Asynchronous classes do not mean that students can’t engage with each other and actively participate in class! Moodle offers different solutions for asynchronous communications and collaboration, such as Forums, Messaging, and Groups. Instructors can use Groups for collaborative activities and break-out group discussions. Forums in Moodle allow faculty and students to communicate in a discussion-board format, including posting media so that conversations can continue online. Messaging lets individuals and groups message each other, both in real-time and through email.
Additionally, asynchronous tools allow all students to think about their answers and responses to each other, making interactions more meaningful. Asynchronous communication gives teachers the chance to look closely and devote time to each students’ participation, comments, and interactions, making it easier to provide feedback and assess learning.
The Groups feature allows an instructor to assign students (and TAs or co-instructors) to one or more groups for the entire course or individual activities. Because students can be in multiple groups at once, instructors can set up different group memberships for different activities (e.g., using larger groups for forum discussions, and smaller groups for peer review activities). In addition, groups of students can each be assigned separate activities. Groups can be used to set up lab sections, make project groups, or closely utilize features within Moodle activities (such as Campus Pack and OU tools).
Need a space for you and your students to have discussions? Have response questions that your students need to reply and comment on? Need a Q & A to clarify lecture/reading/assignments? Forums are your best friend!
Need a space for students to collaborate privately? Everyone on Moodle can use Messaging to contact other Moodle users via real-time chat (if they are online) or message (if they are offline). Offline users are notified of Messages when they log in and can opt into receiving Messages via email. Students can contact their groups, other individuals, or you, privately through messaging.
If you have any additional questions or problems, don't hesitate to reach out to the Help Desk!