Instructing with Moodle
Our January article ‘What is Moodle’ offered a summary of what Moodle is and its key features. To recap for those new to Moodle: it is an open source content learning management system. This means it’s freely available e-learning software that anyone can access directly from the Moodle community site.
Moodle is easy to use; it’s designed with that in mind. The graphical user interface is intuitive and easy to navigate; for example, the icons are created to help the user understand the nuances of the course creation. You don’t need to have the expertise of a programmer to understand how to use them, but you do need to spend time familiarising yourself with the interface. Make sure you watch our tutorials under the Resource tab on our website for tips on how to use Moodle features such as enrolment keys and groups.
Moodle is feature rich, multifunctional, and interactive. You can include learning resources and a number of interactive assessment elements such as quizzes.
Learning theory and course creation
Moodle is intuitive in the way it integrates learning theory into the way you can design your course. It incorporates learning theory such as constructivism, social learning theory, and connectivism into the design.
For example, knowledge can be built and developed through interaction and collaboration. Because Moodle is learner-centric, the students are driving their learning; they are actively participating in applying and acquiring knowledge.
Teach with Moodle
Watch our ‘Managing online learning with Moodle’ video to see how to work with Moodle.
- Encourage your learners to be active participants in online forums, discussion, and wiki’s. Moodle’s collaborative nature is inherent in the principle that learning is effective when the learner constructs something for others to experience.
- Build your instructional designing skills slowly with Moodle. My first attempt at Moodle was to build a straightforward course on grammar. I started with a page of grammar definitions and worked my way to building a quiz. Slow and steady is the best way to minimise being overwhelmed and to encourage your enthusiasm.
- Save your work. I cannot emphasise this enough. Almost everyone I know has the unfortunate anecdote of losing work they spent the day doing. Save every ten minutes.
- Include summaries for your resources. While learning is encouraged to be self-paced, providing summaries with your resources is helpful and acts as a guide.
- Encourage learner feedback on the course’s usability and content. Constructive feedback helps improve the usability of the course and makes the content relevant to the learner.
- Let students dominate discussions. On occasion, you’ll need to prompt them, but try not to overwhelm the discussion with your own posts.
- Be aware of copyright laws.
- Don’t rely on Moodle to do your job as an instructor; it’s a tool you are using to inspire learning and collaboration.
My Learning Space has numerous excellent videos on our website and on our YouTube channel that are worth watching to start you on your Moodle journey. If you’re new to instructional design and want to learn about Moodle and learning management systems, contact us.