I saw a question come across twitter tonight from mguhlin; “What questions would you ask of a teacher who has been using Moodle in her classroom?” What really got me thinking was an answer that came back from David Jakes; “One. How has their use impacted student learning?”
So I have been using Moodle in my classroom, so I had to start thinking about Mr. Jakes‘ question. I spend a lot of time thinking, planning, and building my Moodle courses. I am finally starting to see the results. I owe a lot of that to Wayne Stagnaro, one of our district tech specialists; he has pushed and supported, and I have asked and bugged. And the results are starting.
In terms of learning, using Moodle gives me the ability to provide a number of different support tools for my students. A lot of tools are available out there to do this, but Moodle puts them all in one place. A student knows where that video we used is. They know where the handout is. They know where the podcast is. Its all in Moodle. They know where to find it. When they have to look for things, they have a habit of giving up. Moodle helps.
It is no surprise to anyone that knows me knows that I don’t do paper well. I never have. Back in the days before I had a tool like Moodle I had perpetual issues with students claiming I had lost their paper. With Moodle, I can’t loose a paper. I can’t delete a paper. It is really simple, either the student turned something in, or he didn’t. No one can claim that I lost their paper! In conversations at the end of the year I found this is a real issue at our school. Students use the “the teacher lost it” line quite often. They have even been known to steal the whole stack of assignments! But not in my class. Moodle makes them accountable for their work. It takes away excuses. And that has a positive impact on their learning.