March 2012
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MOODLE READER GAINS TRACTION
Thomas Robb, Kyoto Sangyo University

MoodleReader is the name of a plug-in module that we have developed at Kyoto Sangyo University (KSU) as part of our Extensive Reading program, in order to ascertain whether students have actually read the books that they have claimed to have read.

Extensive reading (ER) is widely recognized as an effective means for students to increase their language proficiency by reading easy material in large volumes. This helps to consolidate their knowledge, improving their ability to quickly comprehend what they have read and to predict what vocabulary and syntax follow.

When it comes to applying ER in the classroom, however, some way is needed to hold the students accountable for what they have read. Written reports or summaries, however, present a burden for students and teachers alike. Enter MoodleReader.

MoodleReader allows students to prove that they have done their reading via a short quiz of 10 randomized questions. If they pass the quiz, they are rewarded with the book cover added to their stamp collection on their MoodleReader page.

The program was first implemented in 2008 for use within our own faculty. We soon realized, however, that not only would the program be useful to our colleagues in other schools, but we also actually needed their assistance in order to develop quizzes for, ideally, all of the graded readers that are available. We started out by making quizzes for the 300 most commonly read books at KSU, and then opened up the software for others to use. Three years later we are approaching the 2,000 mark with quizzes available for virtually all books in the major graded reader series, and with over 15,000 students in over 100 schools around the world regularly using the program.

MoodleReader can be accessed in two different modes. For those who have Moodle installed at their school, the software is freely available for installation. The system administrator, however, needs to have a password in order to access and download the quizzes from the central quiz bank. For those who do not have their own Moodle, there is MoodleReader site where teachers, or entire schools, can have their own page for quiz access, even tailored with the same theme as their own school's homepage. Feel free to contact Tom Robb if you would like to assess the suitability of the program for your own students.

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