Teaching Don'ts

Revision as of 21:59, 19 March 2006 by Art Lader (talk | contribs) (Don't let Moodle overwhelm you)

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 2.3. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version is available here: Teaching Don'ts.

Don't let Moodle overwhelm you

Moodle is big. You can do all sorts of educational stuff with Moodle, so much stuff, that beginners can be overwhelmed by all there is to learn. But is it necessary to master all of Moodle right away? Of course not.

Start with modest goals like posting lesson plans and links to useful resources and go from there. Take your time and be patient. If you do have difficulty learning to do some of the more sophisticated things, turn to the Moodle community for assistance. In a few months, you will be Moodling like a champ!

Don't assume that the coolness of Moodle will inspire or motivate your students

Many teachers are amazed and impressed by what Moodle can do. Astonished, even. They simply assume that their students will share their enthusiasm. Well, maybe... But remember that it is good teaching (online or otherwise) that inspires students. Don't expect Moodle to do the teacher's job.

Don't violate copyright laws

If you inappropriately borrow the works of others, your students will do so, too. That's is probably not what you are trying to teach them.

Don't forget to check users' profiles

Sigh... Some students have questionable judgement. You never know what they will post to their profiles. Best to check now and again. Depending upon your school system, your local laws, and your personal beliefs, of course, you may or may not do anything about what you find, but it is best to at least know what's there.

Don't encourage users to run Power Point presentations in their browsers

Users, of course, want to simply click on a PPT presentation and run it inside their browsers. This usually works out pretty well, but not always. You will have far fewer complaints and problems if your users download PPT presentations to their desktops and run them from there. Encourage them to do so. By the way, this is not a Moodle problem; it is a browser problem.

Do not upload large Power Point presentations if your Moodle disk space is limited. Convert your PPTs to .swf files using Open Office. The only disadvantage is that you will lose all animation.

Or, you can simply print the handouts to a .pdf file.

If you want to provide the original presentation, it would be nice to also provide handouts or an outline in addition. The student can choose the most personally convenient option.

As an alternative to using Power Point at all, you might want to consider the presentation module or the lesson module.

Don't be afraid to experiment

Moodle is designed to be played with. Set up a test course for yourself and experiment with the different modules - you can't break anything!

Don't be distracted by shiny stuff

Just because you can do something in Moodle does not mean that you should do it or have to do it. Moodle is very robust software and many of its features are fun to play with. That is cool, but, remember, the point is not to build a cutting-edge web site (although that really is a lot of fun). The point is learning.

  • What is it you want your students to know?
  • What is it you want them to be able to do?

Let those questions dictate how you use Moodle.

See also