Zoom is a great way to interact with students, both in classes and in one-on-one meetings. But Moodle provides some very useful ways for students to connect with you and with each other asynchronously, which is important because students are spread over different time zones, may have unreliable or slow internet, or might be obliged to work in noisy or distracting settings during class time.
Below are a number of ways to use Moodle in ways that let students interact with you and with each other on their own schedule using Forums, VoiceThread, and other tools.
When it comes time to evaluate student learning, Moodle will allow you to collect student work (written, oral, or video), conduct examinations or quizzes, and offer personalized feedback. If you’re used to conducting quizzes in class or collecting paper copies of student work via a box outside your office, these ideas might come in handy! You can collect individual written work via Assignments, or create a Quiz, or use VoiceThread to collect oral responses, or even let them make longer video presentations with Panopto that they can submit to you for evaluation.
Use the Table of Contents below to navigate to individual ideas and tools.
Quick references for tools mentioned in this doc
- General Moodle Info
- Moodle Forum
- Moodle Assignment
- Moodle Quiz
- Moodle Groups
- Moodle Gradebook
- Google Docs
Giving students grades privately
If you want to give grades or feedback to your students privately, Moodle is a great tool–especially when you cannot just hand back a paper copy of an assignment in class. The Moodle gradebook lets you see and update all student grade information at once. However, students see only their own information.
You can set up a gradebook to match the grading scheme in your syllabus. Potsdam State U of NY has great instructions for setting up your gradebook. In addition to calculating numerical totals, you can use the gradebook to give feedback comments or just note that an assignment was completed.
Note: Moodle activities are automatically included in the gradebook if you select the grade option for that activity in the settings.
Exam, quizzes, and submitted work
Below are several types of quizzes or exams you may want to create for your class.
Timed tests w/extended time exceptions
You can deliver just about any kind of timed written test that you might want via Moodle. Along with following the general tips in this Moodle Quiz video. First create the setting to reflect the desired time, number of attempts allowed, and question behavior. Then add your quiz questions, including automated feedback when appropriate. See this Pacific University Oregon Quiz instructions for written instructions on quiz settings and quiz questions.
In timed tests, you can override the time setting for individual groups or individual students.
Note: If a student loses power and/or connectivity during a test, and thus times out, you can clear out a student’s attempt and let them start again.
Formative assessments and low stakes quizzes
You can use the Moodle Quiz as a way to check in with your students before or during a unit to see areas that need clarification or discussion. Because the Quiz tool lets students take a quiz multiple times, and lets you give feedback about each reply—often automatically—it is an excellent low stakes way to keep students on track.
Submitting student work
The Moodle Assignment is a great way to collect student work and reply with many types of private feedback. You can use rubrics, directly annotate PDF submissions, upload feedback files—including annotated copies of the students’ submissions, and give overall submission feedback via text or even short verbal or video comments.
In addition to online assignments, you can suggest students scan or photograph handwritten work or physical projects. You can create group assignments in Moodle, so that several students work together.
Common in-class activities
You can record a lecture and share with your students online, either after delivering it live or instead of delivering it live. We suggest you record your presentations in Panopto or Zoom and share recordings via Moodle.
Zoom is a quick and easy way to record. However, if you already use Panopto, we recommend that for recording a traditional lecture. Panopto was designed for this purpose and thus Panopto has many useful features for capturing and replaying lectures. It will time stamp and index PowerPoint or Keynote presentations, allow you to insert questions into a lecture, and let students take notes or ask questions at a particular time stamp.
Moodle will let you break your class into Groups for collaborative work. These groups can then be used for discussion forums, Moodle assignments, and other activities.
If you plan to have different sets of student groups for different activities, and to use the gradebook, you’ll need to also set up groupings of groups. UMass Amherst has instructions for creating Groupings.
In addition to class discussions, the Moodle Forum lets students share work and give feedback. Students can start a thread with their work and ask others to reply with comments. Davidson has created some nice instructions for doing peer review in groups with the forum.
You can also have students directly collaborate together using Google Docs. However, if you have Bryn Mawr students, this might not work as well; Bryn Mawr does not give out Google accounts.
While students can present live via Zoom, there are many advantages to having them create their presentations at home and just share the recordings.
While students can record traditional presentations with PowerPoint or Google Slides, VoiceThread is a great tool for this. VoiceThread lets you upload PowerPoint, images, and even short video clips. You can then use your webcam or mic to record your comments about each slide. Once complete, students can share the presentation with the whole class. Classmates can ask follow-up questions and give comments. The presenter can then return to the presentation and respond.
Audio, video, and other performances
Voicethread is a great tool for collecting audio from students. It will also work for short video assignments or performances.
For longer video projects, we suggest using Panopto with a student assignment folder. Students can then record directly into Panopto or upload a video recording.
Online teaching adds extra complications to the always challenging job of teaching. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with questions!