The Avenue project in provides a community of learning and sharing for language educators using the Moodle learning management system, LMS. I have been working on this project for a little over a decade and as time has marched on, our experience has allowed us to try various plug-ins to enhance the learning experience for newcomers to Canada. This post highlights a few Moodle plug-ins that we use to assist language teachers to enhance their Moodle courses. The plug-ins include:
- RealTime quiz
While each of these plug-ins allow learners to practice and hopefully master structures and nuances in their target language, all of these plug-ins provide functions that are essential during this unusual and uncertain time when fully online and blended learning modes dominate the educational landscape. They provide learners the opportunity for repetition with automated and, when the teacher has the time to review, personal feedback. Learners are also motivated by the gamification characteristics of these plug-ins. Language learning is an individual challenge that does involve a great deal of social activity. These plug-ins provide diverse opportunities to simulate these types of activities with and without their peers online. Similar to most online activities, these plug-ins allow the learners autonomy to accelerate their learning or possibly take different pathways.
These plug-ins can be used as pre or post work. They can also be used in synchronous online classes with the instructor leading or allowing learners to take control.
RealTime quiz, allows a gamified synchronous quiz activity that is similar to Quizlet Live or Kahoot in a Moodle course. This activity allows students to participate in timed online quizzes with their classmates, no matter their location. The challenge of a countdown timer and competing with their peers demands focus on course content. Since these quizzes are synchronous, students must be logged in at a defined time to participate. Opportunities to interact with the teacher, each other, and the material in a fun and engaging ways include materials reviews, low-stakes formative assessments, discussion starters, or even real time polls. Teachers can create questions that include text, audio, video, hyperlinks, and images to enrich the context and skills required for success. As the instructor makes the quiz, questions can be recycled a question bank. Teachers can also review the results of each session to identify areas of concern or learner strengths.
ReadAloud provides students with artificial intelligence assessed listening, pronunciation and reading practice. This is a valuable tool for instructors meeting the needs of learners who are trying to master discrete aspects of language through practice and repetition, while they are challenged to teach a social subject, with no or limited face-to-face time with their students. In this activity, students read a passage, and then ReadAloud’s AI evaluates the audio file, data is provided to the teacher and the teacher can use this data to assist the student with their reading skill. Educators can also use this data to benchmark their students’ oral reading abilities. ReadAloud saves teachers time and energy as students engage with ReadAloud in an individualized fashion, and feedback is provided to learners and the instructors. ReadAloud can also be used as means of benchmarking reading speed and to practice listening.
LeveLUp!, is a block which provides customizable badging, progress tracking and gamification. It promotes course interest by tallying learner experience points for participation in course activities and resources. It displays progress visually in a Moodle block. This gamification feature may increase student engagement and participation as course participants compete against themselves and possibly other students as they progress through the course. It also is a dashboard that teachers can use to monitor their students’ progress.
WordCards allows teachers to create sets of flashcards for students to be introduced to and review concepts and vocabulary in 4 different modes. These are read, listen, speak and write. If you are a language instructor, I am sure this has your attention. Teachers enter target words, choose study modes and the students complete up to five practice steps including, Choose the Answer, Type the Answer, Listen and Type, Say the Words and Review, which are all automatically graded to provide learner feedback.
There are scores of Moodle plug-ins. The ones described above are a few that we have been using with language learners across Canada. Since the onset of the pandemic, they have provided learning opportunities for our teachers and students. If you have time to explore, have a look at the Poodll Moodle plug–ins page. Most of these are directly applicable to language instruction. Poodll audio and video recording plug-ins add a layer of authenticity for instruction, modelling and learner production. Are there any others that you have found that are helping your users with language acquisition? Is so, comment and share below.
Poodll Moodle Plug-ins Directory, https://moodle.org/plugins/?q=poodll
WordCards Moodle Plug-ins Directory, https://moodle.org/plugins/mod_wordcards
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