Hello my blog, old friend. It has been quite some time since I paid you any attention. However the is all going to to change. I'm sick of all these ideas and thoughts rolling around in my head and the best therapy for lots of ideas is to get them down. So over the next few weeks I shall try to jot down some of my thoughts over the last few months in a series of blog posts.
In the last few weeks I have conversations with a range of teachers from both the public, private and VET sectors about Moodle. Why is it that students don't like it?
When Moodle started it was a revolutionary way to share all your class work with your students and have them interact with you and each other and also it took away the anxiety and worry about notes being lost or crushed in school bags. Teachers have long held the idea that knowledge is the gateway to success, enlightenment and understanding so just as the humble photocopier revolutionised access to the knowledge of teacher's via their notes Moodle was able to give students access to knowledge through the new culture of technology and content curation.
Some teachers saw Moodle as a product that would revolutionise Education and to a certain degree it
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So what's changed?
I think there are three things that have changed in the mind of the user and they have an appetite for something different.
1. Students expect the technology that they use to be user friendly and aesthetically pleasing. They want the online experience to have easy navigation and yet it be presented in a way that is still challenging and they can chat about these things with their peers. It must have social capability that is similar to other ways they interact socially online.
2. It needs to be accessed and viewed easily over multiple devices. Sometime companies say that it is mobile friendly but when you go to use it on your mobile it's so different to the computer experience that you can't find anything you need.
3. There needs to be points of emotional connection. Whether or not teachers are producing elearning content or flip teaching students need praise when they get something right and guidance if they are heading in the wrong direction. There has to be the opportunity for a human connection. The problem with Moodle quizzes is that there is always the predicted right answer unless the quiz is set up for short writing pieces that are not self marking. You can't ask for clarification. This can be frustrating. In some cases you probably know the answer it's just the question is not clear and you doubt what they are really asking. If a student is working on an online quiz there needs to be the option to talk to a real human because teaching for thousands of years has been a conversational business. (Doring, 1999)
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I had the absolute privilege in the last few weeks to test run an eCoach learning system by Futura. I would encourage you to have a look. I have no financial connection to this it's just another tool I have come across and I love it! If you are a teacher that loves flip teaching then I would encourage you to check it out. It does plug into Moodle so if your school or organisation is a Moodle fun place then it is certainly one to consider.
Conference Loop from Futura Group on Vimeo.
Students want a more polished, meaningful and aesthetically pleasing interactive elearning experience. I would encourage you to think outside the box.
Until next time,
Conole,G. (2012). Open, social and participatory media, Chapter 4. Designing for learning in an open world. New York, NY: Springer.
Craft,A. (2003). The limits to creativity in education: Dilemmas for the educator. British Journal of Educational Studies, 51(2), 113-127.Retrieved fromhttp://web.nsboro.k12.ma.us/algonquin/faculty/socialstudiesteachers/smith/documents/thelimitsofcreativityineducationarticle.pdf
Doring,(1999). In Selwyn, N., Gorard, S. and Furlong, J, 2006. Adult learning in a digital age. Routledge: New York (KindleEdition)
Ford, N. (2008). Education. In N. Ford (Ed.), Web-Based Learning through Educational Informatics: Information Science Meets Educational Computing (pp. 75-109). Hershey, PA: .doi:10.4018/978-1-59904-741-6.ch003
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