At its simplest Moodle can be used as more of a “course management system” rather than a “learning management system.” Managing a course online involves administrative tasks like collecting and displaying course documents, and this may be all that an instructor deems necessary. However, it’s also possible to use a tool like Moodle to manage learning by launching activities within Moodle that involve students in taking quizzes, peer reviewing assignments, responding to posts, completing learning modules, and more. Moodle was built with a constructivist pedagogy in mind and so it’s no mistake that it has student sense-making in its bones.
How to ...
Carleton has been using Moodle for over ten years and many users are quite familiar with it. Still, it may be good to review key features of Moodle as well as to review what features are considered to be elemental for any Moodle course site. Carleton is currently (2014-15 academic year) using version 2.6 of Moodle and a quick review of its particular updates may be useful. Finally, the rich resource of Moodle FAQs is an excellent “how to” source for the Carleton community.
Designing Moodle course sites so that both form and function support student learning can be as simple as avoiding the “scroll of death” in which students are forced to scroll through the entire site before getting to the latest content, or as complicated as constructing complete learning modules contained within Moodle. Academic Technology holds working sessions on these topics at the beginning of each term and help is also available at the ongoing drop-in clinics. See the Events page for details of these sessions.