Designing an online course for independent study

The more members there are in a group, the more difficult it is sometimes to make decisions about a course layout and the visual appearance. There were some features of the Digital Literacy course that were agreed on from the outset. They were that the course would:

  • be delivered online via Moodle;
  • be aimed at the 16 – 19 age group;
  • be suitable for independent study;
  • strive to include ‘responsive design’ elements whenever possible;
  • utilise the features in Moodle for the automatic tracking of student activities.

At our first two meetings, we agreed that:

  • images included on the course should be created ‘in-house’;
  • the topics should follow a similar structure so that students become familiar with the format and understand what they are expected to do;
  • topics should start with read/view activities moving on to harder tasks.

At our last meeting, I recommended that we start by using the Moodle lesson module for the read/view activities. Teachers at Long Road are making really good use of Moodle to build up document repositories for their individual subjects but have sometimes under-used the interactive resources available, like the lesson module. The lesson has 2 page types that the student will see: question pages and content pages. These are basic html pages in which teachers can publish information, include web links and embed video coding. They can add question pages throughout the lesson to test the students understanding.

I showed the group my draft version of Topic 2: Digital Identity using the lesson module. I had identified 2 objectives: for students to explore their own digital identity and to learn how to build a positive online profile.

Topic 2: Digital Identity starting with the lesson module
Topic 2: Digital Identity starting with the lesson module

The lesson was divided into 6 sections:

  1. How a digital identity is created using identifiers and sharing data;
  2. Using Google to find one’s own digital identity and the importance of usernames, passwords, email addresses and online activities;
  3. Positive uses of shared data and the importance of providing accurate information about online identity;
  4. Identity theft and preventive strategies;
  5. Managing multiple personas/identities;
  6. Watching an embedded video on digital identity followed by questions testing whether students have watched it!
Using the Moodle lesson module
Using the Moodle lesson module

The more complex activities – do/reflect/think/discuss – would follow the lesson using any of the other Moodle activities and resources, such as the collaborative wiki to upload students’ work, the glossary and/or discussion forum.

Julie Lindsay – E-Learning and Moodle