Using Moodle for collaboration

Did you know it’s easy to create a collaborative environment in Moodle using several communication tools?

“A bird in the hand is good, but a bird in the bush might sing,” states an old Chinese proverb.  We know Moodle has collaborative tools, but how can it support student-led activities and collaboration?  In addition to forums, instructors can use wiki and chat features to facilitate collaboration.  In this post, we’ll define each and recommend ways to integrate them into courses.

Forums

Instructors and students can communicate using Forums asynchronously. Instructors can create topics or allow students to create topics for discussion.

Ideas for using forums

  • Create a forum where students can anonymously post questions or murkiest point about course materials
  • Students debate a topic, article or reading outside of class
  • Students share responses to reflective questions and offer feedback to classmates
  • Gather questions for an upcoming guest speaker
  • Students brainstorm topics after or prior to a class

Wiki

A wiki is a webpage that allows many authors to add and edit content. Wikis are an excellent way to allow students to work together on a collaboratively-authored project.

Ideas for using wikis

  • Create a study guide where all students contribute
  • Collaboratively create a glossary of important course-related terms
  • Students ask and answer questions about a course topic
  • If you are using a new strategy or technology in your course and would like student feedback, the wiki is a great place to gather information
  • Individual or group product involving research, experiments, or interviews

Chat

Chat allows participants to have synchronous, text-based conversations with other course members. You can have different Chat rooms set up within a course; some with scheduled meeting times, and others that are always available. Chat sessions can be logged for reference, and the instructor determines who can view the logs.

Ideas for using chat

  • Hold virtual office hours where students can chat with you synchronously
  • Students can chat with each other in preparation for a team project or presentation

About the authors

Cheri Crabb, PhD, Academic Technology Consultant with TLT, has a career in academia focused on instructional design and development using integrated electronic media systems for blended learning.
Dan Reis is an Instructional Technologist with Elon University’s Teaching and Learning Technologies.
Cheri Crabb, PhD

Cheri Crabb, PhD

I am dedicated to working with online faculty at Elon University and pride myself on designing quality curriculum advocating instructional technology usage. My career in academia is focused on instructional design and development using integrated electronic media systems. I earned my Doctor of Philosophy in Instructional Systems Design and Development from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University while representing NASA’s Office of Education as their first Graduate Studies Research Program doctoral fellowship recipient.

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