Thursday, June 19, 2008

Moodle Pre-Conference Workshop with Michelle Moore

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Michelle Moore works for, which I now understand to be one of the "Moodle Partners" for the US. (More on what a Moodle Partner is later....) I like Michelle, she has obviously used Moodle quite a bit in a school setting, as well as in her role at Remote Learner. During the introductions (which took forever), I was surprised to see how many North Carolina Colleges were there. Besides ourselves, UNC Charlotte and Appalachian State were represented. Made me think we should have an East Coast Moodle Moot!

Michelle wanted to make sure that the topics discussed were of interest to the group so instead of an overview we all requested our own topics to be discussed. (Personally, its an interesting strategy when trying to gauge the knowledge of such a diverse group - but the intros as mentioned earlier took forever.)

However, there were some interesting things I took away.

Traditionally, I think of groups as those within a class for project, discussion, etc. purposes. However, not only can you do some neat things with groups in this traditional viewpoint, but also using them "outside of the box."
1)Use groups to separate forums. - This way students inside the group can post, but others can still read the posts. typically when you create separate forums for group discussion purposes they are not always available to be viewed by the rest of the class. However, they can be just as valuable to everyone.
2)Have multiple sections in one class but use groups to differentiate assignments, forums etc... Not sure if this would work on our campus, but when teaching two sections of the same class I can see how beneficial it would be for a teacher to have one place to go to
3)Use grouping for selective release of course content - I still need to think of where this could be valuable, maybe in the above scenario with multiple sections in one course?

Now Outside of the Box - and this one I get really excited about. Use Groups to control access to your course content. Now this may not seem like a radical idea, but my faculty are always wanting to "advertise" their class. They want me to give them webspace and I explain the wolfware common locker, and then they can't do web pages and it goes on and on and on. But imagine if you could have one page that has all your info and create a group for Guest Access vs. Student Access. Then you have ONE website with all the information, but granularity in terms of access. I LOVE THIS IDEA!

Typically I have issues with the way most professors use forums in their class (In fact my current research is on this). So how can we created more effective forums? One of the ways I've found recently (and I need to find the article to back this up), is to encourage not only peer to peer discussion, but peer moderation. In forums you can have students RATE posts - just like in a traditional threaded discussion board. You could also create a specific Role that allows students to "officially" moderate forums. Although I'm not sure if this needs to be a formal thing - or if it can just be done informally just as well.

Flex Page - need to look into this course design by Michael Penny More.

More notes to come....

1 comment:

kenmorrison30 said...

Both as a teacher and instructor, I am a huge fan of having peers moderate the forums. It is so rewarding to watch students take ownership and leadership of a forum. They also have a unique way of influencing their peers to stay involved. Most importantly, they learn so much about the content from this practice.

I have also been impressed with Michelle Moore's Moodle knowledge.