New Moodle plugin - Board module for Moodle

10 November 2021 by Catalyst

As an Educator, you fully appreciate the power of collaborative learning. It improves higher-level thinking, broadens perspectives and increases student engagement and self-esteem.  This post introduces the new "Board module for Moodle" plugin, designed to support collaborative activity. 

You can explore the standard collaboration tools in your Moodle Learning Management System (LMS) in our earlier blog: 

Blog- Collaborative learning with Moodle

 

Introducing Board module for Moodle

The Board module for Moodle plugin has been designed to support learner collaboration.  It allows course participants to collaborate by adding 'notes' to a column on a board.  Let's take a look.

Screenshot of the new Moodle Board Module plugin
Introducing the new Board module for Moodle plugin

 

How to set it up

Once you have the new Board plugin installed, you simply go to Moodle’s Activity chooser and select the Board activity.

Screenshot from Moodle Board plugin that shows where the Board tile is within Activities
The new Board activity can be added to the course

First, give your board a name and a description of what it’s for.  You can the choose the display settings and options they want to give your students. It’s worth pointing out that Board can be used with select groups or as a whole class activity, where students cannot see who has posted what.  As a Teacher, you can gain visibility of posts’ authors by downloading the activity report. 

A screenshot of Board settings with an arrow pointing to the options for rating posts
Settings for the Board activity

You can choose to have your activity displayed with a background colour or image. While ratings are disabled by default, they can be enabled for everyone, only for teachers or only for students – consistent with other Moodle activities. You can also choose to sort student notes by rating date or creation date. There is a function that allow you set a ‘cut-off’ date for post-its, and an option to allow students to move their posts once made. This means that if, for example, a learner adds their post to one column and then realises it is better suited in another one, they are able to edit and move it to the more appropriate space.

Once saved, column headings can be edited and columns added or removed:

A screenshot showing where column headings can be edited and columns added or removed:
The column names can be edited after creating the board

So there you have it, you are ready to go.  We’d recommend that you add a couple of examples to get your learners started. 

How Board module helps learners

The Board activity is very intuitive.  For  example, Student A can simply select the + button in the Recommended books column, then fill in the information and add a URL, display an image or embed a YouTube video:

Screenshot of where a student can go to recommend collateral
An intuitive way for learners to make recommendations

When Student B comes along later to contribute, they can rate one of Student A’s contributions by selecting the star (see #1 in the image below).  If they change their mind about posting, they can easily remove their post  (see #2 in the image below).

Screenshot of the Board with two orange circular markers showing where to add or remove a rating
Rating recommendations is easy!

The use cases of the new Board plugin

Board has a number of use cases, that go beyond sharing of resources.  Here’s just a few ideas for you: 

  1. A means of introduction  - “Tell us about yourself” forums, where students post a few sentences about themselves.
  2. Feedback – asking students to give you their views at the the end of a class, an event or a semester.
  3. Crowdsourcing content – Post links to published content include introductory commentary that’s relevant to engage with your students.
  4. Zoom whiteboard – this tool is ideal for breakout rooms.  Students can use the whiteboards to share thoughts as a group.  As a teacher, you can create the boards, and at the end of an exercise you can elect to share in with the entire class or keep it private.

Get started with the Moodle Board Plugin

To get started with Board, simply ask your Moodle Administrator to install the Board Activity from the Moodle plugins directory.

Services to help optimise your Moodle LMS

The E-learning Consulting Team at Catalyst has a wealth of knowledge that can help you to improve collaborative learning  within your courses.  Get in touch and we can discuss the options. 

Contact the Catalyst E-learning Consultants

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