So I’ve got the Moodle 2 site set up for the math textbook remix project I’m doing as a part of two P2PU courses.
I took a look at the Common Core standards for math as they related to fractions. (I decided to focus for now on one module: fractions, rather than the whole year’s curriculum in the textbook.) A lot of this content is more 5th grade than 6th, but I’m not really labeling it by grade anyway. I think that doing so limits a resource’s ability to be best used for differentiation.
This course is open for guest access. If anyone wants to play along with discussing or building this, drop me a note and I’ll add you as a user.
One thing I’m struggling with is the desire to focus this as a remix project (using mostly already-available open resources) vs. a more optimal design process (starting with learning objectives, looking at what would be acceptable evidence for mastery, and only then looking at what activities might be appropriate).
There are some really high quality, open textbooks out there.
For the most part, they’re pretty static and text-heavy though. For a while, I’ve been thinking remixing one of them into a more interactive, media-rich Moodle course.
I need a remix project to do as a part of my P2PU OER in K-12 class, so now is the time!
I’d like to work on something that someone would put to use once it was done. Message me or post a comment if you’d like to suggest something.
I’m also thinking about doing something with Marzano’s classroom strategies that work content. Obviously, that would be PD-focused.
A very short video about the Kids Open Dictionary…a very significant part of my life and a definite labor of love! Hope you’ll check it out and join us. (This video was also my final project for my P2PU marketing class. wOOt. )
After searching for an open-licensed quick start guide for Moodle formatted for print and not really finding one, I adapted the info on Moodle.org to create one. I’m posting it here in case it’s useful to anyone. Feel free to distribute, edit, and/or send me suggestions of other things that new teachers using Moodle might need to know.
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
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Have students create databases of various information, such as book reviews, story starters (text or picture), study questions, collaborative research, etc.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Use surveys to ask students how their learning is going.
- Ask students what topics they would like additional help or coverage on.
- 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.
- 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.
Moodle glossaries are great, and there are so many ways to use them. Content can include everything from vocabulary to FAQs to fact-of-the-day to picture story starters. You can build them yourself as a teacher or have students build them. Glossaries can be displayed as a regular glossary type list, or you can auto-link words to glossary entries or display a random glossary block.
Here’s a new tool to make your use of Moodle glossaries even easier. The Kids Open Dictionary glossary builder now has an auto-export to Moodle! (And this resource is completely public domain.)
Here are the quick instructions.
- In the dictionary, click Glossary builder.
- Enter your list of glossary words separated by commas. Click build.
- Check the resulting definitions. If there is more than one definition for a word, put a check mark next to the definition you want to include. If a word has no definition, you will need to add it. When you are done, click the Moodle button.
- Right-click the “Click here to download your glossary button” link, and save the file somewhere (e.g. your desktop).
- Go to your Moodle course. If you haven’t already, turn editing on and create a glossary by selecting Glossary from the “Add an activity” drop-down menu. (More on Moodle glossaries here.)
- Select the glossary and select “Import entries.”
- Browse to select the file saved in step #4.
That’s it! If you have suggestions on how to make this tool more useful or if you have a list of words that you’d like to have prioritized for definitions, shoot us an email.
This is a different kind of post for me… I’m really thinking out loud and looking for folks more knowledgeable than me to make suggestions.
I’m working on an OER project plan to develop open “textbooks” (collections of resources with a scope and sequence, not necessarily in a textbook format) for K-12 that can be remixed at a classroom or even student level to differentiate instruction. The focus is on flexibility, ease of use, and appropriateness for average K-12 teacher.
I want to put resources toward high quality content, not a platform. There are so many open platforms out there that there must be one (or more) that are appropriate for this. I suspect that there might be a need for two platforms: a CMS for the developers and an LMS for end users. Some key criteria would include:
- Support for various media types (text, audio, video)
- Support for interactive media (quizzes, writing response, assignment submission, etc.)
- Ability to export in multiple formats (print, electronic)
As an end user tool, I like Moodle for a lot of reasons, including that it is very interactive and geared for remix. It also doesn’t hurt that a lot of schools already use and like it.
While Moodle seems like a good LMS for my purposes, it seems like we’d need a front-end development CMS to host content in. The idea would be that a teacher would choose a course (or smaller content modules) from the CMS and then export them to Moodle where the materials could be customized for individual classes or even groups of students.
- Does this approach make sense?
- Do you know of anyone using a CMS to export content into Moodle?
- What other tools or approaches should I be thinking about?
Thanks in advance for any thoughts you care to share.