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#12 - Create an online peer learning loop in Moodle

  1. Students may respond to a task by completing it as fast and shallow as possible, wanting to get an adequate grade and moving on.
  2. We might want them to spend more time on the task, developing their response over two or more iterations, seeking and using feedback, and reflecting on the approaches that they use.
Solution overview

A peer learning loop can be used to achieve this. Moodle Forums offers a simple solution for scaffolding and managing these loops. Create a Moodle Forum to host the task. If you want the students to write their own post before they get to see others, use a Q&A type forum, in which each student posts their response by a set date. Otherwise, create an "each person posts one discussion" type forum. The tutor and the other students may post feedback on each others' work. There may then be a second iteration of the process, in which the students post improved versions of their response (in the same forum, or in a separate forums). The activity can be set as an assessed activity, with the tutor posting marks to the gradebook. This could include the ability to give marks and feedback on the student's use of reflection.

If you are working with large numbers of students, you might want to organise the students into smaller groups, and set-up a forum for each group. Peer-review works better in this way.

Steps to follow
  1. In your Moodle Module Space, consider organising your students into groups (this is part of the Moodle Participants system).
  2. Create a Q&A type forum (or one for each of the groups you have created), setting the Ratings fields to enable you to mark student posts. If you wish for students to work in smaller groups, apply ‘separate groups’ under ‘Common module settings’.
  3. Post the initial challenge and guidance into the Q&A forum, including guidance on how students can provide feedback to each other, and how they will be expected to improve their original response.
  4. Give feedback in the forum, to individual students, and to the whole group.
  5. Ask the students to post an improved version.
  6. Give feedback (if necessary go through the loop more than twice).
  7. If the activity is to be assessed, add the grades.