By Chris Fulton, Centre for Teaching and Learning Enhancement
On Facebook, Instagram, WeChat and most social networks, students are using a rating button to provide one another with instant feedback. Most social media sites feature a single button that is used to quickly show one’s approval of posted pictures, videos or content. Status updates and pictures are acknowledged with a simple tap of a ‘like’ or ‘thumbs up’ button and in WeChat and Instagram there is a heart that readers or viewers use to indicate acknowledgement. Typically, the more ‘hearts’ or ‘likes’ a picture or post receives, the higher the peer rating. These simple buttons allow peers to give quick feedback on the media and content that each other shares or produce.
Given that this is an extremely popular component of social media and that positive feedback on assignments is often perceived as rewarding for students, then why not use a similar ‘like’ button in the discussion forums in a Moodle course to encourage peers to review each other’s academic work?
A list of all the steps needed to make a ‘thumbs up’ button for a forum in UMMoodle is below.
Create an advanced forum in one of their Moodle courses (version 2.7).
Click on the link to the forum to open it.
In the forum’s ‘administration block’, on the right side of the page, click Edit settings.
Click on Ratings, and use the drop down menu to set the Aggregate type to Maximum ratings (other choices can be used, but this works for giving a mark for participation). Select the type of scale, which is ‘Scale’, then select ‘Like Scale.’
Click Save and display.
Under the forum’s ‘administration block’ click on Permissions.
Type ‘rate’ in the box labeled ‘Filter’.
Click the + symbol beside Activity: Forum Rate posts, and give students the role or permission to rate posts.
All posts written by students and teachers in the forum can now be ‘liked’ by students and the peer-feedback will also be accounted for in a course’s gradebook.
I have made a quick video showing how you can easily add this feature to a Moodle forum. That video assumes that you are familiar with creating a forum in Moodle.
If you have questions, or need help please contact Chris FULTON at firstname.lastname@example.org or ext. 4574.
If you try this or have already used forums with student ratings, please let colleagues know how a ‘thumbs up’ or ‘like’ button was received by your students or your experiences with it by writing a comment below.