When using Moodle for language courses, the forums offer students a valuable opportunity to practise their written expression skills.
However, there remains for the teacher the difficult problem of dealing with language mistakes in the students' production. The solution of posting to the forum a message correcting a student's faulty message can have the adverse effects of a) making that student resentful of seeing his mistakes thus corrected in public and b) generally make the students wary of posting to the forum... Quite the reverse of what we would like to achieve.
On the other hand, not correcting blatant mistakes can result in the student(s) believing such postings are OK and making the same mistake again and again.
The keywords facility in the Glossary entries seems to offer an "in-between" option, as explained below.
- Create a new glossary, call it e.g. Common mistakes or Write better English etc.
- Enter as concept any grammar or vocabulary use point as needed.
- In the keywords list, start with one or two examples of actual mistakes found in the students' postings, and add up to this list as needed.
- For Definition, write a grammar rule, a list of examples, etc.
ExampleIn one student's posting we can read this: "Some games are far from geing educational. Finally, you must make the good choice."
This is a simple transposition of the French expression "faire le bon choix", showing a typical misuse of the adj. good, where "the right choice" would be better English.
- In your Queen's English Glossary:
- As concept enter e.g. correctness.
- In the keywords list, enter the good choice, the good solution, the good page.
- For Definition, write e.g.
| Don't say: the good answer, the good choice, the good page|
Say: the right answer, the right choice or the correct answer/choice/page
On subsequent display of the faulty message, it will be auto-linked and will look something like this: "Some games are far from geing educational. Finally, you must make the good choice."
A click on the linked expression will display the relevant "correctness" entry from the Grammar Glossary.
I'm looking forward to fellow moodlers' reactions on this proposed "diverted" use of the Glossary, whether for language teaching or other fields.