I see a lot of good advice here. Like Mary Parke, I teach an introductory Moodle workshop at a community college. Some of the participants are teachers who are already using Moodle. Others will be using it in the near future. Still others attend the workshop because they've heard about Moodle and want to learn more (they might not even be teachers).
Because I have such a diverse group, I decided on the following strategy: Let the participants experience Moodle as students.
This really simplifies my job as Workshop presenter. I don't really have to say much besides "do this" and then "do that." Think about it: How much of an explanation do students need before they start a Moodle activity? Not much. How much time do you spend explaining Moodle's pedagogical underpinnings to them? None. Get the idea? If a teacher experiences Moodle the way her students do, she will understand these things without my having to say a word.
I created a course based on a children's story so that the subject matter doesn't get in the way. The course has a number of activities
. Actually, some of the activities are presented in several versions that I reveal in stages (by hiding and unhiding). For example, their first activity is to read the story. I present four versions in the following sequence:
- Link to a Web site where they can read the story
- Link to a local pdf file containing the story
- Moodle book version of the story
- Moodle lesson version of the story
Next, there's a test on the story that's full of images and multimedia.
Next, I have them create a Moodle Glossary in groups. One group makes entries for the animals in the story, and so on. They use a Moodle Chat to coordinate among themselves.
Then there's a writing assignment. Students choose their topics with a Moodle Choice. The assignment is revealed in three versions:
- Write an essay and upload it
- Moodle Exercise
- Moodle Workshop
A Workshop?? Gasp! Yes, I know: Workshops are terribly complicated -- for the teacher. They're a breeze for the student because the Workshop takes them by the hand and walks them through all the steps.
Finally, there's a forum on issues in Digital Rights Management. No kidding.
To sum it up, the best way (in my opinion) to "sell" Moodle to teachers is to let them experience Moodle from their students' perspective. And let them experience the full range of Moodle's activities. Students yawn when they see a "class Web site" done in Moodle, wouldn't you?