WPP Part D – Findings and Implications

Hoping to increase instructional time and add instructional supports to my students, I implemented some online Moodle based coursework. Doing this I planned to pencil in about one day a week for an online activity for my physical science and physics classes. I decided to focus on physical science first, and then expand to the physics students as I roll out more physical science lessons. This decision was made because the attendance of my physics students has been sporadic to the point where data collection would be problematic. In the implementation of the physical science lessons I quickly learned that the messenger capabilities in Moodle (like AIM or any other instant messenger) can be quite a distraction. For the first lesson, many of the students spent time when they should have been watching videos chatting with other students. Even while roaming around, I was out-nerd-ed on several occasions by crafty IM-ers. I had the messaging capability turned off after this first lesson. The second lesson was a quiz on what the students had been learning in the new quarter thus far (which has been two weeks). That assignment worked out pretty well, because even if students changed their answers their first answers (and therefore what they probably thought first) were recorded. This was a simple true false quiz, but it gave data that most students were doing well, and one student needed some additional reinforcement. I plan to continue the once a week implementations of Moodle activities, but I will also vary the types of activities from just lessons to quizzes and reviews as well. This is mainly because I am able to gain a snap shot of the class knowledge base before moving on. Overall, I am happy that I was able to implement the Moodle lessons to my physical science class.


Putting together this project, I determined that I should see two things if this implementation was a success. First off, I would hope to see grades increase. I would also expect to see behavior points increase during the Moodle lessons, compared to the points earned while doing book work. In order to determine this I selected four students that had the chance to complete both integrations of Moodle thus far. I plotted their third quarter grades (Q3), fourth quarter (Q4) grades thus far, behavior points during Moodle lesson days (Points Moodle), and behavior points during book work (Points Book) days. These have been plotted on this table:

Looking at the data in the table, each student’s grade is better in the fourth quarter than in the previous quarter. This is promising and shows better comprehension than without Moodle integrations. I am hoping that the instantaneous feedback and multimedia integrations of Moodle are helping with this. For the behavioral points, three of the four students earned better points during the Moodle lesson days than on the book work days. One student did not, but this is partially because that student quickly found the messenger capabilities of Moodle on the first assignment and didn’t take well to redirection given. With these findings I can say that so far the Moodle integration is correlated to higher assignment scores and behavioral points. I am looking forward to continuing the data collection in this class to see how well the students do throughout the remainder of the quarter.


In implementing a project like this in the future, I am hopeful in creating more lessons that catch students wherever they are, and bring them to a higher level. With this project, specifically targeting Moodle, I had a preconception of what I wanted to do to help with my problems of low attendance and difficulty in attaining quick feedback on student understanding. Knowing that I will undoubtedly face new problems in my teaching career, I hope to refine my problem solving approach. As previously stated, I mostly knew from the start that Moodle is what I wanted to implement. Because of this, I spent little time researching other methods (or even people using Moodle) to meet my goals. In the future, I hope to spend more time researching problems and solutions on places such as MACULspace to make sure I am not re-inventing the wheel and am spending my time as efficiently as possible. It is also imperative to see things from different perspectives as can only be done by researching others’ work, so new ideas can be integrated and improved.


In addition to making sure that I do more research, I plan and would also suggest some troubleshooting before the launch of a project. I went through my integrated science Moodle lessons first, and even had my wife go through the lessons once. When my students actually went through the lesson, though, I received more valuable feedback than I could ever create without actually having students try the lesson. During the first “field test” of my Moodle lesson, I found that my students could have benefited from better explanations, or possibly even a screen-cast, of getting logged into Moodle and getting the lesson started. Once the students were in the lesson, most were quite adequate at making it through. Because of this, I plan to field test new educational expeditions with a student first if possible, so that I can work out more of the bugs and see what explanations I have over thought or have completely missed. Knowing the wealth of feedback that students can give, I also hope to improve upon each lesson that I create by the feedback that they give.


As I look forward to additional implementation of Moodle lessons and other online coursework throughout my classes, I hope to expand on the what I have started in physical science more methodically. I will be able to better plan this through the summer as I gain more information on the computer on wheels (COW) lab that our school is planning on purchasing. As it stands there are some periods in which only two computers maximum can be accessed at a time, because the computer lab is in use. With the COW in the picture, there would be up to twelve computers outside of the lab available throughout the day. Either way, I plan to integrate Moodle activities in all classes. Minimally I would use Moodle as a tool to gain quick knowledge on how students are progressing through the material. Optimally I would use Moodle to introduce topics and to expand upon material that a textbook is at a loss to cover. As I expand the use of Moodle within my classes, I will also teach other teachers how I and others have used Moodle so that more options can be available in all of the courses taught at the Ingham Academy.

Comments are closed.