If you’ve ever heard the terms Moodle, Blackboard and Virtual Learning Environment (VLEs) and wondered what they might be you’ve come to the right place. All three of these terms basically mean the same thing; they are the environments students and teacher use to study online. A virtual learning environment is a website where students can find all of their course content. VLEs also contain blog, forum and submission sites so students can converse with lecturers and fellow students, as well as use it to submit their assignments and receive feedback on their progress. Moodle has a relatively simple user interface but it can still be jarring for those who have never used it before. Below are some tips and instructions to help you navigate our VLE easily. CUC Online uses Moodle, so that’s what we will be focussing on.
1) Learn to navigate
Moodle is incredibly easy to navigate but different universities will tailor Moodle differently to their style. Once you’ve found your course and module the webpage opens up into weekly sections. Luckily, the CUC Online Moodle page has a list of helpful resources for using Moodle, from which this blog is partly based. Navigation is quick and easy. When inside a weekly module session (or online lesson) each page of your session is named and linked on the left side-bar and a breadcrumb trail at the top of the page shows you where you are in the lesson and where you have been.
2) Blogs and discussion forums
What’s the difference? Your course’s weekly (optional) activities will often take the form of blog entries or discussion forum posts. These activities allow you to assess your learning and interact with your peers. When asked to write a blog on a topic or question, you will do so on your own dedicated blog space, which allows you to build a portfolio of thoughts and answers that you can conveniently search and your module leader can evaluate you on. The discussion forums are more collaborative spaces where you, your peers and your module leader can explore a topic or question in more depth. These are placed under your weekly session and are ticked off once you have contributed to show your progress.
Remember your discussion etiquette! In your first post on the discussion forums introduce yourself to the group. Feel free to use personal work experiences to add colour to your responses but be sure you reference back to the study material.
3) Never forget an assessment
It’s easy to keep on top of your assessments with Moodle. The events tab on the Moodle homepage displays all of your upcoming assessments and gives you the option to export your deadline dates to your calendar. Along with the dedicated student support you receive through CUC Online, your important assessment dates should never come as a surprise.
4) Prioritise your browser and the big screen
While mobiles and tablets are compatible with Moodle and are really useful to check documents and read assignments, any important work should be done on a laptop with a reliable internet connection. This is basically so everything runs smoothly; a large variety of tablets and phones out there have radically different capabilities, network limits and other restricting factors, therefore, it would be unreliable to do something like submitting your final assessment on your phone or tablet. We’ve found that using Google Chrome leads to the most reliable performance so, for long study sessions, using Google Chrome on a laptop is the best method.
5) Don’t push ahead
Everyone learns at their own pace. In a CUC Online course, 5 sessions are released per week of your module. You can do two of these sessions at once, tackle them day by day or do them all at the weekend. In whatever time period you complete the modules, it’s important that you take the time to reflect and attempt any ‘test your understanding questions’ that are given. Activities such as the ‘test your understanding questions’ allow you to reinforce your learning and give you a realistic measure of how you’re progressing.
If you have never studied online before but think this method of learning might be for you, why not enquire about one of our courses? CUC Online offers degrees in Management and Leadership and Management and Professional Accounting to help accelerate your career without taking time away from your work or commitments.To find out more and talk to a recruitment advisor, fill out our enquiry form.