Because I decided to go with Moodle over blogs and wikis, I spent a majority of my exploration this week with Moodle. I want to learn more about Moodle so that it becomes more interactive instead of simply a place to store files. I went to Moodle.org and read through their hints as well as a few forum discussions in order to learn more about these tools. The majority of the tools I found pointless and to difficult to use, but there were several that I plan on using.
The teacher can use this to create an assignment. Students can than upload their assignments right to the Moodle. This removes the need to collect papers. There are a couple of ways to set this feature up. One set-up allows the student to turn in a rough draft which then can be reviewed by the teacher. The student then corrects their work and submits a final draft. This feature sounds appealing to me. I think I will test it out sometime this year.
Forums are fairly straight forward. I plan on using forums a good bit this year to encourage discussion and the sharing of thoughts outside the classroom. The biggest thing that I need to develop is a policy on how they will be graded and what the expectations are.
A glossary of vocabulary terms can be created on Moodle. This tool has several nice features. Students can create definitions for different vocabulary terms. Students can rate the definitions in order to decide which definition is the best. Using the tips section on Moodle’s help site, I came across some interesting ideas. The glossary can be separated into categories as the year progresses. Also, the class can be split up into different groups. One group will be responsible for defining terms while another group will be responsible for rating the definitions. I feel this is a great way for students to create their own definitions, evaluate the definitions they’ve created, and refine them. I plan on using this tool in my ninth grade general science course.
Quizzes can be created on Moodle. The feature has a lot of flexibility and options. My favorite part of this feature is that it will grade the quizzes for you and provide quick item analysis. This would help give the teacher instant feedback on how the students are doing in class. Additional features include time limits, open and close time for the quizzes, and opportunities to retake quizzes.
The final feature I like is Moodle Flashcards. Students or teachers can create a set of flashcards that can be used for studying.