Designing/ Creating a Module for an Online Class
Link to Course: Finding the Slope of a Line
What was the most difficult?
The most difficult aspect of this project was the back and forth – in my mind – between feeling like I needed to create an entire course and creating just the one module. I struggled with tone and structure, I think.
In the Moodle classes I have completed as a student, the main area at the top of the “Topic Outline” is used as the main introduction to the whole course. I tried to use it as the main introduction to a module, but then I had to introduce myself as the instructor and provide a syllabus. I felt like this should have been done much earlier in a beginning Algebra course. Imagine getting into a class and not finding out how to contact the instructor or what is expected of you until the 3rd or 4th week!
One might say it was difficult for me to think outside of the box, in this assignment, because I am so familiar with the setup for the EdTech department’s coursework. In working with Moodle in the future, I might make this a priority – to use it a little bit differently than I have seen it used in the past. Moodle is a great LMS; I think I just stumbled because I started working on my “course” from the middle, somewhere – instead of starting at point A, I started at point D.
How did you solve problems as they came up?
I didn’t have any problems with building in Moodle, per se, except for using Boise State’s proprietary formatting. In that case, if I needed a headline to be a different size/ weight than Moodle allowed, I just made it regular text and bolded/ colored/ sized it appropriately.
Another thing that I noticed was that when you insert an image and preview it, Moodle doesn’t allow you to refresh the preview, if you want to see how the change looks. You need to complete the insertion and then edit the image, again, if necessary. This is also more of a minor annoyance than a real problem.
I like Moodle because I am pretty comfortable building in it. Where I WOULD have difficulty is with the grade book. I didn’t spend a lot of time with it, for the purposes of this project, and I haven’t ever taught in Moodle, but at the end of the term, I always have descrepancies in the gradebook.
I seem to spend a lot of time at the end of a term messing with the grade book and ensuring that all points are recorded and that all scores of “zero” are factored into the grade. This problem could be solved by simply spending some additional time with learning the intricacies of the grade book (whether in Moodle or another LMS) before the term starts or during a break in the middle of a term.
What are your thoughts on online teaching now that you have created an online lesson?
I still plan on teaching online. I think the additional practice with construction in Moodle has been helpful. I like being able to pull resources in from the internet to my course – I haven’t done a lot of that, before, because I’ve taught using MyMathLab or other software that has a lot of built-in resources. There’s a lot of good stuff out there.
This assignment has placed emphasis on my lack of teaching or design experience. I know that heading into whatever is next for me, once I have completed the MET program, will require a lot of learning on my part.
What was the most rewarding thing about this project?
Finishing it and thinking through the process of learning a concept. I also always enjoying seeing what my classmates are working on. I think I gain a lot from seeing what other people are doing, especially since I don’t have a lot of experience in teaching… that’s where my “A-ha!” moments come from – my peers/ colleagues – because they are going to think of things that I never would have dreamed of.