Be the first to like this
In this paper we will discuss the use of Moodle 2.4 Activities to enhance student learning in an undergraduate first year mathematics module. We begin by setting out the reasons for redesigning an existing course by using Moodle 2.4, and our reasons for selecting the activities that we added to the course. We present examples of student engagement with the course and end with time for questions from the audience.
Over the last three sessions, we have redeveloped a Maths module for student Technology teachers to provide an experience that is more relevant to their intended career. The most recent version of this was written this year by using Moodle 2.4, forums, wikis, the “External Tool” facility and Mahara.
Previously, the module was essentially a revision and levelling-up course, which was intended to ensure that students’ mathematical capability was sufficient to cope with the rest of their course. Students were required to complete ten tests covering topics from numeracy to differentiation and complex numbers, and attendance was mandatory only until they had done so. This led to a “race to finish” attitude, which had the more able students leaving the class early in the second semester and the less able battling on with completing the tests as their only goal. Understandably, engagement was minimal, the module was regarded as a chore and its relevance to the remainder of their course was poorly understood.
Realising that the students need to learn to take the teacher’s viewpoint, we introduced a “topics wiki” in which groups of students collaborate to provide additional explanations and resources around the course content. The efforts so far are very worthwhile and will be of use to those with less experience of Maths and to future students. Students are encouraged to discuss the resources during class time, and beyond. Some of the more able students are helping their classmates already, and we are actively encouraging this. We are also encouraging students to use these group wikis to build personal e-portfolios using Mahara, and this will be reinforced next semester when students participate in group projects.
Students are more engaged this year than in previous years, and we believe that this is because we have made better use of the functionality of Moodle, and are scaffolding student learning as they progress through the course.