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Moodle is an online tool that allows educators to interact with students outside the classroom and manage a course from anywhere. In Moodle Essential Training for Teachers, Chris Mattia shows how this program works for teachers on three levels: disseminating information, creating a forum where ideas are exchanged, and assessing the progress of students. Chris shows how to build course materials with Moodle's HTML editor, post assignments, and save time by using Moodle's grade book to evaluate tests automatically and organize scores. Exercise files accompany the course.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of Moodle, I would like to give you a detailed course overview to offer you a better idea of the many ways Moodle enhances the learning experience. In these tutorials, I'm going to take you step by step through the process of creating a complete course using Moodle. You may be wondering, what is Moodle? Moodle is an open source learning management system, built by educators, for educators. Since Moodle is open source, it's not only free for you to downloading use but developers can make improvements and customizations to it as well.
Now let's talk about what a Moodle course is. The most common use for Moodle by teachers is creating an online component to an existing traditional classroom- based course. It's a tool that provides learners with a rich environment of information, resources and activities to enhance the classroom experience. You can even leverage Moodle to move a portion of the content and information you are teaching into the online world. Thus, freeing up more in class time for your students to interact with you and engage you with questions that really drive their understanding of the subject matter.
Let's take a look at the completed Coral Reef Ecology class that we're going to be building throughout this training. We'll begin by setting up a test server on your local computer. Don't worry though; the great folks in the Moodle community have made this very easy to do. I'll guide you through the process of installing and configuring your own Moodle test server. Then we'll start building your course. We'll walk through all the essential skills you'll need like posting documents and information to your students, setting up your Grade Book and creating online assignments. We'll spend some time learning about the HTML editor that's built into Moodle. A little bit of knowledge here goes a long way.
Once you master the built-in HTML editor, you'll be ready to unlock the full potential of building online course materials within Moodle. By having an online learning management system, we can take advantage of a wide range of multimedia that is often difficult to deliver to your students in a traditional classroom base setting. We'll go over how to create and prepare images, audio and video for distribution inside of your Moodle course. Next, we'll step through the process of creating the first key component to your course, your knowledge base. In Moodle, these are information resources that your students can easily access. Here we'll start with creating labels that can help organize information within a Moodle content block and provide a way for you to post instructions to your students directly on your Moodle course home page.
Then go through creating links to outside websites, posting text and other documents. We'll also cover up a variety of activities, you can have your students do inside of Moodle including posting materials to a custom database that you set up, participating in a live chat or building an online glossary of terms, they will need to know to be successful in your course. The second key component to any course is establishing a community where students can interact with others to incorporate the knowledge and skills you are covering. We'll create and use online discussion forums for students to carry on discussions outside of class. Then we'll create and use the built-in wiki inside of Moodle to allow your students to collaboratively build and contribute content individually, as a group or even as the entire class.
The third key component to any course is assessment. Well build assignments that your students can complete online or attach work they've created on their local computers. If you're still lugging home piles of papers from your students to grade, trust me. Save your back and use Moodle's online assignments instead to collect student's work. Moodle will put all the files in one place until you are ready to sit down and grade the assignments. Next, we'll create a pool of multimedia rich questions that will test the knowledge and skills of your students. Then we'll pull it altogether and create an online exam that will provide you with a wealth of knowledge as to how well your students have mastered your course materials.
Did I mention the Grade Book? Moodle has a great online Grade Book that is more than just a place to list grades. It has some real utility and being able to do things like drop the lowest grade, run statistics and implement a variety of grade calculating methods. And when you grade your assignments on Moodle they're even entered directly into your Grade Book saving you even more time. Finally, we'll show you how to take control of the administration of your Moodle course. We'll walk through backing up your course and restoring materials. We'll even show you how to reuse materials you've built for one course and push them directly inside of another course on your Moodle server.
Now, let's get into the nitty-gritty of Moodle.
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