August 3, 2011

Book Review - History Teaching with Moodle 2

Though the book History Teaching with Moodle 2 by John Mannion is intended for History teachers, educators of other disciplines would also find it useful for creating attractive and interactive courses on Moodle. It serves the purpose of all levels of Moodlers – beginners, intermediate and advanced.
With the help of stepwise instructions and screenshots, this book introduces beginners to the course structure, course format, blocks, forums, wikis, polls, and course administration. It enables beginners create attractive courses, add interactive content and create questions, using quiz module.

Intermediate Moodlers would find this book useful for: recording student’s performance and generating a variety of reports using gradebook; creating collaborative learning environments, using database module; blending multimedia resources with questions, using lesson module. Detailed instructions on how to use Audacity enable teachers to record quality audio and chunk audio files to prevent long download time.

This book guides advanced Moodlers through the use of Xerte for creating dynamic and SCORM-compliant uploadable learning objects. It helps teachers create workshops with appropriate settings for workshop introduction and instructions, access control, students work submission, rubric creation with grid layout, and allocating assignments to students for peer-assessment.

Detailed and stepwise instructions, screenshots, exercises and tips help teachers to experiment various modules and features for designing and developing dynamic courses. The best part of the book is, promoting open source software, namely, GIMP, Xerte, and Audacity for creating high quality interactive resources with ease.

But, the book does not detail the new and useful features of Moodle 2.0, namely, Conditional activities for restricting the availability of learning activities and resources to students according to certain conditions; and File picker repository for importing content from external repositories.   

In conclusion, this book from Packet Publishing is a useful resource for all levels of Moodlers – beginners, intermediate and advanced, who wish to create visually appealing, interactive and effective learning environment.

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