• Day 5

    • Identify collaborative tasks 

      When reviewing your content from the previous year, or when designing activities from scratch, look for opportunities where you could organise your learners into smaller groups to solve a problem. Or perhaps, maybe you’d could bring the whole group together to build their own resource.

      Either way, Moodle and Totara have great tools to facilitate both!

      • Creation of groups - manually or randomly.
        You can use the groups feature within your course and use these groups alongside many of the activities. You can add people yourself, you can tell the LMS to randomly place them, or your learners can even sign up to groups using the choice tool.

        When setting activities to 'group mode' you can choose to keep the visibility to just that group only by selecting 'separate groups', (so group A can only see what others in group A are doing, but can't see progress or content from group B). Changing it to 'visible groups' means that all learners can choose which groups to view, but can't actively participate in them unless they are in them.

        You can also use groups for reporting on progress, group by group. For this to work you need to make sure 'Group mode' is configured to 'on' in the course settings.

        For how to best utilise groups, check out the Moodle groups advice page and the Totara groups advice page for some amazing advice on how to best take advantage of this tool.

      Key collaborative tools:
      • Wiki - whole class, groups, individual
        The wiki tool can be a great place to curate ideas, record progress or demonstrate outcomes from tasks and research. Maybe you could pick a learner per week to write up and share the notes from each live session?

      • Glossary - create a library of curated content
        Ask your learners to contribute links to resources based around a particular topic, such as useful journals to use as part of their reference list.

      • Database - again, use this to get students to actively contribute content, but with defined fields.
        This tool is a bit like creating a form for them to fill out. This could be a great activity to get your learners out and about and filling it in (on their mobile devices) with observations, and uploading photos.

      • Forums - general chit chat to scholarly discussions; these can also be graded if using Moodle.
        Some teachers/trainers like to have separate forums for each topic to keep the class focused in one area. Others like to have just one for the whole course. Another option is to use it as part of an activity, such as requiring a 500 summary of a specific book chapter. You can set activity completion so that all participants must post one discussion and at least three replies. Moodle: Ideas for forums

      • Assignments - group work is a skill many need to hone. It can also cut down on time needed to grade.
        Did you know you can configure the Assignment tool so that groups can submit work and receive the same grade and feedback? Great for tasks that need separate contributions, or perhaps a group submission from a Mahara group portfolio. Moodle has a good guide for using the assignment tool.

      Suggested by Sam Taylor, Senior eLearning Consultant and MEC Facilitator