Being able to usefully capture student progress while in a session is without doubt one of those essential ingredients, not only because it allows you to know where they are within the course work, but also as means of informing me on differentiation and last but not least a means of motivation and engagement. I recall a while ago now, back in the days when the pda looked as if it was destined to become the computer in your pocket, I would use an Excel spreadsheet of student name and session dates to award colours for class performance such as green for completed, gold for exceeding expectations, useful, though I confess a somewhat rather loose subjective model. Of course we have dedicated tracking systems in place, but I really wanted something a little more lightweight and so I have started experimenting with the Moodle Target feature that has become available as an Activity option. Quick and easy to use, I simply apply a set of targets for the session, then upon completion students leave comments and I mark as completed. In the event that somebody achieves all the targets, as usual I set about negotiating extension work, and set the new differentiated target. Now if you are reading this and thinking, but that means I now have to think up targets for each session, well not really, I find the targets are in essence the session objectives, though be it couched in a little more detail. I like Moodle Target, and if you have found it useful then do please feel free to post any comments.
While on the subject of making use of Moodle in teaching session, I have been having thoughts on that rather illusive metric, how successful has the session been for me! Not an easy one really, however, could I acquire some useful feedback by using the Moodle Questionnaire Scale rating option? Basically at the introduction, students each select an option between 1 and 10 (with 1 being least) to indicate how competent / confident they are with the specific subject matter we are about to explore, then at the plenary they indicate how this has changed. Has it proved useful, well I have not really had the opportunity to give the idea a good test drive as of yet, so please stay in touch with future postings.
Bye for now Barry