Monday, 22 July 2013

Ideas for using Moodle Glossaries in Science

 This is a selection of comments from teachers about ways they used glossaries in moodle
the original thread is here: 

 I have used the glossary in my classroom in mostly the traditional sense as a resource for vocabulary words.  I typically have each of my students submit one word to a large group resource glossary, and each of their entries must contain the definition, an original sentence using the word correctly, and some type of visual device to help classmates remember its meaning

 a glossary for students to create mini research projects on the organs of the body.  Each student had to do the research on an organ and then post information, including photos and other graphics in kind of an encyclopedia format.  The work the students did was very impressive.

A glossary to have students create three quiz questions from the research that they did in the organ study glossary.  This glossary was setup so that the students were given one of the Moodle quiz format types, and they created quiz questions matching one of the import formats.  The glossary was set so that teacher approval was required before any posts were live so students couldn't see each others questions.  After all the questions were submitted, the teacher exported them into a text document and imported all the questions into the quiz module and then tested the students.  It worked flawlessly.

 In a similar style to this. For helping students train for debating and public speaking.

Put a list of topics into a glossary and set's up the random glossary entry block. A laptop is set up at the front of the classroom so that the person at the front can see it. Students take it in turns to come up to the front, refresh the page and speak for 1 minute on that topic off the top of their head.

After the class make the glossary open for all to see and their homework is to pick another topic than the one they spoke on and write another 1 min speech for next week.

I think that's an important point for collaborative glossaries where students are sharing (like Lesli describes) as I found that the random entry really encouraged students to contribute so their entry had a turn to come up.

Also if you are able to make the glossary public you can share it with another class. A blogging glossary developed by masters students was made available to first year students as a resource for their research on their own blogging assignment.

I used the Glossary as a test review tool.  As students walked into the classroom, they drew a topic from the hat that was going to be on the test.  They then worked with a partner to gather everything they could from their individual practice activities, quizzes, textbooks, and online resources like Discovery Education Science.  They then added this information to their glossary item in a 15 minute time period.
Once that time was up, we worked through the glossary as a whole group with students adding information or correcting information that they had entered.
My students loved this way of reviewing because they had ownership of their glossary item, but also were able to add to the other entries as we discussed.  Those students with special IEPs could print out the sheets or could review from home 24/7.

This entry is great:

Creative glossaries - tips and tricks

Teacher predetermined wordlist vs students creating definitions as they come across new words.
Peer evaluation:
  • Assign individuals to contribute a term and its definitions.
  • Ask students to rate each others contributions.
  • Ask students to comment on each others contributions - help each other define the new terms.
Remember - the author can be kept anonymous, but the comments are not!
  • Ask students to write their own definitions and then other students rate them - highest rated definition becomes the entry for the final class glossary.
Helpful hint: you can restrict the date range for ratings to keep students progressing through the topics.
  • Have a different glossary for each topic/unit/week. Ask different groups in the class to take responsibility for each topic's glossary.
  • The other groups are the reviewers of the definitions and they have to comment on the definitions to help that group define the terms correctly.
Collaborative glossaries engage the learner in writing, examining and refining definitions so they are more likely to remember the term and its correct definition.
  • Random glossary block - terms that "make the grade" get put into the glossary used in the random glossary block on the main course page. This may help encourage students to write high quality definitions that they can be proud of.
Helpful hint: don't forget that you can import/export entries to/from other glossaries.
  • Entries require approval - to get high quality definitions you can choose "entries require approval". The teacher must approve all entries into that glossary.
  • Use roles to allow selected students the right to approve entries - this is a good way to recognise and reward outstanding students.
What about in language learning?
  • Ask students to enter a new word in the concept field, then in the definition field write an example sentence using the new word. Teachers can use the "requires approval" option to check the entries before the other students see them, or use the other students to help that student get the sentence right.
Helpful hint: allowing students to edit their entries means they can adapt their definition based on other students feedback and when their understanding deepens.
  • Credit for word use. The autolinking feature makes it is easy to see when students use the new terms. Teachers could give credit for frequency and correct use of the terminology. It is important for students to regularly use the new terms. This technique may help some students overcome fear of trying to use new terms.
Helpful hint: enter some terms and definitions to get the students started.
  • Collaborative quiz questions - Using "requires approval", teachers can ask the students to contribute the quiz questions for their class assessment. Teachers can setup the categories as question types (to match the quiz activity). Students can then put a key word in the concept field and the question in the definition field. Teachers can then export all the entries and add them to the question pool.
Cool ideas for topic review: give students the last twenty minutes of the day to make as many entries as they can based on the topic they were learning. This is later an excellent study tool.

An option for equation writing is to use MathType to generate the LaTeX. MathType is a WYSIWYG equation editor that can be configured so that when you select the equation you've created and copy (ctrl-C), MathType puts LaTeX on the clipboard. Then you can paste the LaTeX into the Moodle HTML editor. There's also a free version of MathType called TeXaide, but it has a limited palette of symbols.

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