Why not organise a scavenger hunt on the web for your students? The internet is a vast mountain of information and with a bit of direction your students can find some valuable information, and maybe stumble across some unexpected gems along the way. This is the first in a series of posts on creative classroom ideas you can run utilising Moodle. Read on to find out more.
There are several ways you could run this activity but I am going to outline a way that takes advantage of a module called Trackpad which is a todo list module for Moodle.
I like giving students freedom in their learning. I am also a big fan of getting students to create rather than just absorb (check out Blooms Taxonomy for an awesome read on this). This is an awesome activity as the students are responsible for compiling and organising the material and you act merely as a guide.
This activity can be done as a class, in groups or individually so is very flexible.
We start off by creating a list of items we want the students to find. As an example I am going to pick the topic of computer history. Here is a list of some of the things I may ask the students to find:
- Who invented Boolean algebra and why is it important?
- In what year was the first computer invented?
- Who’s law describes the trend in improvement in computer hardware and why is it important.
I would put these into a Trackpad list and get the students to tick them off as they find them. As they find pages that contain the answers we will compile them in a Wiki. Now you may be asking, why not just put the questions striaght into the wiki? The reason I don’t do this is that I don’t want the students just to list them in the wiki. I want the wiki to have a logical structure, which is not present in the list they start off with. Not only do they have to find the information but they also need to organise it and decide how it all fits into an overall big picture. This way they can’t blindly copy and paste the material but have to think about how it all fits.
Another aspect that needs to be touched on is the quality of the material found and being able to judge this quality is an important skill for students to learn. To incorporate this we will include a forum. Each website that material is obtained from must put in the forum as a new discussion topic. We can then discuss as a class our opinions of the material and offer any alternatives. (This bit can be done as a real discussion in class too if you like).
This activity has combined three Moodle activities:
and in doing so has created a highly interactive class that incorporates several levels of Blooms Cognitive Domain to create a deeper understanding and appreciation of the material.
- They have had to understand the question
- They have had to analyse the material they have found and decide on it’s suitability
- They have then had to evaluate the material in the discussions on the material
- They have had to create a framework in which to contain the information
They will also put in more effort as the product at the end will be theirs. It is something they made and this ownership will instill a greater motivation and enthusiasm in the material.