However, moodle has become very popular (and is now being advocated by some members of SugarLabs) so I decided to check it out.
It's always hard to figure out where to start with a new system and moodle has lots of features
After playing with the system itself, this teacher documentation page turned out to be a good starting point.
There are some good teaching ideas in there which enable teachers to digitally enhance the sort of things that they already do in classes. This section about Creative Glossary Practices appealed to me:
Instead of creating a glossary on your own, why not have the students create them as they encounter unfamiliar terms? A collaborative glossary can serve as a focal point for collaboration in a course ...I thought this was a great idea - not too difficult to implement, one which would appeal to the students and which had a good chance to enhance the learning of something which in more traditional teacher directed classroom settings can be dull
When students are responsible for creating the definitions, they are much more likely to remember the word and the correct definition. Engaging in the process of learning, debating, and refining a glossary can go a long way toward helping students begin using new terms ...
In setting this up I found that moodle has Glossary activity features such as:
- Duplicate entries allowed
- Allow comments on entries
- Ability to grade entries
- Able to attach images which are shown inline (using Encyclopedia format)
- Auto linking so that words in the glossary are highlighted when used elsewhere, such as in Forums
What I am doing does fit with the moodle philosophy page which defines (extracts only):
Constructivism - people actively construct new knowledge
Constructionism - learning is particularly effective when constructing something for others to experience
Social constructivism - extends constructivism into social settings, wherein groups construct knowledge for one another
I felt these terms had real meaning in the context of the activity I chose to begin with - that this section of the teacher documentation page reflected a real understanding of these concepts.