What is Moodle and why use it?

An easy way to communicate with students and staff where ever they are:

The news form automatically emails messages to all students and staff
on the course.  Forums can also be used to answer commonly asked
questions – and prevent repeats, to provide a space for informal peer
to peer student discussion or even online tutorials.

Example in conted – Maggie Herdman (Archaeology) uses it to contact
everyone  on her courses – it was especially useful in the heavy snow
to let students know when lectures were cancelled.


A quick way to share documents:

Moodle provides a place where you can easily create web pages with
information about your course and provide links to word documents,
slides, and other resources that your students will want to access.

Examples in Conted – Penny Wheeler (Psychodynamic counselling
programme) putting up PDFs or readings saved hours in photocopying and
better for the environment too.

Easy access to relevant and useful online resources:

The department and the university provide a wealth of materials and
resources, but catering for so many different types of students it can
be hard for learners to find those that are most relevant to them.
You can use your Moodle to provide links directly to the resources
that will be most useful for your students whether e-library
resources, skills courses, or information about nice pubs to visit in
Oxford …..

Example in Conted – students on the MSc in English Local History can
easily access Ancestry when outside the university.

Online assignment handling:

When your students and tutors are not close to Oxford online
assignment handling can save time and effort for everyone involved –
whether it is just used for student submission with marking done on
paper or the whole process is moved online saving time, postage and
paper.

Other advantages –

Save time and money – making resources available online can save time
and money in photocopying
Control access to different areas – can make a space for dispersed
tutors to communicate with each other as well as students.  .
Use less paper – keep a central copy online so everyone can find the
latest version of a course handbook etc.  provide handouts online and
students only print out what they really need.
Designed to encourage collaborative learning – Moodle makes it easy to
model the oxford tutorial system online if you want to use it with
globally distributed students.
Easy to experiment with new ideas and tools – a low risk way to
incorporate new tools and ideas into your teaching.
Manage your materials – if all your course information is on Moodle
this is easy access this year after year.

Other features and tools:

Course calendar – use this to flag important events to everyone on your course.
Profiles and contact information – help students and staff get to know
each other at the start of the course, also hold information about
course team and students in one place.
Deliver content – post up slides etc
Video and audio – many academics find it easy to record lectures as
podcasts or even arrange for videos of lectures or special events–
posting these online and making it available to students is straight
forward with Moodle
Group tools for students – there are many tools that students can use
for collaboration with each other e.g. forums, wiki and chat.

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