LEARNING SPACE OF THE FUTURE - MOODLE MEETS BLENDED LEARNING
Westphalian University of Applied Sciences (GERMANY)
About this paper:
Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain
Abstract:The digitization of economy, science and society has far-reaching consequences on professional and academic competence profiles. As digitization increases, there is a substantial change in the teaching of course contents. The digitally enhanced communication and information space thus calls for new forms of interaction and cooperation.
The goal of any learning process is to understand – however, this goal is not accomplished if students cannot follow the learning contents for instance due to different levels of knowledge or learning pace. New teaching scenarios using digital media and technologies make it possible to make learning processes more flexible and adapt them to the individual needs of learners and students. Learning management systems thus play a key role in the digitization of teaching.
Despite all the innovations we should not forget to meet every student at the place he is. With this goal in mind, we have designed and developed a blended learning strategy based on Moodle. Moodle is a platform-independent, open-source learning management system. It offers virtual classrooms in which different functions such as practice and exam scenarios, discussion forums, voting, survey and quiz functions as well as the support of group work are provided.
Using different Moodle activities, teachers can implement demand-oriented knowledge transfer, tailored to the needs and prerequisites of each individual student.
The focus of this paper is to define the blended learning strategy using a best practice example. The Best Practice example is the "Excel - Advanced Techniques" exercise which completes the course Business Information Systems, aimed at students in the Bachelor programme Business Administration & Economics.
Students attend the course but work almost exclusively from multimedia self-learning units in a Moodle course. They can solve the tasks at their own learning pace and teachers have the opportunity to provide individual support. Digital awards (so-called “badges”) and feedback from the teaching staff increase both internal motivation and active learning.
With regard to different types of learners this type of course not only supports logical and organized-structured learners but also emotionally structured learners by working in small groups. Students present the solutions to each exercise in the following class. This promotes team spirit in the small groups and the ability to develop presentation skills. Thus, the subject matter is deepened and anchored. Moreover, there is room for questions which encourages the dialogue between students. First results show that the students are more motivated and willing to perform In the exercise. On the other hand, this gives additional room for the lecturers to actively support their students according to their individual pace and needs.
Keywords: Learning Management System, LMS, Moodle, Blended Learning, virtual classroom, gamification.