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EDEN Open Classroom Conference, October 27-29 th 2011. The development of lessons, case studies, scenarios and simulations in the Moodle Virtual Learning Environment for self directed learning (SDL). By Michael O’Rourke Lecturer Department of Electronic & Computer Engineering

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EDEN Open Classroom Conference, October 27-29th 2011

The development of lessons, case studies, scenarios and simulations in the Moodle Virtual Learning Environment for self directed learning (SDL)

By

Michael O’Rourke

Lecturer

Department of Electronic & Computer Engineering

Athlone Institute of Technology, Ireland

in association with and funded by the National Academy for Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (NAIRTL), UCC, Ireland

project objectives
Project Objectives
  • Familiarisation with the settings and features of the lesson activity in the Moodle VLE.
  • Exploration of the use of the lesson activity for case studies, scenarios and simulations.
  • Lesson development techniques.
  • How lessons can be incorporated into a module for self directed learning (SDL).
  • Exploration of the use of open educational resources (OER) within a Moodle lesson.
  • Learner feedback on the use of lessons.

Michael O’Rourke, AIT

main features of the moodle lesson
Main features of the Moodle lesson
  • An activity in the Moodle VLE.
  • Timed and scheduled like a quiz, if required.
  • Multiple pages which can contain various multimedia elements like text, images, sound, video and web links.
  • Each page can contain a question (True/False, Short Answer, Multiple Choice, Essay, Matching, Numerical).
  • Sequence can be linear or branching.

Michael O’Rourke, AIT

main features of the moodle lesson1
Main features of the Moodle lesson
  • Questions can be imported in various formats from elsewhere.
  • Presentations can be imported.
  • Can be used to create flashcard exercises for learners.
  • Lesson scores are incorporated into the Moodle grade book, if appropriate.
  • Emphasis is on teaching and learning, not assessment (use quiz tools for assessment).
  • It is a conditional activity i.e. a pathway can be specified for learners who are taking a number of lessons as part of a module.

Michael O’Rourke, AIT

a branching lesson
A branching lesson
  • The learner is led through a troubleshooting or decision making scenario.
  • Each page presents new information about the scenario.
  • A question is asked on each page which may cause a branch or jump to another part of the lesson.
  • Feedback is provided on each page.
  • May be scored and/or timed, if required.

Michael O’Rourke, AIT

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Start

Check the indicator leds on the system unit and monitor

Are leds on?

Y

A

N

Check electrical power socket

Is it plugged in?

N

Plug it in

Y

Switched on ?

N

Switch it on

Y

Check power cables to system unit and monitor

Are cables connected?

N

Connect cables to both units

Y

B

Sample part flowchart for a branching lesson

Michael O’Rourke, AIT

example 1 a branching lesson
Example 1: A branching lesson

Michael O’Rourke, AIT

slide8

Example 2: A branching lesson

Michael O’Rourke, AIT

a linear lesson
A linear lesson
  • The learner is ‘led’ through pages of content in a linear style i.e. no branches/jumps.
  • A container for packaging any type of multimedia content including lecture notes or OERs.
  • Ideal for SDL as it ‘forces’ the learner to review the content of the lesson and answer any questions included in the lesson.
  • Should be scored and/or timed to incentivise the learner.
  • Feedback may be provided on each page as appropriate.
  • Can be used as a flashcard exercise.

Michael O’Rourke, AIT

slide10

Example 3: A linearlesson

Michael O’Rourke, AIT

learner survey
Learner Survey
  • An online survey was conducted with learners to gather feedback on the use of Moodle lessons in their modules.

Michael O’Rourke, AIT

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Learner Survey Results

Michael O’Rourke, AIT

benefits for learners
Benefits for learners
  • It aids with SDL because it is interactive and the score attained by the learner can be designed by the lecturer, to count towards the final assessment mark.
  • Feedback is provided within the lesson, case study, scenario or simulation where appropriate, to give pointers to learners as they progress through it.
  • The lesson, case study, scenario or simulation can be taken a number of times for knowledge and understanding reinforcement by the learner.

Michael O’Rourke, AIT

benefits for learners1
Benefits for learners
  • The lesson, case study, scenario or simulation can be undertaken off-campus at any time as they are online.
  • Lessons, case studies, scenarios or simulations can be provided in any discipline or subject (Engineering, Science, Business, Humanities) as the Moodle lesson is very flexible.

Michael O’Rourke, AIT

conclusions and findings
Conclusions and findings
  • The lesson activity in Moodle is an excellent activity for presenting material to learners because they are ‘led’ through it in a very structured and interactive manner.
  • The lesson may be used to ‘package’ all types of OERs in all formats including audio, video, animations, text and images.
  • Feedback may be provided at all points in the lesson.

Michael O’Rourke, AIT

conclusions and findings1
Conclusions and findings
  • Decision making is easily incorporated into a lesson using ‘jumps’ within the lesson.
  • Various question types are provided within the lesson including Multiple Choice, True/False, Short Answer, Numerical, Matching and Essay thus giving wide variety in assessment.
  • Short lessons of 15 to 30 minutes duration seem to work best in order to keep learners engaged and avoid loss of concentration.

Michael O’Rourke, AIT

conclusions and findings2
Conclusions and findings
  • The planning and development time is considerable for a single lesson, particularly if it involves decision making.
  • A flowchart is recommended for planning a decision making lesson.
  • Some prior experience with Moodle is desirable as it takes time to become familiar with the technicalities of the lesson interface.

Michael O’Rourke, AIT

conclusions and findings3
Conclusions and findings
  • The Moodle lesson activity provides a very flexible method of creating SDL resources for teaching and learning.
  • Some concerns over Moodle 2.0: will existing lessons be importable to Moodle 2.0?

Michael O’Rourke, AIT

web information and resources
Web information and resources
  • Athlone Institute of Technology: http://www.ait.ie/
  • Learning & Teaching Unit, AIT
  • http://www.ait.ie/aboutaitandathlone/learningandteaching/
  • National Academy for Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning:http://www.nairtl.ie/
  • National Digital Learning Repository: http://www.ndlr.ie/
  • My resources on the NDLR: https://dspace.ndlr.ie/jspui/browse?type=author&sort_by=1&order=ASC&rpp=20&etal=-1&value=O%27Rourke%2C+Michael&offset=0
  • YouTube tutorial on creating a Moodle lesson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nq3das503-Q

Michael O’Rourke, AIT

thank you
Thank you!
  • Any questions?
  • Email: miorourke@ait.ie

Michael O’Rourke, AIT

acknowledgements
Acknowledgements
  • Special thanks to NAIRTL, UCC for funding this project.

Michael O’Rourke, AIT