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Distributed Learning Essentials

 

Distributed Learning Essentials: Moodle

Each Moodle course must be clearly and concisely defined for the benefit of both the students and the instructor. Expectations and accountabilities for both parties must be fully addressed, regardless whether the Moodle course will be provided as optional support for a traditional course, or blended, or for full, online delivery.

The following documents are available as editable templates to address these issues.
View a tutorial video on how to copy template information into your course >>

1. Welcome

The Welcome page provides a great opportunity for an Instructor to reach out to his or her students and establish an important "face" with which students can identify. Instructors may also wish to encourage students to visit the Instructors profile page to see personal/professional information about the Instructor, relevant to the course.
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    a. Program Content Guide
    When available, access to a Program Content Guide (PCG) is advisable: it helps not only to establish a learning path for students, but also serves as a guide to keep courses consistent with what we advertise.

    Current PCGs are located on the VCC network drive-space at

    J:\ProgramContentGuide

2. Course Syllabus

    a. Introduction and Learning Outcomes
    The Introduction should be designed to connect the students to the course and what they should expect to learn. A Course Scope should be added to provide students with a "big picture" of what the course offers, while detailed Learning Outcomes must be provided so that the students will know what will be expected of them and what they should expect of themselves by the end of the course.
    View template >>

    b. Expectations and Communications
    For both the student and the instructor, a common breakdown and a great source of anxiety is related to lack of communication.

    Instructors communicate with their students in many different ways and with varying degrees of expectation. Instructors may ask that students use the Moodle Mail tool, the Moodle Message tool, WebMail, telephone, etc. to communicate and will often have predetermined expectations as to when a Student is to communicate. Students, on the other hand, need to know how long to wait to receive a reply from their Instructor.

    A clear set of guidelines should be created to suit the needs of your particular learning environment.
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    c. How to be Successful in this Course
    After reading this document, a student should clearly understand the format of the course content, the activities and evaluations. The Instructor's role should be clearly described, as well as the Student's role through various stages of the course (if applicable).
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    d. Textbooks and Other Learning Materials
    This is a good opportunity to let your students know what textbooks and learning materials will be required, where to get them and how much they should cost. Note that you could even provide a link to web documents here.
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    e. Course Schedule
    Having the schedule available as an independent resource for students can provide added convenience and quick access for students. It is important to note that any dates added to the schedule must be updated each time the course is offered. It is recommended that you use a weekly format ("Week One", "Week Two", "Week Three", etc.) format.
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    f. Assessment Guidelines
    This document can serve as an excellent resource for students and will likely be accessed frequently by students. In addition to providing students with the weighting for each assignment, details can also be provided here to clarify what will be expected in each assignment.
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    g. Course Development Team
    It may be important to include the contact information for individuals responsible for the development of the course, particularly if the course has been provided courtesy of another organization, or to meet the conditions of a Creative Commons Agreement.
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    h. How to Proceed

    This information is designed to bridge the gap that often occurs for a student between traditional classroom learning and the online format. This document includes a reference to the "Using Moodle" block, which serves as a huge resource for both students and Instructors. It also introduces students to the News Forum (which is standard in every Moodle course regardless of the template), and a Frequently Asked Questions Forum (which is standard to this template).
    View template >>

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