Recently, I attended the Michigan Moodle Moot. This is an extremely well run conference. I also had an opportunity to present. My presentation was all about the Moodle Glossary. I find the Glossary to be a powerful tool. It is one of the under utilized activities.
The Glossary allows students to create a resource for the entire class. There are two broadly general types of activities in Moodle, those that are “private” between the student and teacher and those that are available for all the class to see. Assignments are generally private between a student and a teacher. The student completes the assignment and turns it in the teacher. The Glossary is very different in that the work that the students do is viewable by the entire class.
This is one of the great things about the Glossary module. It allows the class to create class resources. The Glossary Module allows the students to create a glossary of terms (pretty obvious). However, it can also be used in many more ways. The students can create a list of “dead words”, complete with synonyms, of words that shouldn’t be used in writing. Many teachers do this with a poster in the classroom. The problem with a poster in the classroom is that students don’t have access to it at home (or in another classroom). By creating a list of dead words as a Glossary, students have access whenever they are connected to the Internet (which is pretty much all the time for many students).
Another potential use of the Glossary module is to have the students pick topics for research, presentations or other in class assignments. Using the Glossary means that the students will be able to see what others have chosen. A teacher could further lock this down by providing the students with a list of potential topics and then having student enter their choice. By not allowing duplicate entries, the first student to type in the topic “wins” that topic. (There are other modules that would allow students to pick from a list as well). With the Glossary module, students could provide feedback to each other about the topic as well.
The Glossary module could also be used for students to write a little bit about themselves to share with the class. This can be a great way for the class to get to know each other. Simply have the student’s enter their name as the concept and then some facts about themselves as the definition. This can also be used in conjunction with two truths and a lie. Comments can be enabled so that other students could guess the lie.
There are a couple of things to know about the Glossary module that make it very powerful.
- The teacher can set the Random Glossary block to display for the students. This will put a block on the student page that displays, well, a random glossary term.
- The Glossary module can allow Comments. This makes it very easy for students to provide feedback to each other.
- The Glossary module can also allow ratings. Students can rate an entry by stars, thus providing more feedback.
- Glossary entries can either be allowed to be duplicated or not.
- There are several different types of Glossary entries (including an FAQ styled entry list).
- The Glossary module can be linked so that new entries automatically are defined throughout the course. This means that when a new entry is created, that word or concept will be identified. Students can then click on the word (phrase, concept) and a pop up will show them the definition.
Here are a few more ideas on using the Glossary:
- Student List/Introduction
- Presenter List
- Teaching Strategies
- Resource Collection
- About Me
- Rating Feedback
- Vocabulary (Random Glossary Block)
- Grammar Tips
- Student Created Definitions/
- Student Debate Topics (with feedback)
- Media Elements
- Math concepts
- Dead words
- Restaurant activity (site a restaurant and why someone should go there) Community involvement
- Ice breakers
- You might be surprised that…
- Review for a quiz
- Students Write quiz questions (export / import into Quiz)- can be private or open
- Historical Figures
- Science: Human Anatomy
- Thought of the day
- Quote of the day
- Simple Peer Assessment
This is just a quick overview of the Glossary module in Moodle. Hopefully, you will be inspired to check it out and use it in your classroom. If you are interested in more specific instructions on using the Glossary, please let me know.