Welcome to "Fourth Friday," a series of monthly reviews of published research in top-tier journals based on using Moodle to pursue our mission, "Empowering educators to improve our world."
This month, we review a mix of qualitative, and mixed-methods studies conducted at institutions of higher education around the world.
This study used a survey with a combination of open and closed questions to ask 137 undergraduate students and 20 instructors about their experiences using Moodle, in engineering degrees at National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University, Russia. Students appreciate the opportunity to gain additional points toward their final grade (attestation) outside the classroom, using mobile and laptop access. Feedback received from teachers was also a strong motivation. Collaborative learning was a relatively weak motivating factor.
Conversely, technical problems with the platform were cited by 82% of learners, constituting the most substantial demotivating factor. Results of questions about the perceived increase in workload imposed in courses using Moodle were mixed, but most students did not perceive the workload as a demotivator.
Teaching staff appreciated the ability to provide automated checks of learning and to distribute additional learning materials. They also highlighted the ability to set individual assignments, and placed a higher value on collaboration than students did. Teachers appreciated the ability to monitor student study behavior. However, teachers also cited technical issues and additional workload as demotivators to using Moodle, and expressed concerns about plagiarism and correctly identifying learners.
The authors point to a need for increased technical support and instruction for teachers. They also suggest engaging students in "the discussion of rules for teacher-student and student-student collaboration in Moodle."
RQ1: What is the relationship between student success and use of resources on the e-learning platform in different courses?
RQ2: How much is centrality in a network in correlation with student success?
RQ3: Do students with similar performance form the same cluster?
Forty two students from two courses were included in the study. Although not explicitly stated in the article, the courses appeared to be primarily classroom offerings with the Moodle platform used to provide static resources. Student clusters were plotted as a graph of final grade vs. views of content. In addition to queries directly to students about their ties to other students, the researchers constructed a network based on student usage of the same resources within Moodle. The study found a positive correlation between the centrality of the student within the peer network and success in learning (as measured by the final grade in the course).
This study examined the relationship between faculty satisfaction and perceptions of usefulness (PU) and ease of use (PEOU) of Moodle via a questionnaire, with results obtained from 199 faculty members. A significant correlation was found between satisfaction and PU and PEOU, and while age was not a significantly moderating factor in this correlation, gender and "metro vs. non-metro" locale were moderating factors. A request for the full text of this article was unsuccessful, so the recommendations for effective use of Moodle as an LMS are not available for review.
Do you know of research related to Moodle? We'd love to hear from you! Post here, in this forum, or feel free to add records to our research repository at https://research.moodle.net. (You can also subscribe to our RSS feed there.) If you'd like us to review research, please be sure to provide us with access to the full text of the paper.
We are also interested in hearing what kind of research members of the community need. We are frequently contacted by graduate students and others interested in pursuing research but struggling to define a topic. We would be delighted to help connect young researchers with potential research mentors. 🙂