Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Teaching using the Participation Forum and Participation Map plugins

Key Information

Title: Teaching using the Participation Forum and Participation Map plugins
Presenter: Brant Knutzen
Theme: Extend
Type: Discussion
Audience: Education - Secondary

Abstract

This presentation will demonstrate two new Moodle 2 plugins which support a sustainable eLearning methodology for integrating online discussions as formative learning activities.  Both plugins are free open source projects currently in trials at the University of Hong Kong.

This methodology builds on the affordances of a new Moodle plugin:  the Participation Forum is a modified discussion forum activity which automatically awards participation points and dynamically generates a grade for each student based on their posting activity.   Since the Moodle LMS automates the awarding of participation points, this technology supports a sustainable teaching methodology integrating a regular series of online discussions as formative learning activities, and can be scaled up to support large class sizes of 100 - 200 students or more.

The Participation Map plugin creates a new type of data portrait for displaying the dynamics of an online discussion.  This learning analytical tool describes a discussion both quantitatively and qualitatively, with a focus on the collaborative interactivity between the participants.  It enables a researcher or instructor to quickly visualize the patterns of interaction between students, and gauge the level of collaboration achieved within groups.  The latest enhancement of this tool can create a completely anonymized graph suitable for use outside of the classroom, such as in conferences or research papers.

This presentation will also review the pedagogy based on social constructivism and socio-cultural factors which motivates the QUALITY of the student posting behavior.  This teaching methodology creates a foundation of participation, where the teaching role is still crucial for guiding learning and scaffolding student understanding to higher order thinking skills.