Flax module

Revision as of 23:36, 8 August 2012 by Ian Witten (talk | contribs) (Adding a digital library collection to your course)

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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)

Designing exercises

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.

Working with digital library collections

When you create an exercise, you choose the digital library collection that it's based on. FLAX is distributed with two standard collections, but it also allows you to build your own collection from your own documents (or ones on the Web) by cutting and pasting them into a Web form. If you have installed your own FLAX server, any collections you build are shared within your Moodle site. However, if you use the public demo server, collections are visible to anyone.

Grading

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.


See also