We organised an INSET morning for our VLE, Moodle.
As with most schools, the VLE is slow to catch on. This is only the second training session in our third year. First time around I made the huge mistake of focussing on creating courses and uploading files. This was a bad idea because if the user doesn’t understand how Moodle works, they might create a course for every lesson etc. Yes, of course I explained it at the time, but similar to normal lessons the learners do not retain everything you say. Needless to say, this session was much, much better and staff were mainly very positive about their hands on training. See the way the INSET was organised here.
Some things went wrong. One of the six rooms was left without a facilitator due to an email mix-up. This was resolved after the break.
A few teachers found the guides confusing. And a few more felt out of their depth. It might have been a good idea to have a room for the self-declared unconfident.
The majority of teachers enthused about the new tools. Quizzes and glossaries may rain down on the pupils after the half-term holiday.
The overall aim of the day
The motivation for the day was to improve everybody’s knowledge of a VLE. What it is and how you can use it. With this improved collective knowledge, staff will be able to give informed comment as we review our VLE. They will now be in a much better position to answer such questions as:
- Do you want a VLE?
- What do you want the VLE to be able to do?
- Which VLE do you prefer?
We may go with Frog or Fronter or Moodle (another host or the same one). However, whatever the school decides to do, we can be more sure that staff will be part of the selection process. This more transparent and open decision making process may well lead to investment and commitment from the key players – the teachers that create the content and connect the pupils to the learning online.
Many thanks to all the room facilitators who had to work very hard on the day. And also to those who might be reading this who reviewed the guides and critiqued my preparations.
BTW, there was another guide for creating courses.