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Best Practices: Five Moodle and Joule Tools to Aid in Communication


For many online classes there is not a scheduled time for students and instructors to meet for synchronous interaction. Therefore, communication with students is very important in an online classroom. There are many Moodle and Joule tools that aid in on-going communication between all types of users. Determining which tool to use for each form of communication will help in effectively interacting with students.

Weekly announcements are a great way to remind students to return to the course and participate in the class. Using the News Forum, a forum with forced subscription, ensures each student receives an email copy of the message along with having access to the archive of the message within the forum itself.

Employ the Message center (Moodle Homepage –> Home –> My Profile –> Messages) to send individual or mass messages to course participants. It is also quick and easy to utilize the Message Block to send a direct message to an individual student. These messages are like instant messages in that a pop-up notification is sent to the student while online and, depending on the users’ message settings, as an email when they are offline.

Giving direct and personal feedback for each course activity is important to help students learn what they can improve on and what they have done well. The Module Grader contains an HTML text box allowing the instructor to leave detailed feedback for each activity. The student can view the feedback given in the User report and, with the ease of a checkbox, the instructor can send an email notification of the feedback to the student.

Sharing ideas or suggestions during the revision process is also important to individual student growth. The Joule Grader allows for comments between the grader and individual student on Assignment and Advanced Forum activities. Students and instructors are able to view and post comments within the Joule Grader interface. These comments are display in the students User report as well.

Ever want to automate notifications about events happening in the course? The Joule Personalized Learning Designer, (PLD) allows instructors to create events, conditions, and actions that automatically contact students, or not, based on the set conditions. Consider creating rules even before students enroll in the course to employ the PLD to work as your personal assistant!

To learn more about using both Moodle and Joule communication tools, participate in one of the Moodlerooms Learning Solutions training offerings.

~ Janelle Gieseke

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