I discovered Moodle in 2012 when I worked in a college. I had to do my induction and safeguarding training on my college’s virtual learning environment. I completed the course and wondered what else my college’s Moodle had to offer. I am a naturally investigative person so I looked at the whole site. There were many courses I could join or view and some general discussion forums that were empty! I also discovered a blogging function which I began using regularly. I even set up an RSS feed from my then Edublog to automatically post onto my Moodle blog .
I started researching Moodle and found that I loved it. Later on when I became a student in the same college, and made the Mahara page I’m so proud of, I wrote about features of Moodle for my class. Because I felt like I knew my college Moodle pages in and out, I was able to explain to one of my lecturers that they posted resources to the wrong group (it only happened once!)
As always, I’ll write about some demo sites which you can view/use. I learn better when I am actioning – plus my descriptive skills are poor, so these demos might be more helpful that I am right now.
This is the generic Moodle site that I use most often. When you log in you can view your profile at demo.moodle.net/user/profile.php – this has an overview of the courses you are on, discussions you have taken part in, blogs you’ve posted, your learning plan, grades and log-in activity.
You can view available courses at demo.moodle.net/course/index.php – this is my favourite page as this was where I first discovered all the supplementary learning my old college offered. It was almost like a site map of my college departments. I particularly liked the way my old college’s support departments (careers, wellbeing, learning support…) set up course pages that all staff/students could enrol on. That meant that whenever the enrolled people logged in they could see if any of the support departments had updates – so the support departments were as assessible and visible as the curriculum area. I’m not sure what student engagement is like in other countries, but in the colleges and universities I’ve worked/studied in student engagement was low when it came to the support departments – I’d like to point out that this is nobody’s fault but rather the bombardment of information students get nowadays. So the fact that I could always see my support departments was very beneficial to me.
On the homepage there is a menu on the left-hand side that shows your dashboard, calendar and private files. In the top-right there is a message icon and place to edit your settings. In your settings you can view your badges, set up an RSS feed to post to your blog and do the regular changes you normally see on a settings page.
Most of my readers work in schools, so this demo site might be of more interest. The navigation is the same as on the generic demo site above, but the layout is more appealing to the eye. And there is more information viewable to people who aren’t logged in – for example, there are obvious links to the demo log-in instructions and the course index. It feels more welcoming.
This is the site to learn how to use Moodle as an administrator and/or teacher. The courses happen regularly, the next one is in January. The demo sites above can also be edited if you log in as an administrator or teacher, however the learn.moodle.net site is a more structured approach.
I recommend this site to everyone if they want to see Moodle properly in action. There is a list of courses you can register and enrol on. In addition to seeing how Moodle works you can also learn something new!
If, like me, you get really excited by Moodle you may be able to get involved in the Google Summer of Code. Development is on my to-do list. I’m just not quite there yet 🙂
I hope you enjoyed my overview of my (virtual) classroom. I’ve been using Moodle for longer than I’ve been in any other classroom, so I wanted to write about it. I love remote learning.