Face-to-face / Traditional delivery
(Administrative/Minimum online presence)
A traditional course is conducted in a face-to-face mode, with face-to-face lectures and tutorials and all students on-campus. Such courses can employ eLearning elements within class to enhance learning, and could also have various types of supplementary content or online activity to complement the face-to-face activity. At a minimum, such courses should at least have an online presence for administrative purposes.
A standardised approach to incorporating administrative functions into a minimum online course presence has many benefits for both students and teachers.
- Basic course information, such as the course outline.
- Basic communication forums:
> News forum (used effectively for teacher-to-student communication and announcements) > Common Room (or General Course Questions/ Discussion) forum (available for student-to-teacher and student-to-student communication)
- Additional Content: lecture notes, readings etc.
- Online Assignment Submission (Note: some schools have already made online assignment submission part of their minimum requirements)
Why have a standardised approach to using administrative functions?
Having different types of learning activities can help to engage students and cater to different learning styles. However, students and teachers benefit from a standard approach to the administrative aspects of eLearning.
Benefits to students
From a student perspective it can be confusing, and time consuming, to have every course operate in a different way. A student has to adapt to variations in course layout, spend time working out where to find things, and – if the teacher isn't using the News forum as the main means of communication – possibly miss important messages.
Regardless of an individual teacher's pedagogy or mode of delivery, having a standardised administrative course presence for all courses will give students a consistent experience for these very basic course information/functions.
Benefits to teaching staff
Using the basic communication tools available in a Moodle course negates the need to maintain separate email lists, and provide answers to the same question multiple times. It also allows for a single source to be used as evidence of activity and assessment for auditing purposes which is especially important within the VET sector from numerous students.
Every active course (that is course currently being run that has enrolments) should have an online presence in Moodle. The primary rationale for this is to give students a single point of entry to access important information about their courses.
A student should be able to log into Moodle and see in their course list all the courses in which they are enrolled. Ideally they should also be able to access their course outlines; a calendar containing all assignment due dates across all courses; and, where applicable, submission areas in courses to submit assignments.
A student should also expect that most course communications from their teacher will originate from the Moodle course, and that each course will provide students with an avenue for communicating with their teacher and fellow students.
Given that Moodle emails posts made to the news forum to all course participants, students can also expect that, even if there isn't much other activity in the online course, they will always get these messages.
This minimum level of presence is really about administration, consistency and usability for basic administrative communication and course related information.
Teachers can quickly send emails to all students in their course about an important message, such as a room change or assessment dates, simply by posting this message in the News forum. This is an effective method of communicating with all students in a course and saves the teacher time they would normally have to spend creating and maintaining separate student email lists.
Common Room type Forum
By having a Common Room forum in the online presence, students also have a central place to post general questions they have about the course. The teacher can quickly answer questions for all students by answering it once, rather than deal with individual students approaching them with the same question.