Moving to Moodle

I’ve been running my course thus far via Google sites (which I love).  The site itself is easy to set-up, although the customization can take some playing around with.  After a PD session or two, I’m happy with my class website.  For my testing, I’ve been using another site called ClassMarker.com.  It is functional because of its class-organization system, so I can track each student for each test.  What I don’t like is it’s randomizing capabilities.  It can only randomize questions and their answers, and even then, only to a certain degree.  Also, there is no import function for test questions, so I have to enter each test item-by-item (and for roughly 100 questions per test, that can be very time consuming).

I have never used Moodle for my own class, but after seeing how other teachers use it, I’m a fledgling convert.  Moodle will organize all of my class materials by unit as well as host ALL of my testing.  Moodle’s testing also randomizes about 100x more efficiently than any subscription testing site.  It has a test import option…no more typing every question.  It also will randomize everything, including short answer questions!  It take some parameters for the questions (let x=1-1000) and it changes for every student on every test.  It really tests student’s ability to use the information rather than try to remember the question from the last time they took the test.

The only thing that is daunting is that my school doesn’t have an on-site server…which means I get to learn about web hosting over the next few weeks as I try to figure this out.  I think I can sort through it, but if anyone happens to read this and knows how to perform an installation on a web host like GoDaddy or BlueHost, I would love to talk some more.

More coming as I work though this…

Periodic Table of Cereals

Update 9/18/2012 – Unfortunately, the videos no longer work because the students closed their accounts. Feel free to use this Google Doc for the activity.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about students putting together a periodic table of cereals for a project.  Well, the final drafts are in and I got some work this year that blew my mind.  Some of the best are shown below if you’re interested in browsing through some.

As an overview, students picked 25 cereals and then had to organize them in a comprehensive table.  It had to classify both rows (periods) and columns (groups) as well as 3 other properties of their choice.  Some students opted to use this as a test grade and were also required to submit a video answering some questions other students chose to write about.  Anyways, enjoy their work!

These are two of the videos that stood out amongst the rest.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzNsLoQYKP4]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_Pusa0xJZM]