|Image Source: Moodle Uses for Professional Development|
A colleague recently wrote asking the following:
Do you have any resources on:
educators working collaboratively in a virtual workspace
best activities or resources in Moodle to use that might help promote a PLC environment
sample Moodle sites that are PLC’s
Disclaimer: I had some fun exploring ideas and learning about this. I would love your feedback, suggestions, etc. on the topic of facilitating online professional learning communities.
Hmm…as I was reflecting on this question, it occurred to me that I don’t formally know as much about Professional Learning Communities as I need to, much less using Moodle to build one. That is to say, I haven’t taken any classes or workshops on the subject.
So, for fun, let’s start with what a PLC is:
A professional learning community (PLC) is an extended learning opportunity to foster collaborative learning among colleagues within a particular work environment or field. It is often used in schools as a way to organize teachers into working groups.
- Focus on Learning, not just Teaching – The professional learning community model flows from the assumption that the core mission of formal education is not simply to ensure that students are taught but to ensure that they learn.This means being aware of how you respond–as a team of teachers–to these 3 questions:
- What do we want each student to learn?
- How will we know when each student has learned it?
- How will we respond when a student experiences difficulty in learning?
After the practical research for about one year long time, it is illustrated that this [Moodle] platform can effectively facilitate the information communication and sharing, the information literary development of teachers and students and the building of network courses.
Moodle is designed around a professional learning community, it allows teachers to act as facilitators of learning and to provide a framework for face-to-face and online interaction that may take place both in and out of the classroom. Through this framework, the students and teachers will be able to experience collaborative online interaction where ideas can be shared and a consensus to understanding can be constructed in online activities, discussions, and interactions.
Moodle also provides teachers with a means to create differentiated learning opportunities for students, where online discussion and collaboration can go on apart from other groups as needed, thereby allowing for a more individualized approach to student learning.
One of the struggles I have is that I just don’t have the time–as a classroom teacher—to collaborate. They want us to collaborate—and we’d do a GREAT job—but between planning, grading, parent conferences, there’s nothing left. I think many people beyond the classroom forget the crush of tasks that we have to do beyond collaborating with them!”
Online learning allows you to converse when you have time and energy, because with forums and wikis, you can have an ongoing asynchronous conversation with your colleagues. Moodle can provide you a space for your group to focus on improving student learning, and in that space, you can hold conversation, resources, a calendar, and more.
Sample Moodle Sites that Serve as PLCs
Other interesting resources
- Nice presentation on Moodle as PLC
- Professional Learning Community in Online Linguistics
- Creating a Professional Learning Community in Moodle – (PDF)
- SW/WC Online Learning Community
- San Diego Unified Schools
- Hillsboro, MO
- Professional Learning Community Resources
Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure