Transform STEM education with Moodle LMS

March 25, 2024 By Barnana Sarkar

According to a recent study by Dell, about 85% of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) jobs that will exist in 2030 are yet to be invented. This means that the future of work will demand a workforce equipped with adaptable skills and a mindset geared towards continuous learning and innovation. Learning management systems (LMS), such as Moodle, prepare the workforce for the upcoming demands in STEM-centric roles.

Educators and trainers can develop complex STEM content on Moodle as the platform helps focus on the intricacies of scientific representation, such as specialized characters and symbols. These play an important role in formula writing, content display, and assessments as they provide precision and clarity of scientific expressions.

In this article, we will explore the challenges of STEM in online learning and how Moodle can be an ideal platform to overcome these challenges.

Understanding STEM and its challenges

STEM education provides the foundation for developing critical skills such as problem-solving, innovation, and analytical thinking. It empowers learners to address real-world challenges effectively.

STEM education has evolved to include broader concepts such as STEAM and STREAM. STEAM education, which includes Arts, and STREAM education, which includes both Religion and Arts, can help to create a more well-rounded educational experience that prepares learners for a variety of future endeavors.

However, teaching STEM online can pose significant challenges for educators and trainers. Although online delivery has the potential for personalized learning and higher retention rates, it also creates challenges, such as aligning pedagogy with domain goals and effectively integrating technology into teaching strategies.

Developing and evaluating STEM content for online platforms can be demanding, especially regarding math and science assessments conducted in virtual environments. Accurate evaluation techniques, formulas, and graphs are crucial to ensure the effectiveness of such assessments. Whether in K-12 education, higher education, or workplace training, teaching STEM subjects online requires additional support for better representation.

Teaching STEM in K-12 and higher education

When it comes to teaching STEM subjects virtually to K-12 students, educators face a unique set of challenges. From grappling with how to keep students engaged to nurturing their problem-solving skills, it’s a journey that demands creativity and innovation. 

LMS systems such as Moodle LMS can help educators in various ways. It provides a platform to create and deliver online courses, manage assessments and assignments, track student progress, and facilitate communication and collaboration among teachers and learners. Moodle LMS is customizable, open-source, and has a large community of 350 million people consisting of developers and users who continuously contribute to its improvement. This makes it a versatile and reliable tool for educators to support their teaching and learning goals. 

With Moodle LMS, you can:

  • Craft your educational content in a way that resonates with your teaching style and your students’ needs.
  • Track your students’ progress, guiding them every step of the way.
  • Tailor your teaching approach based on valuable insights about your students’ learning journeys.
  • Inspire and motivate your students through meaningful recognition, like badges and certificates, as they navigate the online learning landscape.

As students progress towards higher education, the difficulties in STEM subjects become more intense, which may discourage them from pursuing their interests. With Moodle LMS), you have the tools to support them through these challenges, ensuring that they remain motivated and confident in their ability to pursue their STEM aspirations.

STEM tools on Moodle LMS

Moodle LMS enables educators to create secure online learning spaces that engage all learners. One of its key features is the default Equation Editor, designed to assist trainers and educators in presenting STEM content visually. This tool allows users to conveniently build formulas in visual and TeX formats by selecting buttons from a toolbar. 

For more information about Moodle’s built-in formula editor, refer to our documentation.

In the context of content creation, a powerful equation editor is a great asset in an LMS for learners, whether they are working on assignments, participating in forums, or contributing to Moodle Quizzes, particularly in open or short-answer question types.

For mathematics assessment within Moodle, there are a number of tools out there, from which we have selected three recommended tools:

  • WeBWorK by the Mathematical Association of America: An open-source project seamlessly integrated with Moodle modules Assignment and Quiz, offering a holistic approach to mathematics assessment.
  • STACK: A leading open-source assessment system that integrates with Moodle through the standard LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability) protocol, empowering educators to create dynamic assessments tailored to their needs.
  • WirisQuizzes: A plugin that integrates with MathType, a Moodle Certified Integration, offering the capability to grade graphical questions and open-answer questions. Its integration with Moodle via a plugin ensures a seamless user experience.

Teaching STEM with Moodle and MathType

MathType seamlessly integrates with Moodle to provide a powerful equation editing tool for educators. Users can easily create and edit mathematical equations and formulas, saving time and improving the quality of their work. The integration also offers a range of useful features, including handwriting recognition, which allows users to convert handwritten formulas into digital equations with ease. 

Moreover, its customizable toolbar generates publisher-grade formulas visually (WYSIWYG), making it an excellent choice for anyone in need of a potent equation editor.

Users can easily add mathematical equations and formulas to various content in Moodle using MathType, including Pages, Quizzes, Assignments, Forum posts, and lesson materials.

MathType also extends its capabilities beyond mathematical equations, providing educators with several extra capabilities: 

  • The ability to customize the toolbar;
  • The ability to add units and prefixes (like milli-gram) to be used in physics, biology, geology, etc; 
  • A toolbar especially designed for editing inorganic chemistry formulas.

Find out more about Moodle Certified Integration, MathType

Find out more about Moodle Certified Integrations

Moodle’s Certified Integrations and Solution Providers allow you to easily extend and customize your LMS.