Strengths and WeaknessesSTRENGTHS:O Low cost of ownership for the schoolO High level of security for the schools network, so students privacy is protectedO Greater flexibility with course materialsO Ability for customized for the teachers needsO Technical support for the teacherO Constant updates and plugins to keep material up to dateO Variety of skills to use in the classroom for different subject areasO Developed in multiple languagesO Teaching is made easier through an online platformWEAKNESSES:O Difficult to integrate with some learning stylesO Lack of integration with student management systems.O Difficulty carrying out a distributed management model with multiple schools and departmentsO Unable to be used effectively in certain subjects, e.g. mathsO Students will require additional assistance using an online platform
Some typical features of Moodle areO Assignment submissionO Discussion forum (Chat)O ChoicesO ExercisesO ForumsO GlossaryO Hot potatos (Quizzes)O JournalsO LessonsO QuizzesO SurveysO WikiO Online news and announcementsO File DownloadsO Online CalenderO Grading
Explanation of featuresAssignmentsO Allow the teacher to specify a taskO Students will then upload the assignment when completedO Also features an ability to grade the assignment
ChatO Module allows the students to participate in a real time discussionO Also contains a number of features for managing and reviewing discussionsChoicesO Teacher asks a question and specifies a choice of multiple responses
ExercisesO Teacher will ask the students to do a piece of practical work.O Teacher is able to give feedbackO Final grade is based on how well the student has assessed their own workForumsO Allows a discussion of postingsO Can be viewed in a variety of formatsO Students will receive copies of the new postings
GlossaryO Allows students to use and make a list of definitions to future useO Entries can be searched or browsed forHot potatoesO Allows the teacher to submit quizzes for the students to completeJournalsO Teacher asks the students to reflect on a particular topicO Answer is privateO Teacher will offer feedback and a grade
LessonO Delivers content in a interesting and flexible wayO Consists of a number of pages. Students need to progress through and answer correctly to proceedO Can be made easy or difficult, depending on what material needs to be covered
QuizzesO Allows the teacher to set and design quizzesO Questions are kept in a databaseO Each quiz is automatically markedO The teacher is able to give feedback or show correct answersO Can also be gradedSurveysO Allow teacher to gather relevant data on student ideas, knowledge and to provide feedback on the teachers performance
Wiki’sO Allows documents to be uploaded and data stored on an encyclopedia type formatO Students are able to research relevant facts that have been compiled by other students and teachersO Entries can be continually added to each subject
How the features fit in withthe Quality Teaching Elements
O The discussion forum, the chat service, the lessons, the online news and announcements, the grading method and the journals all form under the following:1.6 SUBSTANTIVE COMMUNICATION3.4 INCLUSIVITY3.5 CONNECTIVENESS2.4 SOCIAL SUPPORT2.2 ENGAGEMENT
O There is substantive communication, as both student and teacher are interacting, focused on the substance of the lesson and reciprocalO Inclusivity, as students feel a part of the forum, the lessons and the chat service. Opinions and ideas are valued, and the individuals contribution is respected.O Connectiveness, as students are able to exchange information through all of the above, problems to solutions are identified in the forum and the news service, assistance is given through the forum or chat service.O Social Support, the above provide ample opportunity to express ones viewpoint, ask for help, participation as well as the teacher in a position to supervise how the communication is occurring.O Engagement, students can raise questions, feel a part of the learning process, contribute to the group tasks and help each other using the aboveAs an example, the chat service will allow the students and teachers tocommunicate relevantly about the subject, feel included andconnected, have social support and be engaged.
O The Glossary, wiki, online news and announcements and forums all form under the following:1.5 METALANGUAGEO Meanings of words and new concepts to be learnt will be found in the wiki and forums,O How the process of something works will also be mentionedO New ideas and knowledge can be learntFor example, a student in business studies mayneed to know what scientific management isand they are able to find it
O The Lessons, Surveys, Quizzes, Hot Potatos, Journals and Assignments all fall under the following:1.4 HIGHER ORDER THINKING2.5 STUDENTS SELF REGULATION2.6 STUDENT DIRECTION
O There is higher order thinking in the above because students will need to manipulate information and ideas in ways that transform their meaning and implications, when doing quizzes, assignments, and the lessons.O There is student self regulation while doing the quizzes, journals, assignments and lessons because students need to demonstrate autonomy, be disciplined to complete the tasks, and following the clear goals outlined to them in the assignment rubricO There is Student Direction with the above as they have a choice of activity, time spent on an activity, pace of the online lesson and the criteria provided.For example, a student doing an online lesson willneed to employ higher order thinking, be disciplinedand demonstrate autonomy and is able to choose thetime spent on the lesson as well as follow the criteria.
How moodles features can be used for subjectsO Moodle is designed to be versatile and cater for a wide range of subjects.O In Business studies as an example by using the quizzes, it will follow the syllabus and achieve the outcomes. The quizzes will employ in the summary of quality teaching methods, metalanguage, students self regulation, student direction, higher order thinking and engagement.
O In Design and Technology as an example:O The way that Moodle File download connects technology students with the technology mandatory syllabus is that it exposes the students to the use of technology and fits in to the objective seen in the Technology mandatory syllabus as “By knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the impact of innovation and emerging technologies on the individual, society and the environment.” This feature can also provide a source for technology students to upload files that they have created within the class which once again exposes them to technology completing the same objective. It also promotes the idea of collaboration between students to share their designs to allow for the creation and also the evaluation of designs. This is seen in the stage outcomes within stage 3 information and communication of the technology mandatory syllabus. “Creates and evaluates information products and processes, demonstrating consideration of the type of media, form, audience and ethical issues.” It once again provides the student to the complete the learning process of using technology stages 1, 2 and 3.