Interact! Instructor-Led Course – Moodle

Background

This is a sample unit of an elearning teacher-training course I wrote in 2012, as part of a marketing and training collaboration with Pete Sharma Associates. This is the first of six weeks of study covering topics like E twinning with Voicethread, Google Apps for Education, Interactive White boards. The single week shown in this sample is dedicated to class-based, online activities.

Interact!

Interact! Course. Online Sample.

Click here to skip straight to the sample unit.

Learning Theory

This course is an example of a student-centred learning theory: Constructivism. It also uses Scaffolded Learning.

  • Constructivism is a theory which encourages students to build their own understanding of the content being taught. The idea is that by leveraging learners’ background knowledge of a topic, through discussions and activities facilitated by the instructor, the students share their ideas and experience and construct their own understanding of the topic.
  • Scaffolded Learning has been used on this course. This is when the instructor starts the lesson “holding the learners’ hands”, then gradually gives the learners more and more independence. By the end of the lesson, learners are able to work almost completely independently. Note how  Task 1.3 – Mini Webquests gives the learners all the information they require, tells them exactly what to do and how to do it. Whereas Task 1.6 – My Own Mini-Webquest expects the learner to be self-sufficient.  Scaffolding works very well in online learning. It should be applied both at the lesson and course level.

Technology

To produce this lesson, I used one main technology: Moodle and two supporting technologies: Photoshop & YouTube.

  • A Moodle LMS  (Learning Management System) was used to host all the content, images and audio-visual material. Forums were created to encourage students to share ideas and experiences, as well as to support anyone needing technical advice
  • YouTube.The learners see an introductory YouTube as soon as they logon. This is to “humanise” the learning experience, so that they see their instructor is a real person, not just computer text.
  • Photoshop helped me to create the logos and graphics used on the course. Most of the images used are creative commons images, with text and other images added in Photoshop.

What I like about this Portfolio Piece

Moodle can often be a very daunting place for new students. I have seen many poorly designed Moodle courses where it is very difficult to know what the student is expected to do when they log on. I’m pleased with the way I have managed to simplify this process.

The standard Moodle theme is rather a dull and lonely place. I’m really pleased with the way I have been able to brighten it up by the use of relevant images and visuals to make the lessons easier for learners to engage with. I also searched out and modified this Moodle theme to match my homepage.

What I Would Do Differently Next Time

Since writing this portfolio piece, I have become quite a fan of using a short, interactive lecture to start of a week in an instructor-led, asynchronous course. If I were writing this again, I would use a tool like Storyline or Captivate to create a lecture, with some concept-checking quizzes included. I would also include more additional resources, categorised well, so that students who are interested in any one particular area can go into more depth should they wish to.

Try the Sample Module

Please use the following details to access the module:

Username: learner

Password (case sensitive): Learner123!