Am I right in thinking you can't set conditions upon blocks? (or at least, if you can, I can't locate them) For example I would like to have a video in a block appear only when students have done a certain activity in the centre section - but the settings don't seem to be there?
The conditional activities feature is very cool, but does have limits! As you thought, you can't set conditions on blocks.
Good! ( I mean - not good - but at least there wasn't an obvious setting staring me in the face that I had blatantly missed!) On the plus side, I set up a set of Conditional actitivies in a session today and the whole concept was really popular and really enthused the teachers
(Then again it goes against what Moodle is meant to stand for - and yet it is such an oft -requested feature that is finally here and making people happy!)
Are conditional activities really against what Moodle is meant to stand for?
Martin Dougiemas has frequently said that "Any CMS/LMS/VLE is a system of control" (it's not only that of course).
I do not see that controlling students' progress through a well thought-out, step-by-step learning process cannot at the same time give them opportunities for expressing their creativity, intelligence, passion, intuition, humour, etc.
If all students were already as autonomous as you, they wouldn't need it, of course.
Read Pedagogy, and you will learn more about Martin's views on education. I think his statement that "any CMS/LMS/VLE is a system of control" is an observation, not a desideratum.
My view is that while a course should set out what is to be studied in a logical sequence, guiding the student through the learning, that guidance should be done with signposts, not locks.
[...] guidance should be done with signposts, not locks.
Quite agree with that view, Tim. I'm afraid the "conditional activities" feature goes somewhat against the desirable goal of "autonomous learning".
People can miss the signposts.
I teach in a pretty open (some would say chaotic) way. Get all the stuff up there ASAP and meander through it - and depart into the unknown ASAP.
However, I like some things I can now do. "Please all read the opening information page, and make an introductory post. Check you can attach a file by creating a small poster with your best educational quote and attatch it to your post"
How simple is that? In class of 25 some people can still get it wrong and also not bother - then three weeks later they hit a brick wall. I know the old saying about things being idiot-proof. (The Universe will make better idiots).
Plus: I guess I still think that sometimes I still know better.
I'd sometime use the conditional feature.
Hi Derek, Tim and Joseph,
I know this situation very well from both sides of the fence. When people speak a foreign language all around me I don't feel very smart.
Last week, Itamar kindly showed me how to grade forums in the way I wanted (see Grading forums). At first what he wrote just had no meaning for me - just too many terms I didn't understand. After muddling around for several hours and getting more help from Itamar I finally worked it out. Now when I look back at Itamar's posts they seem models of clarity and precision. All the words evoke images in my mind (well almost - some are still a bit fuzzy) - but they didn't back then - I couldn't read the signposts.
Yeah, in ideal word where all people want from education is to learn the freedom is a good thing. And in more positive settings (high courses, some more elite specialities) this works well and I use it. But freedom always implies responisibility, or it is a chaos, not freedom.
In a more real world, where there is not only knowledge, but diploma (and later mean significant social priveleges) all is somewhat more complicated. If certificate meant to have some weight, there should be some locks on the way to it. And when it come to the kids (and in modern western culture people could be kids quite long), there should be locks too, since they don't 100% responisble.
The freedom, as a swimming, is a thing that should be learned how to deal with. And drop one in the river isn't a best way to teach how to swim, neither this idea work well with freedom. So it's better to remove locks gradually. Unless, of course, you are dealing with mature people (rare enought thing in educational word) with goal to learn (and not "I don't need to know this at all for my work, but my employer want certificate badly, so you should give me it without learning!").