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Moodle tools to make your teaching more interactive

Experts from across UCL share ready-to-use tools to enhance your teaching.

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19 May 2020

These tool-tips explain UCL Moodle features, including:

  • why you would use it
  • what to consider before you use it
  • how to set one up (including recommended settings)

Further information can be found in the Moodle staff guide. 

1. UCL Connected Learning Baseline 

The UCL Connected Learning Baseline sets out the minimum expectations, or baseline, for connected learning for all taught programmes and modules at UCL, with a focus on Moodle. 

2. Discussion forums

Moodle's discussion forums allow students and staff to

  • communicate
  • ask questions
  • receive answers
  • share ideas and resources

Easy to set up and very versatile; their power depends on the creativity in the instructions. Activate ratings to provide the equivalent to a 'like' button.

3. Glossary

A glossary is a course-specific list of terms and definitions. 

As a nifty option, Moodle can automatically link through to the glossary wherever a defined term appears in the course. 

4. Database

A database enables you to set up form fields that students can then complete to contribute entries to the database. 

A major step-up from forums and glossaries. Set up a form for students to fill in, and everybody can see results and comment. Great for structured collections.

However, to use it to full power, a bit of HTML coding does wonders; contact your local learning technologist or digital education advisor. 

5. H5P

H5P is an abbreviation for HTML5 package and aims to make it easy for everyone to create, share and reuse interactive HTML5 content. 

Not just one tool, but a powerhouse of options to pretty up your content with interactivity:

  • beautiful navigable timelines
  • flip cards
  • visual drag-and-drop matching
  • quizzes
  • interactive videos, and more!

Good for self-assessment, discovery and visualisation.   

6. Hot Question

Hot question is used to create a list of popular questions or topics from a group. 

Large cohort? Let students submit questions to a topic, and let them vote to find the most important questions.

7. Group Choice

Group choice assigns students to a Moodle group when they make their choice/s. 

Once students are in Moodle groups these can be used to filter:

  • assignment submissions
  • enable group interactions in forums, chats and wikis

8. Lesson

Lesson modules is an interactive book with branching.

It lets learners decide which step comes next - you provide the options, they decide on the sequence.

Bring short quizzes into the mix, and the branching can be decided by correct/false answers.

You need to have your content ready, though, as can take some time to develop.

9. Wiki

A wiki is a type of collaboratively-authored website and can be a powerful tool for both reflective and collaborative learning activities.

For example:

  • a resource collection
  • a manual
  • a group mini-essay
  • a reference entry.

You can track how much each student has contributed. 

10. Workshop

workshop is one way you can set up student peer marking in Moodle.

You can join the assessment, or comment on peer feedback.

11. Collaborate

Blackboard Collaborate enables you to run web-based sessions with your students using:

  • audio
  • virtual whiteboards
  • screen sharing
  • text chat
  • video

For more information go the Blackboard Collaborate Resource Centre.

12. Book

Do you simply want to spread out content over multiple pages, like a book?

Moodle has this functionality. It takes care of the table of contents, and students can print/download single chapters or the whole book in one go.

13. Questionnaire

Moodle questionnaires enables you to obtain anonymous feedback from students. 

14. Activity Completion

Activity completion allows you to set completion criteria for a resource or activity.

For example, students only get access to the next section when they posted at least two messages to a forum.

15. Chat

Synchronous chat that will run for a set period of time. Can create multiple chats at different times to allow for timezone issues.

Good for creating a sense of community.

16. Quiz

A quiz is a useful way to test or evaluate students knowledge on a particular subject or area of study.

It can be used for both formative and summative (credit-bearing) assessment, such as in- class tests or examinations

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