Learning Technology jottings at Goldsmiths

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FAQs for learn.gold (our Moodle VLE) / using Moodle to find out about Moodle

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I spend a fair proportion of my time – particularly at this time of year – answering emailed questions about our Virtual Learning Environment (Moodle, branded learn.gold).

Every time I get a question I think might be more widely relevant, I create the response in Frequently Asked Questions form, post it on learn.gold, and refer the questioner to that. This has saved a great deal time and I’ve authored 77 of the things without going out of my way.

For this I chose a Moodle Database which worked pretty well with three simple fields: question; answer and keyword. Then a colleague pointed out that there was another possible approach – Moodle’s Glossary which actually has an FAQ format.

So I worked up some questions in both and then decided to put it to our users. I set up a brief Moodle Questionnaire – “Which FAQ version do you prefer?” and then used our front page bulletin board (Moodle Forum) to alert staff and students. It was summer and the response rate was pitiful – 7 students and 2 academic staff took the questionnaire. At time of writing:

  • 5 preferred the Database version; 1 the Glossary; 1 neither; 1 either; 1 wasn’t sure

I asked for explanations, and paraphrase below:

Feedback in favour of Database

  • Easier to search
  • Better-looking
  • Clearer layout, better formatting
  • Better search options

In favour of Glossary

  • Easier to use


  • Both too complicated; better to have all the FAQs on one page so you can see them at a glance [but at-a-glance doesn’t really work with a huge list which can’t easily be categorised or ordered alphabetically]

I’ll leave it up for the beginning of term, and then go with the consensus. But it looks as if it’s going to be the Database.


Written by Mira Vogel

September 4, 2009 at 10:27

Posted in learn.gold

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