Moodle Blog

Review of Moodle 1.9 for Design and Technology

Moodle 1.9 for Design and Technology by Paul Taylor and published by Packt as part of their Moodle library is a solid, practical handbook with lots of useful ideas for Design and Technology teachers,  primarily in the UK but also with much relevance to DT teachers in other English speaking countries. It’s a subject close to my heart as the Design and Technology department at my school is one of our strongest users of Moodle. Indeed their former Head of Department is now our Assistant Head SSAT ICT Lead Practitioner and my Moodle boss Mark Greenwood.

The book assumes the reader has some experience of Moodle already, although chapter 1 provides a whistlestop tour of the Moodle features covered subsequently. The following chapters then look at Moodle  modules from the point of view of DT teaching, in particular examination classes. In Chapter 2 for example we are shown how students may organise their information, research the market for their product using a database and questionnaire. (Some of our keener KS4 students take part anually in the  Young Enterprise initiative and a Moodle questionnaire, open to guests, is precisely the way they research which product will sell best for them in the challenge)

Chapter 3 focuses on forums and blogs as a way to encourage reflective practice. Worth noting that in Moodle 2.o it will be possible to add comments on a standard Moodle blog (something that has long been lacking) Paul also mentions two add in modules -the delightfully simple yet effective Lightbox gallery and the currently very pertinent Invidual Learning Plan. Both these can facilitate the tracking of student progress in their project and the setting of targets.

A vital element these days in education is an eportfolio – Chapter 4 covers the possiblities of Exabis, MyStuff and Mahara –  the one we are currently experimenting with at Our Lady’s Catholic High School. This chapter provides a valuable insight into the advantages and possible drawbacks (if there are any) of each one, giving the reader a useful starting point when choosing for their establishment.

Of course, along with the research, the target setting, the creation and the reflection -there is still a need for old-fashioned testing of knowledge – and Moodle methods to just that are covered in Chapter 5 where Paul takes the reader through glossaries and quizzes. Chapter 6 taught me  a new term: SWOT – ie, Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. We learn how to use Moodle for SWOT analysis, using the Questionnaire and Feedback modules. (Another Moodle 2 pointer – eventually, though not just yet – these two really popular modules will be combined to make a bigger better module, hopefully for inclusion into 2.1 and most welcome) This chapter also deals with the DimDim module, a web-conferencing tool that could be used for sharing ideas amongst a group of people in different schools or even countries.

While the previous chapters have covered activities and resources generated by the teacher him/herself, Chapter 7 shows us how to import pre-made resources such as SCORM packages from the Ariadne project  and the  UK NLN (National Learning Network) – there’s a Moodle add on with the wonderful name of Noodle!  But just in case you thought we teachers could get away without making any more materials,we’re also shown how to us the free MyUdutu to create smooth-running multimedia resources – and we have a step-by-step guide to Moodle’s complex but highly satisfying Lesson module. This chapter is provided by the publishers as a free “taster” and you can download it by clicking here.

Fun and creativity over, Chapters 8 and 9 cover the extremely important aspect of assessing work and grading it. Moodle’s assignment types lend themselves perfectly to different projects in different curriculum areas – not just DT – and we have a welcome walkthrough of the gradebook – including how to set custom grades and use Outcomes in our courses.

In conclusion then – a valuable addition to a Moodle-using Design and Technology Department. I’ll let ours know about it – but I am keeping my copy; they’ll have to buy their own 🙂

Dieser Beitrag wurde am Saturday, 26. June 2010 um 14:06 Uhr veröffentlicht und wurde unter der Kategorie Moodle abgelegt. Du kannst die Kommentare zu diesen Eintrag durch den RSS-Feed verfolgen. Du hast die Möglichkeit einen Kommentar zu hinterlassen, oder einen Trackback von deinem Weblog zu senden.

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