Moodle course assessment with Celebrity Flatshare

In February at the Dublin Moodle Moot I ran a workshop on course assessment with Moodle. While  ratings, assignments and quizzes are extremely powerful assessment tools,  I am still wary of Moodle’s gradebook and I didn’t want the sessions to be dull or dry. So in the current spirit of gamifying Moodle, I decided to jazz it up by turning the whole day into a Reality Gameshow. Delegates would learn about assessment using Moodle’s tools while at the same time applying to be the “ordinary person” in a week-long flat share with celebrities voted in by the group. I have finally got round to backing up this course and have uploaded it to http://moodle.net/index.php?courseid=1190&rss=1 if you want to use it in your own training. Here’s a short explanation of how it works. Click on the screenshots to see them full size.

There being a morning and afternoon session, there was a “Round 1″ and a “Round 2″ In Round 1, we looked at adding rating to forums, glossaries and databases. First off ,the hopeful contestants had to present themselves in a forum saying why they were suitable for the flatshare, and each post was teacher-rated (in my case by the wonderful Becky Barrington who’d been primed to give everyone 100, just to demonstrate the system. )It was great watching participants really get into the spirit of the contest!

Next up was practice with database rating whereby participants gave a rating “definitely/possibly/no way” to potential celebrity flat share residents. This involved allowing students to rate, which you’ll need to do if you use this course. As you can see, Stephen Fry was pretty definite!

Stephen Fry in a rated Moodle database

A similar task involved adding a favourite recipe to a glossary and others voting on it – the most popular would be included in the week’s flatshare. A discussion followed about the merits or otherwise of using different ratings aggregations with activities which allow them -see  8.2 here in Moodle docs for more information.

Recipe repository

The afternoon session (or “Round 2″ focused on setting up your gradebook in categories, aggregation and how assignments and quizzes link into the gradebook. There was some explaining done by me but in terms of activities, there was a quiz on Celebrity Culture for which I owe a complete debt to my children – you need to realise I am no fan of celebrity worship and I never watch any of these Reality TV shows, so the whole workshop is actually an ironic statement!  The quiz used “Certainty Based Marking” (6.1 in the Quiz docs)  where you have, not only to choose your answer but also to state how confident you are of that answer. Woe betide anyone who showed exceptional knowledge  and confidence in the quiz -although that, and their final assignment would certainly have helped get them one of the three highest grades and qualify them for the flat share!

Spelling test

Spelling test

Anyway, by the end of the day, it was my hope that course delegates had a better understanding of how to customise Moodle’s gradebook, set selfmarking quizzes  and appreciate the consequences of teachers and/or students rating forums, glossaries and databases. Oh – and three lucky Moodlers also got to spend the week with Stephen Fry!

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