This is my first year with Moodle. Prior to this, I had a fairly static website -- straight html with my course materials, grades and links. It was clean, simple and fast. My students (then) were tech-savvy but now I have a less technologically inclined population. I've moved most of my things into Moodle and have been tossing about ways I will use more features next year.
The complexity of Moodle has been a challenge with this group. Part of this year's learning experience (for me) has been training the less technology savvy to use the site as a resource for our class. With Moodle I can now track their usage/access of resources. Moodle has let me turn the site into "one stop shopping" for resources -- the kids can log into the site, select the current unit (I love HSU Course Menu Block) and go to a site or take a review quiz (external link).
It's now March and my Chemistry kids are just recognizing the value of what the site can do for them. My Physics kids were there in October.
For next year, I'm planning on creating quizzes and the like within Moodle, rather than use external links (which are never *quite* what I want). Some will be for review - others for class grades. There was a fabulous thread on creative use of glossaries - I am *so* implementing some of those ideas!
I've uploaded a simulation or two and will do more next year. In the meantime, I used a few links to external sites. What I really appreciate is that Moodle can open the resource so they don't get lost navigating their way "back home." I use the Diagnoser.com for my Physics kids -- it diagnoses a student's misconceptions on Newtonian concepts -- it's a "must use." Even better, they are adding chemistry concepts as well. It's based on years of solid Physics Education Research. The PhysicsClassroom.com is a wealth of tutorial and animations from teachers at Glenbrook South HS (Illinois). I just link to the appropriate section. I have some simulations and animations both loaded and linked on the site. I have been adding them we go through the units of study. By the end of the year, I will clone the course and upgrade for Fall of 2007 (I'm on 1.5.4 now).
I use a forum for each unit of study to post photos of white boards used in class discussions - and the discussion is (often) followed up online. I need to work on this more. Next year I will have comments/grading on the forums to make sure the kids keep the discourse going. I've been a bit overwhelmed (the usual stuff - too many students, new school and dept. head) so this semester I've been slacking about the photos (12 per class, multiple wb sessions in a week). So, I may create a "white board of the week" forum.
I keep a log of class happenings for those who may have missed class and/or remind me next year of what we did this year. I'm a bit fuzzy on what I want to do with online assignments of various types- I need more time to think about it. I definitely need more time to wrap my brain around the "roles" function in 1.7 and beyond. By the time I am ready to upgrade, it could be 2.0 (gotta check the release schedule).
In addition, some of my colleagues hopped on to my site as a place to have grades posted on line. We use another program for that and upload
the files. Several want to use Moodle in their classes for next year - we'll have the summer to work on that. Ideally, this will spread to the rest of the school - the digital photo/AP Art teacher wants to use Moodle. By then, the school/district will have to spring for the cost of the server
/support. My webhost
is generous but 1700 kids would exceed my quota in a heartbeat!
If your teachers would like to check it out, send me a message and I'll send you a ghost login for a non-editing teacher to see it from teacher mode.