Friday, 16 July 2010

What's your favorite learning environment?

Where's your collaborative learning environment these days? One thing is for sure: It's likely not all in one place! One of my one-to-one students has a Ning and a Posterous blog. My Moodle and home blog are my mainstay, but I'm not teaching anyone there are the moment. A test I wrote for another Moodle course is up and running very well. Then there's a company Ning. I'm learning myself on Twitter, and using all sorts of sites like GoogleReader and Delicious to organize my own learning.

Of all the all-in-one packages, I think Moodle is still the best solution for school and college courses. It provides students activities for higher order learning, like forum, database, glossary and wiki. It's great for blended learning. Much of it is presenting and collecting/ organizing student work (if you need that it's the only choice!), but you can also assign more productive roles to your students.

I very much like the integrated tests for self-assessment. This is a type of learning that may be underestimated. I've been building tests for Spotlight now for two and a half years, so I know a little more about tests than back when I was using Moodle only for collaborative learning. Students like doing interactive quizzes as long as they're short and sweet to keep on track. Moodle includes the most extensive feedback options I have seen anywhere. This is what feedback in a Moodle test looks like (just click these to view them large):

I'm a fan of the test-teach-test approach to learning some basics, and Moodle has all the tools you need for that. Ning and the various tools you could embed in a Ning don't come close. But creating good tests in Moodle takes much longer than you think.

Still, I'm currently going with Ning for company courses, and be it simply to share experience with more trainers, but I'm wondering whether I should switch back. Or look elsewhere.

What are you opting for these days, and why?


John Sydes said...

I'm using Ning because I can't host a Moodle site without a sever and whilst that may be as expensive as a Ning, I find Ning far simpler to us.

Anne Hodgson said...

Your Ning looks grrreat :)