Opinion – Moodle Summer School


There’s a great local article from The Pilot News (of Plymouth, Indiana) that talks of the local high school’s first foray into an almost completely virtual offering for summer school.  The course, Economics, will be the first online summer course offered to students and will be offered through the school’s Moodle installation. In addition, the experience of the first online course teacher is being used to help train other teachers in the school in order to expand the program next summer.\

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This is a truly disruptive use of Moodle in contemporary education.

According to the school’s superintendent, Dan Tyree,

We are working to meet a need and provide choices that will help our kids. If a student wants to take a course in sociology and it’s only offered at the time he has band, hopefully we have an online course to offer. Some seniors may need to work in order to go to college, this would allow them to stay in school while still being able to pursue whatever jobs may be out there. Maybe a family wants to take a vacation, or a student wants to be involved in volleyball, baseball or any of the other camps and teams available in the summer. As long as they have access to the internet they can still fit school in with their busy schedule. [link]

In my opinion, this is truly what Moodle is designed to promote and enable.  The use of online learning management systems, in lieu of forced face-to-face learning which generally would be the case in summer sessions is a great way to save time, energy and money.  With the increasing availability of contextualized content available as OER there’s even a greater possibility that teachers and students can both make use of high quality, pre-constructed course materials from other high schools or even colleges and universities.

Do you know of a school using Moodle (or any other LMS) to deliver summer or holiday learning?  If so, share it here and let us know about it’s successes, trials and tribulations.

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  1. I realize I’m commenting on an article two years after it was posted, but as a Plymouth resident, and an enthusiast of online learning, I was excited to hear about all-online course offerings at Plymouth. As I read your comment, I did not follow what you were saying was “disruptive” about the online Economics course. I also did not follow your comment after Dan Tyre’s quote that “this” is appropriate use of Moodle.

    Blended courses are the best use of Moodle, providing the benefits of online discussion and materials supplementing classroom learning. Blended courses are clearly superior to both classroom-only and online-only courses, but well-designed online courses are also clearly equivalent to classroom instruction in terms of achievement of purely academic goals. From a broader perspective that takes other benefits of social interaction such as sports, music programs, clubs and competitions, online-only schools will always be at a disadvantage, but I am impressed with Plymouth’s pioneering of online and blended courses.


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