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Lesson 4: Function Elements

Engagement is based on attention management. Engagement is based on attention management. Engagement is based on attention management. Engagement is based on attention management. Engagement is based on attention management. Engagement is based on attention management. Engagement is based on attention management. Engagement is based on attention management.

 Assignment

The assignment activity module enables a teacher to communicate tasks, collect work and provide grades and feedback.

Students can submit any digital content (files), such as word-processed documents, spreadsheets, images, or audio and video clips. Alternatively, or in addition, the assignment may require students to type text directly into the text editor. An assignment can also be used to remind students of ‘real-world’ assignments they need to complete offline, such as art work, and thus not require any digital content. Students can submit work individually or as a member of a group.

When reviewing assignments, teachers can leave feedback comments and upload files, such as marked-up student submissions, documents with comments or spoken audio feedback. Assignments can be graded using a numerical or custom scale or an advanced grading method such as a rubric. Final grades are recorded in the grade book.

 Book

The book module enables a teacher to create a multi-page resource in a book-like format, with chapters and subchapters. Books can contain media files as well as text and are useful for displaying lengthy passages of information which can be broken down into sections.

A book may be used

  • To display reading material for individual modules of study
  • As a staff departmental handbook
  • As a showcase portfolio of student work

 Choice

The choice activity module enables a teacher to ask a single question and offer a selection of possible responses.

Choice results may be published after students have answered, after a certain date, or not at all. Results may be published with student names or anonymously (though teachers always see student names and their responses).

A choice activity may be used

  • As a quick poll to stimulate thinking about a topic
  • To quickly test students’ understanding
  • To facilitate student decision-making, for example allowing students to vote on a direction for the course

 Custom certificate

This module allows for the dynamic generation of PDF certificates.

 Database

Database enables participants to create, maintain, and search a collection of entries.

The structure of the entries is defined using different types of fields, such as short text, dropdown list, text area, URL, image, or file.

As a teacher, you can comment and rate entries. You can also allow students to rate and comment on entries (peer evaluation). Ratings can be aggregated to form a final grade, which is recorded in the gradebook.

If the Database auto-linking filter is enabled, any entries in a database will be automatically linked where the words or phrases appear within the course.

You can use Database to:

  • Create a collaborative collection of links, books, book reviews, journal references, etc.
  • Display student-created photos, posters, websites or poems for peer comment and review.

 External tool

The external tool activity module enables students to interact with learning resources and activities on other web sites. For example, an external tool could provide access to a new activity type or learning materials from a publisher.

To create an external tool activity, a tool provider which supports LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability) is required. A teacher can create an external tool activity or make use of a tool configured by the site administrator.

External tool activities differ from URL resources in a few ways:

  • External tools are context aware i.e. they have access to information about the user who launched the tool, such as institution, course and name
  • External tools support reading, updating, and deleting grades associated with the activity instance
  • External tool configurations create a trust relationship between your site and the tool provider, allowing secure communication between them

 Feedback

The feedback activity enables a teacher to create a custom survey for collecting feedback from participants using a variety of question types including multiple choice, yes/no or text input.

Feedback responses may be anonymous if desired, and results may be shown to all participants or restricted to teachers only. Any feedback activities on the site home may also be completed by non-logged-in users.

Feedback activities may be used

  • For course evaluations, helping improve the content for later participants
  • To enable participants to sign up for course modules, events etc.
  • For guest surveys of course choices, school policies etc.
  • For anti-bullying surveys in which students can report incidents

 File

The file module enables a teacher to provide a file as a course resource. Where possible, the file will be displayed within the course interface; otherwise students will be prompted to download it. The file may include supporting files, for example an HTML page may have embedded images.

Note that students need to have the appropriate software on their computers in order to open the file.

A file may be used

  • To share presentations given in class
  • To include a mini website as a course resource
  • To provide draft files of software programs so students can edit and submit them for assessment

 Folder

The folder module enables a teacher to display a number of related files inside a single folder, reducing scrolling on the course page. A zipped folder may be uploaded and unzipped for display, or an empty folder created and files uploaded into it.

A folder may be used

  • For a series of files on one topic, for example a set of past examination papers in pdf format or a collection of image files for use in student projects
  • To provide a shared uploading space for teachers on the course page (keeping the folder hidden so that only teachers can see it)

 Forum

The forum activity module enables participants to have asynchronous discussions i.e. discussions that take place over an extended period of time.

There are several forum types to choose from, such as a standard forum where anyone can start a new discussion at any time; a forum where each student can post exactly one discussion; or a question and answer forum where students must first post before being able to view other students’ posts. A teacher can allow files to be attached to forum posts. Attached images are displayed in the forum post.

Participants can subscribe to a forum to receive notifications of new forum posts. A teacher can set the subscription mode to optional, forced or auto, or prevent subscription completely. If required, students can be blocked from posting more than a given number of posts in a given time period; this can prevent individuals from dominating discussions.

Forum posts can be rated by teachers or students (peer evaluation). Ratings can be aggregated to form a final grade which is recorded in the gradebook.

Forums have many uses, such as

  • A social space for students to get to know each other
  • For course announcements (using a news forum with forced subscription)
  • For discussing course content or reading materials
  • For continuing online an issue raised previously in a face-to-face session
  • For teacher-only discussions (using a hidden forum)
  • A help centre where tutors and students can give advice
  • A one-on-one support area for private student-teacher communications (using a forum with separate groups and with one student per group)
  • For extension activities, for example ‘brain teasers’ for students to ponder and suggest solutions to

 Glossary

The glossary activity module enables participants to create and maintain a list of definitions, like a dictionary, or to collect and organise resources or information.

A teacher can allow files to be attached to glossary entries. Attached images are displayed in the entry. Entries can be searched or browsed alphabetically or by category, date or author. Entries can be approved by default or require approval by a teacher before they are viewable by everyone.

If the glossary auto-linking filter is enabled, entries will be automatically linked where the concept words and/or phrases appear within the course.

A teacher can allow comments on entries. Entries can also be rated by teachers or students (peer evaluation). Ratings can be aggregated to form a final grade which is recorded in the gradebook.

Glossaries have many uses, such as

  • A collaborative bank of key terms
  • A ‘getting to know you’ space where new students add their name and personal details
  • A ‘handy tips’ resource of best practice in a practical subject
  • A sharing area of useful videos, images or sound files
  • A revision resource of facts to remember

 Group choice

The Group Choice module allows students to enrol themselves in a group within a course. The teacher can select which groups students can choose from and the maximum number of students allowed in each group.

 Interactive Content

The H5P activity module enables you to create interactive content such as Interactive Videos, Question Sets, Drag and Drop Questions, Multi-Choice Questions, Presentations and much more.

In addition to being an authoring tool for rich content, H5P enables you to import and export H5P files for effective reuse and sharing of content.

User interactions and scores are tracked using xAPI and are available through the Moodle Gradebook. Note that it is currently possible for people with programming skills to cheat in H5P interactions and obtain the full score without knowing the correct answers. H5Ps must not be used for exams or similar.

You add interactive H5P content by creating content using the built-in authoring tool or uploading H5P files found on other H5P enabled sites.

 Lesson

The lesson activity module enables a teacher to deliver content and/or practice activities in interesting and flexible ways. A teacher can use the lesson to create a linear set of content pages or instructional activities that offer a variety of paths or options for the learner. In either case, teachers can choose to increase engagement and ensure understanding by including a variety of questions, such as multiple choice, matching and short answer. Depending on the student’s choice of answer and how the teacher develops the lesson, students may progress to the next page, be taken back to a previous page or redirected down a different path entirely.

A lesson may be graded, with the grade recorded in the gradebook.

Lessons may be used

  • For self-directed learning of a new topic
  • For scenarios or simulations/decision-making exercises
  • For differentiated revision, with different sets of revision questions depending upon answers given to initial questions

 Page

The page module enables a teacher to create a web page resource using the text editor. A page can display text, images, sound, video, web links and embedded code, such as Google maps.

Advantages of using the page module rather than the file module include the resource being more accessible (for example to users of mobile devices) and easier to update.

For large amounts of content, it’s recommended that a book is used rather than a page.

A page may be used

  • To present the terms and conditions of a course or a summary of the course syllabus
  • To embed several videos or sound files together with some explanatory text

 Quiz

The quiz activity enables a teacher to create quizzes comprising questions of various types, including multiple choice, matching, short-answer and numerical.

The teacher can allow the quiz to be attempted multiple times, with the questions shuffled or randomly selected from the question bank. A time limit may be set.

Each attempt is marked automatically, with the exception of essay questions, and the grade is recorded in the gradebook.

The teacher can choose when and if hints, feedback and correct answers are shown to students.

Quizzes may be used

  • As course exams
  • As mini tests for reading assignments or at the end of a topic
  • As exam practice using questions from past exams
  • To deliver immediate feedback about performance
  • For self-assessment

 Reengagement

The Reengagement activity provides a way for you to send timely notifications to students and 3rd parties, which can include reminders to return to the course and complete activities.

The notification trigger is a specified period of time after a starting event, which may be enrolment in the course, completing an activity, or other course variables. Notifications can be set to repeat for a limited run, and/or until the target activity is completed, and can have delay periods between repeats. If the user has already completed the target activity, no email is sent.

You could use this plugin to:

  • Selectively release timed content in a course.
  • Repeatedly remind students that an assignment is overdue.
  • Advise training managers that the course is complete.

The Reengagement activity is very flexible, explore what you can do with it.

 Survey

The survey activity module provides a number of verified survey instruments that have been found useful in assessing and stimulating learning in online environments. A teacher can use these to gather data from their students that will help them learn about their class and reflect on their own teaching.

Note that these survey tools are pre-populated with questions. Teachers who wish to create their own survey should use the feedback activity module.

 Text and media area

The Text and media area enables you to display text and multimedia on the course page.

You can use a Text and media area to:

  • Split up a long list of course activities with a subheading or an image
  • Display an embedded video directly on the course page
  • Add a short description to a course section

 URL

The URL module enables a teacher to provide a web link as a course resource. Anything that is freely available online, such as documents or images, can be linked to; the URL doesn’t have to be the home page of a website. The URL of a particular web page may be copied and pasted or a teacher can use the file picker and choose a link from a repository such as Flickr, YouTube or Wikimedia (depending upon which repositories are enabled for the site).

There are a number of display options for the URL, such as embedded or opening in a new window and advanced options for passing information, such as a student’s name, to the URL if required.

Note that URLs can also be added to any other resource or activity type through the text editor.

 Wiki

The wiki activity module enables participants to add and edit a collection of web pages. A wiki can be collaborative, with everyone being able to edit it, or individual, where everyone has their own wiki which only they can edit.

A history of previous versions of each page in the wiki is kept, listing the edits made by each participant.

Wikis have many uses, such as

  • For group lecture notes or study guides
  • For members of a faculty to plan a scheme of work or meeting agenda together
  • For students to collaboratively author an online book, creating content on a topic set by their tutor
  • For collaborative storytelling or poetry creation, where each participant writes a line or verse
  • As a personal journal for examination notes or revision (using an individual wiki)

 Workshop

The workshop activity module enables the collection, review and peer assessment of students’ work.

Students can submit any digital content (files), such as word-processed documents or spreadsheets and can also type text directly into a field using the text editor.

Submissions are assessed using a multi-criteria assessment form defined by the teacher. The process of peer assessment and understanding the assessment form can be practised in advance with example submissions provided by the teacher, together with a reference assessment. Students are given the opportunity to assess one or more of their peers’ submissions. Submissions and reviewers may be anonymous if required.

Students obtain two grades in a workshop activity – a grade for their submission and a grade for their assessment of their peers’ submissions. Both grades are recorded in the gradebook.