I’m going to shift the emphasis of my investigations into Moodle4iPhone, instead of working through the options, I’m going to try to have a different look. I’m going to map what I currently do on one of my Moodle courses to what is on offer through the Moodle4iPhone app. This is a prelude to the work we are doing at Bath with a much larger group. So, based on the survey being run by Nitin at the moment …
How do I use Moodle?
It is used on PGCAPP unit. Mainly used to support a few face to face workshops and our 1-2-1 meetings, and provide supporting material. There isn’t any significant amount of interaction, it tends to be a contact and support material, i.e., links to files, rss infeeds from journals, and use of discussion forums (not a lot of discussion). Participants are expected to complete database entries, and upload assignments.
Three most common activities are,
- Uploading and linking to files
- Creating/replying to Discussion Forum posts
- Other: RSS
So can I achieve the above?
In terms of files, no serious problems. It opens Microsoft files, and audio. There did appear to be a problem with the Label resource. It seems to display a label which can be edited, it will not zoom in or out, and some of the text runs over the right hand side. I can’t read it ;-(
In terms of the forum, all OK, except for a problem with threaded discussions stepping to the right on the screen, and getting to the point where last words on each line become obscured. This was evident when reading the “this is mine” discussion started by Dave Hildebrandt in the “Each person posts one discussion” forum. problems start with the post by Dave on wednesday 24th march.
There doesn’t seem to be an RSS option for this at this stage 😦
I spent a little more time on the Moodle4iPhone course on my iTouch.
The first point, is in terms of navigation, I think I started to get it. The zoom in / zoom out worked well, and I started to develop effective navigation strategies on the device. So you might be able to teach old dogs new trick 🙂
They’d made some changes to the choices. These work better, however, I still think my advice to academics who wished to use the tool would be to consider what you want to achieve and try to design your activity appropriately. I feel, the fewer options, the better 🙂
I spent time on the glossary tasks. The many stumbling block was, when you want to add your own term, so the form is open, the course navigation appears at the top, and the onscreen keyboard is active, then it doesn’t work. On my device the text input was masked by the top navigation layer. So I couldn’t see the what I was writing. This meant I had to keep flicking between different views to get it to work.
Well, I spent an hour or so (in between watching the Solar System, and Match of the Day 2) to try out the Moodle4iPhone platform.
I must say, it took a little while getting use to the navigation. It can be a little frustrating. I think my biggest problem is I’m use to using an HTC with a stylus. So having to use my big thick thumbs to navigate around was a little hit and miss in the course. It appears the expand/contract finger movements don’t work to zoom in, don’t work. This is a real problem as it felt a little fiddly. Especially, when navigating to people in the participants list or using the crumb trail. The comments below on the use of choices and the quiz, also feeds into my first point.
Overall, I did enjoy the quiz, where everything rendered OK. However, the rendering in the Choices activities made this very difficult to use. It simply didn’t display all the info, and so, I could actually complete it on my iTouch.
Anonymous results – 5th option doesn’t display, and screen doesn’t scroll. The headings for the results were a little squashed up.
Non-anonymous results – again information didn’t display very well on my iTouch. Would imagine the results would be horrible if used on a course with a large number of students
Update anytime – this worked very well because a limited number of choices – only 3
Limited number – lots of the information, including Friday was not displaying !! Kind of useless as an activity
With timer. The page navigation was squashed into the bottom left, which with my big thumbs made it a little difficult to quickly switch between the questions.
I didn’t bother to wait for the time out …
Quiz with password – all worked fine, except when returning to the quiz after listening to the audio, I had to re-enter all my answer to the previous questions !!!
Very nice, except there was no one to talk to
Work fine 🙂
For me, the next step is to look a little more at the use of the forum