Conditional Release of Content in Moodle

Conditional release, also called restrict access, lets you hide some activities or resources until certain conditions are met. For example, you might make sure students complete one assignment before seeing the next assignment.

Pros: Helps guide students through the Moodle shell. Highly recommended by Flower Darby when teaching online.

Cons: You need to set up activity completion criteria carefully, or you will not be able to restrict access for conditional release as effectively.
Expert:  Sharon Strauss

Groups in Slack

Slack is a platform for collaboration.  Better than trading messages and attachments via email, it allows groups to create teams and communicate through “channels” that users can create as they go. Participants join (or leave) a particular channel as needed; threaded conversations can be linked to Google documents or other shared resources. Slack channels thus reflect the developing sense of a conversation (something like Users can set to be notified of updates to conversations. 

Slack could be used as a synchronous discussion complement to a simultaneous Zoom meeting (better than the un-threaded Zoom chat), or as an synchronous or asynchronous space of it’s own where a class or small group could sustain a conversation over several hours or days.  It’s even possible to launch Zoom calls from within Slack, thus allowing students to move from written to oral conversations as needed.

Learn more about Slack via Linked In.

Pros:  Free (sign-up required).  Better than Zoom chat, because conversations are threaded and can be linked to other documents and resources. 

Cons:  Not integrated with Moodle; Faculty would need to invite (or accept requests) from each student to join the Slack Group at the outset.  

Expert:   Richard Freedman, Ben Le, Andy Janco, Mike Zarafonetis

Untimed Written Evaluations in Moodle

Either the Moodle Quiz or the Moodle Assignment will work for untimed tests. The quiz activity will allow automatic grading of some question types, as well as feedback. The assignment activity allows both written and audio/video content, either as part of the instructions or the submitted materials. However, with the exception of audio or video under two minutes in length, content needs to be stored outside of the Moodle server (YouTube, Vimeo, Flipgrid, etc.) and linked or embedded.

Pros:  Compared with timed evaluations, the untimed option does not put students with slow or intermittent internet at a disadvantage.  

Cons: You can ask students to take pictures of written work, but unless they do this using a PDF conversion tool (GeniusScan, Camscan, etc.) it may be hard to work with those uploads

Expert:  Sharon Strauss

Timed Evaluations in Moodle

You can deliver just about any kind of timed written test that you might want via Moodle using the quiz module (see this helpful video to learn how). In the quiz setting, set the desired time limit, the number of attempts allowed, and question behavior. Then add your quiz questions, including automated feedback when appropriate. See this helpful video and also these written instructions on quiz settings and quiz questions.

You can override the time setting for individual groups or individual students (for instance, those who might have an accommodation letter). If a student loses power and/or connectivity during a test, and thus times out, you can clear out a student’s attempt and let them start again.

Pros:  Moodle is available for all students. This tool easily integrates with the Moodle gradebook and allows for automatic grading on some question types. Questions can be reused in other courses, either by peer teachers or other courses you teach–allowing you to build up a question bank over years.

Cons: Students with slow or intermittent connectivity will be disadvantaged by timed tests taken online. Complicated for you and for you and your students, if students need to upload images of written work. 

Expert:  Sharon Strauss