We recently held the second of our faculty study group meetings on technology tools to enhance student dialogue. Two of our teachers shared their uses of Moodle courses with the group. Here are some notes on their presentations. Our Moodle installation is at insideCatlin.
Glenn never used Moodle before but found 2 minute moodles videos much more useful than Moodle’s main documentation.
At night, each student writes a memorable passage from the book, talks about the writing style in the passage, and thinks of a question related to the passage. Every student is responsible for coming up with a question. The next day during class discussion, a student group leader selects one of the questions to discuss face-to-face during the next class. Hybrid learning at its best!
Use a wiki to create a murder mystery with alternate storylines depending on where the reader clicks.
In-class forums have been the biggest success in facilitating student dialogue. Teacher posts the prompt questions, and students post replies and then respond to two other students. The next day, there was more to discuss, so teacher asked the students to respond to three more students and then add a question of their own to keep the discussion going. Class time was spent well, because students were all writing at the same time.
Because no other classes are using the Moodle blog tool, Glenn was able to use blogs to act as the students’ English journal. Better than separate forum topics, because they all appear in one place and are easier to review.
Students use discussion forums to reflect on the topic of the day. The warm-up for the next day is to spend time reading everyone’s reflections and looking for common themes and surprises. Students who need a little more time to process their thoughts do well with this system, because they have time to read other students’ posts the night before and think about them before having to speak to them the next day.
Every time there is a guest speaker, movie, or field trip, the students write a forum reflection.
You can easily review all of the forum posts that a student has submitted, in preparation for student conferences and narrative reports. Raises an opportunity for student-teacher dialogue. Will print them out more regularly and show them to the students. Helps students reflect on the depth of their responses, use of grammar in informal writing.