Todo lists in Moodle

Last week we released Trackpad,  a todo list/ task list activity for Moodle.  This activity has a lot of potential and several ways in which it can be used.  Todo lists are useful in many different ways and education is definately one of them.

Trackpad is simple yet very flexible.  It can be set in the following modes:

  • Single – each person gets a single todo list
  • Personal – each person may set up as many lists as they like for themselves
  • Team – teachers/ managers may create lists and assign people to them
  • Course – a single list for the entire course or group
  • Social – anyone may create a list and invite people to join

There are a variety of permisions levels and you may also set up preset tasks to populate new lists with.

This presents some nice opportunities for teachers to encourage planning and collaboration whilst also being able to keep an eye on how people are progressing.  Below are some ideas on how you could incorporate Trackpad into your class:

  • Daily/ Weekly task list for each student
  • Management for Projects
  • Running a meeting – the agenda is the todo items and you can tick them off as you talk about them
  • Checklist for an assignment – use presets to fill in the main items to be covered,  let the students expand the list with their own requirements (teacher can check up on students to make sure they are on track)
  • Internet scavenger hunt – put a list of questions that must be answered in the list and people check them off as they find the answers.

This activity also works quite well in conjunction with other activities.  For instance in partnership with Focuspad and a forum you may set up the following:

  • A Focuspad activity encouraging the students to plan how they are going to solve the task at hand.
  • A forum for students to state their general approach.  Each student must start a discussion stating their general approach and must comment on atleast 3 other students.
  • A Trackpad in which they must plan out their solution before tackling it.
  • A Focuspad activity in which the students keep a journal while they are undertaking the activity.

The above layout is nice as it provides a solid framework for the students.  They start off having to think about how they are going to attack the problem.  A template could be used here to guide the students on aspects they should consider.  Then they must discuss it and consider alternatives.  Then they undertake planning.  All the while they are also reflecting on what they are doing.

Another feature of Trackpad which lends itself nicely to this scenario (but which is good in many others too) is that it places an emphasis on the task at hand.  It is often easy for students to lost sight of the goal they are heading for.  Trackpad has a large area for you to outline what the target or goal is.  You may also put a template in to encourage them to organise this nicely.  They will then see this every time they work with the task list and this will help keep them on track.

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