Monday, September 12, 2011

Introducing Moodle to students

My strategy: 

  1. Bulk enroll all my students, See this post about bulk enrolling students. 
  2. Set up groups within each class, so that I can have discussions within groups that are subsets of the class, and thus reduce the reading load for my students.  It’s so much easier to read and respond to 10 or so others – instead of 25 or even (gulp) 50.  It took me last year to get a handle around groups, but now I’m comfortable with them and find them surprisingly easy to do.  See this post about using groups.
  3. Once students have returned parent permission forms (see ), I give them userid (same as the school userid) an initial password which they will change, and the link to the URL for them to click on.  This minimizes “I forgot my userid” and keying in the wrong address. 
  4. Students can then add their email, information about interests in their profile, and an image (they love to add a photo that is either of themselves or of a personal interest).  Our Moodles are private, so students can use their real names and images. 

    Of course, there are always a few students who “forget” to bring in their permission forms, but I have tweaked that, too.
  • Students are still required to do the work, but don’t get to participate directly in any of the discussions and other activities (something to motivate them to get their forms in).  
  • It’s a bit of extra work for me to post the basic assignments on the class Edline page (our non-interactive class webpages which are accessible to parents and students), but there’s an upside there, too.  
  • If kids forget their Moodle password, they can still do the assignments (so no excuses).  
  • And parents can see the work we’re doing, which they like. 

   The next post is about the Start Button and the first work students do in the Moodle.  Stay tuned.

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