Discussion forum

Online class space

Online class space
by Darren Sudlow - Tuesday, 26 March 2013, 1:37 PM

A couple of eTeachers have commented to me recently regarding my decision to not use Moodle this year so I wanted to just clarify this so everyone doesn't start dropping their Moodle course.

All eTeachers need to have an online class space for their course.  What tool you use to do this is up to you (and most use Moodle), but it having one is a mimimum requirement.  There are very good reasons for this. 

  • To provide an online hub for the course which centralises communication and information so students can easily find it when they need to
  • To provide a reliable space where students can come and find out what they have to do for the week and in which teachers can adapt the learning on the fly (can't do that with a workbook)
  • To provide a place where community can be developed, in which students interact, ask questions, share with each other

Email will not to do this.  Using google docs will help centralise info, but it won't help you develop community (and is an integral part of online teaching and learning).

I have moved from Moodle, because it no longer fits with my approach to teaching and learning.  A Moodle course is great for developing a structured teacher led approach in which you as the eTeacher invite the students to come in an interact with what you have developed.  It is not so good if you want a space where the teacher and students can work togther at the same level.  This is why I have moved to an approach that uses a  as that centalised community space for sharing (and it does a fantastic job at that), in combination with a google site (although I'm not using it much) and google docs for information.  

Paul Warren, our L3 Digital Technologies teacher uses a very impressive looking blog for his class, while there are some great Moodle course some have developed (which i would like to find a way of sharing), a L3 Media Studies blog, and the vast majority of OtagoNet eTeachers use google sites (in conjunction with google docs) which if you are interested you can look at here (you might get some good ideas for sturcturing a course).

If Moodle is working well for you then keep using it.  If you don't like it develop a space using another tool - the key things is you need an online class space of some kind.

Happy to help in any way I can, but also keen to get us all sharing more of what we have developed (coming soon).  Feel free comment in this thread if you want to.