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SLIDES: Allen, Christopher
(2014, July 30). “Discussion
Activities with Moodle”.
Slideshare. Retrieved July 30,
2014, from...
Discussion Activities with Moodle
Discussion Activities
•Discussion activities can be a powerful
pedagogical tool

•Moodle...
Example
Deliverable
A discussion activity as a deliverable at the
beginning of my Digital Influence course
Hidden Transcrip...
Discussion
Forum
Here we see the activity and requirements at
the top, and the student discussions below
Hidden Transcript...
Discussion
Thread
Here we see an example thread, with an
original post followed by two replies,

and a reply to a reply
Hi...
Creating a
Forum Activity
•Click “Turn editing on”

•Click “Add an activity or resource”
Hidden Transcript 6
photo credit:...
Activity Types •Select “Forum”

•Click “Add”
Hidden Transcript 7
photo credit: ATTRIBUTION&URL licensed CC-BY
Discussion

...
Name &
Description
•Enter a name and description for this
discussion activity

•Describe any discussion requirements
Hidde...
Forum Type
There are many forum types. I prefer the
default “Standard forum for general use”

but several other types are ...
Activity
Completion
•Select “Show Activity as complete when
conditions are met, and…

•“Require discussions” & “Require re...
Subscription &
Tracking
If students or faculty regularly use email to
monitor new forum posts, I recommend
turning on “For...
Viewing Forums Every course has a Forum page. Activity
based forums are listed as “Learning Forums”
Hidden Transcript 12
p...
Grading
You can optionally grade forum activities. This setting
will not pass anyone that with post or reply that “Did
not...
No Grading
However, I find that “peer pressure” keeps
the quality of discussion activities high,
thus grading is not requir...
Activity
Completion
It is possible to hide other activities until a
discussion activity is complete. This is useful
for a ...
Best Practices: Posts & Replies
•Minimum 1 post, 2 replies per week

•A challenge is getting replies to late posts

• Ask ...
Best Practices: Quantity of Activities
•Too many discussions forum in a course

can be confusing

• …demonstrate course “F...
Best Practices: Consistency & Clarity
•Be consistent in activity names and
descriptions

• …I use “Readings & Commentary” ...
Best Practices: Visible Attention
•Though grading (ratings) are not required,
some evidence that you are participating is
...
Best Practices: Presence
•Forums discussion are best when all members
(both students and faculty) offer…

• Social Presence...
Caveats & Warnings
•Discussions stop at end of activity

• …thus can loose energy & synergy if topics are
relevant to the ...
Hidden Transcript
Additional Resources

Forum Module Help

Managing a Moodle course : Activities : Forum module.
(2014, Ma...
Discussion Activities with Moodle
Questions?
Hidden Transcript 23
photo credit: ATTRIBUTION&URL licensed CC-BY
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Discussion Activities with Moodle

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A powerful tool in our pedagogy toolbox are discussion assignments using Moodle forums as activities.

This presentation demonstrates what they are for, how to configure them for your course, some best practices and warnings.

This presentation is CC-BY-SA, and the PDF may be downloaded. For the original Keynote files contact me.

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Transcript of "Discussion Activities with Moodle"

  1. 1. SLIDES: Allen, Christopher (2014, July 30). “Discussion Activities with Moodle”. Slideshare. Retrieved July 30, 2014, from http:// slideshare.net/ChristopherA Discussion Activities with Moodle ABSTRACT: “A powerful tool in our pedagogy toolbox are discussion assignments using Moodle forums as activities. This presentation demonstrates what they are for, how to configure them for your course, some best practices and warnings.” © 2014 Christopher Allen
 LifeWithAlacrity.com
  2. 2. Discussion Activities with Moodle Discussion Activities •Discussion activities can be a powerful pedagogical tool •Moodle supports this with the forum activity •This forum can be used for peer discussion •These discussions can be required •These discussions can be graded • But typically perform well without grading! Hidden Transcript 2 photo credit: ATTRIBUTION&URL licensed CC-BY
  3. 3. Example Deliverable A discussion activity as a deliverable at the beginning of my Digital Influence course Hidden Transcript 3 photo credit: ATTRIBUTION&URL licensed CC-BY
  4. 4. Discussion Forum Here we see the activity and requirements at the top, and the student discussions below Hidden Transcript 4 photo credit: ATTRIBUTION&URL licensed CC-BY
  5. 5. Discussion Thread Here we see an example thread, with an original post followed by two replies,
 and a reply to a reply Hidden Transcript 5 photo credit: ATTRIBUTION&URL licensed CC-BY
  6. 6. Creating a Forum Activity •Click “Turn editing on” •Click “Add an activity or resource” Hidden Transcript 6 photo credit: ATTRIBUTION&URL licensed CC-BY
  7. 7. Activity Types •Select “Forum” •Click “Add” Hidden Transcript 7 photo credit: ATTRIBUTION&URL licensed CC-BY Discussion
 Activity Some other interesting
 uses of Forums }Select “Forum”
  8. 8. Name & Description •Enter a name and description for this discussion activity •Describe any discussion requirements Hidden Transcript 8 photo credit: ATTRIBUTION&URL licensed CC-BY
  9. 9. Forum Type There are many forum types. I prefer the default “Standard forum for general use”
 but several other types are can be useful Hidden Transcript 9 photo credit: ATTRIBUTION&URL licensed CC-BY
  10. 10. Activity Completion •Select “Show Activity as complete when conditions are met, and… •“Require discussions” & “Require replies” Hidden Transcript 10 photo credit: ATTRIBUTION&URL licensed CC-BY
  11. 11. Subscription & Tracking If students or faculty regularly use email to monitor new forum posts, I recommend turning on “Forced Subscription” or “Auto” Hidden Transcript 11 photo credit: ATTRIBUTION&URL licensed CC-BY
  12. 12. Viewing Forums Every course has a Forum page. Activity based forums are listed as “Learning Forums” Hidden Transcript 12 photo credit: ATTRIBUTION&URL licensed CC-BY This is why “Forced” or
 “Auto” is useful
  13. 13. Grading You can optionally grade forum activities. This setting will not pass anyone that with post or reply that “Did not meet expectations” or was late. Hidden Transcript 13 photo credit: ATTRIBUTION&URL licensed CC-BY
  14. 14. No Grading However, I find that “peer pressure” keeps the quality of discussion activities high, thus grading is not required. Hidden Transcript 14 photo credit: ATTRIBUTION&URL licensed CC-BY
  15. 15. Activity Completion It is possible to hide other activities until a discussion activity is complete. This is useful for a second, deeper discussion! Hidden Transcript 15 photo credit: ATTRIBUTION&URL licensed CC-BY
  16. 16. Best Practices: Posts & Replies •Minimum 1 post, 2 replies per week •A challenge is getting replies to late posts • Ask students to post early •Remind them the reward is more attention & better feedback! • Ask for 1 reply at beginning of week, 1 at end •2 posts (one early, one late) and 3 replies (one early, two late) also works well Hidden Transcript 16 photo credit: ATTRIBUTION&URL licensed CC-BY
  17. 17. Best Practices: Quantity of Activities •Too many discussions forum in a course
 can be confusing • …demonstrate course “Forums” list page • …recommend only 1 or 2 discussion activities per week •Too few are too different • …if you are only going to do this type of activity only once or twice, just use the general course forum Hidden Transcript 17 photo credit: ATTRIBUTION&URL licensed CC-BY
  18. 18. Best Practices: Consistency & Clarity •Be consistent in activity names and descriptions • …I use “Readings & Commentary” in the title of all my discussion activities •Use colors, bold, or CAPS to highlight differences from the consistent standard •Be clear on topic and criteria • …my students are asked to connect to sustainability topics and demonstrate appreciative inquiry Hidden Transcript 18 photo credit: ATTRIBUTION&URL licensed CC-BY
  19. 19. Best Practices: Visible Attention •Though grading (ratings) are not required, some evidence that you are participating is important •I call this “Visible Attention” •Try to show you are watching daily • Appreciate not only good posts or responses, but good questions • Clarify questions • Connect content to rest of course Hidden Transcript 19 photo credit: ATTRIBUTION&URL licensed CC-BY
  20. 20. Best Practices: Presence •Forums discussion are best when all members (both students and faculty) offer… • Social Presence •Members share personal stories, express emotions—be “real” • Cognitive Presence •Members are able to construct and confirm new meaning and connections from each other • Teaching Presence •Members know and support their learning outcomes, and believe that they are educationally meaningful and worthwhile Hidden Transcript 20 photo credit: ATTRIBUTION&URL licensed CC-BY
  21. 21. Caveats & Warnings •Discussions stop at end of activity • …thus can loose energy & synergy if topics are relevant to the entire course •Course culture is important • …if students can see others slacking or “social loafing”, quality of discussions will go down •Reward good behavior with attention and appreciation •Nip problems early and privately •May not scale with large number of students • …as it may become too noisy •I have used it successfully for courses as small as 12 and as large as 34 Hidden Transcript 21 photo credit: ATTRIBUTION&URL licensed CC-BY
  22. 22. Hidden Transcript Additional Resources Forum Module Help Managing a Moodle course : Activities : Forum module. (2014, March 25). - MoodleDocs. Retrieved July 29, 2014, from http://docs.moodle.org/27/en/Forum_module Tips DyversHands. (2013, September 24). How to best use Forum in Moodle courses: Ideas and tips by professionals. . Retrieved July 29, 2014, from http://www.mulinblog.com/ best-use-forum-moodle-courses-ideas-tips-professionals/ KEYQUOTE: “A compilation of good ideas for using Forum in a Moodle course, edited out of a discussion thread in Teaching with Moodle: An Introduction, which is a MOOC course offered by learn.moodle.net and attracted more than 9,000 participants. Many course participants shared ideas and tips for how they creatively use various tools in a Moodle course.” Presence Lehman, R.M. & Conceicao, S.C.O. (2010). Creating a sense of presence in online teaching: How to “be there” for distance learners. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. ISBN: 978-0-470-56490-5. http://www.amazon.com/Creating- Sense-Presence-Online-Teaching/dp/0470564903/ KEYQUOTE: “The importance of creating a sense of presence in online teaching and learning environments cannot be overestimated. If you think about the basic difference between learning in the classroom and learning exclusively online, it is the separation of the instruction from the learner and the learners from each other. This separation often leads to feelings of isolation on the part of participants and has been a major cause of learner dissatisfaction. …Our book focuses on the need for creating presence in the online environment, explores the concept of presence, and address the ways in which the creation of presence can contribute to more interactive online teaching and learning.” ! ! Asynchronous Discussion Forums Andresen, M. A. (2009). Asynchronous discussion forums: success factors, outcomes, assessments, and limitations. Educational Technology & Society, 12 (1), 249– 257. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from http://www.ifets.info/ journals/12_1/19.pdf KEYQUOTE: “It is clear that asynchronous discussion forums can achieve high levels of learning, but people in decision-making positions must be aware of the conditions for this to occur. Asynchronous online courses are not a method of displacing instructors. In fact, because of the nature of successful asynchronous discussion forums, asynchronous online courses need to be as instructor intensive (instructor to learner ratio) as the traditional classroom. And in some cases, namely problem-based learning, the asynchronous discussion forum does not appear to be appropriate. In other words, there is no one size fits all application of asynchronous online learning. Consequently, asynchronous discussion forums may form part of a more generalized model of learning—a blended learning approach. Though some of the early research on asynchronous learning environments, including the asynchronous discussion forums, has been accused of lacking in both quantity and quality (see Wegner et al., 1999, Kyounghee Lim, 2001), this is clearly no longer the case, particularly for the quality of research.” Moodle Ratings & Grading Mendes, M. (2012) Best Practices: Using Ratings to Grade Moodle Forums. Moodlerooms. Retrieved July 29, 2014, from http://www.moodlerooms.com/resources/blog/best- practices-using-ratings-grade-moodle-forums KEYQUOTE: “Teachers will enable ratings so that they can grade participant’s posts based on the relevance of a response and the level engagement in the discussions. In today’s post, I am going to highlight how configure a Forum with ratings and discuss the available aggregation methods.” Discussion Board Rubrics Chinn, ?. (2011, April 14). Discussion Board Tips & Pedagogy. Central Western University. Retrieved July 29, 2014, from http://www.cwu.edu/~media/cwuonline/ factutorials/Bb9_updated_tutorials/ DisBoard_TipsRubricsPed_rev1-11.pdf KEYQUOTE: “Develop a grading rubric that encourages class discussion, one that makes the composition of postings pleasant and informative, but also a rubric that is not overwhelming for the instructor to use when it becomes time to grade.” 22
  23. 23. Discussion Activities with Moodle Questions? Hidden Transcript 23 photo credit: ATTRIBUTION&URL licensed CC-BY
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