Amy Perrey's Blog

Moodle Day 2 – Part 2 PM
May 4, 2011, 8:11 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags:

Best Practices in Moodle Course Design – Michelle Moore

Afternoon Session Part 2

Chief Evangelist

Additional Resources at

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.


Moodle Day 2 – PM
May 4, 2011, 8:09 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags:

Moodlemoot – 2011 – May 3rd- Edmonton

Afternoon Session Part 1

Developing Media for Different Modes of Delivery – Jamie Lundrigan – video for Portage College 

Media Used in a Moodle Classroom

Instructional Videos –  Camtasia Screen capture software, this is done for instruction video to introduce themselves. Give a face to the students.

Xxtranormal – used in the course content,
Voki – used to create animations in their course
Sitepal – can use picture of yourselves, it will talk and tell students what you want them to hear.

They develop site animations in house to help make their course interesting.
Captivate  – used for quizzes and test
Adobe Presenter
 – similar to PowerPoint for presentations

Equipment Used:
Flip Camera
Snowball Microphone
Sony Camera
Audio Editing – Headphones that cover the entire ear
High dealings of transferring files and editing so different monitors are used.
Green Screen with three lights – used for different areas of the school, online course,
File Size and Bandwidth – they use remote learner,
High End video files have to be 64MB- all videos must be smaller size and have to be edited down. The video files have to no more than three minutes

Video Tips

White Balance – Auto white balance is ok, but if you use a white paper it works better.
Focus – for same position use manual focus and focus on eye, if moving around make sure to use auto focus
Audio – don’t be to close to the microphone it will make popping sounds, speak at normal rate and tone, make sure to talk like you are talking to a peer and not a student
Microphone – use professional microphone
Broadcast Room

–       Paint the wall white make it looks like a never ending space
–       Portage college
–       Moodle

Moodle Day 2 – AM
May 3, 2011, 4:55 pm
Filed under: moodlemootca, Uncategorized | Tags:

Moodlemoot – 2011 – May 3rd – Edmonton

Talking About All Things Open

Paul Stacey, Terry Anderson, Gavin Henrick, Stephen Downes


Websites Introduced during this discussion:

Mahara – eportfolio system

Open Source Resources



Open Access Research (Dspace, Eprints, Fedora PKP)

Trinity College Dublin


Brainbench –  – employment screening and testing

Open write and read – Open Access Books

Moodle Day 1 – PM
May 3, 2011, 4:54 pm
Filed under: moodlemootca | Tags:

Moodlemoot – 2011 – May 2nd – Edmonton

Afternoon Session- Social Media Boot camp

Gavin Henrick – Remote Learner


Gmail Account – creating an account.

Blogging – constructing for other people, can be for project updates – students working together, can provide tips, blog post (an idea or short story)

An RSS Feed – it is written so computers can read it, if you use Feed Burner:  – it looks better. You can also add it to your blog.

Micro Blogging is Twitter – short quick updates rather than a long post. It is only a short number of characters (140).  Hash tags are an index field that people use to talk about different items about a particular topic.

Twitter is a back channel, you can comment during a session and they can have a discussion. Throw your message to the twitters and anyone that responds is directly interested in what you are talking about. Millions of people are tweeting during the day.  You can have a PLN – Personal Learning Network, this can help you grow and get answer to your question that you might not know. You are making connections with other. If you post a question on Twitter to your followers, and one of your followers copy the question and post it to their followers you question has now gotten access to others in a short time.  Another word for this is called Gossip J Sharing knowledge with others has become way easier

Tweet Deck: – or can be used on IPad, IPhone, on your desktop, following a lot of information at one time

* If you do a search in Twitter – click on retweet – it comes from you but the person that posted it gets credit. Like sharing a note from someone to others. Retweeting can be used in Education – when researching different things on a project if a students finds something, the teacher can retweet to the rest of the class. Or another classmate can retweet to other classmates.

Moodle Tool Guide –

Saving Bookmarks – if you save the bookmarks to your desktop it is only saved on one location. If you use a Social Bookmarking place Delicious or Diingo

Delicious –

Diingo –

This is a place that you add tags so others can find the websites that you booked marked. Teachers, researchers and students use this site if they are looking for a good site that has been credited by others. It is a digital reading list that you can give to students. For Primary students a good site is this turns twitter and Facebook into a daily newspaper.  You can have the bookmark as a private bookmark or public.

Flickr – there are over 20million photos that you can use in teaching that are copyright free using Creative Commons. It is a license – 1st is that you have to attribute the persons name. When you use the photo you have say where you got the photo and give that person credit. There are commercial and non-commercial uses of licenses. If you are allowed to change the picture of you have to leave the picture just as it was created.

Slideshare –

These are presentations that Henrick has created and shared with others. He does this because he embedded his presentations to a webpage.

YouTube Channel – you can put on social information, you can share it with others.  You can set this as private so that only the people you want to see will have access.

Moodle Day 1
May 3, 2011, 4:53 pm
Filed under: moodlemootca | Tags:

Moodlemoot – 2011 – May 2nd – Edmonton

Soft is Hard, Hard is Easy: Getting the Right Balance – Jon Dron, Terry Anderson,  – 9am – 12


Finding the best teaching tool for Web 2.0 and using Moodle. A discussion on what is the best options of being online. Looking at pedagogies that we have and how we use them.

What is a pedagogy using Moodle? – Teaching online is different than teaching in the classroom, you have to think outside the box. Text on a screen doesn’t necessarily translate well. You have to use the tools that you are given.  Moodle is a suitcase for content, feedback. Looking at assessment – more project based assignments, need really good questions for forums (how to craft a good question). Needs to be interactive, not just using forums but more online interactive activities. Need to keep students engaged through a distance, being organized is very important, students can use chats discussions.  Participation is keep for online learning.

What is a technology?

  • Orchestration of phenomena to our use
  • A combination of artifacts and what you do with them
  • When you look at a stick, what can it be used for? There are many uses for an ordinary stick. Technology is an action potential tool, there are certain things you can do with it, but it is the actions you use with the tool that allow students to learn. What you want to do with and how you approach this is important. Open Courses…at each stage we learn something different,
  • Pedagogies are technologies – a field involved in the facilitation of human learning through the systematic identification, development, organization, and utilization of learning resources and through the management of these process” (AECT, 1972)
  • If the tool changes then the teaching should change- the use of the tool can change it into what it is.
  • Social Determinism – the way you use the tools it is the way everyone should use it, the use is conditioned by visibility.
  • Technological Determinism – a negative way – which the tools turn you into what it is and how you teach. That online learning can be evil, trying to get rid of teachers.


William Rosen – technology Assemblies – thousands of innovations that have come together. (Great article by William)

Pedagogy First? Or does technology drive the pedagogy? Moodle 2.0 might not look like others, it is how you set it up and explore and use the tools. If you have a system, (Moodle), you have to think about how you are going to use the tools, you have to learn the whole technology system before you can start building. This can be challenge. This can be hard or soft depending how your administration system has set up the Moodle System. When using one system you can see how the Moodle Effect worked with teachers, everyone is using the same technologies. The system of Moodle can be soft and easy, a hard system is when you have to think like the designers, but an easy system is when you can think for yourself and the system works for you (example Google).

Implementation of Moodle can be hard when working with IT department because they want a plan but Moodle system doesn’t work like that, it is designed to work for you and be set up for individual use. Adding tools, Moodle installation plug ins. Teachers need to pick the tools they want to use.  IT can dictated what Moodle has to be set up, but the teachers need to be the designers. Some teachers have the entire plug ins, learn them and see if they will work for the learners. Have to take what is available and see if it works, this will help the teachers. If there is a request for Archentilia or other plug in then who is in charge of supporting plug ins? Have to have a system set up with your IT department for support and to make sure teachers have access to the plug in with support.  You have to be clear with what you want and who is the best person to make the decision of what is best for the learners?

A soft system globalizes the teaching and can change the OS. An IPad can be a hard system because it is what it is and you can’t go in and change the OS system. IPad can be a soft tool because the options have been made for you, you will use these APPS and everything is set up and done for you.

Pedagogical Patterns – Instructvist, Constructivist, Connectivist, Holist  – Looking at the generations of distance education. Bring connections to student’s skills by a connectivist approach.

Types of Moodle – Easy and Hard – this is an overlay/interface for Moodle called ELGG Landing?

ELGG – install – Open Source from Scotland – this is the most popular of the facebook look.  Similar to WordPress has a good Educational background. This would only be for staff and alumni for Athabasca University – they did this to get rid of spam and a special safe place for students and staff. It is harder to get critical mass.

  • They give media – they have a blog posts that interface with twitter, get the same 140 characters, standard reply – it is an internal twitter you are only talking to staff and students from your division.
  • The blog post – standard blogging – you can follow people – just like facebook, but you don’t collect friends (more like twitters, change the plugs in to followers and following instead of friends)
  • The control of permission is very soft – you can edit your profile easy. Customize so you know what courses others students are in to discuss assignments or if they have taken the course to discuss assignments
  • Students and teachers and decided who sees your posts and blogs
  • At the end of semester the blogs and posts are taken off by the administration
  • Blog – draft (private), public to the world, different groups that can be made through course administrator. You can upload videos, you can comment on other teachers information, learn what other teachers are doing in the classroom,
  • Anybody can create a group – comments can be private or public
  • Activity – you can see who posts or blogs, can see who has updated profile, can see other comments if public as an administrator. Activity in Moodle can be linear – Activity stream can help teachers and students to find the links and information that might be alternative to the linear approach
  • Pages – wikis – you can pick up RSS feeds from different outside sources, book sharing
  • Google Gadgets can be brought into the Landing
  • If you use tags in your blogs, wikis or twitter then you can find information on different lessons other instructors are using
  • Discussion group – use this in ET – teachers can post questions that they need to find out, other teachers can post what they did to solve the problem or different ideas about technology that they are doing in the classroom
  • Students can do this and upload their assignments to show other students, work together in collaboration – in Forum topics and group activities, discussions
  • This would be used for more collaboration and housing of information not necessarily for online courses for information – Moodle has that set up better. This is a stream of information sharing for educators and students, Athabasca uses Moodle for course content and assessment, and they turn off the collaboration and discussion forums and only use the LANDING for discussions and collaboration parts of the course. Students can blog in Landing or in a outside source if they tag properly, this sometimes doesn’t happen so doing it in a controlled environment can be made easier to follow others and keep up with discussions, so they can learn everything they need to learn.
  • Importing and Exporting – in Landing – you can export of your comment but is there a point if you don’t have the question or answer?
  • Users have more control – but Moodle 2.0 is going to copy some of the widgets of Landing set up. Every tools wants to be the be and end of all of everything you are using but you need to find different options like the Landing that can help make more Moodle more user friendly for discussions.
  • For any social networking to work properly they need lots of users, and if they are split up over a bunch of different social network sites, then it makes it difficult for the students in your class to discuss with one another.
  • We have to solve the identity problem, why can’t I have an open identity instead of social networks owing a bunch of different identities of yourself
  •  – is where you can download this interface – there are different widgets, such as web conference room.
  • They do not allow students to download their own widgets.
  • Moodle you have to have a course key to have discussion with other teachers or students the landing you can start different discussion without a key

Moodle – Soft for whom?

Soft for developers and system administrators but can start to become hard for teachers and students. There are different forms of design for control, there needs to be collective control, learn control, negotiated control, teacher control. There needs to be a dialogue around who has what control in Moodle.


Moodlemoot 2011
May 3, 2011, 4:51 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’m just in Edmonton for Moodlemoot 2011 and I will be posting my notes from the conference.

Final Project
December 7, 2009, 7:56 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags:

Mrs. Perrey’s Film Unit Wiki

Smartboard lesson

What I wanted to do:

I have taught Arts Education for grades 5-8 the past 4 years and every year have done some film work with them. We have so much fun but the students work really hard at using appropriate shots and angles. I find that some teachers want to do a film project but don’t know where to start and end up giving the camera to the students. The students have a blast but the final project ends up looking like a mix of the Blair Witch Project. I want to share with teachers some of the lessons I have done with the students. This class gave me the opportunity to actually put together a unit. I had a unit teaching but it was always thrown together and everything was never all written down properly. I made a wiki to share with others and hopefully other teachers that teach film can add to the wiki. I wanted the wiki to been helpful and easy to use so that any teacher could use it. It isn’t just for film class but to enhance any film project for any subject area. Teachers can use parts of it or use the entire unit. I also created a Smartboard presentation based on the elements of film. It is an interactive activity to get the students participating in the lecture.

What I will continue to do:

I loved making a wiki and want to create another one! I would like to work with teachers to create their own wikis of their inspiration and to share what they are doing in the classroom. This will keep passing on the sharing! I also want to continue to keep in touch and read others blogs when this class is finished. I learned so much and still have so much more learning to do. I have saved a lot of website to my delicious account because I didn’t have time to play with everything this semester but want to do so. I still want to discuss, share and to learn with the community of learners we have created. I will continue to work on this project by creating a Smart Response test for the Smartboard presentation and I would like to add a course to Moodle.

Thank you to everyone! I had a great class and learned so much ( I coun’t keep up). 🙂 Looking forward to more learning  tools!