What Should Educators Know About Moodle?

Jul 18, 2019 by

As a new school year is quickly approaching, teachers and educators may be looking for creative ways to implement new learning opportunities as well as technology into their classrooms.

One option to know about is the Moodle LMS. LMS, which stands for learning management system, is an open-source platform that’s supported by Moodle HQ, which is a nonprofit. Moodle’s mission is to provide an empowering platform for educators, students,and all learners around the world.

What Is Moodle?

Moodle is one of the most frequently used learning management systems in the world. It’s open-source, and also free to download, which are a few of the factors contributing to its popularity. There are tens of millions of users of Moodle, who describe it as being user-friendly.

It’s also not just for use in education—it’s often used as a training resource in different organizations.

As far as the open-source element of Moodle, you may wonder exactly what that means. Essentially, the fact that Moodle is open-source means there is a very large community of developers who are always looking at ways to improve the platform.

These developers regularly introduce new features and improvements, and security patches as needed.

For educators, Moodle works well because it was developed by educators, to meet the needs of educators.

Specific features of Moodle and ways it’s used in the classroom include:

  • Downloading files
  • Instant messaging
  • Quizzes
  • Gamification to help students prepare for tests and learn material
  • Submitting assignments
  • Discussions and forums

The Benefits of Moodle in the Classroom

Some of the reasons Moodle is popular for classroom use include:

  • Accessibility: Moodle is accessible from anywhere as long as there’s the internet. This makes it easy for students and teachers as well as parents. Everyone can access the content and materials on Moodle at any time. This includes if a student is absent for some reason and needs to access the resources their teacher used during their absence. Even without the internet, there are offline access features available too.
  • Collaboration: With the use of Moodle, there are ample opportunities for collaboration, and it may encourage students who are shy or wouldn’t otherwise share in the classroom to participate in discussions and ask questions. Students can send instant messages, and they can also have conversations relating to certain topics.
  • Engaging: Most students will find the activities and content on Moodle is more engaging than traditional classroom materials, which fosters and improved learning environment.

Another reason Moodle is great for classroom use is that not only is it generally flexible in terms of features and accessibility, but it also helps students learn at their own pace and in the way that works best for them.

Students can go at a pace they feel comfortable, and go back over content easily if they’re unsure about something.

Tips for Getting Started with Moodle

If you’re a teacher or you’re in education, and you’re interested in integrating Moodle into your classroom, you may be wondering how to get started.

It’s a pretty simple process.

You can download the Moodle software to your school server, and again, it’s free. There’s no fee for licensing or anything else, and it can be used in a range of languages and for different school sizes.

You can then easily design the program to be what you need and what your students need with the drag-and-drop designs. You don’t need any sort of programming experience, and as has been touched on, it’s incredibly user-friendly.

Some organizations also provide troubleshooting and assistance for educators using Moodle.

Ways to Use Moodle in the Classroom

So, now that you know the benefits and how to get started, what are some specific ways to use Moodle in the classroom?

One of the best ways to use it is to have students create their own content,and then they can collaborate and discuss that content. Content can include blogs as well as podcasts. You can have students review one another’s work (with guidelines of course), and you can also encourage students to start their own forums.

As an added note, Moodle has many available plugins,including options that will automatically detect plagiarism.

You can have students create a glossary of terms that everyone can contribute to and reference as needed, or you could utilize a student-generated Wiki module.

Moodle works well for digital storytelling and the creation of content like slideshows.

Finally, you can have fun with learning through the creation of games and issuing rewards via Moodle, like badges for achieving certain milestones.

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