Author(s): Donatella Cesareni, Nadia Sansone
Affiliation(s): UR – University of Rome Sapienza
Date of publication: January 7, 2016
The Educational Problem
We needed a resource to support a blended university course based on trialogical principles, able to promote the online collaborative construction of knowledge and to be easily connected with different tools to build together many artifacts (such as conceptual maps, slides, the final project)
We chose Moodle and used it to create dedicated virtual environments (one per group) in which students could interact to discuss and build concrete artifacts.
Within each environment there were different resources included:
- Forum: to discuss the macro-topics of the course, to promote students’ socialization in each group, and to publish warnings from the teacher / tutors;
- Link to other resources: Google Forms for pre- and post-questionnaires, Google Documents and Presentations for collective writing, Padlet as ‘Boards of ideas’;
- Wiki Files: for the collaborative construction of the file concerning the final artifact.
Moodle could work effectively in different context, but it can express its best potential if it is exploited to support collaborative activities within a blended course in which to provide participants also with the opportunity of a face to face confrontation.
Due to the way Moodle works and the chance it gives to choose different resources (such as those listed above, but also many others), it can be applied to a wide variety of educational backgrounds, in particular middle school, high school, university and adult education.
The main challenges we have faced were to effectively organize the virtual environment and to choose resources able to sustain collaborative knowledge building from the many available in Moodle.
Besides that, we had good results concerning the virtual collaboration and students’ general participation thanks to a higher motivation promoted - we suppose - by the use of this new (for their experience) technological resource.
For the future we are planning to use other Moodle resources, because differentiation can lead more effectiveness and, consequently, make the process of collaborative knowledge and artifacts building more immediate.
Materials and Links
- Website of the international Moodle community
- Moodle course pages of the Elearning course in UR Sapienza