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A plan for a new Module called SelfStudy; a good idea?

 
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Picture of Peter Ruthven-Stuart
A plan for a new Module called SelfStudy; a good idea?
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Hello,

I have a plan for a new activity module about which I’d like to get some feedback before embarking on the development process.

The working name of the new module is ‘SelfStudy’. It will allow students to create their own questions and quizzes for self study.

(message to the administrator/facilitator of this forum: if this is not the best place to make such an announcement please feel free to move this post to a more appropriate place. Thank you.)

A summary of the new SelfStudy module

This will be a module to allow students to create their own questions and quizzes which they can access whenever they want to quiz themselves. Furthermore, they will be able to share their quizzes and questions with their peers. The teachers’ main role will be to make ‘Self Study’ possible by creating a SelfStudy activity.

Motivation for developing the SelfStudy module

As a teacher that believes in the importance of promoting ‘Autonomous Learning’, I am aware that a key feature that Moodle lacks is a tool or environment in which students can initiate and create their own study activities. Certainly, there are numerous activities that teachers can create that allow students to participate in and contribute to the learning process. However, present activities tend to rely to a considerable extent on the teacher to create and facilitate learning tasks. The intention of the SelfStudy module will be allow students to take the initiative to study for themselves.

Key features:

Students will be able to ...

  1. Create their own questions and quizzes, which they can do at any time (even on mobile phones?)
  2. Share their questions and quizzes with other students – if the teacher has allowed this
  3. Create questions in a group, i.e. work on a set of questions with their peers
  4. Categorise questions in the same way a teacher can do in the Quiz module
  5. Tag (sub-categorise?) their questions
  6. Search for certain questions (both their own and shared); the tags will help in this
  7. Access a page within a moodle course (perhaps via a SelfStudy block) which lists all the quizzes they have made and their peers have shared.
  8. Evaluate their own and peers questions
  9. Create quizzes from ‘Smart Question Lists’. These lists will contain questions that have certain “transient characteristics”, as well as more fixed characteristics, e.g. questions not recently done, questions rarely answered correctly, questions recently added, questions not answered correctly more than 5 times, questions that have been ‘highly recommended’ by students or the teacher, questions that have certain tags, questions that they themselves have not yet tried or got right, questions made by certain people, e.g. the teacher, etc.

Teachers will be able to ...

  1. Create a SelfStudy activity
  2. Indicate how many questions students should make, or allow students to make as many as they want
  3. Set whether or not students can share questions
  4. Set what type of questions students can make, e.g. multiple choice, short answer, etc.
  5. Set a start and end date, if any
  6. Set whether or not the task is a group or individual activity
  7. Indicate how many points, if any, the SelfStudy task is worth in the course grade
  8. Give a grade for the quality of question (manual grading), and/or the number of questions a student has made, and/or the number of questions a student has got right.
  9. Access a page within a Moodle course (perhaps via a SelfStudy block) which lists all the quizzes students have made in order to check, and if necessary evaluate and grade the questions.
  10. Import questions from the already existing Question bank to let students use in their own self created quizzes
  11. See who has made a question in a quiz by clicking on a link in the top left of the question frame

Question types

My thinking at the moment is that this module will make use of the question types that are already part of the Quiz module. However, in the initial stage of development, the module will probably just contain two or three types: Matching, Multi choice, and Short Answer.

The ‘Questions’ feature in the Administration block

Just as this new SelfStudy module should not be confused with the Quiz module, it should also not be confused with the ‘Questions’ link in the Administration block of every course. This Questions link allows teachers to go directly to creating and editing questions without having to go through the Quiz activity module or a pre-existing Quiz. However, it should be possible for the teacher to import questions she has made from this Questions bank to the SelfStudy module so that students can use them in their own self-created quizzes.

What about ‘roles’ in 1.7?

I am aware that the new roles feature in Moodle 1.7 will allow teachers to give students the right to make their own questions and quizzes using the standard Quiz module. This would perhaps seem to make my suggestion of a SelfStudy module redundant. However, I do not think this will be the case, since by giving students the right to make quizzes, it will still not be possible for the teacher to see which students have made questions and quizzes. Furthermore, with a large class, this could lead to a chaotic course. So, unless I am missing something with the new roles feature, I do not think that it will supplant a SelfStudy module.

Questions to fellow Moodlers:

  1. Do you think teachers would appreciate such an activity module?
  2. Do you think students would appreciate the ability to be able to create and share their own questions and quizzes?
  3. Is there a third-party module already out there that allows students to make their own questions and quizzes?
  4. Am I right that the new roles feature will not make a SelfStudy module redundant?
  5. What are the main features that you would like to see in such a module?
  6. Are there any features of Moodle that make such a module impractical, impossible, or even dangerous (i.e. a security risk)?
Any other comments or ideas about this planned SelfStudy module will be most welcome.

Finally, I should add that I am not a programmer, so will be working with a programmer to develop this module.
 
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Martin Dougiamas
Re: A plan for a new Module called SelfStudy; a good idea?
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Firstly, thanks for posting this FIRST before starting development, if only everyone did that! smile

In reading the proposal, I do feel this is duplicating things in Moodle to a large degree.

In Moodle, teachers can be given the right to create new courses, and they can give students write access in those courses, so a lot of what you're saying here can be implemented simply as a course for each "selfstudy" group.

For the missing functionality, such as authorship and assessment of quiz questions, perhaps this is something that could just be added to the existing central Questions database in a way that makes it useful to all Moodle sites (for teachers and students).
 
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Picture of Peter Ruthven-Stuart
Re: A plan for a new Module called SelfStudy; a good idea?
Group Plugin developers
Martin, thank you for your comments. They made me rethink my ideas and plans, and this is what I've come up with.

Martin wrote:

In Moodle, teachers can be given the right to create new courses, and they can give students write access in those courses, so a lot of what you're saying here can be implemented simply as a course for each "selfstudy" group.

Certainly, it is possible for students to be given editing rights to a course. In this way, students can make their own quizzes and questions using the standard Quiz module. In fact, I have done this: set up courses in which students are given the same control as a traditional Moodle 'teacher'. However, there are four drawbacks to this method of encouraging Autonomous Learning.
  1. Not all Moodle teachers are able to create another course for students to use as their own Self Study page. Either they are paying a hosting company to 'rent' just a single course space, or their moodle administrator has put limits on the number of course teachers can set up.
  2. Having a course in which a number of students have editing rights would make self study possible, but it would not be possible to easily or automatically track and record what individual students do. Alternatively, giving each student their own Moodle course would make it possible for a teacher to see what individual students were doing, but it would not be automatic; they would have to access each course. Furthermore, for a teacher in charge of a lot of students this would not be very practical. In other words, the benefit of my proposed module is that student activities; both creating and doing quizzes, could be automatically recorded to the Gradebook.
  3. Even if teachers are able set up a course or multiple courses for teachers, in my experience not only would this be too time consuming, but it would also be too complicated for many teachers. It would be much easier for them if the ability to initiate, track, evaluate and record grades of self study activities were in the same course as all the other course activities.
  4. Giving carte blanche to 'certain' groups of students to create their own activities is not always feasible. It could lead to at best a chaotic course, and at worst students 'accidentally' deleting each others questions and quizzes.

4 key objectives of SelfStudy function/module and possible solutions

Notwithstanding these four points above, I appreciate that replicating things, that Moodle already does, does potentially complicate matters. So, I've narrowed down my key objectives to the following 4 goals:
  1. make it possible for students to create their own questions and quizzes in the same way that teachers can currently do so, but with the possibility of simplifying quiz and question creation (e.g. simple initial quiz set up, limit the question types, etc.)
  2. allow students to share these questions (="communal autonomous learning")
  3. allow teachers to easily track, evaluate, and grade these questions, this includes automatic grading where possible
  4. allow students (and teachers) to select questions from ‘Smart Question Lists’
I can see two ways of fulfilling these goals whilst at the same time limiting the replication or duplication of existing Moodle functions:

Possible solutions ONE ...
  • to objective 1) - use existing Moodle feature: have teachers create courses for individual students or groups of students (as is possible now)
  • to objective 2) - new feature: make it possible for students of the same cohort to see what quizzes and questions are available to them without having to access each separate student's course.
  • to objective 3) - new feature: devise a means of tracking student self study activity all in one central course and record data to gradebook
  • to objective 4) - 'improvement' of existing Quiz module: create a new functionality within the present Quiz module that allows quizzes to be automatically generated from the Question bank (=Smart Question Lists)
Possible solutions TWO ...
  • to objective 1) - new activity module: SelfStudy module, which allows students to access the existing Quiz making engine
  • to objective 2) - existing Moodle feature, with an adaptation; the Quiz Module already allows quizzes to be made public (sharing). However, this would need to be adapted to make it possible to prevent students deleting or editing & saving questions made by other students, i.e. they should only be able to save-as-new shared questions
  • to objective 3) - new feature (part of a new SelfStudy module): make it possible to track student question and quiz making, including recording evaluations to the gradebook
  • to objective 4) - 'improvement' of existing Quiz module: create a new functionality within the present Quiz module that allows quizzes to be automatically generated from the Question bank (=Smart Question Lists)

Graded & Supervised Autonomous Learning: a contradiction?
Yes, but the reality is that most students need a bit of a stick as well as a carrot; some supervision and encouragement. Also, many teachers need to give grades at the end of a course. So, whilst Martin's suggestion re giving students their own courses that they can edit works for highly motivated students, it does not work for most of my students, nor does it help those teachers that want to encourage self study, but at the same time need to track students and hand in grades based on students' activities and performance.


So, given that I think that "Communal SelfStudy" activities are essential, and that the ability of teachers to track, evaluate and record this SelfStudy is equally important, I need to think of a new module, or an adaptation of present modules and functions, that is not disruptive of the present system - i.e. minimum duplication.

Any ideas or suggestions about how SelfStudy (as defined by the above 4 objectives) could be enabled via a new module, or enhancements to present functions will be most welcome

And thank you again Martin for your helpful feedback.
 
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Picture of Jamie Pratt
Re: A plan for a new Module called SelfStudy; a good idea?
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I previously talked with Peter about this module idea in the summer this year at the JALT CALL SIG conference in Sapporo.

I think that the idea of students being able to create questions and quizzes is a great way of bridging the gap between the popular quiz module and the constructivist philosophy of Moodle.

The ideas that Peter's proposed are wide ranging and ambitious. In order to start development we need to think about Peter's ideas in terms of modules to develope and changes if any in Moodle core code that will be needed.

If we think about Peter's ideas in terms of activities that a teacher can set up in a course then the first obvious one for me is question creation. Question creation in itself can be a great way to test a students knowledge of a subject area. And the best of student written questions can be used by teachers to set up quizzes for further assessment. These questions or other questions might also be used in alternative quiz activities. This would need to be an activity module as :
  • it would be desirable to sometimes give grades for the questions created.
  • it would be nice to add one or more activities in a course. With instructions for the student and to select the type of questions that the student is required to create. And to select a question category that the questions will be stored in.
  • which student has created which question would be data asssociated with the activity.
  • do we need to create a simplified interface for creating questions by students? I know that Tim is going to rewrite the question creation forms using my new forms library code. The new code will allow for more intelligent and user friendly forms which can hide 'advanced' fields on a form until the user presses a button 'show advanced'.
I wonder :
  • if there any plans to make the question bank categories more flexible.
  • it would be great if we were thinking of moving to replace question categories with tags.
Would question creation as a student activity be a good place to start on this project Peter? Any requirements to add to what would be required in this activity Peter?

Jamie

 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: A plan for a new Module called SelfStudy; a good idea?
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if there any plans to make the question bank categories more flexible



http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=61151

Basically, yes, work definitely needs to be done on the question bank to make it more powerful.

However, there are plenty of other things that need ot be done in the quiz/question bank area which are higher priority becuase they give more immediate benefits for less effort, at least to my eyes.

I think that the first step in any major work on the question bank is to turn a it into an activity module. (With hindsight, this should have been done when the question bank was separated from the quiz module in 1.6). There are two huge benfits of that:
  • The question bank fits into the Moodle archetecture. As a Module, you get the chance to create and update database tables, you fit properly in the roles and permissions scheme, and basically, you are not always being treated as a special case in the code.
  • It gives you uch more flexibility. Although most courses will probably want to carry on with a single question bank, occasionally, for examle when you want to keep teacher and student created questions separate, you will have the flexibility to set up more than one bank.

The main difficulty in doing this is that up til now, different activity modules have been completely independant, whereas if you make the questionbank a module, then you will have quizzes that require a particular questionbank to be present, which means that you should not be able to delete a questionbank if any quizzes are using it, and if you backup a quiz, the (necessary questions from the) necessary question banks need ot be automatically backed up.

However, I think there are plenty of benefits in solving these difficulties for other modules, not just the quiz, so I am sure, long term, this is the right thing to do.
 
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Picture of Jamie Pratt
Re: A plan for a new Module called SelfStudy; a good idea?
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Making question banks into activities would fit well with some of the goals of Peter's project possibly. Then question creation could be optionally a graded activity.

I notice that question versioning still seems to be broken. I guess this would be a nice feature to have for Peter's project too.
 
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Picture of Jamie Pratt
SelfStudy project; question bank needs
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So if we make a question bank an activity then we could use the roles and permissions to say who could create questions. During activity set up the teacher could specify who could create questions. The permissions setting could be part of the activity update form or for finer detail you could go to the roles tab.


 
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Picture of Peter Ruthven-Stuart
Re: SelfStudy project; question bank needs
Group Plugin developers
Tim and Jamie,

Thank you for your comments.

From what you have both written, I understand that for technical reasons it would be better to turn the Question Bank into an activity module. However, my understanding of the Question Bank is that it is supposed to be a depository of questions that can be accessed by any activity module that has the capacity to create and save questions (e.g. the Lesson and Quiz modules). In other words, it is a resource for activity modules.

So, in the case of a SelfStudy module, students would need to be able to have access to the Question Bank in order to save their own questions. Of course, there would need to be a category within the Question Bank that would be devoted to the SelfStudy module to prevent students gaining access to teacher created questions. On the other hand, teachers should be able to access this 'SelfStudy' question category via the Quiz Module so that they could edit and add student questions to standard Quiz activities.

So although I don't fully understand the need to turn the Question Bank into an activity module, I would support such a development if it makes my 'SelfStudy' goal easier to achieve.

 
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Picture of Peter Ruthven-Stuart
Would question creation as a student activity be a good place to start
Group Plugin developers

Jamie,

You wrote: "Would question creation as a student activity be a good place to start on this project Peter?"

Yes, but if possible other components of this project could be worked on in parallel. Ideally, I'd like to be able to develop a stand-alone module that allows students to do all the things I mentioned in my original posting, including the ability to create 'on-the-fly' quizzes' generated from Smart Question lists. However, as you say, this project is "wide ranging and ambitious". So, being realistic it will be best to break it up into a number of sub-projects or 'development stages', some of which will be to enhance existing features and others to develop new features.

Having read through the postings so far, it appears that this project can be broken down into the following components or stages:

Stage 1: SelfStudy Module; activity that requires / allows students to make their own questions which can be graded and imported into the Question Bank by the teacher.

Stage 2: Allow for group creation of questions (as with the Project module being developed by Don Hinkelman)

Stage 3: Via the SelfStudy module, allow students to do quizzes made up of questions made by themselves (and their peers once sharing becomes possible)

Stages 4 to 6 = Question Bank enhancements:

Stage 4: Make it possible for students to save their questions directly into the Question bank.

Stage 5: Allow for the sharing of questions between students

Stage 6: Smart Question lists: tagged questions (i.e. sub-categories, metadata on questions)

Stage 7: On-the-fly quizzes: make it possible for teachers via the Quiz module, and students via the SelfStudy module, to generate quizzes that are populated by questions that fall within certain parameters. For teachers, this will allow them to tailor quizzes to individual students, and for students this will allow them to tailor quizzes to their own needs.

Stage 8: Database (or Glossary) integration: make it possible for data stored in a database to be (automatically) used in a quiz. This would be an import feature that could also be used within the Quiz module.

So "question creation as a student activity" seems to be a good place to begin, since it is not disruptive of Moodle's core code, and will serve as a 'proof of concept'.

"Any requirements to add to what would be required in this activity Peter?"

I think it is imperative that from the outset this activity includes features that distinguish it from tasks that can already be done with Moodle; i.e. take into account Martin D's admonition above that it could be "duplicating things in Moodle to large degree". In other words, it has to be much more than a function that allows students to make questions, which is something they can already do if given editing rights to a course.

So, the requirements of Stage 1 of this project are:

  • create an activity module that allows teachers to make an activity in which they specify:
    • how many questions have to be made
    • what type of questions should be made (multiple choice, short answer, etc.)
    • what subject area questions have to cover
    • the grade for the activity
    • specify Groups mode (No groups, Separate groups, Visible groups)
    • other standard activity parameters such as start and finish date
  • teachers need to be able to grade and comment on individual questions made by students
  • students need to be able to revise questions having read feedback from teachers
  • teachers need to be able to indicate whether or not the questions is good enough to be used in a quiz
  • teachers need to be able to export all questions that have been marked as 'good enough': this could be achieved by making it possible to directly export students created questions to the Question Bank, or by exporting the students created questions as a GIFT formatted file, which can be subsequently imported into the Question Bank.
  • students need to be able to make questions in much the same way as teachers can via the Quiz module. However, it will be important to create a simplified interface for creating questions (using your new forms library code). This will have a positive spin-off since the same simplified interface will be appreciated by teachers new to Moodle and technology enhanced teaching.

So, I think that question creation as a student activity is a good place to start on this project, as long as we can include the above requirements that will make it a constructivist learning activity, and therefore more than simply giving students the ability to create their own questions.

 
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Picture of Jamie Pratt
Re: Would question creation as a student activity be a good place to start
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For stage 1. I have one questions for you Peter, what effect will the 'group mode' have on the activity?? Is this related to 'Stage 2: Allow for group creation of questions (as with the Project module being developed by Don Hinkelman)'


 
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Picture of Peter Ruthven-Stuart
Re: Would question creation as a student activity be a good place to start
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Jamie, yes I need to distinguish between course groups and activity 'sub-groups'.

The 'Group mode' of stage 1 is not directly related to the ability create questions in 'groups' as suggested in stage 2.

When setting up a Moodle courses one of the parameters is 'Group mode' of which the choices are:
  • No groups
  • Separate groups
  • Visible groups
This feature is indispensable when a teacher has a number of classes all registered to the same course. For example, one of my Moodle courses has 12 classes, of 40 students each, registered to it, so a total of 240 students. 'Group mode' for the course is set to 'Separate groups', which means when individual activities are compatible with these group divisions (i.e. classes), there is a pull down menu for the activity which allows me to see what students have done according to their group / class membership. From the students' point of view, they can only 'see' other students in their own group (their classmates). For example, in Forums, they can only see the postings made by their classmates. There is an explanation of 'Groups' here:
http://docs.moodle.org/en/Groups

So, when I wrote about 'Group creation of questions' it would have been more correct to have referred to sub-groups. In other words, it would be very useful if when setting up a SelfStudy activity, the teacher could require students to create questions in sub-groups (3 or 4 students) in the same way that students work together on projects in Don Hinkelman's Project module. The key point here is that when a sub-group is given a grade for a question they have made, this grade is automatically given to all the students in that sub-group.

To summarise, the Group mode of stage 1 is a feature that has existed for a while, and most of the standard activity modules have this Group mode setting. It is a way of dividing up a very large cohort of students into separate classes. On the other hand, the 'sub-group' feature suggested in stage 2 above will allow a small set of students (e.g. 3 or 4 students) in the same group (class) to work together on some questions, and the grades that each sub-group get, will be reflected in each individuals' grade for that activity.

Hope this makes things clearer.
 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: A plan for a new Module called SelfStudy; a good idea?
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I think all the stuff about more flexibility over who creates and shares questions should be built into the existing question bank. It is not flexible enough at the moment.

In thing the taking the test part, with automatically generated quizzes (maybe of an indeterminate length, so you start, and keep being given one question at a time to do until you have had enough), would be useful as a new module.

This is sufficently different from the existing quiz, and the quiz is already very complicated, that you don't want to mix the two up.

If we get the first part, enhancing the question bank to allow more flexible sharing, right, then the second part should be relatively easy. The first part is hard. Since Moodle expects everything to belong to a particular course, sharing stuff between courses tends to be difficult to implement. For example images in shared questions (question in published categories) don't appear to students in other courses. This is a problem that needs to be fixed. I am just saying it will need a lot of thought to find the right solution.

Actually, before we start looking for a solution, it would be good to start coming up with a list of the kinds of things we want the question bank to enable. In what ways do we want people to be able to share questions? Once you have shared your question, what rights should other people have to do stuff with it, other than just using it, unmodified, in a quiz? That sort of thing.
 
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Picture of Joseph Rézeau
Re: A plan for a new Module called SelfStudy; a good idea?
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Hi Peter,

This is an excellent idea. Although I do not have the necessary skills to propose helping you with delevoping this new module I can offer to help you test it out.

One "self-study" tool I would very much like to see in Moodle is a "vocabulary self-test" which would share some of the aspects mentioned in your post Key Features point 9:

"Create quizzes from ‘Smart Question Lists’. These lists will contain questions that have certain “transient characteristics”, as well as more fixed characteristics, e.g. questions not recently done, questions rarely answered correctly, questions recently added, questions not answered correctly more than 5 times".

What I would like to do is to replicate a vocab. learning system I used quite successfully for my own language learning studies (I did not invent it), with pen and paper.

Starting point: a list (or lists) of vocabulary to be studied/revised..., either English word - foreign translation or (English) word - (English) definition, etc.

Vocab. lists to be created by teacher, possibly using the Glossary module or database module.

Students can create their own test on the fly. January 1st, student A decides to learn/revise words in List "Animals". Student A has a choice of quiz presentation (i.e. question types): matching, multiple choice, short answer; total number of words to be tested (randomly picked out the list bank). Words correctly matched, answered, etc. upon first attempt are deemed to be "known" and are accordingly "tagged" as such.

January 10th, student A decides to re-test herself on the same "Animals" list. Now the words used for this test will again be taken from the list bank, but words tagged as "known" in the attempt dated Jan. 1st will not be selected.

And so on and so forth, until all words in the "Animals" List have been used in the on-the-fly self-test and tagged as "known".

When this happens, is student A wants to test herself on "Animals" again, she will be warned that she is supposed to "know" all the words in the list, and will be given the option to reset the whole list to "unknown".

I hope this makes sense and might be given some consideration,

Joseph

 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: A plan for a new Module called SelfStudy; a good idea?
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Perhaps the way to do what you want is to write a question import filter, which loads a vocabulary list, and builds matching, miltiple choice or short answer question automatically (maybe putting them into categories automatically too).

Then you can use those questions to make quizzes (note that quizzes can pick questions at random from a particular category), and later, once we have the self-test module, that can also use the imported questions too.

Writing an question import filter is a relatively easy bit of programming. The code lives in quetion/format/XXX/format.php, and if you look at how the existing ones work, you should get the general idea. The best place to ask for more advice if anyone wants to attempt this is in the quiz forum.


 
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Pierre Pichet
Re: A plan for a new Module called SelfStudy; a good idea?
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I have create an item with the same name in quiz forum
http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=60907

 
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Picture of Ger Tielemans
Re: A plan for a new Module called SelfStudy; a good idea?
 

Students can fill categories in the glossary with lemmas:

Why not create a selftest module which offers the student the option to select (his own) categories for rehearsal from a self created glossary-set?

 
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Picture of Peter Ruthven-Stuart
Re: A plan for a new Module called SelfStudy; a good idea?
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Joseph,

Thank you very much for your encouraging comments.

As a language teacher, I very much appreciate the scenario that you describe, and it is one that I have very much in mind as I think through the implications and possibilities of a SelfStudy module.

Your idea of tagging questions as 'unknown' or 'known' would definitiely be part of a Smart Questions feature. Also, I would like to be able to make it possible for students to indicate what 'known' means. For example, when setting up their own 'on the fly' quizzes, they should be able to indicate that when they get a certain question correct x number of times, that questions then becomes 'known'.

All being well, there will be something for you to test sometime next year (2007). When there is, I'll let you know.
 
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Picture of Joseph Rézeau
Re: A plan for a new Module called SelfStudy; a good idea?
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Peter > All being well, there will be something for you to test sometime next year (2007). When there is, I'll let you know.

I am looking forward to this. Thanks in advance,

Joseph

 
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Picture of Don Hinkelman
Re: A plan for a new Module called SelfStudy--Excellent Idea!
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Hi Peter,

Sorry for not seeing this earlier. It is a great idea and perhaps it is *already* completed. Over in Moodle for Language Teaching, the COVCELL Project began work over the past year on a "Constructivist Quizzer". The idea is a kind of personal vocabulary bank that students choose and collect words and phrases during a course of study, or as they create a project. It reverses the roles in that teachers do not propose new words/content, but students discover and decide which words they want to remember. Then the module automatically quizzes them and records frequency of practice and quantity of words/phrases and scores of recognition--all this essential to language learning.

Now that is not exactly what you were saying, but it has some similar aims and it also fills a void in having a flashcard module mentioned by Joseph. The problem with most flashcard software (and there are tons of them in the world) is that they often presume pre-set word lists. Students need to "own" and create language they feel they need. (note: I have not tried the new flashcard module, and it may been improved recently).

What I like about your plans is the idea of adding questions--I especially need that in the student-created projects. Students need to present works they create, then quiz each other on the presentation. Lots of fun!

The suggestion to use the quiz module and have a separate course for self-study has a number of problems:
  • quiz authoring is complicated and laborious for me, let alone students (sorry!) -- we need something almost automatic (drag-into-vocabularybank or a single click capture method--then the module does auto-quizzing)
  • keeping things in one course has advantages in community-building and compiling a composite grade/activity report. I have hundreds of students, and no time to manually combine participation records.
  • integration into the standard question bank is great, but we may need categories/system for review and approval of masses of student-generated questions
We are waiting for a report from the COVCELL coordinator, Matthew, and we should hear in January. It is possible they dropped the plan sometime during the year, but if they did we can still pick it up again.
 
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Picture of Peter Ruthven-Stuart
Re: A plan for a new Module called SelfStudy--Excellent Idea!
Group Plugin developers
Don,

Thanks for your helpful comments. In particular the heads-up re the 'Constructivist Quizzer', and your comments re the problems of ceating and maintaining a separate course for self study are much appreciated.

I will keep my eye out, but please let me know if you hear any more developments re the COVCELL project. I don't want to duplicate something that already exists, but from what I have read about it, it appears to be something I can learn from as development begins on a SelfStudy module.

 
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Picture of Clodomir aka Aaron Gibson
Re: A plan for a new Module called SelfStudy; a good idea?
 
I hope this thread continues to develop, I think this kind of thing is a good idea and something needed in Moodle courses. I think students would want to have an easy way to create their own study material, flashcards, quizzes, etc. and should be able to share them with the rest of the class.

I was wondering if something like SelfStudy could be built up in peices, perhaps one peice could be a modification of the glossary module.

For example the Group Lex software from the compleat lexical tutor site allows students to enter glossary items, definitions and example sentences into a database and then lets them check the ones they want included in a quiz. They are then tested with a matching style quiz.

Something like this could be created in Moodle. Other quiz styles could be added to give students different kinds of practice (receptive like multiple choice, T/F, and productive uses like type in the answer). Also a quiz with X number of random of questions could be displayed. Although this kind of upgrade would be limited to word entries.

What do you think? smile





 
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Picture of Peter Ruthven-Stuart
Re: A plan for a new Module called SelfStudy; a good idea?
Group Plugin developers
Clodomir, (not your real name I think thoughtful)

Thank you for your encouraging feedback.

You wrote: "I was wondering if something like SelfStudy could be built up in pieces". Yes, I think it will have to be built in pieces, since some of the requirements necessitate enhancements of present features, and others completely new features.

Also, you mentioned the Glossary module. Yes, making it possible for entries in the Gloassries (or Databses) to be imported into questions is a good idea, and a feature that I'd like to see incorporated into a SelfStudy module.

Yes, the 'Group Lex' project, is a good example of a self study tool, and is indeed the kind of role that I envisage a SelfStudy module fulfilling.
 
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Picture of John LaGuardia
Re: A plan for a new Module called SelfStudy; a good idea?
 
I've been hoping for some way to practice and/or test vocabulary based on a Moodle Glossary too. The styles mentioned by Clodomir (multiple choice, T/F, and fill-in-the-blank) are all available using Quizlet, which I'm surprised has not been mentioned in any of the various flashcard discussions I've seen.
 
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