2020 Hokkaido Moodle Summer Workshops

Presentations listed alphabetically, by family name

Ackermann, Kurt  - Hokusei Gakuen Junior College

Where did my question go? It's in the bank! (Lightning Talk)
As a Moodle beginner, I would sometimes make quizzes without considering where or how the questions I made were being stored. Trying to reuse the same questions later was a headache and source of frustration. If you decide to edit or change the question and do it from within a quiz without understanding the role of the question bank, you could be adversely affecting the integrity of other quizzes you have made that happen to share the same question. A little bit of knowledge about the question bank will serve you well, both now and when you want to use the questions again in the future.

Ackermann, Kurt - Hokusei Gakuen Junior College (Lightning Talk)

Grade calculation (formula) in the gradebook: troublesome but powerful (Lightning Talk)
If your course involves a complex approach to calculating grades, or perhaps you weren't sure what you were doing when you set the grades for some of your quizzes or assignments, then creating a formula to adjust and add everything up is one way to make sure that the numbers come out the way you want them to.

Campbell, David -  Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine

The Power of Groups and Grouping  (Lightning Talk)

Groups and groupings in Moodle can help you organize your course materials for specific purposes and specific individuals or groups. This talk will go through the settings and how to quickly set up groups and groupings using the auto group feature.

Cotter, Matt - Hokusei Gakuen Junior College
Beginners Workshop (90 minutes)

This workshop will be conducted in English and is for those new to Moodle or who only started using Moodle and would like to do more.  In this workshop we will all make a course from scratch with participants proposing what the course needs and what kind of functions or activities it will contain.  As the workshop will be recorded, each step can be referred to at a later time.

Cotter, Matt - Hokusei Gakuen Junior College
Essay Autograde: A plugin for on-demand teaching in all subjects (Lightning)

The Essay Autograde question type plugin allows immediate feedback for written assignments by awarding an automatic, provisional score that is calculated from the number of countable items (characters, words, sentences or paragraphs) and/or the presence of certain predefined target phrases. In addition, teachers can specify "grade bands," and also determine the type of statistical data they and/or the students can see after submission, such as unique words used, lexical density or fog index. Finally, the teacher still has the option of overriding the automatically generated grade by giving a manual grade and/or feedback.  This quick introduction will outline the need for, design process and initial classroom implementation with examples of use in a variety of current Moodle courses.  A more detailed workshop by Don Hinklelman on installation, set-up and use will follow later in the day.

Goetz, Tom - Hokusei Gakuen University
Let's learn about the Workshop activity (40 minutes)

The Workshop activity is one of Moodle's more complex modules. When teachers know how to use it, they look forward to using it in the future. Getting to that point of familiarity, however, requires patience and dedication. In short, the Workshop activity is not as intuitive as the Assignment activity. The Workshop activity is a powerful peer assessment activity. Students add submissions that are then distributed amongst their peers for assessment based on a grading scale specified by the teacher. The teacher may assess as well. There are five phases. This presentation will walk participants through all of the five phases from both the teacher and student views.

原島 秀人 - 前橋工科大学
(90 minutes)


Harashima, Hideto - Maebashi Institute of Technology
Speech evaluation using P-chat

P-chat is a Moodle plugin for a half-automated speech evaluation. It is being developed by Justin Hunt, Branden Kirchmeyer and his colleagues at Sojo University. A learner records their speech into P-chat and transcribes it by themselves. Then AI will compare and examine the speech sounds and the transcription before it renders the analysis results including word counts, average sentence length, and accuracy score. The plugin is under development but it has the potential of adding to Moodle a much-demanded function of evaluating the "speaking" skill. The presenter will demonstrate the plugin, then let the participants use it and test it by themselves.

Hill, Glen - Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine
Taking your paper activities into the digital universe
Scanning documents is a very common reading skill used in every facet of life to find information quickly without reading every word on a page. Many do not even think about it when they do it. It is easier when the material that is scanned has some sort of pattern or order to it, but any document can be scanned. Teaching this skill amounts to making students initially aware of what they may already be doing unconsciously in their own language and then drilling them so they can exercise the skill in L2. Teachers should also point out the relevance of practicing the drills in English. Perhaps the most important aspect of that relevance can be the need to scan for customers or co-workers, especially when there is a time element involved. This presentation will demonstrate activities for scanning various documents in a face-to-face class using paper or in an online class with digital means. Ultimately, the goal is to test what students have learned, so the presentation will also show how an exam can incorporate scanning under a time limit to simulate real-life conditions of being under pressure to find the sought-after information quickly.

Hinkelman, Don - Sapporo Gakuin University
Online Speaking Materials: Free activities ready for September classes

This presentation demonstrates seven speaking activities that can be downloaded freely for Moodle. The second semester approaches with many universities continuing online, on-demand teaching of English as a foreign language. Although universities do not want to admit this problem--teaching speaking skills is impossible using an on-demand instructional approach. Collaborative learning is also extremely difficult, which is why flipped approach to learning is advocated to replace lecture-based, on-demand teaching. With these downloadable materials, which can be adapted to any textbook or curriculum, a teacher can add speaking skills, presentation skills, and interaction skills to an online curriculum. In the spring semester, I used these following seven activities in classes and could successfully use them in class. These activities are:

  1. video recording in forums (a two-minute record-anywhere feature of Moodle--but no iPhones)
  2. video assessment plugin (rubrics to score and students self-assess a recorded speech)
  3. uploading self-recorded videos through Line
  4. recorded role plays using free student Zoom accounts
  5. p-chat plugin:  interactive speaking using a new plugin
  6. s-assessment quiz plugin:  speech to text speaking exercises
  7. Duolingo and English Central speaking exercises (commercial add-ons with free versions)

I will show where teachers can freely download all of these materials. This is through an open course on the Moodle Association Showcase (https://showcase.moodlejapan.org).

Hinkelman, Don  - Sapporo Gakuin University
Paper Calculations and Moodle for Student Self-grading (Lightning Talk)
Students are often oblivious to the mysteries of how they get a grade. Teachers also want students to try their best and re-do performances. The goal is improved performance and mistakes overcome along the way are the best path to improvement. In this lightning talk, I will show two paper grade sheets used at Sapporo Gakuin University and Hokusei Gakuen University which not only show the student what activities, reports and quizzes are expected and to be graded, but also forces students to pay attention to the rubrics/criteria that they are graded on, as well as forcing them to calculate the grade themselves. An unintended benefit to this approach is that students improve their basic math skills with manual multiplication and addition. Of course, this approach assumes transparent reporting of all scores on the Moodle course which students can individually access. Participants will receive paper samples, editable Word documents and a full downloadable course backup of these materials for open re-use.

Hinkelman, Don - Sapporo Gakuin University; Bordin Chinda - Chiang Mai University

2:40-3:20  Beginners Workshop: Speaking Activities with Zoom Recording & Moodle Management 

In this workshop for beginners, I will demonstrate how to make Moodle speaking activities that were introduced in the morning—with an emphasis on how students can record and upload performances into Moodle with their own tools. One of the activities is a pair speaking role play recording activity that is easy for students to do in Zoom—a popular video conferencing tool which features simple record and download of small files to the desktop.  Most importantly, this activity is done with student Zoom accounts, so if Zoom or other video conferencing is not allowed at your school, students can do the activity completely on their own. Once a pair role play or other performance is finished, the file can be quickly uploaded, assessed, and graded in Moodle. Although this activity is done in Zoom, the whole workshop will be conducted in BBB while I show a screen share of Zoom within BBB. This whole process was designed and tested  by Prof. Bordin Chinda of Chiang Mai University, who will be joining the workshop as a co-presenter. Chiang Mai University started using Zoom and Moodle with flipped methods three months before Japanese universities, so their early experience benefits us.

Hinkelman, Don - Sapporo Gakuin University and other experienced colleagues

3:20-4:10  Beginners Workshop: Essay Autograde Hands-on Setup

Following up Matt Cotter’s lightning talk introduction to Essay Autograde, this is a hands-on workshop to show beginners how to install and setup Essay Autograde. This plugin could be the #1 plugin for emergency remote teaching for all subjects—because it automatically counts Japanese characters as well as English words—and can award points for key target words in both Japanese and English. Teachers often assign short reports or feedback essays in class, but have little time to score them. With its ability to provide a provisional grade and feedback (teachers read the essays later and manually override the initial autograde), Essay Autograde saves grading time and motivates students who otherwise would have to wait weeks for teacher scoring, when it is too late to have an effect. This plugin will save hours of time and give immediate feedback to students.  Matt Cotter designed the original Essay Autograde question type which was then programmed and expanded by Gordon Bateson. In this forty minutes, I would like to continue Matt’s work by teaching beginners who have never used Essay Autograde to make their own essay autograde activities on a site and share those activities amongst each other—hands on for 40 minutes. I will demonstrate an 'AO open homework website' (free to download from the MAJ Showcase library of open Moodle courses). Then you will learn how to move the Essay Autograde activities into your own Moodle website (including how to add the plugin to their site/convince admins to add it). One warning is that setting up Essay Autograde is not easy—because what the student sees is completely different, and if you give too much feedback, it will be overwhelming for students. In this workshop you will modify an existing Essay Autograde, save it, move it to your own home site. This plugin was awarded Best Innovation at the national Moodle Association of Japan conference in 2016.

Koch, Junior - Sapporo Gakuin University
Screencasts - a powerful and accessible way to share content

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has arguably imposed limitations in how teachers can teach their students. Unsurprisingly, in higher education settings across Japan, one common complaint is that the classes (usually online) are deemed inferior and low-effort when compared with face-to-face classes. In many such cases, this may be correlated with teachers' limited time, resources, and/or knowledge of educational technology. Indeed, teachers often comment on the difficulty in using technology efficiently for education and lack of training/support available.

Screencasts, i.e., recordings of a computer screen output, are powerful, versatile and yet simple-to-use tools that allow users to not only record their device screen output, but also record audio and video narration, for purposes such as teaching and sharing content. This workshop-style talk will cover some of the basics of screencasting and show how it can be used for a few specific tasks such as giving instructions and feedback, building tutorials, and delivering presentations. The presenter will share their experience in using screencasts for teaching students and delivering teaching workshops. In the following discussion, participants will be welcome to share their ideas, experiences, and talk about other ways in which screencasts can be used in our educational contexts.

Meadows, Martin
Attendance taking in Moodle

While taking attendance in real-time, face-to-face classes, it tends to be both simple and reliable - very large classes excepted. However, with remote delivery of learning content in the coronavirus era has made the task more complex and challenging. Attendance should be seen as a measure of task completion within an assigned time frame ranging from real-time, synchronous contexts to delayed or asynchronous ones. For teachers using Moodle, there is a wide choice of possible methods available for gauging students’ participation depending on the way class content is delivered. This presentation will examine some of these methods, including demonstration of an auto-attendance plugin.  


Muir, Brendon  - Sapporo Gakuin University
(Co-presenter: Matt Cotter - Hokusei Gakuen University Junior College)
Techniques for Teaching Presentation Skills Online

Practicing and carrying out presentations comes with its own set of problems when training and performing in a remote learning environment. Without the engagement and interaction of a live audience, teachers, students and technological tools need to adapt and be adapted to ensure the necessary skills and experience are acquired. Three actionable techniques became the main focus during the 2020 online first semester for teaching an oral communication course for presentation skills.
1. Using Video Assessment Module (VAM) for recording interactive peer and teacher feedback and skill awareness.
2. Utilizing SNS communication channels (synchronous and asynchronous) inside and outside Moodle.
3. Providing tools for independent planning and execution of tasks with model videos and detailed written instructions.
It was discovered that over the semester, ERT drastically reduced critical feedback from teachers for students when compared to past years. However it was also interesting to find that encouraging students to solve problems by themselves was not met with opposition. Furthermore, utilization of the three techniques showed that basic presentation skills could still be mastered and motivation to continue learning be increased in an ERT setting.

Saito, Jun


Moodle in STEM Online Education


Sato, Kate - Hokkaido University of Science

Feedback - hear the students’ voices and tailor your class to their needs

With Covid 19 teachers have had to become accustomed to teaching remotely. However, in cases where cameras are off, and student microphones are muted it can be especially challenging to ensure all students have a way to share their thoughts, opinions, and questions with their teacher. The Feedback module in Moodle solves this issue, and moreover opens a way for teachers to tailor online classes more closely to each class and their needs. Furthermore, it can be used as a way for students to share any problems they may be having (both technical and with class content, etc).

This short talk shows you how to create a feedback questionnaire, shares how you can get students to respond using the Feedback Module, and how to avoid some pitfalls when using it.