If you’re interested in the Social Constructivist foundation of Moodle and the ways in which the software strives to promote social learning you might want to read the Pedagogy page at Moodle docs.  The page highlights some of the history and thinking that go into the software, including “Martin’s 5 Laws“.  From the site,

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The heart of Moodle is courses that contain activities and resources. There are about 20 different types of activities available (forums, glossaries, wikis, assignments, quizzes, choices (polls), scorm players, databases etc) and each can be customised quite a lot. The main power of this activity-based model comes in combining the activities into sequences and groups, which can help you guide participants through learning paths. Thus, each activity can build on the outcomes of previous ones.

There are a number of other tools that make it easier to build communities of learners, including blogs, messaging, participant lists etc, as well as useful tools like grading, reports, integration with other systems and so on.

Read more at http://docs.moodle.org/24/en/Pedagogy

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  1. I have read about the social constructionist foundation of Moodle, but I don’t see anything different about Moodle from other LMSs. Back in 2002, having a forum may have been a little different, but there were lots of forum-based tools back them. Now, of course, it is standard in every LMS. So I think Moodle cannot say it is anything special with social constructionism. What stood Moodle apart was the way it handled forums–it took a task based approach rather than a tool-based approach. Instead of a Forum area (ala Claroline), it allowed a teacher to break up forums and spread them all over the course in little tasks with an icon for each task. Moodle’s oft-criticised single long-scrolling page layout is actually its brilliance. A whole course could be laid out in one visible stream. Very intuitive to student and teacher. This was enabled by the task-able forum structure. This structure is not a social-constructionist principle but a task-based principle.

    Nowadays, I see few advances from that early wonderful design, but I am always hoping. If only the Question Bank could be truly collaborative (can’t I dream?).


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