Monday, June 18, 2007

Moodle Ruined My Life & I Hate Moodle

If you're on Facebook (which appears to be creaking a little today - under the strain of a big Guardian article?) you'll easily be able to find today's subject. I discovered a few fellow Moodlers in FB's millions of users and, after not much digging, came across some interesting groups:

So, are these groups set up by those who can't bear to do online learning at all, those who are allergic to orange, people with a grudge, or are they in-depth critiques of constructivism?
Well no. A little digging shows pretty much what you'd expect. Here are some quotes:
It just gets rediculous when you ask your lecturer something when they're right infront of you and your told to go ask it on Moodle when they could easily answer you there and then! Stupid!
It becomes fairly clear where the issues might lie:
i love how our teachers tell us to check moddle for our assignments...hello?!?!why cant they just tell us instead of having to refer to Moodle it makes life ten times easier for us and for them cause then we have the homework they assigned
There's not much depth to anything here - and ultimately the issue is the use & implementation of the tool rather than the tool in question but if you're starting out to use Moodle (or any technology for that matter) then the sorts of things posted in the above groups should give you pause for some thoughts...
  • Pupils / students are very savvy in terms of technology - and an "adult" pointing them towards technology in lieu of something useful will be seen a mile off (and, nowadays, derieded publicly...);
  • The thing about ICT (or any tool) is knowing when using it helps and when it makes things more complex / harder / pointless. Again, easily spotted a mile off by someone who lives on somewhere like FB;
  • Why not ask your students what works for them? Of course, until you try something they might not have a clue, but to plough on regardless when some of your intended audience are objecting might be a little... short sighted? Of course, if they love it, go for your life;
  • Make sure "it" works - and always works. Whatever you have to do to make sure that things are (to coin a Becta-esque phrase) robust and reliable then Do It;
  • Good teachers will almost certainly benefit from the process of online learning - less-good teachers might be distracted and see it as an answer for All Sorts Of Things Which Are Probably More Fundamental Issues. Go and read The Good Teacher on the Moodle Documentation site if you want some further food for thought.

Anyway, I'm off to add Jimmy Wales as a friend...


  1. Based only on the comments you quote, I am not convinced you have correctly analysed the cause of the antipathy. In both of the comments you selected, the student is making an assumption that the teacher's role is to be the sole provider of knowledge, and the student's role is merely to remember this as best s/he can.

    The question then is, "who trained the students into this disempowered way of thinking?". The answer is as embarrasing as it is obvious, so I won't spell it out.

    Mind you, I have Champagne on ice ready for the appearance of the first "I hate Yacapaca" group on Facebook!

  2. Yes, maybe that's right, but the fact these groups exist says more about a "this is being done to us" approach rather than anything approaching with us... I'd say the problem (as you mention) is the use of a tool which is designed to promote learning together and from one another (constructivism) in a "traditional" spoon-fed way which reinforces how inappropriate it can be try and use a tool in the wrong way...