Book Review: Moodle 1.9 Teaching Techniques

This has quickly become of my favourite Moodle books as it offers something completely different. The book focuses on using Moodle as a teaching tool and mixes both the technical know-how and the pedagogical theory to great effect.

This book is ideal for any teacher/tutor who wants to use Moodle interactively. The book teaches the reader how to build an effective online course by promoting the use of the book module, forums, workshops, wikis and other core activities. The use of groups and groupings are not only explained but also put into practice.

The book assumes you have prior knowledge of working with Moodle and is therefore able to cut out a lot of the basic tutorials you find on the web and concentrate exclusively on the core components you wish to build upon.

The sections on Forums and Lessons are exemplary and of great use to those tutors who wish to really get to grips with the interactive elements of Moodle and feed these into the gradebook.

This book should really be considered as somewhat of a Moodle Bible for tutors/teachers as it really is quite indispensable for those who wish to use Moodle as it was originally intended. The days of repository style teaching would be numbered if more people followed the great examples found in here.

If you need to convince tutors about the benefits of using interactivity then lend them a copy of this book.

The tutorials are clearly explained and illustrated and most of all they are relevant to todays teaching.

I heartily recommend this book to all schools/colleges, we are certainly buying several copies for our institution.

It’s fantastic!

Please click here for further information.

Moodle Twitter Post Block

Twitter PostI have just finished an early release of my Moodle Twitter Block. The block simply allows you to post a tweet to a Twitter account. At present it asks you to enter your Twitter username and password but I will be customising this to pull the data from user profile fields already in Moodle. A lot of work has already been done on a similar block by M3 (http://m3.jiscemerge.org.uk/) but I wanted to create my own and slowly develop it over time to fit in with my custom tweaks. It uses some simple AJAX to submit the form so it stays inside the block.

The block uses the “Twitter for PHP” class created by David Grudl. (http://davidgrudl.com) (http://twitter-php.googlecode.com) so I will be able to make use of upgrades on this project as and when they are released.

Future upgrades will include:

  • Retrieving Twitter posts from your friends list
  • Embedding Twitter user photos
  • An ajax popup in My Moodle Bar to allow quick status updates
  • Automatic tweeting when a user completes a quiz, submits and assignment or posts to a forum
  • Sign on to Moodle with your Twitter ID
  • Posting to a Twitter Wall which will become an Activity Type within Moodle

Please feel free to give it a try, but please…back up your Moodle site first and don’t use it on a production server! It’s still in beta. Please leave some comments on this page for me.

Download the block here

Moodle Bar almost ready for public release

My Moodle bar is almost ready for public release. I have cleaned the code up (a lot), the bar now installs with just one simple PHP include tag in the footer of your Moodle theme. The buttons now have a CSS based tooltip rollover (like Facebook). I just have a few Internet Explorer 7 glitches to take care of.

I am also planning a notifications module for the bar which will alert users of messages, deadlines and calendar events.