Edmodo in an Institute of Teacher Education: A Platform for Blended Learning

Edmodo in an Institute of Teacher Education: A Platform for Blended Learning

Quinie Ong Kooi Loo (Institut Pendidikan Guru Kampus Sultan Abdul Halim, Malaysia) and Kathleen Dass (Institut Pendidikan Guru Kampus Sultan Abdul Halim, Malaysia)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7832-1.ch008

Abstract

Edmodo is a free online learning platform for teachers to communicate and collaborate with students. It is a digital communication tool that has been designed to work across a range of devices, suitable for blended learning. To maximize learning and meet the challenges of the current digitalized classroom, supplemental blended learning was adopted in an English literature course in an institute of teacher education in Kedah, Malaysia. This chapter describes how Edmodo was used to manage blended learning, with the focus on online activities created in posts, small groups, assignment tool, and polling tool. The activities were planned based on the five ingredients on blended learning by Carman. The result of a poll done in Edmodo showed 74% of the students agreed that they were able to explicate Shakespeare after attending the course, and 81% opined that the course was effectively organized in Edmodo. Based on the positive feedback, Edmodo is recommended for subsequent blended learning courses.
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Introduction

Blended learning has received much attention in recent years due to its ability to accommodate the needs of 21st century learning where learning goes beyond the classroom walls. Blended learning refers to the mixing of traditional face-to-face instruction with online learning, and it includes the use of digital content, resources, and tools to enhance, extend and transform the learning process (Pape, Sheehan & Worrell, 2012). Blended learning can be defined as a combination of any online and traditional brick-and-mortar learning environments which also utilizes other modes to improve learning outcomes and save cost. (Banados, 2006). Therefore, blended learning can be defined as the integration of complementary face-to-face and online strategies (Garrison & Vaughan, 2008).

Implementing blended learning programs is one alternative for English learners who do not get enough exposure to the language in class or opportunities to communicate, as well as make explorations regarding the language (Tomlinson & Whittaker, 2013). Educational systems such as Moodle as well as Edmodo allow learners to begin interaction and share information outside the class. Particularly if instructors come across an absence of time with their students, it is much better to review a topic with them by means of social media in educational ways (Yagci, 2015). As a result, students can execute the tasks outside the usual course duration by using online educational platforms. (Tomlinson & Whittaker, 2013).

There are many learning management systems (LMS) available and one prominent international education network which offers its users communication, cooperation and also training techniques is Edmodo (Cauley, n.d.; Edmodo, 2013; Renard, 2016). Edmodo is a secure environment and devoid of advertisements, video games, as well as other diversions that might interrupt student learning. Teachers can post announcements and also tasks for their students on Edmodo. Students use the network to communicate with their teachers to share suggestions, problems, and useful tips; ask questions concerning lessons and research; and also team up with various other classmates on tasks and group work (Arroyo, 2011; BusinessWire, 2014; Edmodo, 2014; Mills & Chandra, 2011; Renard, 2016).

In this chapter, Edmodo was chosen by the authors to be the platform to facilitate blended learning because the institutes of teacher education in Malaysia do not provide nor prescribe any official online platform for use in the institutions. In the literature course taught by the authors, Drama in English, Edmodo was used by four lecturers teaching the course to manage the virtual classroom, share materials, communicate and collaborate among themselves; and with two classes of students which added up to 27 students. Four features of Edmodo were utilized to create online tasks. They were posts, small groups, assignment tool,andpolling tool. Other digital applications were also used such as Kahoot, Padlet, Word Search Maker and Instant Online Crossword Puzzle Maker. With Edmodo, online tasks were organized and recorded in a more systematic way. Hence, the objective of this chapter is to share how Edmodo was used as a platform to maximize learning in a literature course through blended learning.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Explicate: To give a detailed and clear explanation.

Online Learning: Learning through online activities created using the features in Edmodo and other digital applications in the internet.

Digital Platform: An avenue to create a virtual classroom for educators and their students.

Digital Communication Tool: An online tool used by educators to communicate with their students.

Meta-Analysis: A statistical approach to combine the results from multiple studies.

Digital Applications: Applications in the internet which have specific functions and can be accessed from any computer with an Internet connection.

Blended Learning: A combination of face-to-face learning and web-mediated learning.

K-12: A term used in the United States and Canada for public schools from kindergarten to the 12 th grade.

Facilitate: To make the process of blended learning easier.

Supplement: Activities added to the traditional classroom interaction in order to complete or enhance learning.

Edmodo: An online learning platform which has similar features to Facebook and educators use it to manage a virtual classroom.

Learning Management System: An LMS offers classroom management for instructor-led training for blended learning.

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