Learn how the use of Moodle in the classroom can improve critical thinking skills, writing and reading. Through the use of Online Literature Circles and Student News Network discussion forums students can share their opinions and reply to other classrooms and their peers. Sign your class up for this collaborative experience hosted on a safe Web 2.0 tool.

With the inception of our Open Campus Moodle Portal which is enhancing teaching and learning environments, the online Open Campus enables 24 hour, 7 day a week student engagement in a safe, virtual learning environment. You'll find SAISD teacher-facilitated Moodle courses, such as online literature circles .This workshop includes examples of student work in Online Literature Circles, a 3 year project in SAISD. See how Moodle has given students real-time writing and reading opportunities as well as taught them the rigors of questioning. Also included are Socratic Questioning tools as well as ideas for classroom peer exchanges using Student New Network and Tween Tribune.


Participants will be able to:
  1. identify strategies for improving critical thinking skills with discussion forums
  2. understand the simplicity of posting a discussion forum in Moodle.
  3. provide a real time authentic experience in writing and reading .

Common Moodle Terms:

  1. Moodle (Acronym for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) - An open source course management system (CMS) software package designed using sound pedogogical principals, to help educators create effective online learning communities.
  2. Block - An area of the Moodle screen that groups related functions. Blocks are usually placed in the right-hand column of the Moodle screen. Commonly used blocks may include People, Latest News, Administration, New InternalMail, Messages, Online Users, and Activities.
  3. Book - Books are used to present content that is usually more than a page or two of text. Books have their own internal navigation and may be used to print single pages, multiple pages, or entire sections of the content.
  4. Breadcrumbs - Text-based Web site navigation tools for Moodle
  5. Classroom Management System (CMS) - a software system designed to help teachers by facilitating the management of educational courses for their students, especially by helping teachers and learners with course administration. Also refered to as a Virtual Learning Enviroment (VLE).
  6. Discussion Forum - A discussion forum is where you can participate in threaded discussions with your tutor and/or other participants around course-specific topics. Discussion forums are asynchronous. That is, students may post or reply to messages any time. Posting is not dependent on other users being online at the time of posting. Your course may or may not use discussion forums.
  7. Enrol - In moodle terminology, a user is "enrolled" for a course either by their tutor/school or in some cases a user can enrol them self onto a course. An enrolled user may fully participate in a course, such as join in with any forums discussions, submit exercises, and generally participate in any of the interactive moodle tools.
  8. Module - The M in Moodle stands for modular. Moodle is constructed, and is being constantly revised, by a community of developers around the world. Building Moodle in modules allows for this sort of development, and it allows individual developers like Athabasca University to add functionality to Moodle by contributing or editing a particular module. Use of the Assignment Drop Box is a good example.
  9. Open-Source Software - Open source software is developed by a community of users who contribute functionality to a core program based on their own needs. Development costs are then spread out across the community of users. Moodle is an example of open-source software.

ISTE Standards:

This workshop will help teachers accomplish the following standards:
  1. Technology Operations and Concepts - Teachers demonstrate a sound understanding of technology operations and concepts. Teachers: B. demonstrate continual growth in technology knowledge and skills to stay abreast of current and emerging technologies.
  2. Planning and Designing Learning Environments and Experiences - Teachers plan and design effective learning environments and experiences supported by technology. Teachers: B. apply current research on teaching and learning with technology when planning learning environments and experiences.
    C. identify and locate technology resources and evaluate them for accuracy and suitability.
    D. plan for the management of technology resources within the context of learning activities.
    E. plan strategies to manage student learning in a technology-enhanced environment.
  3. Teaching, Learning, and the Curriculum - Teachers implement curriculum plans, that include methods and strategies for applying technology to maximize student learning. Teachers: A. facilitate technology-enhanced experiences that address content standards and student technology standards
    C. manage student learning activities in a technology-enhanced environment.
  4. Assessment and Evaluation - Teachers apply technology to facilitate a variety of effective assessment and evaluation strategies. Teachers: B. use technology resources to collect and analyze data, interpret results, and communicate findings to improve instructional practice and maximize student learning.


Open Campus


SocialNetworking Guidelines

Questions Final.ppt

Questions for Clarification.docx


__5 Ways We're Diminishing Learning by Assuming Face-to-Face Instruction Is Best__

Meta Analysis: Is Blended Learning Most Effective

Technology and Education Online Discussion Forums.docx


Tween Tribune

Student News Network