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Moodle Help

This guide is designed to assist with Moodle 3.11 questions.

Tips: Online Discussions

To learn about some tips for managing online discussions, do the following:

Consider the importance of your presence as an instructor. Your presence can be achieved by doing the following: 

Asking Questions

  1. Ask open-ended questions as opposed to focused ones: case studies, open sharing, controversial issues.

  2. Invoke: course readings (require cited references), student personal experiences, and learning activities from that week. 

  3. Clearly state what you want them to ask/discuss.

  4. Give parameters for the length of the discussion post and due date/time.

  5. Give parameters for the length of responses to one or two peers and due date/time.

Facilitating Discussions

  1. Log into the discussion frequently during the week.

  2. Read a few posts each day; interject if things go off-track.

  3. Respond to some students per discussion, but not all of them. 

    1. Could be counter-productive to do so and is time-consuming. 

    2. Respond to students:

      1. Who seem to be struggling

      2. Who ask questions only you can answer, 

      3. Who are doing really well (occasional spotlight praise).

  4. Respond to every student at least 1-2 times weekly.

  5. If a discussion becomes inappropriate or disrespectful, take it offline and respond to student/s via email or a personal phone call/Zoom/etc.

Course Logistics

  1. Provide a grading rationale and/or rubric for students.

    1. https://www.purdue.edu/innovativelearning/supporting-instruction/portal/files/8.2_Sample_Discussion_Board_Rubric_LDT.pdf

  2. Provide netiquette guidelines.

    1. https://asuonline.asu.edu/newsroom/online-learning-tips/netiquette-online-students/

  3. Divide students into discussion groups of 5-7 students, possibly with different topics for each group. It makes it easier for instructors to track threads; it makes it easier for students to interact.

Tips: Online Lectures

To create online lectures, do the following:

Consider the importance of brief online lectures. Lectures should be between 6 to 15 minutes, and long lectures should be broken up into smaller videos. Here is an overview of what the research says from online learning quality assurance provider, Quality Matters. After reading the above information, consider the following: 

  1. Don't believe the hype. The majority of online lectures worldwide are "homemade" videos recorded by a faculty member narrating a slide deck on their computer and/or using their webcam -- even at large state universities and for-profit online institutions. 
     
  2. Test your computer microphone and/or headset in advance. 
     
  3. Speak slowly if at all possible. This will help automatic captions. See separate documentation on captioning.
     
  4. It's OK to flub your lines, etc. This is where shorter lectures make things easier for you. You don't necessarily need to start over unless you think your lecture needs major improvement. Remember the power of the pause button.
     
  5. Start your lecture with a brief request for students to focus on the material. This is not patronizing. A student might be an Earlham librarian watching your lecture in a crowded airport departure lounge. We all need help to focus.
     
  6. Inform students what they should be tracking as you transition to new segments:
    1. "Be sure to understand the 5 characteristics of X."
    2. "As we begin the next section, recall the 4 elements of Z and pay particular attention to how they link with the 2 types of Q that I'll be introducing as we move forward."
       
  7. Moving a face-to-face course online does not mean pushing all of your lectures online.  In other words, if you lecture for 150 minutes every week in your MWF 8-8:50a course, please avoid recording 150 minutes of equivalent lectures every week and putting them in Moodle. Please contact a librarian with questions and we're happy to consult with you: moodlehelp@earlham.edu.

Tips: Academic Integrity and Online Quizzes

To maintain academic integrity, consider the following: 

In an online environment there is not a real way to prevent students from taking quizzes and finals with open books or open note. Instead of thinking of quizzes as a way to assess student memorization before attempting a quiz, think of it as an activity to reinforce or support lessons from course readings. Some examples of the above are the following:

  1. Apply a concept that was covered in class to an example that wasn't exactly discussed or included in the text book, so that answers can't be found in open notes or open textbooks.
  2. Allow students to retake exams multiple times and let the highest score count.
  3. Ask questions about concepts instead of exact answers.
  4. Give students a list of options that are not an exact thing, but ask them to pick which one is most like the thing. (None of these songs are by Beethoven -- which is the most like Beethoven)
  5. Change from multiple choice questions to open ended responses.
  6. Have students engage in a real-world related skill, such as writing a review, writing a report, etc.


If you do want to keep using traditional quizzes in Moodle, there are a few tweaks that could make it slightly more difficult for students to share answers. Do the following:

  1. Change when correct answers are revealed: Moodle's default setting is to let students see all the complete answers as soon as they finish their quiz attempt. To change this, go to quiz settings, under review options. Uncheck all the options in the first three columns, making it so results and correct answers are not revealed until after the quiz is closed. 
  2. Shuffle the order of questions: Go to the edit quiz page and click shuffle. This will make it so all the questions are asked, but that the order will be different for each student attempting it. 
  3. Question Bank: ​You can set up a bank of questions so that students are asked different questions. This is much more work for the faculty, and can be less fair for students if there is varying difficulty in the questions.
  4. Randomize Answer Order: Answer order can be shuffled within questions, making it harder to share answers (i.e., the correct answer will be A for Student 1 and B for Student 2).

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