Moodle Monday’s – Glossary Activity

What is it?

Moodle App LogoThe glossary activity enables participants to create and maintain a list of definitions (like a dictionary), or to collect and organise resources or information. Glossaries have many uses, such as:

  • A collaborative bank of key terms
  • A ‘getting to know you’ space where new students add their name and personal details
  • A ‘handy tips’ resource of best practice in a practical subject
  • A sharing area of useful videos, images or sound files
  • A revision resource of facts to remember

How does it work?

Follow the instructions in the guide below on how to create a Glossary.

How can I use it to support my teaching?

Instead of creating a glossary on your own, why not have the students create them as they encounter unfamiliar terms? A collaborative glossary can serve as a focal point for collaboration in a course. Each member of the class could be assigned to contribute a term, a definition, or comments on submitted definitions. Definitions can be rated by you and by the students, creating a basic framework for peer assessment. These ratings can then be aggregated to form a final grade which is recorded in the gradebook.

When students are responsible for creating the definitions, they are much more likely to remember the word and the correct definition. Engaging in the process of learning, debating, and refining a glossary can go a long way toward helping students begin using new terms.

Glossary and 3E Framework

Below is an example of how the Glossary activity can be used in conjunction with the 3E element of the TEL Quality Framework.


Adopting technology in simple and effective ways to actively
support students and increase their activity and


Further use of technology that facilitates key aspects of students’
individual and collaborative learning and assessment through
increasing their choice and control.


Developed use of technology that requires higher order individual
and collaborative learning that reflect how knowledge is created
and used in professional environments.

Create a primary glossary of key terms related to a specific academic discipline. Have the entries auto-linked throughout the Moodle course. Create a secondary glossary for each theme or topic which students have to populate by doing their own research. Have students rate and comment on each other’s glossary entries – students should justify the rating by responding to the entry with a comment. The most highly rated terms get promoted to the primary class glossary.

Further Resources

Daniel Mackley

Daniel’s role is to identify staff learning needs and strategically design, deliver and evaluate development interventions related to the effective use of current and emerging Technology Enhanced Learning tools in Higher Education. Working to the Learning & Teaching Development annual objectives and the TEL quality framework, he pro-actively supports and develops staff in their use of technology to enhance the student learning experience. Daniel is also the lead for the teams iPad Project.

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