Optimizing the Pedagogical Efficacy of Moodle

Michelle Li-Kuehne, College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University
Evan M. Lowder, College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University


Course Management Systems (CMS) such as Moodle, D2L, and Blackboard are often used as auxiliary resources for both traditional and online courses. As CSB/SJU faculty, many of us are developing and using creative CMS resources with the goal of positive pedagogical impact. How is the effectiveness of these resources assessed? Which resources are found most useful by students? How can faculty maximize the pedagogical value of CMS? This Thursday Forum presentation shows participants the results of a study directed toward answering these questions. During three introductory financial accounting courses conducted in 2009, 2010, and 2011, Camtasia videos, assignment solutions, notes, slides, WebEx recordings, homework discussion forums, and other Moodle resources were available to students. Analyses were performed to determine whether student Moodle use correlated with student performance. A pre- and post-course exam was administered to assess student learning as related to Moodle use. In addition, a student survey was conducted to gather evidence about which resources were deemed most useful by students and to compare student perceptions of usefulness with actual use. The forum presentation also shows how to track student use of Moodle resources via the direct and indirect assessment methods used in the study. Examples of student preferred resources are also shown.