Sunday, January 2, 2011

#Moodle It Into Reality

A person in a completely unrelated field sent me an email, of which an excerpt  appears below:

I am in the process of building a moodle [cut] website for our institute...The website should offer the following capabilities:
Participants to take all courses offered online.
Participants to be able to chat, have a forum, and discussion sections for each course.
Participants must complete courses in a set order and must complete certain requirements to go to the next course.
All participants must be registered to take courses.

Can Moodle handle all this? The answer is YES, definitely. But what should be in my response to this person? Here are a few of the possible responses:

1. Can Moodle make it possible for participants to register for courses and then take the courses online?
Yes, the real question is how you want to facilitate registration of the courses and registration. Some ideas come to mind:

  • Auto-Registration - Setup Moodle courses with separate groups (Force Groups? Yes) and enrollment keys per group. Schedule courses at regular intervals, post a calendar with the enrollment key and allow participants to self-enroll.

    You might setup a questionnaire (using the module by the same name) to collect the student information and then have it send them to a page with instructions on how to login using the appropriate enrollment key for the course starting and ending per published schedule.
  • Interest Form - Have interested students fill out a form for the course(s) they are interested in, then send them the information via email. This approach involves maybe having a standard email that is sent to students with all the information they'll need to successfully register and complete an online class. The email would be customized to include the course title, start/end dates, link to registration, and the group enrollment key so they can sign up and participate. Upon successful completion--the last activity in sequence--participants would get a certificate or receive a confirmation email.
What better way would you structure this?

2. Can all participants have access to chat, forums, discussion sections for each course?
Definitely, you can do this with Moodle within a course, as well as a "meta-course" (hmm...does Moodle 2.0 support meta-courses?). For example, put a support and general questions area in the meta-course where people can go for help but then structure your course as discussed here.

3. Can participants be required to complete certain courses in order before proceeding to the next?
Yes, but how this is managed may be up to you. As facilitator of adult learning, you will need to keep records of what courses participants are completing. There are various tools available to accomplish this, but you would have to be inventive as to the best approach. Certainly, there would have to be some record-keeping...would that be automated or kept in a database or some combination of the two? That would probably depend on the tech-tools available to you and your level of expertise.

How would you have responded to these queries?

Share your responses here or via Facebook's MoodleMayhem group.

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1 comment:

TK said...

Thanks. Why didn't think of that setting up Moodle courses with separate groups (Force Groups? Yes) and enrollment keys per group? It save a lot of times to make groups in the same course!

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