Organisations using Moodle in many parts of the northern hemisphere are going to be very busy over the coming weeks: administrators will be getting their sites ready for the start of the new academic year, while Moodle educators will be finalising their courses to welcome a new intake of students.
Whatever type of teaching or training you do, and whenever your course starts, it’s always worth adding a few ‘ice breaker’ activities so teachers and students become familiar with each other as they start the learning journey. Here are five of our favourites which you might like to try:
“Star participant!” badge
Getting a notification that you’ve been awarded a digital badge can give you a quick boost of motivation. If students are completely new to your organisation, your Moodle admin can award badges when they complete their profile with useful personal information. Alternatively, teachers can award a simple badge with a welcome graphic or message for contributing to a forum or a glossary. And what might that forum or glossary look like?
“New learner” glossary block
Why not get your class to add some personal details to a glossary and then use the Random glossary entry block to showcase a student each day? When participants come to your course, they’ll find out about each other courtesy of this neat little side block.
Perhaps not for everyone, if you have some shy students, but Moodle’s standard Atto text editor allows for instant audio or video recording of short messages. You could set up a forum where, optionally, new course participants can record a Hello – teachers included!
“Have your say” poll
Again, this depends on your course: some courses have rigid schedules and content, but if it’s at all possible, a quick poll using Moodle’s Choice activity can make students feel their needs are taken into account. Could you offer them a choice of meeting times? A choice of assignment topic? Acting on the results of these student selections will create a positive atmosphere as you all begin learning together.
The five suggestions above all use Moodle’s standard features, but there is a lot more you can do if you have a Moodle for School site or if you have the benefit of a Moodle Partner. Feel free to get in touch if you’d like more help in kick starting your new Moodle course.