So we are working on a plan to pilot-test Moodle in the upcoming Fall term. Patrick and I are trying to learn the software now so we can support a few faculty in trying it out. Then we’ll make a decision about whether we will make Moodle a supported service, perhaps even an opt-in alternative to the Luminis course tools we have now.
Today Patrick and I looked at the Assignment module. There are a few different options for teachers to select from. Students can type text directly online (called “Online Text”). This is very easy for students to use, and it allows a teacher to grade them directly online as well. There is another option called “Upload a Single File.” This is simply a hand-it-in tool. “Advanced Upload” allows students to hand in multiple files along with notes for the teacher. Here is a screenshot of a teacher grading a student’s submission and providing feedback. Notice that I have the option to turn the files back over to the student to redo (“Revert to draft”):
Finally, “Offline Activity” is a tool for any assignment that needs a grade. That way you could assign a presentation, or give credit for going to a guest lecture and continue to use Moodle for grading.
A few notable details regarding these Assignment options:
- The teacher can set start and end dates for submission, and disallow late submissions entirely
- It is possible to allow resubmission – so draft papers can be handed in, responded to, then handed in again
- Students can include web links in the notes on “Advanced Upload” assignments
- Files don’t have to be Word – you can upload movies, audio, pictures, whatever – as long as it is not too big
We’ve tried this a few times along with a few quizzes. Moodle does a nice job of collecting everything into a central gradebook which can then be downloaded in Excel or Text format.
Next I’m going to play with a module called “Database” and try importing a quiz from third-party software called Hot Potatoes.