I've just finished my first quarter using Moodle to mange my 11/12 English course. The first Moodle was used in our school. I'm about to start the next quarter the courses that I teach through Moodle. After that, I'll get the rest of the staff on board. I'm trying to learn the different ways to use Moodle and having trouble making connections between the things that happen in the pre-Moodle classroom and the way they now need to be reshaped to fit into the context of Moodle.
There seem to be a number of tables on the web that explain what each of the Moodle activities are but what about a table that would start with the things you have been doing in your classroom and giving the Moodle options how to implement it. Does anyone know of a resource like that?
Examples of the kind of thing I'd like to do in Moodle and don't know how:
1. I get my students to give me a weekly reading response. This used to be just done via Email. If I replied with questions, the students could answer next week. For some students we just bounced the same email back and forth, once a week, for the whole quarter. I just used a Moodle assignment and had them paste into the box... It worked, but there was no conversation that continued...
2. How do you create a list of possible assignments where the student has choices within a unit? Do one of these five choices... You need to do a number of things until you get x number of points.
I think there various ways you can achieve 1), but I have not actually done it myself, so I don't know what the best way is, so I will leave it to others with more expertise to answer. (I think I can see why this needs to be private between teacher and students, and not just a public forum.)
2) My advice here is: don't be afraid to start simple. E.g. just put 5 separate assignments in one section of the course, with a Label above telling students what they are required to do.
You can use the Gradebook to add up the scores from the 5 activities.
Then, if you want to get fancy, you can start to use Restrict access to be a bit more clever. For example, you could have one instruction label that appears to students who have not yet scored enough points, and set that to be hidden once the students have a total grade that is high enough. Then have a second label that appears when the grade is high enough, telling them that they are done.
I think I can help with question 1, Marvin.
Are your students happy to have other people see their reading response? If not, try to move them towards 'spirit of sharing' as the alternative is a bit burdensome administratively.
Set up a Forum where each student posts one Discussion. You can 'talk' within the forum but other students could also post responses within each other's threads. Get the student to use their name as the subject so it's easy to quickly see who you are talking to. And set edit profile/Forum tracking to keep track of new posts so you don't miss one.
Reading response: I did see that option, discussion forum, and was wondering if it would work, but the discussions need to be private. The students are allowed to choose any book, and often the book will float around the class, so I'll be talking about the book with people that are 10%, 50% and 100% done the book at the same time. I totally hear you about being more collaborative, but this need to stay closed in order for both of us to feel free to say what ever we want without others 'listening' in.
We're pretty good about not spoiling stuff for others. Had one accident of a very minor spoiler just yesterday, and the poor student felt so bad... I was pleased they collectively have this sensitivity.
If you can install add-ons and if you want students to receive a grade for their reading response, I would suggest using the Journal activity. I used it for this type of activity with my students before I retired.
It is easy to set up a Journal and then just duplicate it for each week or whenever. During setup, you can determine for how many days/weeks or always that students will be able to edit their entries. Journal doesn't support scoring rubrics, but you can use your own scale which is handy for simple grading.
The biggest advantage to me was the teacher grading view listed all the students, or selected group, all on one long page, which REALLY cuts down on the clicks and time needed to grade all the entries. Really handy for something I had to grade so often.
Not too long ago, Journal received a small upgrade so that any entry that gets edited after grading, will be marked as needing regrading and will be at the top of the teachers grading view.
At the moment, Journal does not support uploading files, but it is scheduled to be available when Moodle 3.1 comes out. It is available on github already and works great. The teacher feedback text area does not support any of the text editors, just plain text only, and no upload capability.
Do you know if the Journal addon module is mobile app friendly? Right now I'm green enough that I don't want to become too reliant on addon's before I actually understand what can/can't be done with the core pieces. And, I'm hoping to keep the courses as mobile app friendly as possible.