Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 2.9. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version of Moodle may be available here: Flax module.
FLAX helps automate the production and delivery of practice exercises for learning English. Teachers can easily create exercises from the textual content of digital libraries. They can also create their own digital library collections, add them to their course as resources, and, optionally, share them within their institution. There is a tutorial introduction to FLAX here, in which you can login as a guest and do example exercises—and it includes a link to a FLAX sandbox course where you can create your own exercises and even build your own digital libray collection.
The FLAX module is a contributed activity module. It has been thoroughly tested on Moodle 2.1 (the original release for Moodle 1.9.x has been comprehensively updated)
FLAX currently offers eight different exercise types:
- Scrambled Sentences. Students move highlighted words into the correct position in a sentence. Click the mouse on a word and drop it where it belongs.
- Scrambled Paragraphs. Students move paragraphs into the correct position in a passage. Drag and drop a paragraph to where it belongs.
- Split Sentences. Students match the first part of sentences with the second part by dragging them into the correct position.
- Punctuation and Capitalization. Students restore punctuation and/or capitalization to a paragraph from which it has been stripped.
- Word Guessing. Students type missing words into gaps in a document.
- Completing Collocations. Students type missing words into gaps in collocations that have been identified by the system.
- Image Guessing. Played by two cooperative players, the "describer" and the "guesser", who cooperate over chat, the describer describes the picture on his screen and the guesser tries to identify it from several similar pictures.
Teachers design exercises based on the contents of a digital library collection. The design proceeds by filling out a simple form, which is slightly different for each of the eight exercise types.
Managing your digital library collections
FLAX is distributed with a few standard digital library collections. When you create an exercise, you choose the collection it is based on and the exercise type from these standard collections, or any collections that are shared within your institution, or any collections that you have built just for your own students.
You can easily build your own collections, containing your own documents! In Moodle, when you go to Add an activity... and select FLAX language exercise, click the button labeled Manage my FLAX collections to get a list of your collections and a Create a new collection button. Give the collection a name and description on this form, click Next, and start adding documents. Note that copyright is your responsibility: before adding any document, please ensure that you have permission to do so.
You add documents using a simple form. Choose a title, a difficulty level, and then paste any text into the Document content box and click the Save button. Copy it from a Web page, a Word document, anywhere. Note that paragraphs should be separated by blank lines.
When you have finished, click Next and check the activity types to include (if in doubt, include them all). Click Next again, review the information that is shown, and then click OK. The new collection will appear in the Collections under construction list. To make it available to students in your class or throughout your entire institution, drag it into the appropriate place. There are separate lists for collections under construction, collections that you want to share within your institution, and collections that are just for your students.
Adding a digital library collection to your course
You can make any digital library collection available to your students by clicking Moodle's Add a resource... button and selecting Link to a FLAX digital library collection. Then select a FLAX collection in just the same way as you select a collection when designing an exercise. The collection's name will automatically appear as the name of the resource, unless you have already specified a different name. A link to Manage my FLAX collections is provided when you are adding FLAX collections to your course so that you can create new collections or move existing ones around.
All FLAX exercises can be used in Practice mode or Graded mode, as specified in the Maximum Grade part of the Moodle form that you see when you select Add a FLAX language learning exercise. In Scrambled Sentences exercises students can click Check answer to see which words they have got right and Next question to go to the next sentence, and in "Practice mode" they can return to the previous sentence.
The Moodle report that teachers can view for each student shows how they did on every sentence, and students can see their answer and the correct answer for every sentence too.
When students are doing FLAX exercises, there is a Summary report button at the top right of the screen (whether or not the exercise is a graded one). This shows you how you are doing, and is particularly useful in class mode exercises because it is updated in real time and shows how everyone is doing. For example, the teacher could keep this window open to monitor all the students.
The FLAX server
FLAX operates within Moodle but communicates with an external digital library server. The FLAX project in New Zealand has arranged for a demo server to be available to all Moodle users on a trial basis. The server is open source code that can be easily downloaded and installed. It runs on Linux, Windows, and Mac. You specify the server address when you install the Moodle FLAX module.