Exploring Webpages – Moodle’s Ugly Ducklings? with @kristianstill

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This guest post is from Kristian Still (@kristianstill) who offered to let Moodlenews repost with attribution.  Check out Kristian’s blog for more Moodle tips and great educational thoughts and resources: http://kristianstill.co.uk/.

WIRIS

Moodle resources are rarely inspirational. If anything resources and standard files are uploaded to fill courses. Barely interactive, resources are often used to fill course space.

You said we needed to add content, I added content.

As a result, resources are rarely discussed in Moodle conversation but just accepted expected to be there somewhere. So, I challenged myself to brighten and repurpose web pages. Webpages I so much more versatile that a WORD document. Copy the text from an office document (CTRL+C), paste it into the search bar (CTLR+V – removes all code), then copy it again (CTRL+A) before pasting into the webpage (CTLR+V again), to format it. The most useful point, if there is an typo, or the information changes, or needs revising, you are just one click away.

So here are my suggestions.

  1. Add a splash of colour. Upload a icon pack to your course and regularly use colourful icons to direct student activities. Highlighters, folders, pens, notebooks or group work activity icons.
  2. Think big. For this webpage idea I create a slide in Powerpoint, exported as a Jpeg. Uploaded it to Moodle and added it to my webpage. The resource was both the stimulus for the lesson and the lesson plan.

With the class separaget into groups, Alex, Mr Mackie and so on, the webpage was projected onto the whiteboard. As students worked through the task, uncovering key fact, they wrote their answers directly on the the projected image. Some students, even acted out “being the teacher,” which showed me they were enjoying their new role. When the task was conquered students transferred the notes to their work books.

I did learn that the extension activities perhaps need to be moved to the top of the page, but as its a webpage, that is a quick fix. Finally, the helmet icon proved a great puzzler. Only two students managed to make the connection between icon and task title, despite many trying. So, maybe webpages are Moodle’s ugly duckling.

Since writing this post, I have changed the image and text over, I think that works better.