Moodle

Moodle

Moodle is the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) of choice at Royal Holloway, University of London.  Each taught course has a designated area in Moodle where lecturers can deliver content, provide online activities, and facilitate communication between and with students.   All students registered on Banner are automatically enrolled upon their course spaces in Moodle.   Moodle is accessed with RHUL log-in credentials.

How to log-in to Moodle

Features

Moodle supports a wide range of activities, including:

  • Sharing documents and web-based resources
  • Discussion fora – for disseminating news and facilitating discussion
  • Online submission of assignments via Turnitin – for originality checking and online marking
  • E-Assessment – multiple choice questions, short answer questions & essay questions
  • Wikis – for collaborative and creative work
  • Polling tools – for capturing student opinions, feedback and learning
  • Lecture capture viewing via Panopto/RePlay  – for ease of access, revision and review
  • Providing direct access to Past Exam papers - via the Library Repositories

Benefits

 

  • Moodle is connected to many RHUL services, including Banner, Campus Connect, Turnitin, GradeMark, and Replay (lecture capture) and has proven year-upon-year to be an effective single-point of contact for online learning, assessment and feedback
  • Connectivity with Banner means that courses have an instant 'community of practice' where communication opportunities - both synchronous and asynchronous-  between students, and between staff and students are extended
  • Student feedback regarding Moodle indicates an appreciation of a consolidated space for each taught course
  • Moodle has a toolbox with both breadth and depth - and facilitates many teaching and learning activities
  • Moodle offers powerful assessment tools, yet is relatively straightforward to use
  • Moodle 26 - to which we upgraded in July 2014 - offers responsive design and works well in tablets and smartphones, as well as desktops and laptops

How to get started

Each validated course has a space in Moodle.  Students are enrolled upon their courses once their Banner records are updated by Departmental Administration Teams.  Moodle courses are hidden from students until those teaching them - ‘Course Authors’  - make them visible. 

Note: There is currently no mechanism which automatically assigns teaching staff to the role of ‘Course Authors’ in their Moodle courses.
  1. Contact either your Departmental Administration Team, or the E-Learning Team at e-learning@rhul.ac.uk to request access to your courses
  2. Visit the E-Learning Support section of Moodle for some online guidance on building your courses
  3. Book a place on a Moodle development session, or
  4. Speak to a member of the E-Learning Team at e-learning@rhul.ac.uk for advice
  5. Start building your course content and activities
  6. Make your course available to students

 

Moodle course lifecycle

 

The following applies to validated taught courses to which students are enrolled upon through Banner.  An indicator of such a course is a prefixed code, e.g., HS1002.  It is intended that both UG and PG courses will have the lifecycle outlined below.

Course creation (June 201x)

  1. All taught course spaces are created in Moodle through a link to Banner data (July)
  2. Course Authors are assigned to their course spaces on demand (July onwards)
  3. Content and activities are developed (July onwards)
  4. Courses are made 'live' by Course Authors (October / January)

Course Rollover (June 201x +1)

  1. At the end of the (taught) academic year, courses are locked-down and copied
  2. Students and their various interactions with the course (quizzes, assignments, forum posts) are removed from the copied course.
  3. The copied course is then made available on Moodle to the Course Authors

Course soft archiving (June-September 201x +1)

  1. The locked-down course (a product of the Rollover process, above) is moved to the Moodle Archive
  2. Archived courses can be used for resits of quizzes and the (re-)submission of assignments 

Course hard archiving (October 201x +1)

  1. Archived courses will remain on online until the following July
  2. Course authors and students can refer to the archived courses for reference or review
  3. Course authors cannot then edit the content and students cannot interact with the activities
  4. Courses are then archived offline for a further five years

Moodle myths

"If I put my lecture slides and notes on Moodle, the students will not come to my lectures"

This quote encapsulates two e-learning myths; that Moodle is no more than a file repository, and that fee-paying students believe that a PowerPoint slideshow is an adequate replacement for face-to-face contact with an expert in their field.

E-learning is and can be much more than replicating face-to-face practices by simply uploading documents to a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).   While this is a perfectly reasonable starting point for those new to learning technologies, such practice on its own limits the extend to which VLEs can enhance student learning.

Research has indicated that the availability of lecture notes and slides on VLEs does not increase rates of absenteeism:

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03098265.2010.498880#.UwINw85vCGk

http://www.edin.ie/pubs/ei3-chapters/ei3-ch8.pdf

How academic staff members are using Moodle

Recent College Teaching Prize winners who have used Moodle include:

  • Dr Bruce Baker (Senior Lecturer in United States History)
    ‘Using Online Peer Review to Introduce New Assessment Methods in a History Survey Course.’
  • Professor Andrew Chadwick, Department of Politics and International Relations
    ‘Real-time Collaborative Mind Mapping in Seminars Using Simple Software, the Electronic Whiteboard, and Moodle’