We've used a Glossary and asked the users to upload a photo and answer a few questions. Then on the homepage of the course we used the "Random Glossary" block to display a new entry everytime the page refreshed. With commenting turned on you could have students compliment or say hello to each other in the glossary entries.
Teaching with Moodle
Is there approach to make all participants in a course to get to know each other?
And a small twist on this is to pair the students and have them interview and photograph each other and then post those interviews/images as glossary entries. I suggest this to elementary teachers for a "first week - getting to know us" activity - paired with the Random Glossary Entry block for student-of-the-day sort of thing - but it might work in Brian's situation.
How do you have such a creative thought? Is there any book or resource to recommend?
Making a random glossary to better make participants' connection is really something!
I am pretty sure that I got the idea from a MIchelle Moore presentation. Here is one of her SlideShares:
The Glossary Module: 10 Ways to Make This Old Dog Do New Tricks
Check out slide # 16 (and the rest).
I know many educators who teach on-line but have never participated in an on-line course and not even thinking of doing so. Compare that situation with the analog world: How many hours has the average teacher spent in (brick-and-mortar) classrooms, before he started teaching (in a brick-and-mortar classroom)?
There are simply too many opportunities in taking part in online courses (whatever the subject matter). The easiest and the closest one for the Moodler ist the https://learn.moodle.net/ Moodle MOOC. It would be nice if the old-hands here could contribute to a list of other opportunities.