Technology-based Teaching: Article 6

Asynchronous online teaching with Moodle

Moodle is one of the popular Learning Management System in the world [1]. Since it is a free open source system, most of the Sri Lankan Universities have used the Moodle for creating their e-learning sites. In this post, I am discussing how to use Moodle to develop an asynchronous online teaching platform.

To add the content, you are required the teacher authority to a course page. We have to use the existing Moodle activities to populate the different types of e-materials to a Moodle course. Following table shows some e-material types and relevant Moodle activities which are available in a Moodle course

TypeContentActivity
Information Display MaterialsText, Graphics, Videos, AudiosLabel, Page
Learning MaterialsText, Notes, Presentations, Videos, PicturesFile, Page, Book
Knowledge AssessmentQuizzes, AssignmentQuiz, Assignment
Discussion PortalQuestions, Files, VideosForum
User preference collectionFeedback, evaluations, preferencesFeedback, Choice

 When we are developing an online course, it is needed to add recorded lectures and presentation. We can use a screen recording software to record our lecture and presentation then save it as a video file. Moodle can play the video files within the course or let the students download the video files.

Recording your presentation

There are a lot of commercial software available to record the screen with narrations. I have found some of the screen recording software which allow to use it for free with some restrictions or limitation. You have to visit the site and download to install it on your computer.

Even these software are different by names and tools, their functionality is similar. You have to create the presentation first, then set the screen size to record. Do the presentation while recording in using the selected screen recording software. After ending the presentation, end your screen recording also. The software gives the options to save your file as a video file with the extension of MP4 or AVI or WMV etc. Then you can add that video file to your Moodle course using the “File” activity. When adding the file activity, you have to set the option to open or download the video.

Maintain student collaboration

Student collaboration and interactivity is an important factor in a teacher-led online learning environment. You have to provide options for the students to ask their questions and display those questions to fellow students. Therefore, you have to set up discussion portals using “Forum” activity allowing the students to post their questions, share the ideas, files and contact the teacher.

Assess the students’ progress

As a teacher, it is your responsibility to assess the students’ knowledge and confirm their participation and access to the added content in the courses. You can use Quiz activity and Assignment activity in Moodle to add quizzes and collect assignments from the students. The “Reporting” feature under the Moodle course is very useful to view the students’ participation over a selected course activity.

There are many other tools available in Moodle for developing advanced activities in a Moodle course. I hope to discuss them in my later posts. Start from scratch with confidence.

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