Vocabulary Learning with the Moodle Glossary Tool: A Case Study


  • Sibylle Ratz Edinburgh Napier University




Moodle glossary, vocabulary learning, independent learning, technology, modern languages


Vocabulary learning is a vital part of mastering a language and experience has shown that students often neglect to routinely work on this aspect leading to problems with listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. This case study describes and evaluates the use of the Moodle glossary to support vocabulary learning in the modern language classroom. First-year students of German added 30 vocabulary items to the glossary each week. All students were encouraged to learn the new contributions on a weekly basis and classroom activities were used to reinforce the new vocabulary. Contributions were expected to follow a certain format, and students received a small percentage of their mark for their contributions.

A mixed-method approach using surveys, statistics from Moodle, feedback notes, observation notes, email exchanges, and a focus group with students served to analyse the effectiveness of the Moodle glossary. Results showed that all students contributed to building the tool, though technological support from the instructor was sometimes necessary. Students less regularly read the contributions of others. A comparison of the Moodle activity report and the weekly quiz results suggested that engaging with the tool led to improved quiz results. The tool was successful in promoting independent learning, however extrinsic motivators (such as assessment and quizzes) proved necessary for some students. In general, the Moodle glossary was a useful tool for vocabulary learning and recommendations for a successful implementation are given. This case study will be of interest to language instructors, but also to learners and instructors dealing with specialised terminology.

Author Biography

Sibylle Ratz, Edinburgh Napier University

Lecturer for German


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