- Before we get to the specifics of what to click, along with where, when and why to click, let's take a quick look at what Moodle is and what Moodle does. First things first, what the heck is a Moodle? When I first looked up the word Moodle in a search engine it said, "do you mean egg noodle?" Today Moodle is one of the most well known tools for learning in the world. Moodle is an acronym which stands for, Modular Object Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment. Beyond the acronym, Moodle is a learning management system.
I like to describe learning management systems as "one-stop shopping for teaching and learning." What do I mean by that? I mean that in most cases you just have one log in screen to get to a place where you can share materials back and forth with students, engage in different kinds of activities, and assess learning or performance. Something that makes Moodle different from other learning management systems is that it was built with a specific instructional philosophy in mind. The creator of Moodle Martin Dougiamas from Australia, wanted to make sure that the environment supports groups constructing knowledge together, otherwise known as social constructionism.
You can read more about it on the Moodle.org website. However, Moodle doesn't force you to teach in any specific way. You can teach however you like. Just know that Moodle is especially well suited for groups and activities with built in tools like wikis, forums, and blogs. And integration with tools like Google and FaceBook. Living up to the Moodle philosophy, the Moodle community is a group that constructs knowledge together. When a teacher has a question, she or he can just post a question in a community forum on the Moodle website.
When a Moodle administrator gets stuck integrating some new tool for learning, she or he can do the same thing or try the free Moodle documentation. Moodle software is open source, which means anyone can edit the code they download. Moodle is also free so many community members share their work for free too. I'm not kidding when I say the software is free however, as the famous joke goes, it's free like a free puppy not like a free lunch. There's plenty of work involved but you can feel secure that there's a large group of people going through the same experience.
If you want to try out Moodle on a demonstration site, a team at Moodle.org recommends the Mount Orange School demo site where you can explore the different Moodle roles such as manager, teacher, student, or parent, or try out a course environment. Whether you check out the Mount Orange environment or dive deeper into this Lynda.com course, you'll see that Moodle is a flexible learning platform that's easy to use. Almost every part of a Moodle course can be accessed from one page. With the click of one button, you the teacher, can edit the same page without going anywhere.
I'll click that button now. Moodle 2.8 includes some new features, some of which I'll cover in this course. If you use Moodle already and want to know more about the new features check it out on Moodle.org. Overall, Moodle is what you make of it. When you start your Moodle course page will be a blank canvas. Together we'll learn how to put together a rich course for both you and your students.
- Navigating a Moodle course
- Setting up learning outcomes
- Adding, moving, editing, and deleting blocks
- Uploading files for students to download
- Adding links and RSS feeds
- Adding students and teaching assistants
- Creating groups
- Communicating with announcements, polls, emails, and chat
- Facilitating discussions, peer review, and team projects
- Creating and grading quizzes and assignments
- Working with the Moodle gradebook