Practitioner Enquiry


Matthew Stenning , English Tutor

Using Moodle as a means for student collaboration.’







·       Moodle offers some interactive features which are expressly designed for students to take a more active role in their learning.

·       The action research has sought to establish whether the interactive features of Moodle actually encourage student collaboration within classroom and homework tasks.

·       The action research has tried to track changing opinions of students towards Moodle as a resource for collaboration throughout the year.

Key Actions

·       Three English literature AS groups were involved in the project.

·       A survey was conducted at the beginning of the year regarding staff and student experience of Moodle in terms of their familiarity with it and how they had previously used it.

·       Two forums were used to assist with collaboration in the analysis of literary texts.

·       A variety of wikis were used to assist collaboration in essay planning and exam revision.

·       A database was established at the end of the year for students to use and contribute to, by adding appropriate passages of their further reading to it, in order to create a comprehensive list of useful quotations in preparation for the examination.

·       Students were surveyed on each one of these tasks to identify any changing attitudes towards using Moodle’s interactive features inside and outside the classroom.

Preliminary Findings

·       Moodle’s wiki feature is an excellent way of encouraging students to work together to share ideas and structure them into essay type tasks. Students see the point behind the collaboration, and enjoy participating in them.

·       Students are split on the issue of responding to others’ ideas in the forums. Many are resistant to critiquing others’ views, since they feel that there is a ‘right idea’ (which the teacher knows) and they may not: consequently, they feel they have no right to assess and the opinions of other students.

·       Students see very little collaborative worth in the database – rather, it feels like a bit more work the teacher is asking them to do.

·       Moodle cannot provide a means of students collaborating on class presentations - from this point of view, the College’s move to is a useful one.


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