Multimedia and Assessments with Moodle 1.9 (part 2)

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Moodle 1.9 Multimedia

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Create and share multimedia learning materials in your Moodle courses.

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by João Pedro Soares Fernandes | May 2009 | e-Learning Moodle Open Source

This is the second part of a two-part article series by João Pedro Soares Fernandes dealing with assessment activities using multimedia. In the first part we saw how to add multimedia to multiple choice answers in Moodle quizzes and lessons and create crosswords and jumble exercises in Hot Potatoes.

In this part, we will create puzzles and "find-the-pair" activities using JClic and assessing multimedia using rubrics.

JClic (http://clic.xtec.net/en) is a free (under a GPL license) software application released by the Ministry of Education of the Government of Catalunya. It is written in Java, and allows us to create the following seven types of interactive activities:

  • Association games - to identify the relationship between two groups of data
  • Memory games - to discover hidden pairs of elements
  • Exploring, Identifying, and Information games - to start with initial information and choose paths to the answer
  • Puzzles – to order graphics, text, and audio, or to combine graphics and audio
  • Written answers – to write text, a word, or a sentence
  • Text activities – to solve exercises based on words, sentences, letters, and paragraphs (these can be completed, corrected, or ordered)
  • Wordsearches and crosswords – to find hidden words or solve crossword puzzles

JClic exercises can be more visually appealing than Hot Potatoes, as we will see, and can be particularly useful for younger students. But, as they require Java, this should be checked with the ICT coordinator as Java must be installed on the schools' PCs.

In the software download area (http://clic.edu365.cat/en/jclic/download.htm), we can download JClic author, the application that allows us to create these activities. The file will use WebStart, and will run from a single file, named jclic.jnlp. When we run it for the first time, in Microsoft Vista at least, we will need to give permission for the application to Run (selecting the Always trust content from this publisher option will avoid having to perform this step every time we start JClic):

Moodle 1.9 Multimedia

Then JClic will start loading:

Moodle 1.9 Multimedia

The interface of JClic author is as shown in the following screenshot:

Moodle 1.9 Multimedia

As it can be seen, there are four available tabs:

  • Project – the default tab, which allows us to define some details of the project.
  • Media library – where pictures and other multimedia are managed.
  • Activities – where the project activities are created or modified. This tab further contains four tabs.
  • Sequences – where we can sequence several activities in the same project.

The options inside these tabs will be available only after we create a new project.

Start a new project

The first step in building interactive JClic activities is to start a new project (via menu option File | New project):

Moodle 1.9 Multimedia

We should then define:

  • The name of the project
  • The name of the file in which the project will be saved (having a double extension of .jclic.zip)
  • The default folder for saving the files to is:
    C:/Programme Files/JClic/projects/name of project (in Windows)
    $home/JClic/projects/name of project (in other OSs)

We can change this and, if we are using multimedia files, again we should keep everything organized inside this folder.

Creating a puzzle activity

We are now ready to start creating our first activity, a puzzle. In Module 2 - A world of music—we can pick some of the pictures of instruments that our students gathered in the Instrument Mappers activities and create a jigsaw puzzle as part of a final game for the module. We will perform the following steps:

  1. Provide details of the project in the Project tab.
  2. Import a picture to the Media library.
  3. Add an activity called Exchangeable puzzle.
  4. Create a sequence.

Note that we are starting from the tab on the left and moving to the right as we configure the activity.

As an example, I created a project called Instruments:

Moodle 1.9 Multimedia

Next, I added a description of the activity and specified myself as an author by clicking on the plus (+) button. We can specify in more details, but for now this much information is enough as an example.

Now, let's import a picture into our Media library by clicking on the icon on the far left on the toolbar:

Moodle 1.9 Multimedia

If we pick a picture from any folder on our computer, JClic will recommend that this be copied to the project folder (we should accept this recommendation, especially if we want to upload our activity to Moodle).

Note that the Media library accepts different kinds of multimedia files, from MP3 to Flash and video. This can be useful in other types of activities.

We now have a picture of a lamelaphone that will make a difficult jigsaw for our students.

Moodle 1.9 Multimedia

Lamelaphone image source: Weeks, Alex (2006). Mbira dzavadzimu 1.jpg. Retrieved October 12, 2008,
from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mbira_dzavadzimu_1.jpg

The next step is to add the puzzle activity, on the Activities tab, by clicking on the icon on the far left of the toolbar:

Moodle 1.9 Multimedia

A dialog box is displayed, and in this menu we should select the Exchange puzzle option, entering a name for our puzzle, in the input field at the bottom of the dialog box:

Moodle 1.9 Multimedia

We can then add a description of the activity, and if needed, we can define a timer countdown (in the Counters section), among other options:

Moodle 1.9 Multimedia

Reports are mentioned in this dialog box. JClic provides a way to gather students' responses, but due to the complexity of this functionality, we will not deal with it in this book.

In the Window tab, on the the Activities tab, we can also define some color options, as shown in the screenshot below:

Moodle 1.9 Multimedia

In the Messages tab, we can add an initial message, which for example, gives the context of the activity, and a final message, as feedback for the exercise by clicking on the dark gray areas:

Moodle 1.9 Multimedia

Finally, in the Panel tab, we should insert the lamelaphone picture from our Media library and define the kind of jigsaw that we want. In the following screenshot, I have done the following three things:

  1. Selected a jigsaw with curved unions.
  2. Defined 5x5 pieces.
  3. Selected the image from the Media library.

Moodle 1.9 Multimedia

Our puzzle activity is now ready, and we can now add a finding pairs activity to the same project, in a sequence.

Moodle 1.9 Multimedia Create and share multimedia learning materials in your Moodle courses.
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Creating a finding pairs activity

Finding pairs activities (where students have to locate pairs of similar pictures or in ear training exercises) can be interesting for memory exercises, and in our course in particular. In this example, students have to pick pairs of sounds with the same note from different world instruments.

After adding a new finding pairs activity (using the same process that we saw previously, for the puzzle), we should add MP3 files of the instrument sounds to our Media library. After this, in the Panel tab we can define the size of the grid (in this case a 3x3 grid) and then start associating the MP3 files to each cell in the grid. To do this, carry out the steps shown below:

  1. Click on one of the cells in of the grid.
  2. Click on the Active content button (similarly, if we wanted to add images, we would use the Image button instead).
  3. In the pop-up window, click on the Play sound button and then select the sound file from the Media library.
  4. Click on the OK button.
  5. In the text box, add the letter of the note, just as a reference that this cell has been populated (we will delete this reference in step 7. We need to do this because we are dealing with sounds in this edit mode. With images or text it would be easier as we would have a visual reference).
  6. Click on the OK button.
  7. Remove the reference text in the text boxes from all of the rectangles.

Now, in the Layout tab, choose the position of the pair of this grid (the one that we edited is grid A; this can appear on the left, right, top, or bottom of the automatically created grid B). Students will have to connect an element on one grid with the similar element on the other grid.

Moodle 1.9 Multimedia

Sequencing activities

Finally, we will need to sequence the activities that we have just created. On the Sequences tab, if we click on the Play button, we will see a preview of the selected activity. This will be added automatically to the sequence list.

Moodle 1.9 Multimedia

Note that we can either show or hide the navigation buttons in our sequence by using the options in the right-hand pane.

We can add more activities to the sequence by clicking on the button on the far left of the toolbar:

Moodle 1.9 Multimedia

We are now ready to publish the project and add it to Moodle.

Publish

To publish the activity as a Web page, we just need to select menu option Tools | Create web page…. In the configuration window that is displayed, we just need to click on OK and then Save:

Moodle 1.9 Multimedia

As a result, we will have an index.htm file and a .jclic.zip file, both ready to be uploaded to Moodle:

Moodle 1.9 Multimedia

Moodle it!

In Moodle, we can now add a resource, which is a link to a file or website, and upload both files, index.htm and instruments.jclic.zip to the course files (we don't need to upload these files to the same folder).

Moodle 1.9 Multimedia

This resource should point to the index.htm file, and to keep Moodle navigation visible, we should select this option in the resource settings:

Moodle 1.9 Multimedia

And the final result is as shown in the following screenshot:

Moodle 1.9 Multimedia

We can also design an activity where groups of students can create games like these for each other.

Assessing multimedia using rubrics

A rubric is a scoring tool that lists the criteria by which a work will be assessed, along with the several levels of achievement for these criteria. In some countries this can be defined by an exam board, while in others, it's left to the school to decide. In either case, this is a great way of providing students with the assessment criteria in which they are expected to achieve in advance and make the work of teachers easier, as the scoring is very quick. A rubric could look something like the following:

Criteria/

Level

1

2

3

4

Score

Criteria 1

Description of characteristics of the work reflecting a low level of performance in the criteria.

Description of characteristics of the work reflecting an intermediate level of performance in the criteria.

Description of characteristics of the work reflecting a high level of performance in the criteria.

Description of characteristics of the work reflecting the highest level of performance in the criteria.

 

Criteria 2

...

...

...

...

 

As an example of a rubric to assess the activity "My favorite artist" in Module 5 – Being a musician—where students have to create a photo story of their favorite artist—Level 1 in Criteria 1 (Use of images) might define the lowest level of performance as "The pictures are unrelated to the content and don't enhance understanding of the content, or are distracting and create a busy feeling" contrasting with level 4 which might be defined as "The images help in presenting an overall theme with a high impact message that appeals to the audience, demonstrating an excellent synthesis". The full range is shown in the table below.

Criteria/

Level

1

2

3

4

Score

Use of images

The pictures are unrelated to the content and don't enhance understanding of the content, or are distracting and create a busy feeling.

Description of characteristics of the work reflecting an intermediate level of performance in the criteria.

Description of characteristics of the work reflecting a high level of performance in the criteria.

The images help in presenting an overall theme with an high impact message that appeals to the audience, demonstrating an excellent synthesis.

 

Now, how do we score a work from a rubric? We just need to score it according to the several criteria that we have considered, according to the levels of performance, and then apply a simple formula:

Moodle 1.9 Multimedia

Here is an example:

We want to assess a work that is being scored in five criteria, each one with four levels of possible performances, and we want the final result in a scale of 0 to 100:

Criteria

Score (1 to 4)

Criteria 1

2

Criteria 2

3

Criteria 3

3

Criteria 4

4

Criteria 5

2

Total Score

14

So the final classification will be:

Moodle 1.9 Multimedia

Criteria

Here is a list of criteria that can be useful when assessing multimedia works:

  • Design
  • Content
  • Organization
  • Navigation
  • Technical aspects (such as lighting, pace, timing, exposure, color scheme, video continuity, formats)
  • Links (for example, in mind maps)
  • Referencing
  • Collaboration/Teamwork

Using an online spreadsheet such as Google Spreadsheets can be a good way of keeping records of our students' assessments according to these rubrics. We can obtain the final scores easily by applying formulas to cells, and can later publish them on the course page or by using Moodle's gradebook. As this tool allows collaboration, if we have students as editors, they can also perform verification work and/or peer assessments.

Summary

In this article we considered JClic, an application that is capable of not only producing different type of exercises such as crosswords or image puzzles, but also of facilitating the construction of quizzes. The activities created with this applications were later integrated in Moodle by linking to the HTML file generated by JClic. Finally, we considered rubrics as an easy way of assessing multimedia works, considering some criteria that can be used to perform this task either by teachers or students.


If you have read this article you may be interested to view :


Moodle 1.9 Multimedia Create and share multimedia learning materials in your Moodle courses.
Published: May 2009
eBook Price: €20.99
Book Price: €34.99
See more
Select your format and quantity:

About the Author :


João Pedro Soares Fernandes

João Fernandes is a science teacher from Portugal who has been working on Moodle since 2004. He has been involved in several Moodle initiatives at school, university, and at government levels, as a teacher, trainer, course and content developer, manager, consultant, designer, and researcher.

João is now living in London, pursuing a PhD in Science Education at King's College London and working on several projects on ICT in education. His main interests range from education to multimedia, the Web, participation, democracy, and human development.

In a single year he can be seen in several corners of the earth, either working, visiting schools, hiking, or taking photos in mostly non-touristic venues. He also loves music, old cheap cars, cooking, and spending his time in Nature.

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