Using the Moodle Lesson Module

I do like Moodle – not many other teachers in my school use it at the moment and so I do have students asking me why I’m obsessed with it. I think that might be stretching the truth but I worked out a way to use the Lesson module today which really excited me. 
I had my Year 11s period 5 today and I was trying to get them to investigate what happens to the area and volume of cans of drink when you double and triple the lengths. Unfortunately, this was severely hampered by  their inability to calculate the volume and surface area of a cylinder. I thought that post-mock this group of C+ targeted students might have been able to do that – not so. 
There were a lot of mental blocks going on and there were several students missing – I worriedly scratched my head and asked if anyone would find it helpful having a video explaining this. Flipped classrooms eat your heart out. A few did, so I put it on my to do list and stated to do this after school on my lovely ipthen school did not provide this) and my new stylus that I got for Christmas. Then I remembered Moodle lessons. 
The lesson module lets you set up a series of pages that students can navigate by making choices – think choose your own adventure. So, I knew I wanted to assess all my students on their ability to work ut hte volume and surface area of cylinders in various orientations and with varying information given.  But, now  before they answer some questions they have the choice of watching a screencast from me, a page from or just jump in and do it. It finishes with an evaluation into how useful the whole exercise was. If they like it I’ll do a few more and then get them to start designing their own. 
It was quite confusing to set this up. I had to draw a map of what I was doing and refer to it quite a lot (see below). As with everything on Moodle there were options galore – I kept it as simple as I could. All told, it took about an hour to do the screencasts, set up the pages and write the questions. I can’t give guest access to school Moodle but if you want a copy of the module to upload to yours I can do that. (you’ll probably want to change the videos though – my students can understand my Northern Irish accent but I’ve taught them for a while now!). I think I’d be able to do another one a little bit quicker but not by a lot. 
(the plan is on my desk at work at the moment but I’ll upload it here soon – then this sentence won’t be here). 
Have you used the Moodle lesson module? What has worked? Did I make it too complicated? Are there easier ways to achieve what I did?


Overwhelmed but optimistic

INSET day today – weird to go back on a Friday and then have a weekend before anything meaningful happens.  Today was a lot of meetings and a little bit of preparation.  I really thought I was on top of things but the nature of the beast changes when you are actually in your classroom, I find.  Suddenly I’m being distracted by the 101 things I need to do and I find it hard to focus on the important.  Overwhelmed was how I felt but with an underlying sense of optimism!

The school updated the website and is relaunching it.  It doesn’t seem that much different to what was there before but they have installed Moodle alongside it.  This is great – noone else is really using it but I’m setting it up for all of my classes.  I’ve used Moodle before but forgotten lots, so looking for ways for it to help with the learning and assessment of my classes.

For now, I’m going to enjoy the weekend and look forward to teaching some students on Monday.  Normality, here we come!