This blog post is updated from an earlier version created to help faculty teach during the 2020 Covid lockdown. While this post is similar to the original, it is updated with current tools and revised for face-to-face teaching.
This blog outlines some common types of class activities and some ways to do them at Haverford.
If you deliver information to students via class lectures, you may find the following options helpful.
You can record lectures to share with your students online. This is especially helpful when course material is complex; students may need to review materials several times to grasp them well. It is also helpful for students unable to attend class due to sickness, sport competitions, or other schedule interruptions.
We suggest you record your presentations in Panopto or Zoom and share recordings via Moodle.
Asynchronous online options
You can have host online discussions with Moodle Forum.
There are several options if you want students to review each other’s work.
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. UCLA has created some nice instructions for doing peer review in groups with the forum.
The Moodle Workshop is designed specifically for peer reviewed activities. It is a bit complicated to learn and use, but is an excellent tool for highly structured review activities. Workshop uses four stages to accomplish the peer review: 1) setup, 2) student submissions, 3) allocation/peer review, 4) grading.
In the setup stage, you give students specific dates, guidelines and rubrics for drafting submissions and reviewing their peer(s). In the allocation stage you designate who will review whose work; you can do this randomly or anonymously, if desired. In the grading stage, you can grade both the student submissions and the quality of their peer review work.
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.
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 use the Moodle gradebook, you’ll need to also set up groupings of groups.
Timed tests w/extended time exceptions
You can deliver just about any kind of timed written test that you might want using the Moodle Quiz activity. There are two distinct components to the Moodle Quiz: settings and questions. Quiz settings determine when the quiz is open to students, how the quiz will be graded, how often students can take the quiz, and other details of how the quiz will be conducted. The questions include answers, when applicable, general feedback, and feedback for specific responses students provide. 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. At this time, we recommend against providing group overrrides. There is a privacy issues with group overrides which is fixed in the next version of Moodle, Moodle 4.2.
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.
Gradescope is another option for timed quizzes. Gradescope will help you organize test submissions and grade submissions quickly and consistently.
With Gradescope you have several options for timed exams.
- Give students a paper exam, as you would give out any in-class or self-scheduled exam. You will then collect and bulk scan the submitted exams. Gradescope will then match the exams to your students (using a combination of AI and human/teacher review).
- Give students a timed “homework/problem set“, which they will upload as per your instructions. This is analogous to a Moodle Assignment activity. However, if you have a lot of questions, it may be easier to grade than a Moodle Assignment. It also allows you set a time limit.
- Give students an “online assignment“. This is analogous to a Moodle Quiz. The Moodle Quiz has more question types. The Gradescope online assignment has more advanced grading options.
In addition to the options listed above for timed tests, you can use the Moodle Assignment for tests that are not timed.
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, annotate and grade submissions offine, and give overall submission feedback via text or even short verbal or video comments.
In 2023, we started a two-year Gradescope pilot. This provides another excellent tool for collecting student work and providing feedback.
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.
Online performances & presentations
There are a few reasons you may ask students share performances and presentations on-line. You may want them to get feedback before an delivering the performance or presentation in person or you may wish to use class time for other activities. There are several ways that students can do this.
Students can set up a Haverford College Zoom account at haverford.zoom.us. This lets them record to the cloud. They can then share the cloud recording or the copy of that recording.
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.
You can use VoiceThread by adding a VoiceThread activity to your Moodle course. It will also work for short video assignments or performances.
For longer video projects, we suggest using the Panopto streaming platform with a student assignment folder. Students can then record directly into Panopto or upload a video recording.
Giving students grades privately
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.
This document very briefly describes a lot of options, some of which can be confusing to use. And those are not the only options! Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to work with you to help you design and teach your course.