Amy Perrey's Blog


Moodle Day 2 – Part 2 PM
May 4, 2011, 8:11 pm
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Best Practices in Moodle Course Design – Michelle Moore

Afternoon Session Part 2

Chief Evangelist

michelle@remote-learner.net

http://remote-learner.net

Additional Resources at http://pathfinder.remote-learner.net

Best practices in Moodle are always evolving and changing, so make sure you do what you can. Take small steps change what you can a first.

Best Practices

  1. Don’t Use more than 3 font styles per page. (Colors, Sizes) – If there is too much going on it becomes distracting for the students. If you try to make it fun and colorful for the students, when there are too many font styles this increase the cognitive workload for the students. The students spend too much time processing color and size of the fonts instead of looking for the curricular material.
  2. Do Maintain Consistency – pictures are the same size, in the same place, font is in the same place
  3. Don’t use the course page for content.  – There is too much text on a page, if the topic is too big – the unit is too much, the student should look at the course page and just have an introduction to the course.
  4. Don’t BE the one doing all the work! – if the course is made up of all quizzes the teacher is doing all the work. Think of ways to engage the student, in quiz module Question Creator Role. The students can then have access to create a few questions; the teacher can review the questions and use them in practice and review.
  5. DO let students participate and collaborate – start using wikis, glossary that students can add words to (this is her top favorite tool), Glossary can be used for links to websites. Workshop module is great for letting students give feedback to other students.
  6. DON’T make your users scroll side to side. Students have different sizes of computers; make sure to test your course in different computers and environments to make sure your course is easy to use with the students.
  7. DON’T forget about the value of logs – you can check what students are doing, they provide transparency in what they have been doing. Certain things are logged, for example: if there is a link or label there is no way to check the logs. If you add them as resources then you can see if they have checked on the links.
  8. DON’T overdo the activity names. Make sure the names you are using are not to long, or if they are add a label then link it to another page with content and the name
  9. DO use labels to guide students.
  10. Don’t be afraid of white space, if there is too much going on and no space anywhere the course becomes crowded.  Think of ways people in a newspaper write to keep it neat and tidy.
  11. DO use topic summaries for titles- if you put to much text in there then the jump to menu becomes crowded. If there is a paragraph it tries to put the entire paragraph into the jump to menu.
  12. DON’T force users to scroll and scroll – try not to put huge picture in the way of your course,
  13.  Do use images on your page
    1. 14.     Simplify your delivery – use the book module (it works in 2.0) we need to use the book module.  It is a downloadable feature.  Can guarantee that students can get to course content regardless of format (PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, etc.)
    2. Don’t be afraid to branch out! You can use hot potato, but don’t stick to the same tool over and over, try to give your students some variety.
    3. M2: Do dock the block – Navigation and Setting – you can dock different blocks when you do this you can get to them from anywhere, they are out of the way
    4. M2: Do give your learners completion track – students can check off what they have done in the course and can keep them organized and help them stay on track. It can help them remember where they are in the course and where they have left off.  Gives the students power of their course.
    5. M2: Don’t overdo the conditional activities.

Some students are color blind and it is important to use some stuff like, websites that will test colorblind situations, low bandwidth and screen readers.

The book module will help clean up your site and make it so it isn’t a scrolling page, you can embedded video into the book, add title, pictures and you can add your text into it. If you want to link in the book – make sure to AUTO LINK – (activity name and rename link) – there are a list of filters that you can use, pick activity name and auto link – this will help to make sure your links move over into other courses.

Glossary – bringing together collections of research, you can have ratings, you can attach things to it, this would be great for support and video files – glossary can be made from categories.

Broadcast room can be set up in the glossary format, making it easier for teachers to find different videos from different schools, subject areas and consultant.

Database Module – can look like an image gallery, hide fields, fields for keywords that make items searchable.

Wiki – students need specific instructions, some examples are like Class study guides or students creating a story together, collective resources where students work on a page to make a study guide. One class created choose your own adventures stories, breaking students into different groups of how the story would turn out. All the students work together to fix the grammar and punctuation.

William Rice – Moodle Teaching Techniques – Moodle Wiki

Mary Soch – Moodle for 7 – 14 yrs old – Great tips in the book, you can find her on Moodle – She is called Moodle Fairy.

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