May 19, 2006

Blogs and Moodle (3)

A while back I wrote a couple of posts about my experiences with using Moodle and blogs with EFL students. EFL Geek responded to my more recent post:
You state that I'm not going to stop using it just because I find it inconvenient. If this is true, I wouldn't use it. Moodle will continue to be something that is inconvenient to you and cramps your style. To me what you are saying is the same as saying I don't like this coursebook, but I'll use it anyway because someone else told me it was good.

No, because I don't use Moodle primarily for my own benefit, but for my students'. Where my students are at right now, they are more comfortable with a more structured environment that Moodle provides than a more free-form medium like a blog. Blogs are better for assignments like "find an interesting picture on Flickr (or the web) and blog about it." Moodle is better for things like "Answer the 10 questions in the textbook at page xxx and post the answers in the appropriate assignment on the Moodle: deadline this coming Friday, 6 pm."
EFL Geek points out,
There is no way around this because you are using multiple installs of moodle rather than one single install with multiple courses. With multiple courses you could then allow students to be guests in other courses.

Darn, I knew it! I did try to inform myself as best I could of the various consequences of going with a multiple install of Moodle, but in the end I had to just jump in and try it out for myself.

I like Moodle's "assignment" mode, where you can grade and write inline commments on students' writing. I wish there was a spell-checker tho.

Also, I get lost navigating Moodle sometimes. For instance, I can't seem to go directly to the Administration/Users section: I click on "participants" then on a name, then on "edit profile" and (without changing anything) click "Done" (or whatever), THEN I find myself in the Admin/Users area.

At other times (can't reproduce it now, forgot how I got there), I find myself in an area where there is no link out, except my profile, logout or "Jump to..." which only has 1 choice! The only way I got out was by clicking on my name and going to my profile, then navigating to the main course page from there. Kinda funky.

1 comment:

EFL Geek said...

There is a spell checker, you just have to set the path to it - assuming your host has the dictionary installed - check admin > configuration > editor settings (my path is: /usr/bin/aspell).

after I finish teaching in Mid-June if you want to do a skype moodle lesson let me know and we can arrange something. My skype id is on my sidebar in the buttons category.