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									                          ELIDA CAMEL CASE STUDY
                             LITERATURE: POETRY

Tool:   Moodle
Sector: FE

Rhona is head of English GCSE in an inner-city college in Yorkshire which specialises in
vocational education. She and her colleagues had identified the use of ICT as an area for
development, but until participating in eLIDA CAMEL, Rhona had limited training in e-learning.
Indeed, she confesses: “I had thought Moodle was just a means to store learning materials.”
However, she is always keen to provide new and exciting means for her learners to participate
in their courses, and so took on the challenge of developing a set of Moodle activities for use
with a GCSE class of seven adult students aged from 20 to 42, for whom English was a second

The design challenge
Rhona’s challenge was threefold. First, her students had very limited ICT skills and were
unconfident in their use of computers, tending to view them as solely a means to word-process
their assignments. Second, her classrooms are not equipped with computers, but designing
online activities for students to do at home was not an option as few of them have access to
computers outside the college. Third, she was unsure how ICT would work with a subject like
English: “To create a session with ICT at its centre is a whole new approach and made me
question if a typical English session plan could be ‘tweaked’ so ICT was the central feature and
not me!”

Designing the learning activities
The learning activities for the topic “Poetry from other Cultures and Traditions” were built
round a set GCSE text – a poetry anthology – and focused on a comparative study of two
poems on the theme “injustice and contrast.” Rhona adapted an existing paper-based design,
amending the learning outcomes to address the ICT dimension. The intended outcomes were:
     •    Understand a challenging poem
     •    Demonstrate how learners’ own ideas could be applied to the poem
     •    Use ICT with more confidence
As she commented, “it was effectively the same lesson I had originally designed but more onus
was placed on the learner and ICT was introduced to English GCSE.”
The learning activities were designed to introduce students to the anthology, and to encourage
them to begin to understand the poetry by investigating the meaning for themselves before
sharing their ideas with others: “I wanted to ensure that they recognised how their
preconceived ideas on rich and poor matched the poet’s description of the ‘Scavengers’ and
‘The Beautiful People.’ I also wanted to test how giving them the label ‘Scavengers’ or
‘Beautiful People’ affected how they viewed each other.” Rhona allocated students to each of
these labels and asked them to record their ideas individually first.
Rhona tackled the problem of students’ weak ICT skills in two ways. First, she deliberately kept
the format of the session as simple as possible, so that the students would not feel intimidated
by Moodle. She also included within Moodle a summary overview of the session, which would
be closely linked to her face-to-face introduction to the learning objectives. Second, she kept
her role as teacher to the fore, and also incorporated group activities. All the worksheets were
on Moodle, and Rhona encouraged the students to type their responses directly into the
documents so that they could be saved, printed and shared later. However, this meant that
she had to train the students beforehand to access and save these documents.

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Rhona worked on her design with a colleague, Ellen, who had more experience in e-learning
and acted as her mentor. In particular, Ellen gave valuable advice on the need to give the
students very clear, comprehensive instructions in Moodle, both to reassure them that tutor
support would still be a big part of the session, and to enable those who missed the session
itself to go into Moodle and do the activities on their own.

Running the learning activities
Rhona’s initial concerns about the actual learning session were that it would prove less
dynamic, that the students would fail to engage with each other, and that the introduction of
ICT would be seen merely as a token gesture. All these proved unfounded. She was also able
to give support to learners individually.
Rhona reported that the students “really enjoyed the novelty of using ICT in this way” and all
contributed to the discussion. In terms of learning outcome, the students demonstrated a clear
understanding of the poems studied and “talked about the contents of the poem and the
session for sometime afterwards.” They had also grown in confidence, not only in their ICT
skills but also in their ability to express their own ideas.

Impact of using the tool
In terms of the impact on her teaching, Rhona wrote that the experience had “changed my
approach to using Moodle and made me appreciate that ICT can fit naturally into an English
session.” She now wanted to explore the capabilities of Moodle further and learn how to design
resources in it. In particular, she wanted to try out Moodle’s Journal to gather feedback from
the students.
Ellen, Rhona’s mentor, had mentioned the possibility of using LAMS while they were designing
the session, but Rhona herself was concerned that her students would be “slightly
demotivated” by LAMS. In any case, technical difficulties and an upcoming inspection disrupted
the college’s plans to implement LAMS as part of the eLIDA CAMEL project. In the future,
however, Rhona said that she would consider using a more structured approach like LAMS –
but only with more computer literate learners. Eventually, however, she wanted to re-create
her entire scheme of work in LAMS.

The learners’ experience
No feedback was obtained directly from the students. However, Rhona reported they had both
enjoyed the session more and gained more confidence than she had expected:
“It was a real novelty to them to use ICT in this way. They gained a great deal more
confidence in just this short session than I had anticipated. [...] The results surprised me. I
didn’t expect the learners to enjoy it quite so much.”

An overview of the Moodle resources and learning activities was not provided; however,
Rhona’s lesson plan is reproduced overleaf.

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Topic: Poetry from other Cultures and Traditions
Group: [Access Group]                      Lead tutor:       [R Snowe]          Support:

This session aims to: Prepare Learners for the English Language GCSE
Outcomes: Learners will be able to compare two poems

Timing            Content                                Learner Activity/ Stage in          Resources                           Assessment/differentiation
                                                         Connecting the learning to          Sheets from previous sessions       Offer of support for anyone
5 minutes         Introduction to the session            previous session                                                        absent

                  Last week focus was on how to          Outcomes
                  write about poetry. Today’s
                  session looks at 2 poems and how
                  these could be compared

                  Theme for the poetry and for the
                  session is Injustice and Contrast

                                                         Activity requiring use of VAK       Post its / felts                    Allocation of pairs in some
10 minutes        On the board is written ‘Rich and      and Inter / Intra personal skills                                       cases
                  Powerful’ and ‘Poor and
                  Powerless’. Using different
                  coloured post it notes, in pairs,
                  learners identify words, images
                  and emotion associated with each
                  of these statements. These are
                  then stuck on the board and

                  Tutor reads ‘Nothing’s Changed’        Auditory preparation for            Smaller versions of the Anthology
5 minutes         – at this stage, no discussion of      following task
                  the poem takes place
                  Individually, Learners re-read the     Activity requiring use of VAK       Blown up version of the poem for    Some supporting comments
20 minutes        poem. Each learner is given a          and Inter / Intra personal skills   each learner                        added to some of the
                  sheet showing a two column                                                                                     worksheets
                  table. The top of one column is                                            Table worksheet
                  headed ‘What I know’, the top of                                                                               Selected partners
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Timing            Content                              Learner Activity/ Stage in          Resources                            Assessment/differentiation
                  the other is headed ‘What I’d ask
                  the poet’. Learners drag the paper
                  down to the end of each stanza
                  and then note down their
                  comments on what they’ve
                  understood and what questions
                  remain unanswered at each stage.

                  They then pair up with someone
                  else and discuss their responses

                  Some comments are feedback to
                  the group

                                                                                           Previous handout                     Use of Q and A to clarify
20 minutes        Detailed focussed discussion of      Demonstration and review /                                               learning
                  the poem – referring back to         recall                              Poetry booklet
                  ‘Treasure Hunt terms’
                  Refer back to the post its that      Review and Recall
5 minutes         were displayed and comments on
                  rich and poor – different setting
                  for this poem but again, it
                  captures a sense of inequality
                  Tutor reads the poem ‘Two            Auditory preparation for            Poetry booklet
5 minutes         Scavengers in a truck, Two           following task
                  Beautiful People in a Mercedes’
10 minutes        The whole group is divided in        Activity requiring use of VAK       Illustrated worksheets / blue tack   Selected division of group
                  half – half are to be ‘Beautiful     and Inter / Intra personal skills                                        and learners to feedback
                  People’, half are to be
                  ‘Scavengers’ – in pairs, they go
                  then go through the poem and
                  describe their allocated ‘pairs’.
                  What they’re doing, how they
                  look, how they feel, how you feel
                  about them, how they feel about
                  the people sitting next to them.
                  These are then displayed on the
                  opposite wall and learners are
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Timing            Content                            Learner Activity/ Stage in       Resources                  Assessment/differentiation
                  invited to spend 5 mins having a
                  look at what has been produced
                  by their opposites

                  Feedback some of the
20 minutes        Detailed focussed discussion of    Demonstration / Review and                                  Use of Q&A
                  the poem – as before               Recall
15 minutes        How could these poems be           Review and Recall                Worksheet with questions   Tutor selection of who to
                  compared? Sims and Diffs and                                                                   respond to Q&A
                  quick questions from page 48
5 minutes         Plenary                            Clear explanation of how the
                                                     outcomes have been met / short
                                                     homework task and where this
                                                     will lead in the next session

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For more about the Accelerated Learning Cycle and its 7 stages, go to the ‘Better Teaching, Better Learning’ pages of the staff intranet.

The graphic above is attributed in the original lesson plan to However, the
link is no longer functional.

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