Moodle is a learning management system (LMS). An LMS is an environment that is accessible on the web which combines the presentation of content with a suite of tools for communication and interactivity.
Moodle is a free and open source software, which distinguishes it from other LMSes like LEA.
What is Moodle?
What Can You Do With Moodle?
For each of their courses, a teacher can:
- Create web pages which can include videos and hyperlinks to external web pages.
- Post files (pdf, docx, xlsx, zip, etc.).
- Create a chat tool, which allows the teacher to have an on-line chat with students, or allow students to have an on-line chat amongst themselves.
- Add assignments. This allows you to:
- Forward assignments and instructions to students
- Specify the deadline
- Collect files uploaded by the students (whether it is from an individual or a group)
- Post their marks and remit the marked copies of assignments to the students
- Create different types of discussion boards (forum).
- Create questionnaires (polls or surveys), to gauge the opinion of users).
- Create tests for summative or formative evaluations. Various question formats are available. The student feedback settings can be modified, as required.
- Manage the student's marks.
- Add a wiki. A wiki is a web page whose content can be viewed, modified or enhanced by any participant.
- Create lessons. The lessons are sections of content which have questions interspersed throughout for which students are provided feedback, which varies depending on what they have answered.
- Create a glossary. The students can create and maintain a list of definitions, just like in a dictionary.
- Create a database.
- Manage a language lab. The participants can record themselves using a microphone. The teacher can listen to them live or access recordings created by the students, then assign marks.
- Send messages to students.
- Manage a peer-based evaluation activity.
- Design a veritable learning path, by providing access to an activity only once a prerequisite activity has been successfully completed, for example.
Moodle can also be used to support and supervise group work.
Example of a test question created in Moodle by a chemistry teacher (André Cyr, Cégep de Trois-Rivières).
Moodle also allows the possibility of integrating with other services. This allows Moodle to become a single point of access through with the student can:
- Have access to virtual classrooms to teach at a distance (using tools like the VIA virtual classroom application or BigBlueButton).
- Access the WeBWork platform (an on-line homework system designed for teaching math and science).
- Access the Mahara portfolio.
How Can I Get a Moodle Account?
To find out whether your educational establishment has Moodle, contact your IT-Representative. If your college already has a Moodle installation, your IT-Representative will be able to explain how to access it and provide you with some information to help get you started.
- Certain colleges administer their own installation of the Moodle platform.
- Others arrange for a service agreement with the DECclic corporation, a ministerial IT Partner.
The DECclic corporation regroups educational establishments that want to pool their resources for the hosting and techno-pedagogical support required for the use of Moodle. (See the list of members of the DECclic corporation) Each member establishment has its own Moodle site: The teachers and students must log on to Moodle from their own college's web site.
Support for Using Moodle
Your IT Representative is the best person to support you during your use of Moodle. The DECclic corporation organizes professional development activities for teachers from its member establishments. The DECclic team has also put a community of practice in place to allow teachers who are using Moodle to communicate amongst themselves. To get access to this community of practice, contact your IT Representative.
To Learn More About Moodle
The DECclic corporation's web site is teeming with information on Moodle: You'll find tips, a frequently asked questions area, getting started with Moodle user guides and step-by-step guides… The site is a must for you if you use or are thinking about using Moodle in your classroom! Visit the About Moodle section of the Moodle.org web site, which is also full of useful information.
In Profweb, many Real Life Stories have been written by teachers that are using Moodle and wish to share their experiences. Here is a sampling:
- Platform Series: Moodle: Lyne Maillet, a Nursing teacher at the Collège de Maisonneuve provides an overview of the many ways that she uses Moodle.
- From Lecturing to an Online Strategy for the Building Envelope Course. Lise Faucher from the Cégep de Drummondville explaines how she transforms a traditional course into a blended course thanks to Moodle. Lise appreciated the very user-friendly nature of Moodle, which allowed her to learn the tool without receiving any formal training.
- Moodle Platform Moderating the CERAC Community of Practice. In this article Orzu Kamolova and Profweb Editor Audrey Corbeil speak about the use of Moodle as a hub for a community of practice. This particular implementation was used as a means of having the Recognition of Acquired Competencies Centres of Excellence to communicate and collaborate for the benefit of the college network.
- Moodle Correction Perfection. Nicholas Walker, an English as a Second Language teacher at Cégep Ahuntsic, presents Moodle's glossary module.
- Moodle Revisited for Better User Experience and Accessibility. Jean-Sébastien Brouard, a Learning Technology Advisor at Quebec's Provincial Police Academy (École nationale de police du Québec), speaks of his educational establishment's efforts to improve the user experience for their installation of the Moodle platform.
- Using Moodle and Other Educational Technology to Reach More Students. An English as a Second Language Teacher from Cegep Edouard-Montpetit, Giel Hoffman, talks about his experience getting acquainted with and moving to Moodle after using another LMS called LORE. He also mentions that there is more and more 'copyleft' and Creative Commons content that teachers can draw on to assist them in building their lessons in Moodle.
- La Palestre, un répertoire d'exercices interactifs de français sur Moodle. Dominique Rioux, a French teacher at Collège Ahuntsic presents La Palestre, a directory of Moodle exercises that aim to offer extra help to students that want to improve their written French. La Palestre is a Moodle course that all teachers from French departments across the college network can use by getting in touch with Samuel Fournier Saint-Laurent, a Learning Technology Advisor at Collège Ahuntsic, just so long as the teachers commit to regularly maintaining the course.
- A Different Sense of Moodle. Rajesh Malik, a Psychology teacher at Dawson College relates his use of Moodle with accessibility tools. He informs readers of a tool called Respondus to prepare Moodle quizzes and touches on his use of YouTube videos within the Moodle platform.
- Using Screencasts and Flipping the Classroom to Increase Student Success. Long-time Moodle user, enthusiast and English as a Second Language teacher at Cegep Lionel-Groulx, Patti Holter speaks about how she prepares her flipped classroom with screencasts and hosts her content on Moodle. She also uses the Poodl language lab plug-in for her students to rehearse and record themselves practicing English.
Various articles on Profweb also looked at Moodle and its numerous educational applications. Among these, were included:
- "Repeat after me…" Moodle's Language Laboratory presents Moodle's OWLL module (OOHOO Web-based Language Lab), designed for language labs.
- We’ve Got Highlights: Tablets and Moodle in Physical Education for Student Performance Enhancement. A summary of a webinar where the possibilities for the use of Moodle in Physical Education were discussed.