12 ways to keep your students happy in Moodle™
As a teacher or course builder there are many ways you can design your online courses to simplify the experience for your students. The way you facilitate your course can also greatly improve the student satisfaction. In today’s post I’ve listed a few tips for trying to keep your students happy as they work in Moodle™.
- You ARE your student’s first line of defense. Help them if they are new to the site and are struggling. Add a page in your course to direct them to support at your school or online support materials.
- Provide students with clear instructions within your course’s activities. Make sure you inform them of how an activity is set up. For example if you require students to click the submit button in order to submit an assignment then remind them to do so either in the directions or during class.
- Before the semester/quarter begins review your gradebook and make sure it is set up correctly before enrolling students. It is important to test your course to ensure it is functioning as you designed.
- Communicate communicate communicate. Did I say communicate? I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to communicate with your students. In Moodle™ there are many ways for you to communicate with them. Try using the News Forum regular forums messaging and email.
- Make sure you are accessible. If students are reaching out to you try to respond in a timely manner. Consider adding expected turnaround time into your course syllabus.
- Show your students how to update their profile settings and update the forum digest settings. No one wants to receive 50+ emails in one day from Moodle™ because of forum posts.
- If you are uploading files into your course for students to view make sure it is a common format that they will be able to access. It is also helpful to provide students with links for downloading any required software.
- Dedicate the necessary time to design your online course. It can be time consuming and you do have many other priorities but do take the time to create a quality course from the start. First impressions of your online course have an impact on the student’s perspective of the overall quality of your course. Keep that in mind! If you’ve already built your courses consider giving them a makeover for a fresh look. Focus on instructional clarity overall look and feel and usability. A coworker and/or the instructional design team at your school can be great resources to give you an outsider’s perspective by conducting a review of it.
- Explain to your students how you are aggregating grades in your course gradebook and for each activity so that they understand how you are calculating their grades.
- Set open and close dates for assignments so that they generate in the Calendar and Upcoming Events blocks. Add both of these blocks into your course to help students stay on top of future work. Also post announcements about upcoming assignments as a reminder!
- Use activity completion to help students track visually how they are progressing in the course.
- Ask your students how you are doing so that you can continue to improve your course. Consider using the Feedback activity in your course or add an anonymous advanced forum to gain more qualitative results with an interactive approach to probe and clarify responses.
~Rebecca DeSantis, MSIT