Posted by: | 21st Jul, 2009

Moodle Final Reflections

I think I’ve finally finished my course requirements as they apply to the LMS, although I’m not sure a LMS is really ever finished. When I first learned that ETEC 565 students would be required to create a LMS I was both excited and nervous. Excited because I think the use of LMS in education is on the rise and it would makes sense that as a person interested in advancing my career in the area of education technology, I’d do well to develop my Moodle skills. Nervous because learning a new technology is seldom easy and requires a great time commitment. In the end though, I found that using Moodle is quite and easy it has many affordances that could lead to improving the learning experience of my students.

I think it made a huge difference to not tackle the task of learning to use Moodle alone. I had more than enough support from fellow classmates and online resources. I also really benefited from the Adobe Connect session last week and I appreciate the opportunity to learn from experts outside of the course.
In terms of the actual assignment, I THINK, I’ve completed the objectives. Just to make sure, and as a reflective exercise, I’ve broken things down as follows:
A Learning Management System (LMS) online course site, either in Moodle or WebCT/Vista (25), including complete set-up for the following:

Splash page using an object orientation (5)
I found a great picture on Flickr Creative Commons to use as my object orientation. The image appears to be of the original cover of The Outsiders; very unique. I linked the image back to the Flickr page in order to credit its owner. After peeking at some other ETEC 565 LMS, I realized that I need to create some links on my splash page to offer quick access to key sections of the course. This makes sense as every MET class I’ve taken thus far has also had this feature.
Two (or more) complete content modules (5)
I put a great deal of thought and effort toward completing my content modules. To be honest, I though it would be easier to throw something together because I have taught The Outsiders novel study so many times. When it came down to making decisions on content and activities however there were always many choices to be made. What I am most proud of is the way I incorporated online resources to enhance what I normally would have done in a face to face setting. My first module allows students to set the context of the novel before starting to read the book. I know my students will just love viewing the Youtube videos I found showing some great commercials from the 1960’s. I’d really love to finish the other modules and export my course to my division’s Moodle server. We’ll see how much time I have this summer.
(At least) one module programmed for selective release (1)
As I discovered at the Adobe Connect session, selective release is different for Moodle and Vista being that you are somewhat limited in Moodle. Nevertheless, I programmed my module containing the unit exam to be released at the end of the course.
Two general discussion fora topics (2)
I have several discussion fora topics included in my course, but my favorites are the two included within my content modules.
One group discussion forum for (at least) 2 groups (2)
On my splash page, I created a discussion forum for group discussion (2 groups). The idea here is that students will use the forum to discuss their group tasks that are scattered among the learning activities. In MET, I’ve learned to value and appreciate a group discussion forum to help with group tasks. I don’t know where I’d be without one.

In conclusion, I am really happy about the opportunity to learn about Moodle. I feel that I’ve developed a great deal of technical know-how along with some pedagogical theory through this assignments. This is of course important to me as learning to use Moodle was one of my goals I set in my flight path.

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