I used Moodle’s ‘Feedback’ activity to teach vocabulary and word association
To identify and discuss how words can have different connotations (positive, negative, feminine, masculine, neutral, juvenile, mature, serious, ridiculing, etc.) depending on their context.
Students: phones, tablets, or other device with wifi/internet access.
Classroom/teacher: computer with projector (to share results)
Reading text: the reading text was about gender roles and cultural preconceptions regarding these.
Set up a Moodlecloud site. https://moodlecloud.com/ This is free for up to 50 users.
Set up a course with the name of your class. Allow students to self-enrol.
Create a label in the course that says something along the lines of: “Thank you for enrolling. Your activities will be ready shortly.”
Set up three feedback activities in the course. Make them hidden. Set feedback to ‘Anonymous’.
- The first is purely vocabulary with word association. Each question consists of an adjective, adjective phrase or noun that is found in the text, and a multiple choice of 6 options for participants to choose from. Participants can choose more than one option if they want to.
- The second consists of statements which the students must select according to how much they agree or disagree with the statement.
- The third is exactly the same as the first one. Use ‘duplicate’ and rename.
Hide all of them until students have logged into the course, then show only the first Feedback activity once you are ready for them to start.
Use the first activity as a vocabulary learning exercise. I had the students complete the feedback as quickly as possible, without doing any pre-teaching, without talking to each other, and I let them look in dictionaries if they needed to.
We then looked at the Analysis on the projector screen, to see what their preconceived ideas were. I wasn’t worried about any ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ but wanted to generate discussion about the words themselves, as I knew they, and some collocations containing them, appeared in the upcoming text.
Students then read the text (offline) and did an associated comprehension activity that came with the text.
After this, rather than using the discussion questions, I had the students give their own opinions about gender roles using the second feedback activity. We looked at the analysis of this feedback activity on the projector and I let them discuss their opinions and the class’s opinions in groups, asking if there was anything surprising or unexpected compared to before reading the text, after reading the text, and what was in the text.
Finally, I had them complete the third feedback activity, to consolidate word associations based on the text and what we had discussed. We compared the ‘before’ and ‘after’ word associations to see if any ideas had changed after reading the text.
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