Does anyone have a course agenda that they would be willing to share when they teach teachers how to use Moodle. We have been using Moodle for a while now for my Fire Department for their continuing education training. We are in the process of rolling it out to the other 6 departments in our county. I have it set up where each department is their own course so that each one can create their own stuff, also making it where we can share stuff between us.
I taught a class on Friday going over some of the basics, navigation, quiz making, adding resources, etc.
I am thinking about having 3 levels of courses, basic, intermediate, and advanced for people to take. What are some suggestions for an agenda?
Just off the top of my head I would say:
basics: navigation/uploading resources and zipping files/displaying directory/books/customising topic areas including addingimages/labels/
advanced: detailed use of gradebook/lesson and workshop(if available!) and extra plugins/modules and requests!
I am neck-deep in the task of orienting our faculty to Moodle, so this is fresh in my mind. However, we are taking a different tack than you simply because our people are scattered around the country. And we're a traditional institute of higher education, so there are some things we must do that you may not.
Here's what we did/are doing:
Moodle Orientation (four hours, onground)
- Logging on, basic navigation
- Profiles and messaging
- Overview basic Moodle architecture / functions - resources and activities
- Explore Forums and Assignments
- Review online pedagogy fundamentals
- Course architecture, design implications
- Uploading materials to a Moodle course
- Resource creation - web page, link to a file (for syllabi, lectures, handouts, articles, etc.)
- Assignment creation - options, pros and cons of each
- Forum creation - options, pros and cons of each
- Assessment principles
- Attendance (a module we've added to our Moodle)
- Grade Book
- Advanced activity creation: lesson, workshop, wiki
- Advanced resource creation: using media (e.g. MP3 files), book
I too am knee deep in orienting campus faculty on Moodle.
I am thinking of creating a "Course Map" that would provide a road map for a course, almost like a high-level storyboard. This would be a birds-eye view of what the course will look like, including what components and modules would be used. This course map would be provided to faculty to help them plan an entire course.
I'm a bit at a loss what this should look like, however. Do I create tables in Word that mimic the Moodle weekly layout? Do I create something in PowerPoint?
Do you have any thoughts about this?
Thanks very much!
Yes, I'm already doing that.
But when I send away my faculty after the live demo, I want to give them a tool or template that can help them "lay out" their class components, if you will.
Imagine you're designing an online class for the very first time, and trying to "convert" (I use the term loosely) your classroom experience, how will you begin? What would help you map out, conceptually, an entire quarter/semester in Moodle? As an instructional designer by trade,when I design an instructor-led course, I don't open the tool (PowerPoint) first. I first create a design document, an outline, etc. The tool is a means to an end. If I were designing e-learning, I'd create a storyboard before I ever wrote any code. So what is the analog to the moodle world? I keep coming back to "course map" -- which maybe is nothing more than a syllabus / course outline on steroids.
Maybe my paradigm is all wrong here. I appreciate everyone's insights.
If you give faculty a template/showcase course site most of us (yes, I'm one) are likely to simply dump our standard material there in the most straightforward way which usually ignores anything that doesn't lend itself to our standard way and so we end up with a quite ineffective course site because our standard material is adequate to a different world. Some may completely miss the point that this is not a tool but a different way of doing and thinking what one is doing. Or perhaps we just don't have time; or we don't have funding; pick your favorite reason. The reality is that for those who are not used to the online sphere it may be quite overwhelming and frightening. We fear to lose control.
So how do you learn a new way of doing? There is a surprisingly simple answer for that. It may not capture everything but it turns out to be very effective. And the answer is ... Well, look around you. And what exactly do you think you are doing here--in this forum--in this community of practice? Aren't you seeking to learn a new way of doing something or a way for doing something new? And why should your faculty be any different from you?
So, what do faculty need? Isn't that a (Moodle) space where they can ask for advice, offer one or share their moodling experience in any form and shape that works for them?
Since most "live" classes have practice activities and teachers ask questions of students, it works best if you set up the same type of structure in Moodle, rather than a static page-turning type program.
The Lesson activity allows you to set up branches where the student may skip over entire sections if they demonstrate they have the ability/knowledge or get the opportunity to get remedial lesson information if they don't.
Scorms can provide graphics & features heavy demonstration/lessons if you want something flashier (I use Lectora from Trivantis and it is amazing!).
You might tryout www.thiagi.com where they talk a lot of new ways of thinking about training, including e-learning. They have some very nifty products and ideas, some free, some for very reasonable costs. Another resource is Micheal Allen's E-Learning Library--he talks a lot about the next generation of storyboarding (which is very linear) called prototyping--this is similar to storyboarding but it is much more interactive--where the student goes is dependant on how they answer and not everyone ends up in the same place. His Designing Sucessful E-Learning is very useful and informative. Both these resources can apply to development of e-learning tools in moodle, in fact, Thiagi uses Moodle for one of his e-learning development platforms...http://4d-elearning.com/login/index.php.
I am really enjoying this conversation though and look forward to hearing more suggestions.
When we are supporting teachers to completely redesign a course to be fully online or substantially blended we use a very basic design template which doesn't actually mention moodle at all. We don't want their design to be driven by a specific set of tools. Yes they need to have some understanding about Moodle and also other potential online tools not within the Moodle toolbox. But especially when the teacher is new to this we see it as our job to help them think through how their ideas will translate into an actual course.
So we use a MS Word-based "course design template" that helps a teacher focus on designing an activity-based course. Our template is an adapted version of a design tool that several NZ tertiary institutes are using called OTARA. OTARA was first introduced by Kate Hunt and Maurice Moore at a Conference in 2005 (http://www.efest.org.nz/2005/speakers/bio_moorehunt.html) and it has close links to the activities/resources/supports framework proposed by Oliver and Herrington (http://elrond.scam.ecu.edu.au/oliver/2002/edmedia1.pdf).
We incorporate the course design template within a general project management/style guide toolkit - http://ecampus.nmit.ac.nz/moodle/mod/resource/view.php?id=4346. It is important to emphasise that this design plan needs to be completed before any online development occurs. When using a team-based approach or out-sourced development we use version control to debate and adapt the design until it is approved and then the resources and online environment are created. The design plan can continue to be adapted and used as an ongoing summary of how the course is intended to work.
It is early days for us in terms of this kind of rigour for course development so we will no doubt be continuing to adapt the design tools a we go.
There is a new New Zealand-based learning design community called LDNet that is just getting started but includes more discussion and links to alternate learning design models - http://akoaotearoa.ac.nz/communities/ldnet.
Thanks for the links! I took a look and am now revamping week three of my current facilitator training course as a result. The Hunt & Moore link and the Oliver & Herrington article were particularly useful.
You were my savior with that link to OTARA! I looked at the table they had created and adapted it for a presentation to several faculty members last Friday. I called it a "course map," filled in a sample week for them, and gave them plenty of blanks for them to start thinking about the process of "converting" (using the term very loosely) their classroom course to an online course.
It was very helpful! Thank you so much for your assistance! It was the conceptual breakthrough I needed!
Some teachers freak-out when see the tabular structure and have trouble working through the bigger picture view of a course before they get to filling in the details. When we get some head space later this year would like to develop a more visual tool (or workshop process) for working through the broad learning approach and mix of delivery methods, as influenced by course purpose, learner profile and attempting to create an authentic context for the learner. e.g. self-paced vs collaborative learning, project-based or procedural approach, mix of online and face-to-face... Any suggestions here?
Perhaps we could look at sharing these types of course maps ... in many ways it's easier to do this than share completed courses.
I was very impressed with the material you referred me to earlier, and with the efest ideas and concept. I had heard that NZ was doing amazing things with e-learning. I would like to attend the next efest if possible.
We too are struggling with teachging teachers how to set up moodle courses and have tried many approaches.
Short courses, long courses, 1 on 1, group, simple template ( 2 or 3 activities) refressher courses on single activities.
Most people seem to only want to do what is important to them at that time without seeing the bigger picture and not progressing to more advanced and easier moodle experiences as they become more proficient.
I have planned a more diverse course (utilising, big picture, pedagogy, specifics and time with extra mentors for attendees to 'play' with activities in a sandbox area) for later this year in the hope that this will assist in teaching teachers how to use and see the potential moodle offers.
I will be using some of the material from your linksthat you suggested in this course, particularly a modified template MAP for course development.
I would be intersted in working with you in any development in this area.
eFest is usually really good!!
We have a high stakes meeting today, the first of two, to decide if we will go to Moodle.
Just run a trial.
The best results during the trial were where some sort of community/collaboration element kicked in in. Working with the 'champions' has been less than successful. The three show and tells meetings with staff saying what they were doing and how it was going were superb. ie not us, and not the 'experts'.
Risky. Some people say things you wish they hadn't.
David. Cool stuff. Where do I post? Here or at AKO?? (Just musing)
In an e-learning project, I've found the OTARA document actually serves more purposes than just course design. It also acts as:
- Resource checklist - so you can track whether everything is ready to go
- Facilitation guide - allowing teachers to map the facilitation actions they need to take and how much time it will take, both for them and their students
- Communication document - one of the biggest adjustments for teaching staff is that they no longer work in isolation. Often on an e-learning project there will be an instructional designer, a Moodle support person, a multimedia specialist, a project manager. And everyone needs to be talking about the same things. The OTARA provides us with a common vocabulary.
- Planning document - who will work on what when?
I'd like to add to the background of OTARA's development -- the following could really be said to be the founding principles:
- Design before tools: As David mentions, many teachers are keen to use the tools, but less enthusiastic about getting to grips with an overall design for their course. The OTARA template is the 'common ground' on which teacher and insructional designer can do this planning. (However, teachers also need to understand the tools to make the best use of design. this is an interesting tension, and I haven't always got the balance right)
- LMS before Moodle: It's important to establish design principles regardless of the LMS that an institution uses. It shouldn't matter whether you use Moodle, Blackboard or any other system. It's the old story about "Give a man a fish... teach a man to fish..."
- Activities before content: My previous experience in a distance learning institution showed how much people like to write content. When used as first envisaged, this model puts the activites at the centre (as in Oliver and Herrington) - to be planned after setting the objectives/outcomes, and the assessment. It follows that the activities then directly support the skills/knowledge needed for the assessment. Only after considering the activities do you start to compile the resources to support them
As well as providing the 'common vocab' Joyce mentions, OTARA is invaluable for tracking the evolution and current stat of e a course - as long as you are vigilant about version control! (I like to save a new copy every week during development, and keep all of those files in an archive folder in the course or somewhere very safe.)
But the most unexpected use was as a quaility assurance tool for a course programme that was not yet accredited. the accrediting body wanted to see 3 developed courses before they would tick the box. That was unrealistic - but instead we submitted 6 OTARAs that gave details of the first 6 weeks of the course - including the kind of support students would receive.
It can also be used to track the 'wishlist' - things you'd like to do on your course, but are unable to do in this iteration.
The biggest hurdle is persuading staff that this kind of planning is to their advantage. Workloads and just-in-time training (often this is learning how to operate the LMS) frequently take priority. I'm very interested in following up on David's suggestion for a more visual and interactive tool, or a standard framework for a workshop, that will do the same job.
I've found that conducting faculty training in Moodle as a regular "course" is essential. In our case, this is a six-week long, graduate level course. First, this provides a deliberate model (perhaps what Mary was talking about as a "showcase"). Second, it gives me the time to expose people to concepts and help them process the ideas. It also does a far better job of helping a person make the paradigm shift from "sage on the stage" to "guide by the side" than if I simply told them what was good online pedagogical procedure.
Mind you, some faculty do get cranky about taking a course. They want a 10-minute tutorial, thank-you-very-much, and would rather not reexamine their course objectives and outcomes nor think deeply about how they go about getting there. But 18 months of experience is already showing a VAST difference between faculty who go through an entire training course and faculty who simply complete a tutorial on how Moodle works. The difference in the level of stress for the faculty members and in the quality of what they produce online is striking.
And, to make my long post longer, one of the things I do in the training course is to have faculty members working in their own "Sandbox course" to work with Moodle features and create course content. The combination of modeling, theory, and hands-on practice is what does the trick.
But to respond specifically to your question/comment, I don't have a "course map" beyond the syllabus for the training. The "Sandbox" course (and every new course created) does contain some standard items that are required in our context. Faculty are free to edit but the template at least gets them started in the right direction. And the training course walks them through the basic steps of course design, starting with the creation of a syllabus.
I've been following this conversation for a while and thought I'd add some of my thoughts.
I've trained around a hundred staff to a basic level, ie setting up courses and using most of the more straight foward activities. I find around 4 hours split into 3 or 4 sessions enough to give people the confidence to go away and play with it themselves. I usually deliver this in groups of around five or six, in a computer room with me acting as a facilitator. I also think it is necessary to have a Moodle course with resources, links and activities related to learning Moodle for them to tryout as students (as well as an area where they can be teachers/course creators).
As a community it would be great if a few of us could work collaboratively to create (and give back for download or include on moodle.org) a 'how to moodle' course along the lines of the demo features course.
What do people think? I happy to contribute what I can.
- Break down the myths - A great post outlining some of these can be found here.
- Make it short. Make it often - Presenting teachers with a full day Moodle course and letting them loose seldom seems to work. Instead focus on short session that focus on one tool at a time and run these regularly.
- Provide On Demand resources - Make sure you have resources online that are available on demand. I am currently creating a series of video walkthroughs for my staff called "2 Minute Moodles" with each covering small snippets. This way when a teacher needs to do a task they can watch a specific video on that action. Obviously handouts or other materials can be just as effective.
- Ensure that they feel supported - I am lucky enough to be in an institution where my staff are supported by both myself and an IT Integrator. Fear is the biggest inhibitor of new ideas. Having support for educators available in a physical sense is just as important as phone/internet based support. I spent a lot of time in classrooms just being with teachers deploying their first quiz or assignment to assist and answer the curly questions.
- They must become online learners themselves - In many ways this ties into point 3. I place all my resources online in a Moodle course for staff to access. This not only makes the resources universally accessible, it also turns the teacher/facilitator into an online learner themselves. they can see what works and what doesnt as well as how how I structure my own courses. If a teacher/facilitator cannot grasp concepts or find relevance as an online learner themselves, how can we expect them to become online educators.
- Add books to your library - If you are in an institution where you have a library (even if this is just a staffroom) then purchase some Moodle books. While not always up to date (i.e. they might be 1.8 and your 1.9) the fact is that most of the teacher stuff is the same. Print materials on demand with old style educators can be a lifesaver. I find myself often recommending these from Packt Publishing
As others have mentioned, using a Learning Online course for teachers is one of the best ways to teach how to use e-learning, as it gives time to help teachers to change their teaching paradigm. However this also needs a continuing culture of student-centred learning for this to have an effect. I have used this for 2-3 years, but have now found that the teachers I am working with are not ready for this, I think they are the "majority" in the Innovation Diffusion theories so they are less ready for change, and a different approach is needed.
Then we started to give workshops on just using Moodle for uploading of resources (notes, syllabus, assignments etc), thinking that faculty would see this as step one. However what frequently happens is this is not motivating for teachers as students don't see the need for logging on, and don't.
So I agree with what others say that what we should give is something that is timely (what they need now), and does not take up too much time, eg part online and part off line.
However, to get buy-in, I think we need to identify what faculty needs are in their teaching and learning so they can see how they will benefit from the extra effort. Also I think there needs to be immediate rewards, ie, that if an approach is used where faculty can see the students like the e-learning componenet and are more motivated to use it, then perhaps this will make the difference. For example in the first designer workshops, introduce forums, chats, wikis etc.
And also Julian, I really do like your 2 minute Moodles, I am using them in my next series of workshops.
I agree with Andrea's and Julian's comments. I am a high school teacher helping others set off in Moodle and this academic year I'm finding it's been most productive to train people by subject area/department/faculty. Rather than give them a generic - this is a Moodle course page; this is how you upload resources ;this is how you display a directory etc, actually to find out what it is they want to teach and how best to use the tool of Moodle to achieve that. In doing that I've sometimes turned the whole training schedule on its head - for example, a languages teacher who'd never used Moodle before was keen to get her students writing short paragraphs in the past tense. So in the first ten minutes I showed her the online text assignment. Another teacher wanted to continue Spanish conversation online - so we began by looking at forums. I think it's important they see how Moodle can add to their teaching and not just be an add-on that someone is requiring them to use.And providing specific examples, too; what they've appreciated is seeing ways in which the different activities are used in real teaching situations and then letting them figure how they could use these with their own classes. Like Julian I very much agree that it's good to have short memory jogging videos. I'm working my way through subject areas showing how different, regular teachers (ie not professional trainers or school advisors) use Moodle's modules. Eg - Modern Foreign Languages here
+Harness your advocates & champions. Successfully teaching people to use Moodle across an organisation, is a BIG job for one person. If resources permit, consider empowering other expert moodlers to be part of that process eg. form a cross-curricular team of Moodle Mentors who offer subject-specific support to colleagues in their respective department(s).
+Make it digestible. Little chunks work best. This holds especially true for staff who are new to Moodle. Its easy to feel overwhelmed by the plethora of Moodle features. Break down training into short, regular sessions targeting a single feature eg. Wikis.
+'Just in time' training. The knowledge & skills that your staff acquire, should be timely in nature ie. they must be able to immediately apply what they have learned in a real context.
+There is no 'One Size Fits All' approach. Customise training sessions to suit your audience. Run sessions tagged as suitable for Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced users. We are all at different stages on the Moodle journey.
+Model effective use. Demonstration courses, sample activities-blocks-resources & enable course settings to 'allow guest access'. This will give your staff a clear idea of what is achievable & appropriate.
+Hands-on approach. Encourage your staff to make & break things. Setup a 'Sandpit' course for your staff to experiment & gain confidence with Moodle in a space that won't be scrutinised by students. When staff feel comfortable, they will use the 'live' environment. We learn best by DOING...
Tell me & I forget.
Show me & I remember.
Let me do & I understand.
ps. I've attached an overview of a full day educator workshop i run on occasions. its not my preferred delivery mode, but feel free to use it as a checklist for your moodlers!
I just looked at your workshop- those do cover impt stuff, but they seem to be from a technology perspective, more than from a teacher's perspective. I think workshops for teachers should immediately relate to them as teachers, some of whom are really technologically challenged/threatened.
Our workshops start with an 'experience e-learning as a learner' so they can participate in a chat/forum/wiki. These may be on questions such as 'what is the difference between e-learning and active learning' or 'What good interaction experiences have you had with students in your teaching''. I give examples from courses related to their subjects or get them to talk about active learning in their topics. This can help teachers make educational connections between their courses and Moodle. We then discuss these experiences f2f in the workshop so then teachers are more ready to see what they can use for their won work.
I think your point about champions is important, Chad- their experiences in teaching can be so motivating to other teachers as they both speak the same language! And your other points are good too!