The 'popularity' of the Moodle blocks depends very much on the needs of the educational programme (the needs of a school are very different than the needs of a MSc postgraduate programme, like it is our case), the course format, the use of in-house/customised plug-ins and tools, the kind of users, etc.
In that sense, I don't think there is 'most useful block for teaching'.
We use a Moodle site to deliver a blended-learning MSc international programme and our students are based in the Middle East.
Our module lead find very useful Moodle-email clients such as 'Quickmail' or 'Jmail'. Admin staff/course officers find useful a block called 'Students Progression Report' which I developed myself tweaking the 'Find a user' block that was released to Moodle.org
We also use 'Course contacts', as it is a nice way of displaying the module leads, and we have recently moved from the 'Progress Bar' to the 'Checklist' module, because it is easier for me to add non-core module to the list of activities that the checklist displayed.
HTML is a must for links, images, course tutor info etc.
Calendar always popular - looks good apart form potential useful links to deadlines and other events.
Random glossary entry is often popular with those that use the glossary tool.
Messages is good as a prompt and reminder for those that use the Messaging system.
Navigation & Settings are both useful but Navigation can be a bit confusing with too many options.
We always have:
- Latest news
- Upcoming events (to remind of assignments due in)
- Table of contents
- Activities (provides quick access to activities such as assignments on one screen)
- Course completion status
For online courses (rather than just access to resources) we also have:
- Progress bar
- Navigation buttons (not strictly a block but it is the way the navigation buttons appear on the course activities).
Checklists are also one our favourites and the blocks are added as and when appropriate.
Real Time Quiz: https://moodle.org/plugins/view.php?plugin=mod_realtimequiz
OU Quiz Questions: https://moodle.org/plugins/browse.php?list=set&id=10
- Drag and Drop markers
- Drag and Drop onto image
- Drag and Drop onto text
Reordering quiz: https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=206145
Cloze Question quiz generator: http://projects.ael.uni-tuebingen.de/quiz/htmlarea/index.php
Rate a Course: Give Amazon style ratings: https://moodle.org/plugins/view.php?plugin=block_rate_course
One Topic format:
Also my collegaue Gideon Williams has devised a Scoop-it site with loads of wonderful resources.
My Web2 tools in a Word file:
We love the Real-Time quiz used as a starter. Quick revision exercise and you can see results immediately. Doesnt store scores to Gradebooks though.
All the drag and drop quiz types have answered our dreams. Able to label images, or drop text into boxes (cloze). Great for Science and Geography.
The Gold,Silver and Bronze medals are great for rating courses, encourages friendly rivalry and also used for PM targets too. You can set your own criteria as to what a gold medal course looks like and includes.
Checklist block and activity, was a plug-in. Can be used by students to check they've completed their tasks and results in a progress chart in a block. Again can manually add the tasks you want them to check.
See my comments above. Been using Moodle for 8 years now and have a very well-developed site. Always trying new blocks out, some work well, some are more trouble than they're worth.
Our site is at http://moodle.perins.net
I think the blocks used do vary based on the style of teaching. I personally think the random glossary entry block is very good but not a lot of our lecturers have created Glossaries
The two that I use/encourage the most at my college are:
Quickmail - Allows lecturer to quickly communicate with members of a class https://moodle.org/plugins/view.php?plugin=block_quickmail
Course Contacts - Allows students to quickly communicate with their lecturer https://moodle.org/plugins/view.php?plugin=block_course_contacts