History Teaching with Moodle 2 By @johnmm [Book Review]

I was asked by Packt Publishing if I wouldn't mind doing a quick review of the book History Teaching with Moodle 2 by John Mannion which I jumped at the chance as we have just finished upgrading Leeds City College Moodle to Moodle 2.

I was always told to never judge a book by it's cover but at first glance, reading through the table of contents, the book covers a vast range of Moodle tools from the basics of working with images right up to some advanced features such as setting up RSS feeds and integrating Moodle with Xerte and Audacity. 

I love the fact that the Book encourages use of Open Source Software such as Firefox, Gimp and Audacity and pushes teachers to try something different which we all know can be difficult to do.

The Book explains how using Moodle will be beneficial to both Teachers and Students.

Chapter 1: Course Structure - This chapter emphasises the importance of setting up the initial structure for the course which in return makes it easier to build.  John also talks about getting users to interact with Moodle forums.  This chapter also takes you through how to create the course, choose a course format, naming the course, choosing a category and enrolling users.

Chapter 2: Create Attractive Courses - This chapter takes you through the basics of making your course more attractive and appealing to students.  It walks you through using GIMP as an image editor and inserting images into Moodle.  The chapter does also discuss how to upload multiple files to moodle using a Zip file (something I believe that all teachers should be able to do)

Chapter 3: Adding Interactive Content - This chapter takes you through using some of Moodles interactive elements such as Assignments and Glossaries, which gives students the ability to submit their work through moodle and contribute to the course glossary.  The chapter does show you how to modify student roles giving them permission to add to the glossary (Something teachers are usually afraid of doing).

Chapter 4: Quizzes - The title of the chapter is self explanatory, I think it's one of the most underused areas of Moodle.  The chapter walks you through the various types of questions, how to create a quiz, creating matching questions, creating multiple choice questions and true or false questions as well as explaining how to manage the results.

Chapter 5: The Gradebook - This chapter walks you through using the Moodle Gradebook, again, another underused feature in Moodle.  It shows you show to work your way up from some of the basics right up to some of the advanced features of customising the gradebook for your class.

Chapter 6: Student Collaboration - This section shows you how to create ways for students to work together online using core Moodle tools such as, Polls, Databases and Wikis.

Chapter 7: Lessons & Blogs - This chapter shows teachers how and why they should use Lessons and Blogs within Moodle. It takes you right through from setting up a blog and lesson to adding activities and other interactive elements. Great Chapter.

Chapter 8: Using Xerte & Audacity - The chapter takes you through setting up and using Xerte for your Moodle course, it shows you how to download Xerte and create different interactive activities such as, drag and drop, interactive diagrams and multiple choice quizzes.  This chapter also shows you how to download and install audacity and use it to edit audio.

Chapter 9: Moodle Workshops - This in-depth chapter shows you how to use Moodle Workshops to allow students to assess the work of fellow students, similar to a classroom environment.  It also takes you though enabling the workshop module, creating a workshop and using smart questions.

Overall this book is simple to understand but yet powerful in it's execution.  It's easy to follow and understand and sutible for Moodle 2 novice's and experts alike.

if you are a History teacher and you have access to Moodle then this book is definitely for you.