Glogster & Moodle: good idea, poor execution

For extra credit in my online classes, I usually have students make a slideshow detailing a historical theme they’ve created.

Don’t tell, shhhhh, but: I despise slideshows. They take too long to grade, because they are hard to skim. Worse than audio.

All on one page, that’s my ticket.

So students in my 8-week summer Western Civ class asked for some extra credit, and one mentioned a poster (he also mentioned slideshow, but I’m ignoring that). So I went to Glogster, which I’ve never used for any sort of assignment, and created one as an example.

Then came the embed horror. Since speed is my goal, I want these suckers embedded firmly in a simple forum post, so they’re all one one screen and can be marked easily with a ratings drop-down.

Well, Glogster’s embed code sucks, and Moodle’s forum helpfully strips it to completely useless. And if you used Glogster’s “embed this poster” embed code instead (which is iframes-based), Moodle’s forum strips it all. So I tried to include special instructions as part of the extra credit assignment itself:

Then I looked at my cleverly embeded poster, and it wasn’t there. My own Firefox said I needed a plugin, but my Shockwave Flash is up to date. I looked and Safari sees the embed just fine. Naturally, I was contacted by a student almost instantly saying they couldn’t see the sample poster. I worked on it all morning, and finally had to use this Moodle hack, which creates a database. Took about a dozen tries but now students should be able to do this:

Of course, in WordPress this isn’t an issue.