WEEKLY NEWSLETTER AND DIARY

Week Commencing xxxx 2011

► IMPORTANT INFORMATION ◄

__________________________________________________________________________________ Please send items for inclusion in the Newsletter to: Mrs. Mary Early, Principal’s Secretary Email mearly@harper-adams.ac.uk # 5275 by 5 pm Thursday of each week Copies from the Archive can be accessed on the Intranet document site under Governance

Refining Moodle modules
Recent data on Moodle usage by teaching staff suggests that virtually all modules are now at 1* level and that 83% of UG and 55% of PG modules are 2* or better. This means that most Moodle modules have now a fair amount of online content. In March this year I did run a focus group session with some second year Marketing and Business students where I have asked them to evaluate a range of 2* and 3* modules from an ‘aesthetical’ point of view. The modules presented to them differed in the quantity of embedded pictures/photos/videos and rather unsurprisingly modules with a reasonable but not overwhelming amount of visuals received the highest ratings, in comparison to modules which only provided a list of links to documents or Web-sites. From the feedback it appears that students like the provision of simple logo-type images in the topic headers, accompanied by explanatory labels in between links and the inclusion of some embedded videos. I am aware that some staff have already started making their modules more attractive and in order to provide additional ideas on what is possible and doable I have created a ‘template’ module called Moodle Master Module (MMM), which is accessed from the Moodle front page, the top link on the Support Material block on the left hand side (left image below).

In a series of topics I have described some tools and technologies which colleagues may find useful for extending current opportunities for online learning some of which will hopefully resonate with you and your students. I have also added some Moodle resources (Assignment, Feedback, Choice etc.) as well as a QuestionMark formative assessment which some of you are already familiar with. If you wish to go into these activities you’re asked to enrol yourself – please feel free to do so, I can always take you off the module later. Several of the visual resources presented make use of so called Web2.0 tools such as Google Calendar, Slideshare Audioboo, Prezi etc. where the resource is hosted elsewhere and only the ‘embed’ code is put into the Moodle module pointing to the resource. There are several advantages to this. First you will not be in breach of copyright legislation as you will not make a copy of the resource. Secondly the resource can be edited at the remote Web-site, re-saved and then linked back to Moodle, without any file upload. The disadvantages are that you will need to create an account on the remote site to use their services although more and more of these will accept standard Google or Yahoo login credentials so the same login may be used over and over again. As there are no costs to the user they tend to be funded by low-level advertising (at least in the ‘free’ version). And finally there is no guarantee that the content will be 100% available as it is located outside the realms of the Harper network but due to their large user base these services are very reliable. The learning objects presented in topic seven of MMM contain examples of several embedded Web2.0-based learning objects. Some of the resources mentioned were created using the tools demonstrated by Russell Stannard at the Harper Teaching and Learning Forum on the 14 July. This reminds me, if anybody wishes to have the Screen-capture tools Jing or Jing Pro (as demonstrated by Russell) installed on their office PCs please get in touch with me in the first instance. In order for staff to get familiar with such tools and make best use of them I have added a third training session under the term Web2.0 for Learning to the weekly training sessions, as timetabled below. Moodle training sessions, summer 2011, held in the Bamford Library LF9.
Providing Online Learning Resources 26 July 11 am – 12.30 pm 2 Aug 11 am – 12.30 pm 9 Aug 11 am – 12.30 pm Online Communication and Reflection 27 July 11 am – 12.30 pm 3 Aug 11 am – 12.30 pm 10 Aug 11 am – 12.30 pm Web2.0 for Learning 12.30-1.00 pm 12.30-1.00 pm 12.30-1.00 pm

Henry Keil - e-Learning Co-ordinator,

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