Graduate Theological Union


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Educational Technology at the GTU and Beyond

From the Fall 2016 issue of Currents, view PDF of this article

by Kyle K. Schiefelbein

Faculty Workshop: Creating Videos for Moodle

When: Thursday, August 22, 9:00 am – 12:30 pm | Where: Computer Lab, GTU Library

Facilitated by Dr. Jay Johnson, PSR Faculty

Incredibly easy way to add files in Moodle

Now you can simply drag a file from your computer into your course in Moodle. It is as simple as this:

  1. Open your course in Moodle and turn editing on by clicking the button on the upper right of the screen.
  2. Locate the file you want to add on your computer.
  3. Click on the file to select it and then drag it to the place in the course where you want it to appear. Release the mouse button and the file is added automatically.

Click here to watch a video to see just how easy it is.

Faculty Workshop: Moodle in the Theological Classroom – Much More Than Busy-Work

Many faculty are making greater use of the GTU's Moodle facilities, both in fully online courses, and in "regular" face-to-face courses.  Some of us started by simply uploading additional readings, and have been gradually branching out into discussion forums, audio and video recordings, and using the functions that Moodle provides for grading and group work.  Some of us have taken courses, either through the GTU library or outside organizations.  But effective use of Moodle depends most of all on clear thinking about our teaching outcomes and objectives, rather than on simply using the "bells and whistles" correctly.  All interested faculty are invited to gather for a brown bag lunch and informal conversation about developing pedagogical approaches that make the most effective use of what Moodle can offer us as theological educators.  Please come prepared to share your experiences, your questions, and your hopes. 

Facilitated by Susanna Singer, CDSP Faculty | When: Tuesday August 20, 12:30 – 2:00 PM | Where: Mudd 102, PSR

Return to Online Learning Blog

How do I ...?

Remember that great activity you want to add to your class on Moodle but need a reminder of how to work it? Want to browse your options and try out something new? Moodlerooms offers easy  how-to guides--both videos and text--and detailed information in their Knowledge Base.  There you can find out everything from how to do everything from setting up your gradebook to viewing what activities your students have participated in during the past week. To find the "Facilitate" section for instructors, follow the link above and then scroll down to the 3rd heading. You can also search the page for a specific activity or resource. Happy exploring!

Facilitating Online Discussions

Answer: 58,956. Question: How many separate posts did GTU users post in Moodle during the Spring 2013 semester. Surprised?  At the GTU, many instructors include forums in our classes; after posting files, it is the way we use Moodle the most. But quantity, of course, is never enough. What makes for a vigorous online discussion that supports your learning objectives for a class? Simmons College has posted an online interview with professor Sarah Haavind about Facilitating Online Discussions.

Put electronic devices in your classroom to good use!

laptop, tablet and smart phoneStudents show up for class these days with an array of electronics--smart phones, tablets, e-readers and computers. In his blog post, Taking Advantage of “Disruptive Technology” in the Classroom, Justin W. Marquis, Ph.D. offers some great suggestions about how to get students to use those devices productively in class, keeping their attention in the classroom. There are also a variety of activities, such as the choices feature, quizzes etc., in Moodle that you can use in the classroom.



Workshops for Faculty and Doctoral Students

This summer, those looking for information on Moodle Basics have two options: Monday, June 10 and Wednesday, June 26, from 1 pm to 4 pm. These workshops are geared for people new to Moodle or those who want to review the basic information about using it. WizIQ is also offering a free online course on Teaching With Moodle.

In July, for those who have the basics down, look for workshops on:  

New language options on Moodle

by Justin Tanis, Online Learning Coordinator | The GTU's Moodle site is now available in multiple languages: Greek, Hebrew, Spanish, French, and German, as well as English. In the upper right hand corner, you will find a drop down menu that allows you to change the language in which you see the navigation and other settings (it does not, however, translate any text that has been entered by a user).

The benefits of awareness

Are you concerned about distraction in the classroom or when students are doing assignments? You are not alone. The Chronicle of Higher Education posted an article about Professor David M. Levy's use of meditation and other awareness techniques at the University of Washington to help his students concentrate and get more out of their learning experience. Some GTU instructors use an opening prayer or activity to help students spiritually center as they begin learning, which can benefit the mind as well as the soul.

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