Tutors are designing and creating Moodle collaboration activities to blend with specific learning materials so as to keep the students involved and interested to learn more. An ideal module has to have a perfect balance between individual learning and the respective group activities.
Once the software, the platform, the Moodle community and the partner network is in place, all you will be left with is to come up with certain Moodle collaboration activities, to spice up the learning program. As a popular Chinese proverb states; a bird in the hand is good, but a bird in the bush might sing – it is obvious that many of us know of the Moodle collaborative tools, the tricky part is to know how these tools can support student-led activities as well as collaboration.
Here are a number of ideas of how you can use Moodle collaboration activities to further engage your students and most importantly provide for them an opportunity to interact and discuss with other students.
This collaborative tool is easy to use and also useful as a quick poll to
- Stimulate the way the participants think about a given topic
- Allow the class to vote on specific direction of the course
- Gather research consent
With Choice, the tutor asks a question and then indicates a choice of multiple responses where each participant is only allowed to choose one of the possible answers. The instructor can also choose when, and if the students can see these results; and even allow them to change their minds.
Also known as Discussion Boards in Blackboard, forums help students together with the instructors to communicate asynchronously. Tutors here can come up with topics or choose to allow the students to create their own topics of discussion. Students can anonymously post queries or murkiest point concerning course materials.
Moodle collaboration using platform allows the students to debate or read topics and articles outside class where they share responses to weighty questions and offer feedback to each other. The collaboration activity gives them the power to gather questions for an upcoming guest speaker or discussion group brainstorming on topics after or prior to a given class.
Chat feature is a Moodle collaboration activity that allows students or participants to have synchronous text-based conversation about various discussion topics with other members and sometimes the instructor.
The major advantage here is that you can have different chat rooms set up within a given course; which can either be a session with a scheduled meeting time or you can have others that are always available throughout the course. For reference, the participants can log on to the chat sessions, with the instructor determining who gets access to view the logs.
Compared to forums, chat capabilities are very constrained.
- Chat: allows the user to converse
- Read: allows the user to read the logs and review what other members said
- Delete: allows the user to remove the logs of a chat – in some the teachers are the only people allowed to delete.
An ideal way to use the chat feature is to hold virtual office hours to effectively chat and discuss with the participants. This enables you to converse with a number of students without them having to make a physical appearance. Engage them with important topics to encourage them further to use the Moodle attribute.
This is a web platform that enables authors to add and also edit content. Wikis are great tools which allow students or participants to work together on specific course project.
Design and create a simple study guide where participants can contribute. Remember to collaboratively come up with a glossary of critical course-related terms to give them a better understanding of certain terminologies.
Wiki also allows students to post and answer questions about specific course topics. This collaborative feature is a great place to gather information incase you are using a new strategy or technology in your Moodle and would like student feedback. It can involve experiments, research, or interviews depending on the course activity.
Elluminate Web Conferencing Sessions
An effective approach to Moodle collaboration is using Elluminate web conferencing sessions. This is a tool that can be used to develop a real-time online classroom with voice-over IP, application sharing, talking head, video, PowerPoint, web tours, including more. These sessions can further be utilized to develop tutorials that students can access on demand.
To schedule and add Elluminate sessions to a class is easy, and once this is done, students have the capability of launching the session directly from your Moodle course to have a seamless learning experience. In addition to all these, an instructor can record sessions for students and opt to review them at a later time. In case you prefer to record a session, this will automatically be added to your course within the initial Elluminate activity.
Assignments are a great way of module collaboration. They allow instructors to grade different types of participant submissions. You can assign the students specific task; for example giving them a list of terms to define. Let the students choose some or define every term. Allowing duplicates plus ratings is an extra strategy to keep the users busy.
You can also assign the participants a list of topics and encourage them to come up with their own which of course should be relevant to the course subject matter. Grade them according to quality, their writing skills, the number of citations and anything you as the tutor think is an important measure.
Last but not least, communication is vital both between you and the students, and within the students themselves. There are many ways to communicate, namely through these options:
- Messaging: a tool used for private communication
- News forum: a special forum used for general announcements
Student involvement and participation through the Moodle process is flawless only if the best approach is used. The process has plethora of features to map and interact scholars and tutors, all of which form a rare Moodle collaboration experience.