Chapter 15. Putting It All Together

Now that we’ve taken a look at all the tools available in Moodle, let’s take a step back and look at the big picture. Moodle has a lot of nifty capabilities, but they are only useful if they are applied in the service of effective course design.

If you are a professor in higher education, you are an expert in your field. You know more about your discipline than 99 percent of the rest of humanity. Universities do a great job helping people become domain experts and researchers. They do a poor job of teaching those experts how to teach. Unfortunately, the very process of becoming an expert makes it more difficult to teach novices. Cognitive research has shown that as people become more expert, they lose the ability to explain why and how they do certain basic tasks. The higher the level of expertise, the less conscious access you tend to have to the fundamentals of what you do. To achieve expertise, you need to develop a level of automatic performance for basic skills so you can concentrate your mental resources on the more difficult tasks.

Much of our preparation of teachers assumes teaching comes naturally. Since we’ve all been to school, we must know how to teach. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Creating effective learning environments requires training and careful preparation.

In this chapter, we hope to give you some ideas and background from which you can develop your courses. We’ll spend some time talking about learning environments in general, ...

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