There are many reasons why teachers of English as a Foreign Language should use different teaching methods so as to engage, motivate, teach and reach the students in their classes, whether face to face or online. Being a Moodle enthusiast, I know that there are many reasons why using Moodle lets teachers save considerable time and effort to focus more on communicative tasks. Moodle supports language learning, and how students can improve Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing (The four language skills). To be sure, it helps teachers provide different activities so that pupils learn a lot of vocabulary, too.
It should not come as a surprise that one of the teaching and learning methods The English Inspectorate at The Israel Ministry of Education is promoting is Practical Problem Based Learning (PPBL). Using Moodle both to train teachers in the methodology, and as a Moodle Template for teachers to use with their students is the chosen venue.
The Moodle Template is yet another instance whereby The English Inspectorate (under the supervision of Dr. Tziona Levi, Director, English Language Education, Ministry of Education) and The Ministry of Education Technology Division joined forces and worked together.
Practical Problem Based Learning belongs to the “family” of Alternative Based Assessment. PPBL is the process by means of which students contemplate authentic issues in the real world and then suggest practical solutions after researching the problem in detail. The students are part of a learning experience that requires them to deal with a problem and then think of a possible solution.
As part of their study of English in High School, students who take up PPBL are required to base their inquiry on concepts and principles that they have learned while studying a particular literary piece. Interacting in groups, students extrapolate a practical problem from a literature piece and suggest a possible solution. The chosen solution is then presented as a product to the relevant audience. The whole process is overseen and evaluated by the teacher using a detailed checklist and rubric, which the students receive at the beginning of the process.
Engaging in PPBL with Moodle, teachers can use Moodle Resources and Activities to help their pupils learn English in a meaningful way.
The following video can give you a glimpse into the PPBL Moodle Professional Development workshop for teachers (created by Simone Duval – English Inspectorate, Ministry of Education jointly with CET – The Center for Educational Technology. Incidentally, I first took part in the workshop as a learner, and have been facilitating the annual one for the last three years), the Moodle Template (which I helped create together with Simone Duval and Dr. Ettie Liberman- Ministry of Education), and how a teacher can change the format of their copy so that it looks like other “Dig into Digital Moodle Templates” that the English Inspectorate has made available.
Please note: In order to be able to give you this glimpse, I ordered a copy of the Moodle Template for a group of students who will not be using it.
PPBL with Moodle empowers both teachers and pupils!