Creating Parent Roles in Moodle

moodleOver the past five years, our teachers have embraced the power of using Moodle for their course management.  For those unaware, Moodle is an online learning environment which gives teachers the flexibility to construct an online component of their class in a way which suits them individually. As each teacher’s classroom experience is unique, each teacher’s use of Moodle is also be unique.

At this point, we are asking our Middle School and Upper School teachers to share their assignment sheets and syllabi at a minimum. Some teachers are uploading Word docs, PDFs, or using the assignment feature of Moodle to accomplish this. In addition, some teachers are posting handouts and other worksheets, class notes and access to audio and video files to supplement and support their teaching.

Moodle will allow students and teachers to keep in touch in the case of illness or any absenses (both planned and unplanned). One of the byproducts of integrating Moodle into the classroom experience is that parents now want access to Moodle. With our upgrade to Moodle version 1.9, we have been able to create a Parent user role and have parents register to use Moodle. If one of our Middle School Parents are interested in an account, we ask them to fill in a simple Google Form to register. Then using Moodle’s documentation on how to create a Parent Role, we then register parents into classes. Rather than following the example provided by Google, we allow parents the ability register for classes. We allow parents access into the course and to be able to download files and view assignments (but not turn them in). We are not allowing them access to view their student’s blog entries (we really aren’t using this yet) or forum posts, because we want students to feel comfortable sharing with the class and the teacher without their parents “intrusion” into their school life.

Philosophically, we do not register parents for Moodle accounts at this point, because we want students to begin to own their own learning. We do allow parents to access our Test and Major Projects calendar.

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