COVID-19: Distance Teaching with Moodle and Amanote

E-Learning Moodle

Due to the Coronavirus crisis, higher education institutions have been obliged to switch to a mode of digital learning.

Many online courses are based on video content (MOOCs, recording of lectures, etc.). However, creating this type of content can be difficult and requires certain computer skills or the availability of specific technical equipment.

Furthermore, videoconferencing tools are not always suitable to teach a large number of students. Although the live aspect is interesting, if you have had a chance to use this technology, you have certainly already encountered some recurring problems: no sound, no video, the microphone not working, repeated interruptions, and so on. In addition, you have to download and install an application, create an account, etc., all of which can also cause problems. Imagine teaching 50, 100, 500, or even 1000 students with this type of technology…

To tackle these problems, Amanote offers an easy-to-use solution that does not require any software installation or account creation. Amanote “Podcast” allows teachers to record oral explanations for any PDF course material (slides, syllabus, article, etc.) and share them with students. The students can then listen to the audio recording while taking notes near the corresponding page of the course material. Thus, students have the opportunity to actively follow the course using one integrated tool. In addition, the Amanote format consumes up to ten times less bandwidth than a video.

How does it work?

Once the Amanote plugin is installed on your Moodle instance, a button appears next to each course material in PDF format. When the teacher clicks on this button, a menu with an option “Open podcast editor” appears.

Once the podcast editor option is chosen, the “Save” button allows the recording to start. The teacher can start giving their oral explanations, and Amanote will automatically synchronize their voice with each page of the course material.

It should be noted that the teacher can also record their voice during a face-to-face lesson. Moreover, during the recording, the course material on which the audio is synchronized can be projected on a large screen. In addition, the computer offers sufficient recording quality, making it easy to create podcasts without expensive technical equipment.

Once the recording is finished, the teacher just has to publish the recording, following which all students will have immediate access to it.

When the students open the course in Amanote, they can listen to the oral explanations while taking clean and structured notes thanks to the advanced text editing options. This encourages them to actively follow the course, making their learning more effective than that offered by passively watching a video.

The advantages of Amanote

Interactive format

Many online courses are offered through videos in which the teacher provides oral explanations using slides. Learners cannot interact with the course material (since it is a video), and therefore tend to passively watch hours of video content. Unfortunately, when they are passive, they retain less information and are more likely to lose interest in the course.

Amanote proposes to alleviate this problem by offering an innovative solution to easily replace video courses with a more interactive format. It allows the student to combine the course material in PDF format (slides, for example) with the teacher’s synchronized oral explanations in addition to providing a note-taking field beside it, as illustrated below.

Synchronization of course material and audio

Its innovative podcast format gives Amanote another important advantage over the video format. As a result of the automatic synchronization of the teacher’s voice with the content displayed on the screen, it is straightforward for the students to listen again only to the passages they have not understood. They no longer have to spend many minutes searching for the right passage in a video. They simply click on the “Listen” button at the bottom of each page to listen directly to the corresponding oral explanations.

Adding additional explanations

Amanote is also useful because it allows teachers to add additional oral explanations in their lessons. Indeed, at any time, the teacher can open the podcast editor and add or delete a recording. For example, if they notices that the students have not understood a certain part of their lecture, for example, slide 15, they can add additional explanations to that slide.

Course improvement through student feedback

Amanote allows students to give feedback on the course. They can mark each page as “understood” or “not understood” and, if applicable, the reason why they felt they did not understand something. The teacher can then view the statistics via a dashboard.

How to install this plugin?

Amanote is 100% free during the outbreak. All content created during this period will remain available for free until the end of the year.

Request your free access here

You can also email us at moodle@amanote.com.

Use without Moodle integration

It is also possible to use Amanote without Moodle integration. To do this, go to https://amanote.com/e-learning.

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