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What is Moodle and why use it?

 
 
Picture of Youssef Abi Haidar
What is Moodle and why use it?
by Youssef Abi Haidar - Monday, 9 November 2015, 1:29 PM
 

Moodle is a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) which makes it easy for teachers to provide online support for their course.  Providing a central space on the web where students and staff can access a set of tools and resources anytime anywhere.

  • An easy way to communicate with students and staff wherever they are:

The news form automatically emails messages to all students and staff on the course.  Forums can also be used to answer commonly asked questions – and prevent repeats, to provide a space for informal peer to peer student discussion or even online tutorials. 

  • A quick way to share documents:

Moodle provides a place where teachers can easily create web pages with information about their course and provide links to word documents, slides, and other resources that students will want to access. 

  • Easy access to relevant and useful online resources:

Teachers can use Moodle to provide links directly to the resources that will be most useful for their students whether e-library resources, skills courses, websites and videos.

  • Online assignment handling:

As reflective learning and formative assessment have a greater presence in education today, the online text assignment proves a useful way for students to record their thoughts and feelings about a particular topic or theme within the Moodle environment itself. Tutors can set up online text activities that ask students to reflect on both rhetorical and assigned questions depending on the learning outcome or goal. Teachers can grade them online, and even add inline comments or changes.

  • Save time and money – making resources available online can save time and money in photocopying
  • Control access to different areas – can make a space for dispersed tutors to communicate with each other as well as students.  .
  • Use less paper – keep a central copy online so everyone can find the latest version of a course handbook for example. It provides handouts online and students only print out what they really need.
  • Easy to experiment with new ideas and tools – a low risk way to incorporate new tools and ideas into your teaching.  
  • Course calendar – use this to flag important events to everyone on your course.
  • Profiles and contact information – help students and staffs get to know each other at the start of the course, also hold information about course team and students in one place.
  • Video and audio – many academics find it easy to record lectures as podcasts or even arrange for videos of lectures or special events– posting these online and making it available to students is straight forward with Moodle
  • Group tools for students – there are many tools that students can use for collaboration with each other like forums, wiki and chat.