Saturday, November 20, 2010
If the technology doesn't work...
Students really enjoyed reflecting about their learning - even asked if we could do this again! But then students couldn't get into their threads. It was only about 20% of the students, but suddenly they were locked out, frustrated, wanting to tell me what was going on with them, but unable to. I provided lots of alternatives - email me, write it and hand it in, and for the week we discovered the problem, gave everybody credit even if they didn't get the work done.
But we lost the conversations that were going on. And now students are worried that this will happen again. Other parts of the Moodle that work fine are now suspect to them. We are starting a new project - two way journals - where pairs of students read the same book and journal back and forth about it. This year, I added using a discussion forum in the Moodle as one of the ways to do it (other alternatives are email,or keeping a folder or a diary to pass and forth). But one student told me she didn't want to use the Moodle, "just in case there's another problem."
Up until now my students have been enthusiastic Moodle users. Now they're not so sure. It will take a lot of positive experiences to overcome this one bad one.