulty creating decent questions to poll on.
- We always go over the Learning Outcomes again at the end to evaluate how we are going.
Perhaps you can provide examples from your own experience demonstrating how you best use Moodle to nurture a social learning environment...
(decided to put second question in a separate post)