For Consulting and Contact Information

For Consulting and Contact Information


If you'd like to contact me, or learn more about my Moodle, e-learning, and Blackboard consulting services, please make a quick trip to my new website at http://williamrice.com.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Why did I write Moodle Teaching Techniques?

I collect techniques. Techniques for writing clearly, techniques for constructing e-learning courses, techniques for making the best tiramis├╣ (there is more to life than work, no?). When I began writing my collection of teaching techniques for Moodle, my intent was to add them to my first book, Moodle E-Learning Course Development. By the time I collected a handful of Moodle teaching techniques, I realized that they didn't belong in the same book as the general how-to instructions for using Moodle. Is this because the techniques in Moodle Teaching Techniques are more advanced than those in Moodle E-Learning Course Development? Partly, but if that were the only reason, I would have folded them into the first book anyway. It's because these techniques are developed and written from a different point of view.

When I wrote Moodle E-Learning Course Development, I started with Moodle and worked towards creating an online course that adheres to good teaching practices. The book is organized according to the workflow that works best in Moodle: create your course, add static course material, then add interactive material, then add social material, then customize the roles for your course...and so on. The approach in this book is to start with what Moodle can do and work towards creating an effective e-learning experience. The keystrokes and clicks in this book apply only to Moodle.

When I wrote Moodle Teaching Techniques, I started with a list of proven learning principles. I then developed Moodle techniques that used these principles. Some of these techniques work around Moodle's limitations, which makes them inappropriate for a book on using Moodle as it was intended. Others combine features, or use features in unexpected ways. In each case, the approach in this book is to start with a research-based learning principle and work towards creating an effective e-learning experience. Moodle Teaching Techniques is less about keystrokes, and and more about teaching techniques. You could probably apply all of the techniques in this book to another LMS, like ATutor or ILIAS. The keystrokes and clicks would change, but the most important parts of the book would not.

So here are two approaches that hopefully take you to the same place: creating an effective, engaging e-learning experience for your students. And that's the result all e-learning developers are striving for, no matter what tool we use.

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