The holidays give us a chance to try out some new things ready for September. The first activity we are adding to our Moodle installation for the new year is NanoGong. It’s a great little activity that adds audio recording capability to Moodle.

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Setup of the module is as easy as any other. You have to fill in a short form to get a download link over on the NanoGong site (here), download the right version and drop into your mod directory. Visit the notifications page, the install happens, job done. Once this is complete an additional activity appears in your dropdown menu when editing a course.

Selecting NanoGong from this list allows you to create your activity. Settings are very straight forward- enter a description explaining what your students have to do, pick the maximum number of messages they can leave, maximum time and score for the gradebook.

When a student clicks the activity on your course a small applet loads that allows them to use their computer microphone to record short sections of audio. On the test version I am running here this worked quickly, the recording was clear, and there were no delays saving the file or playing it back afterwards. After the student has submitted their recording they have the option to go back and edit. As a teacher my view of the activity shows all submitted messages along with details about who/when. I can play the files back, leave my own comments and grade the file. There is also an option to lock the file so the student cannot go back and edit once you have graded it. Any grade you enter here appears in the Moodle gradebook.

And that’s it. Nice simple module, but a huge number of possibilities for use in the classroom. We’ll add this to our training programme for September and I’ll feedback on any successful use later in the year.

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