Introduction to Moodle
The continuing education department of a community college uses the LMS Moodle to teach adult education classes, and needs to provide training to new instructors unfamiliar with Moodle. I was asked to design and build a facilitated eLearning course that provides the foundation needed to build a course and get started teaching with Moodle.
Learners will apply the foundational functions of Moodle to build an online class by the end of training.
Platform + Tools Used:
LMS Moodle, Bootstrap, HTML, Photoshop, Snagit
- Navigate and interact with the Moodle interface
- Customize profile and notification settings
- Customize the course layout
- Set up activity completion
- Add instructional content with Resources and Activities
- Create assessments
- Setup the gradebook
- Generate gradebook reports/user activity reports
- Build an online course in Moodle
Introduction- Start Here
Part 1: Key Concepts and Terminology
Part 2: The Moodle Interface
Part 3: Activity Completion
Part 4: The Course Layout
Part 5: Resources and Activities
Part 6: Assessments and the Gradebook
Part 7: Putting it All Together
Part 8: End of Course Survey
Instructional Strategies: Based on Knowles’ 4 Principles of Andragogy and Constructivist Theory
- Learners will be involved in planning and evaluation of the instruction by providing end of course feedback in Part 11: End of Course Survey.
- Learners will engage in topics that have immediate relevance to their occupation. Here, instructors will learn how to use their course curriculum to build an online course in Moodle that they will then teach.
- Learners will be active participants in problem-centered instruction by being asked to build an online course by learning and applying new technologies and processes, including creating assessments, setting-up the grade book, and customizing the course layout, etc.
Additional Instructional Strategies: Based on Multimedia, Contiguity, Modality, Redundancy and Coherence Principles
- Multimedia is used in each section of the course, except Part 11. The instruction includes screencast videos with instructional audio, and screenshot graphics with appropriate descriptive text used to provide directions for features and functions of the LMS.
- Text and graphics will be coordinated by applying text in appropriate proximity using a graphics editing program, and then uploaded into the LMS. (The LMS does not allow for text to be applied on top of the image).
- All instructional videos used will have audio narration rather than on-screen text. Closed captioning will be available for 508 compliance.
- Video and images will either have audio or text, but not both. Each objective will include video with audio instruction, or images with text to demonstrate tasks the learner will be expected to perform. None of the instructional materials require both audio and text simultaneously, except to meet 508 compliance.
- Instructional materials will be selected to provide concise and minimal direction on how to utilize and operate specific functions, such as in Part 5, adding Resources and Activities within the LMS. The learner will then apply and practice the functions to solidify new knowledge, rather than watching/reading redundant sources of direction.
- Instructional materials, whenever possible, will be presented in conversational language addressing the learner as “you” and use friendly and polite language.
Engaging Learning Strategies:
- In addition to instructional videos, some topics, including Activity Completion, Profile and Notification Settings, will include graphics with text to provide direction for specific steps learners will need to understand.
- Practice is a key part of this training course, and requires learners to begin using the software to utilize their newly acquired skills from the beginning of the course until the end.
- Learning activities provide experience by allowing the learner to apply and practice tasks outlined in the learning outcomes, i.e., customizing a course layout, adding activities and resources, building their own course in Moodle, etc.
Community and Collaboration Strategies:
- Because this training is being taught asynchronously, and because learners may move through each section at their own pace, the course will feature a discussion forum in each section where learners will answer questions and provide feedback about their successes and difficulties applying skills they learned in that section, and have the chance to respond to other learners.
- The Introduction section of the course features a discussion forum asking each learner to introduce themselves and respond to at least one other participant.
- The introduction section also features a Q & A forum where learners can post and respond to general questions about assignments or new skills.
Equity, Inclusion, and Cultural Responsiveness
- Because this course subject matter is software training, the issues of equity, inclusion, and cultural responsiveness are taken into consideration by ensuring that 508 accessibility standards are met. Since the course content is task oriented and highly technical, there shouldn’t be any issues of exclusion that wouldn’t be covered via 508 compliance.
Scaffolding Strategies and Complexity Management:
- Instructional content is presented in small units (chunking), to support scaffolding and to prevent cognitive overload, i.e., each objective is in its own section in the course.
- Using the pretraining principle, key concepts and terminology needed to begin the course will be provided in Part 1 as a video, glossary, and flashcard assessment activity.
- Using the segmenting principle, the more complex sections of the course, like Part 8: The Gradebook, and Part 5: Resources and Activities, will be broken into smaller subsections to cover multiple subtopics to prevent essential overload.
- Learners will control the speed at which they work through each section, and move forward and backward as needed between sections. All sections will remain open and allow learners to revisit as necessary.
- Topics are presented in order of complexity and scaffolded, so basic functions are covered at the beginning of the course, and knowledge is built upon as the learner moves through each section sequentially. Restrictions will be set so that learners must finish sections in order they are presented before moving forward in the course, but once a section is open, the learner may return to it at any time.
- Learning activities and content are scaffolded, starting with the foundations of navigating the Moodle interface, and then building up to customizing settings, running reports, and by the end of the course, the learner will have built a fully functional online class ready for launch.
Strategies for Worked Examples and Practice:
- Each section of the course includes worked examples in screenshots with directions, making sure to follow the Contiguity Principle.
- Cognitive models are modeling examples used in each section of the course to cover various tasks, and are provided in narrated screencast instructional videos that adhere to the Modality Principle.
- Self-explanation questions are included in sections that cover more complicated tasks, including applying Activity and Resource Settings in Moodle, and are presented using H5P as multiple choice or drag and drop.
- Transfer appropriate interactions are used in each section of the course by providing the learners a practice course shell in Moodle that is identical to what they will be using on the job. Exercises allow learners to practice each new task by applying what they have learned to their practice course.
- Three methods provide feedback; 1) Instructor-led Q&A discussion board, 2) task-focused instant responses via H5P, and 3) instructor explanatory feedback on learners’ practice course development.
- Gamification options within Moodle are limited to using the plugin H5P and an end of course badge reward. Part 1 features an H5P activity using flashcards that awards points for each correct answer while helping learners to practice new terminology.
- Introduction to Moodle is one of three training courses offered in a series to instructors, and each features a unique badge that’s awarded at the time of completion. Badges are stored in learners’ Moodle accounts and displayed on their Dashboard as recognition of achievements.
Formative and Summative Assessments: Except for Part 1, all assessments will receive individual feedback from the instructor. (Part 1 H5P is automatically assessed.)
- Part 1: Key Concepts and Terminology – Assessment: Moodle Terminology Flashcards (H5P Practice and Quiz)
- Part 2: The Moodle Interface – Assessment: Moodle Interface Check-in (Post to a Forum answering the following questions: 1. Did you have any problems making changes to your profile or notifications? If so, what were they? 2. What are your initial impressions of the Moodle interface? 3. Do you feel comfortable navigating the features we’ve covered so far?)
- Part 3: Activity Completion – Assessment: Activity Completion Check-in (Post to a Forum and briefly summarize your successes, and any difficulties, setting up Activity completion. What problems did you encounter? What questions do you have? Is Moodle easier to use than you anticipated?)
- Part 4: The Course Layout – Assessment 1: Course Layout Check-in (Post to a forum describing how you did customizing your course layout. What did you change? What format did you decide to use? Did you run into any difficulties?) Assessment 2: Add an HTML Block (Add an HTML block to your practice course and include the following:
- Name the block Contact Info
- Instructor: your name
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (link your address)
- Teams Channel or Zoom (link the text) – If applicable
- Office Hours: your office hours if applicable
- Drag and drop the block to the top right of your page
- Post a note in this assignment submission box when you have completed the assignment, and include anything you need further assistance with.)
- Part 5: Resources and Activities – Assessment: Add Resources and Activities to your Course (Use MoodleDocs for reference as needed. Start adding Resources and Activities to your practice course. Add the following items and don’t forget to adjust settings for each. When you are done, submit a brief summary in the assignment text editor with successes, questions and/or issues you ran into.
- Page (add a video that can be previewed in Moodle)
- File (add a PDF or Word document and adjust settings so it can be previewed in Moodle)
- URL (link to an external website/page and have it open in a new window)
- Label (add an image and practice adjusting the image size)
- Forum (add and set up a discussion forum)
- Part 6: Assessments and the Gradebook – Assessment: Add your Assessments and Setup the Gradebook (Add assessments, a quiz and question bank, and set up the grade book in your practice course. When you are done, submit a brief summary in the assignment text editor with successes, questions and/or issues you ran into.)
- Part 7: Putting it All Together – Summative Assessment: Submit your Completed Course for Review (Once you are ready for your course to be reviewed and provided feedback, submit a brief summary with your overall thoughts, successes, struggles, and/or any other final parts you need assistance completing.)
View Full Course
Directions to login:
- Click course title link below
- Click Log in as a guest button
- Enter password
- Click Submit button
Course Preview in the LMS Moodle
Moodle Terminology Flashcards developed in H5P