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Moodle Quick Help Guide

Forum Activity vs a Blog

Both the Moodle Forum activity and blogs can be used for discussion.  However, each tool has features that may be better suited for different situations.
 
If you would like to . . .
  • quickly set up a simple post and reply space for your students to discuss course materials or topics with each other
  • add (link, embed, attach) multimedia to posts
  • keep the discussion private to the class
  • link this activity to Moodle's Gradebook (optional)
use a Moodle Forum.
 
If you would like to . . .
  • take some additional time up front to set up a more aesthetically pleasing and fully featured space for your students to discuss course materials or topics
  • add (link, embed, attach) multimedia to posts
  • give students the experience of using a blogging tool that they might go on to use outside of class
  • share the discussion with the world (or keep it private to the class - either is possible)
use a blog. LITS supports WordPress on commons.mtholyoke.edu and Google Blogger, which is available to all MHC community members via Google Apps for Education.
 
Some additional thoughts:
Because they are private to the class by default, Moodle Forums are particularly good for informal discussions like having students respond to assigned readings (helpful for gauging student comprehension and jumpstarting in-class discussion).  Blogs - especially if made public - can lend themselves to more polished work because students know they have a broader audience. On that note, blog comments (equivalent of a Moodle Forum reply) can be configured so that they are allowed only by blog authors (the class) or by the world, and they can be moderated (subject to blog administrator approval) or unmoderated (published immediately). 
Both Forums and blogs allow you to embed or attach multimedia. Using a Forum (private to class by default) or using a blog accessible only to your class is the way to go if you think you and your students will be using copyright-protected images, video, audio or text.  If using a public blog, it's important to give students some training in how to identify what images, video, audio or text they can legally use under Fair Use guidelines.  Talk to your LITS Liaison, we're happy to help with this kind of training!
Springshare's information on Accessibility in Libguides - - MHC Accessibility Barriers Form