domingo, 11 de diciembre de 2011

Fair to Moodling*

  A review of the Moodle book I chose to use as a model for the M4T-A Final Project.

* from "fair to middling" - above average.

Hello fellow M4T-A moo-oodlers.

Here is a review of the book I chose from the Moodle Book Club:


Moodle 1.9 : Teaching Techniques.

Language : English
Paperback : 216 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ]
Release Date : January 2010
ISBN : 1849510067
ISBN 13 : 9781849510066
Author(s) : Susan Smith Nash, William Rice
Topics and Technologies : All Books, Content Management (CMS), e-Learning, Moodle, Open Source

This book brings together step-by-step, easy-to-follow instructions and learning theory, giving one new tools and new power with Moodle. It shows one how to connect with online students, and how and where they develop an enthusiastic, open, and trusting relationship with their fellow students and with the facilitator.

The book helps one develop good, solid, dynamic courses that will last by making sure that the instructional design is robust, and that they are built around satisfying learning objectives and course outcomes. It provides excellent support and step-by-step guidance for putting together courses that incorporate ones own choice of the many features that Moodle offers, and the best way to create effective assessments, and how to create them for now and in the future. The book also introduces many modules, that can be used to make ones course unique and create an environment where students will receive maximum benefit.

The book follows a very methodical structure, beginning by introducing the instructional principles used as the basis for the ideas and activities shared throughout the book.

The core of the book consists of chapters dedicated to various Moodle tools and specific applications; all presented with the expectation that the reader is familiar with Moodle basics, it's a great companion resource to other more basic Moodle texts and manuals and provides many ideas to help teachers and trainers take their Moodle courses to the next level. It starts off with  the fairly simple forum  and leaves one empowered at the end having gained an understanding of the Lesson module and Workshop module.

The author presents the wherefore behind activity choices. For example, he explains his selection of a forum over a wiki for one activity, and why to use a wiki instead of an assignment, blog, forum, or journal. The book includes instructions for "real" teacher tasks. Readers will find one section of the book dedicated to tracking participant activity, which is a skill that many teachers and trainers will utilize. Rice mentions using everything from the activity logs to course reports to see what learners are doing. The book also addresses more obscure, under-used features such as splitting forums, using groups and custom scales.

The introduction to the book explains that a basic level of Moodle understanding is assumed for the reader, as it wants to focus on learning theory. Rice discusses the value of forums and collaboration among course participants, an important element in good course
design, but one which is lacking in many Moodle courses.

In addition to the ideas Rice presents for the application of the various modules, one of the biggest strengths of the book is that he includes instructions for "real" teacher tasks.

So the book is not just how to moodle – it’s how to moodle effectively. The later chapters on wikis, glossaries and workshops really highlight the interactivity of Moodle and its value in student collaboration.

Where a forum facilitates discussions between students and teachers, and a collective wiki enables whole classes to combine their learning, he suggests setting up individual student wikis for them to edit as they progress and for the facilitator to comment on (engaging in a Socratic Dialogue) and also suggests making the Glossary more than just a bank of words set up by the facilitator.

Susan has also elaborated more on the detailed instructions for setting up Lessons and workshops,  offering ideas for using it as a portfolio/gallery where students can showcase work, collaborate and comment on each others’ items all within a positive and encouraging environment. Indeed, the workshop in 1.9 is actually not recommended for use as it has been totally revamped and simplifed in Moodle 2.0.

Many people will still be using Moodle 1.9 for a long time yet and so this will be helpful to them.

I'm sure it will be of great assistance to me in the preparation of my Final Project.

Here is the link to the Table of Contents Mind-Map in searchable pdf format, only for fellow M4T-A moo-oodlers.

Bye for now,

Keep on Moo-oodling.

Keep on Moo-oodling

Keep on Moo-oodling
Siguen Muu-deleando

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