I have been thinking about all the ways that Moodle can be used to differentiate instruction. The possibilities are almost limitless.

Below is a preliminary list of ideas. What are your ideas for this? Share your thoughts and add comment.


Ways to Use Moodle to Differentiate Instruction

Resources

  • Include a wide variety of resources that address different learning styles, reading levels, media types, etc.
  • Make sure resources include multimedia.
  • Use web resources (web pages, video, simulations, graphic organizers, etc.) – you don’t have to create everything yourself!
  • When using web resources, embed instead of linking when possible in order to preserve the course context and avoid potential distractions.
  • Ask students to suggest additional resources to include. (This could be an assignment or a forum activity.)

Activities

Assignment

  • Using online assignments is a good tool for providing students immediate feedback and also a way to help you manage a large volume of work.
  • Give students options! Include not only writing, but PowerPoint slides, audio, video, etc.
  • Give students regular feedback on assignments when they are in process (formative assessment), not just at the end.
  • Assign students to create regular learning logs to reflect on their own learning.
  • Offer assignments that include graphic organizers.
  • Use offline assignments to include in-class performance type activities.

Chat

  • Use for online study groups.
  • Have posted times for drop-in review sessions. Publish the chat logs so others can benefit.
  • Have a chat during a real-time event, such as an election debate or a presidential address.
  • Use for book talks.
  • Use as a back channel area for face-to-face classes. Assign different students roles as needed. Later publish these notes and have students annotate or add to them.

Choice

  • Use a quick poll after each lesson to have each learner assess their understanding (great, good, not sure, not good, totally lost).
  • Periodically ask students about the pace of the course and the level of difficulty.

Database

  • Have students create databases of various information, such as book reviews, story starters (text or picture), study questions, collaborative research, etc.

Forum

  • Set up a tutoring forum.
  • Create single-student forums to give students a private place to ask you questions or talk about the course. (Messaging can also be used for this if enabled.)
  • Have students respond to each other’s forum posts.

Glossary

  • Provide glossary support for key vocabulary via glossaries, linked words, and random glossary word boxes.
  • Allow students to add to definitions, give examples, translate into another language, or rate helpfulness.
  • Include pictures or video and audio pronunciation for words. (These can be supplied by students as well.)
  • Glossaries can be used creatively for things other than vocabulary, such as quiz questions, sample math problems, quick tips, memory aids, quotes of the day, etc.

Lesson

  • Structure content with branches to provide scaffolding and remediation where needed or to provide enrichment or acceleration when appropriate.
  • Allow different paths through content depending on learning interests. (Think about the “Choose Your Own Adventure” idea.)
  • Use lessons with branching practice opportunities as a way to divide information into reasonable sized chunks.
  • Use lessons to create flash card decks.

Quiz

  • Use a variety of types and styles of questions and questions at various levels of depth.
  • Ask multiple questions for each important objective or idea.
  • Include quizzes that are not graded.
  • Use quizzes not only for formal assessment, but for self-assessment and formative assessment. Frequent practice opportunities improve learning.
  • Use the feedback option in quizzes to remediate, for example, by showing how a math problem can be solved.

Survey

  • Use surveys to ask students how their learning is going.
  • Ask students what topics they would like additional help or coverage on.

Wikis

  • Have students work collaboratively to record class notes. You can make this a guided notetaking activity by supplying a topic outline in advance.
  • Have students create end of unit study guides.
  • Broaden your use of wikis by having students contribute to a public wiki such as Wikipedia.

General

  • Use various grouping tools in Moodle with flexible groupings of students.
  • Use logs and reports to monitor student activity. Watch for students who are inactive and offer help. Monitor areas of very high or low activity and consider this in terms of additional support or course redesign.
Using Moodle to differentiate instruction
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