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Maximising Moodle

Premise

Moodle has a wide range of functions and further plugins that increase what it is able to do to support teaching and learning. We have crowdsourced from staff at Oxford Brookes what Moodle functionality they’d like to know more about. We asked “what are you trying to achieve” as a way to find out what functionality would be supportive of our key pedagogic needs and collated the information below.

Community

Using discussion forums

Appointments with students

Consistency

Choosing a course format

Structuring your Moodle course

In progress. Check back soon.

Online assessment and feedback

Monitoring student engagement

Completion Tracking

Learning Analytics Dashboard

A new Learning Analytics Dashboard, that is currently being developed at Oxford Brookes, will allow teachers to track and monitor students engagement with Moodle and Library resources, such as books and ebooks. Guidance on how the dashboard works will appear here as it becomes available.

Top tips from your learning technologists

Our Moodle experts give their top tips on the use of Moodle:

Becky
Use completion tracking, which can be really useful in monitoring the engagement and progress of your students. For every activity/resource in Moodle, you can select the criteria that would mark that activity as complete and view reports on who has/hasn’t “completed” course activities. It’s worth giving some consideration around which activities/resources in the course to track. If you configure all resources/activities for Activity completion then, as well as the course page having lots of checkboxes to add “noise” to the interface, it may also devalue some of the essential activities; perhaps consider completion tracking for those items you regards as essential (there are many course reports which can also be used to monitor student engagement).

— Becky Horton, Business School
Richard
Try not to put too much content on the course page (e.g. text and images). The course page should generally be used as a place to “signpost”/link to content. Many students may be accessing the course on mobile devices with small screens so make use of the Page and Book resources (amongst others) to share content with your students.

— Richard Hall, Business School
Irmgard
When you provide content for self-study, use H5P (in the Moodle activities list) to make it interactive and look good.

— Irmgard Huppe, Health & Life Sciences
Win
Always put the Reading Lists block at the top right.

— Win Ko, Health & Life Sciences
Tom
Use Groups to manage your students. Groups can be used to arrange marking sets, sort between groups in forums, or choose to allocate resources, activities, or whole sections to a group. You can auto or manually create groups, or using the Group Choice tool, you can get the students to put themselves into groups.

— Tom Cosgrove, Humanities and Social Sciences
Melanie
Use the Label to be clear and be consistent.
– For course materials and resources, Instead of a list of files to download, separate these using the ‘Label’ resource so that it is clear what they need to do before class, what they will need during class, and what they will need to use for further independent study.
– For activities and assignments, label and group assignments so that they are clearly marked. Don’t just add the Turnitin dropbox at the end of the unit without clearly indicating what the instructions are, where to find support if they need it, and when it is due.

— Melanie Bashor, Learning Resources
Harry
Your students may be new to online learning. Use the discussion forums for an ‘ice-breaker’ activity. Ask distance learning students to post a photo of their study/work spaces in the forum and allow coursemates to comment on each other’s physical workspaces.

— Harry Kalantzis, Learning Resources
Isabel
You can use the Library’s scanning service to (legally) obtain scans of book chapters and articles that we do not have available electronically. These are then easy to embed in your Moodle course or reading list.

— Isabel Virgo, Learning Resources
Robert
Remember the VLE can be used as much more than a repository of content. Individual/reflective and authentic social learning experiences can be built-in on all courses using the appropriate tools, methods, activities and resources. Please contact your DMeLD and Academic Liaison Librarian for support.

— Robert Curry, Learning Resources
Updated on September 20, 2020

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