Moodle participation

I have a problem which is worrying me to the extent that I’m posting this on Saturday.

For the four modules which are running at the moment, I have set up a moodle module to support them.  The participation needed varies, but for all of them I’m expecting students to post something in the first week.

How many students have actually signed onto the moodle – less than half.

How many have posted something to the forums, or in any other way participated – none!

This really is worrying,  I’m teaching across all years (from first year students who may be excused somewhat, through to final year and postgraduate students).

Only two theories present themselves.  Firstly, maybe they think that the virtual learning part is optional, that it’s an ‘add on’ to the face to face teaching which we provide.  This is simply  wrong, to varying degrees moodle is an important part of all of the modules.

The alternative is that the students think that if they don’t participate, that I’ll give up ‘forcing’ them to use moodle, and will spoon feed them all the information that they need – photocopying articles, giving them precisely the information that they need to pass the assessments in concise, bullet pointed forms.

This isn’t going to happen.

So I’m amending my lesson plans for the lectures next week.  The first thing I’ll do is call up moodle for each module, and ‘name and shame’ the students in turn who have not participated.  I’ll then close the lecture for 20 minutes, and insist that they head of to the computer room and at least enrol.  I don’t like doing this, it won’t make for independant learners, but at least then I’ll know that they’re all enrolled, so I can communicate with them through moodle.

This weekend should be spent on my world archeology course, but instead I’m spending too much time thinking about work, and also  ‘playing’ with Google Sketch Up – to visualise what an extension to my house may look like.  Definitely a displacement activity!

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