Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Creating a Better Moodle Online Course

Mark DrechslerGreetings from Copeland room G25 at the Australian National University, where Mark Drechsler is presenting a Moodle Makeover Workshop, before the MoodlePosium tommorrow. He has started by presenting "Creating the perfect Moodle course".

There is an interesting mix of students, about half from ANU and half from University of Canberra. This creates some difficulties for Mark, as while the two universities are only a few km apart they use different terminology for what they do.

Another challenge for Mark was the setup of the computer lab, which has the presenters workstation facing into a corner of the room away from the class. To operate a presentation, he has to put his back to the audience.

I found it curious that Moodle was not used to present the workshop. Several minutes were wasted waiting for printed copies of handouts to arrive and to be distributed. It would have been very simple to have provided these material via Moodle. In 2001 I was Using Moodle live in the classroom. I am surprised it is not being used more.

One of the handouts was a useful "Moodle course review template", which could be applied to other LMS, or course material in general. Good web design was emphasised, as was educational design. One example provided was Tomaz Lasic's "Water!" demonstration course.

The most interesting part of the afternoon was the discussion of why Moodle is being used. At this point the realities of student life and university policies and how they effect course design were discussed. Another interesting discussion was over how much we require students to reveal information about themselves in online discussion forums. My suggestion was to treat online forums in the same way as face to face tutorials. I invite students to talk about themselves but do not require it. In particualr some students when answering questions about their workplace do not say where they work.

1 comment:

Mark Drechsler said...

Hi Tom,

Thanks for the post. Wanted to comment about the non-use of Moodle to deliver the course. I collect feedback after most training session, and although its usually good the one common criticism I have sometimes is a lack of paper handouts, so I try and at least give people something to take away and reflect on after the session.

Cheers and well done on battling through your illness to present at the Moodleposium.