from in person and talking and question and answering, and reading a person body language to the internet were our senses become blocked and unable to obtain that extra information to better help folks.
getting that line of communication opened up, over internet can be a bit more of a challenge. and getting lost between ok how do i get the rest of my senses going so i can better see what is going on, and helping a student. can lead to some heavy micro managing. that may not always be good for student and/or teacher. and a bit of over compensating for the loss of the senses.
communication...my own personal views.
- i am not a fan of email. they lack "history"
- i am a fan of forums the give history, and if needed a way to allow single or multi folks to cover things.
- i am not a big fan of phone, same as email, but phone can be what is needed for some folks, more so those not very computer savy, to use email or forums.
- i am iffy on video conference software. more so if student is not computer savy, and then dealing with dailup users / folks not able to obtain a desired given time frame.
with above stated, there really is no wrong or right answer. but need to have those options there. so communication can start up. and allowed to happen easily at student end. and extra work placed on teacher/s in checking things. but...*shrugs*
in "site admin menu" you can turn on "completion" and get some extra options, when you go in and create or edit a "activity and/or resource" that provides some min tracking abilities, that were not already noted in this thread by others. via "restrict access"
due to being on internet, your only main way to see if student has gone through stuff is testing them / quizzing them. keep the stuff short, so if student ends up getting something wrong they can quickly remember and go back to other activities / resources before hand and look over information.
students may need to be "taught" how to actually use "open link in a new tab" or "open link in a new window" via right click on a link, and switch between different things. so they can view a quiz / test while being able to look at other information in the course.
you need to give "ques" of what needs to be done first, before they can move on. make it simply opening up a page and viewing it, to taking a quiz. it gets a little bit "to structured at times" with "restrict access" so watch it on micro managing things to much. and forcing students to click back and forth trying to find some single little thing they did not click on to continue through things.
as much as it is about teachers learning how to use moodle. it can be said same thing for students learning to use moodle, and attempts of teachers to guide them through moodle. some sort of "learning how to use moodle" course might be advised. while folks will get off track and expand on it. get some detail going. so folks can figure things out, can help reduce frustration of learning and dealing with moodle itself.
- get students to create a post in a forum. make it public.
- have them send an email to the teacher
- get them to call the teacher if need be.
- get them to watch a short video
- get them to upload a file via instructions. ((including info about possibly zipping up a file if need be)) full of pictures, and then another thing of video.
- get them to go through a couple different types of activities / resources of same type. not on course content for a given subject but learning what moodle is and were to find information within each one. so they can get an idea of what to expect.
- yes every course with different teacher/s and students is going to be different. but getting that initial basic knowledge down. might help with things. so when student is confused and in the dark, they know were to go and how to do it, to get in contact with someone.
- meaning... having a teacher respond to various emails / forum threads / posts, and like. through the initial learning how to use moodle.
- let them know it may take a day to get a response some times. maybe longer pending on day of week it is.
ya need to remember folks are all over the world and do not come to a "brick and mortar" building. and in that unable to access each other, and talking about experiences and getting to know one another. even if it is just a few minutes over a course.
get them to post in a forum. and see history of other folks responses. and make sure they know they do not have to read everyone comments, but just to say hey, there not a lone. and others been there done that. have them post about some reflection about this or that on there course. and can be looked at by everyone. and get them over some of the fear possibly of posting info on the internet.
as much as i do not like it... do some pre-fill, have other teachers, help other teachers, and post some comments on each other initial forums. to get some "fluff" and KISS (keep it simply stupid)
having some folks doing "welcomes" to new folks. via forums can help. not just the teacher, but other members of the staff. kinda of "old school" goto some large brick and mortar store. and someone saying "welcome to X store, with a smile on there face" but done via forum.
if a student asks something outside of a forum (email / phone or like) get teacher to type something up and give "anonymous" in some forum thread. something like a student recently asked about..... "give content" and then a reply to the thread of how the teacher responded to the student. this acting like an actual class room were teacher asks all students during a Q/A session. and other students being able to listen in and join in on the Q/A conversation.
while above is a lot about interaction. the need to get info of what student did in some PDF file, word document excel sheet, book activity, etc.. is needed. and an attempt to get students interacting with one another and the teacher. so those "blocked senses" get un-blocked. can be a challenge at times, and no easy answer.