Moodle Activity – Septines with Q and A forum

Septines are a useful tool created by Edward de Bono which you can use to inspire thought about a topic in your classes.  You can very easily incorporate this activity into Moodle.  To understand what Septines are read here.  To find out how you can incorporate them into Moodle read on.

Septines are best incorporated into your Moodle classes right at the beginning,  they are a good way to get the students minds in gear.  You also want to make sure that the students work individually on these and don’t see what the other students are submitting.  If they do see the other students lists it will destroy the effect.

There are several ways we can do this and you are,  of course,  free to implement this however you like.  You could use an assignment activity.  You could use a database activity which is good as you can then enable discussions after.  The downside is a little bit more effort to set up.  You could use a Focuspad activity which would work well in conjunction with a template.  The method I prefer is to use a forum in a Q and A forum type.  I like this method as I can then display all the students responses in one go on the screen and we can easily discuss them.

Set up a Moodle Q and A forum and set the topic as your initial discussion.  Each student is then to post a reply which will then form the basis for further discussion.  We have used the Q and A forum as disallows the students from seeing other responses until they have posted one of their own,  which is exactly what we want.  You can also set a threshold and limit students to one reply only too if you like.

It is possible for students to post junk so that they can see others replies,  then delete their post and repost again.  They can also go back and edit for up to 30 mins which is another exploit avenue.  If you are concerned about this however you can state that you will be checking the logs for this activity,  which is easy to do by going into reports for your course, and which will show you any nefarious activity.  It is easy in Moodle to identify as you can filter the logs by activity and action.  All you need to do is select your activity then the action of delete followed by update and it will identify students for you.  Then you can penalise students as you see fit.

Once you have all the responses you want to use this as the basis for discussion.  You can either do this by way of continuing the discussion in the forum or by bringing up the discussion on a projector in class.  Interesting discussion can come from looking at what others have submitted.  You will probably find that the septines of students can vary quite a bit.


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