Moodle uses a modular design and user roles to give instructors choices about what types of features they want on their individual course sites. As an instructor, you are able to choose only the modules that you will use for the course, allowing you to integrate as much online interaction into your course as you desire while keeping your course website clean and efficient. I was very pleased with the selection of standard modules for Moodle, as well as the selection of freely available 3rd party modules (which you will need to download and install separately). Moodle standard modules include a course calendar, assignment area, glossary, forum, chat, workshop, wiki, quiz, survey, resource, and lesson areas.
My favorite module is the workshop module, a module designed for facilitating online peer reviews of documents. In my course, I used the workshop module for students to do a round of peer reviews online (as homework) for major assignments, thus freeing up class time for one-on-one conferences or other types of work. I found that the Workshop module had two major benefits – first, all peer review comments were put in writing so that the students were able to take away comments that they cannot forget or misplace. Additionally, because these comments were viewable by the rest of the class and myself as instructor, I found that students took more time and care in doing their peer reviews of drafts online. The workshop module interface is easy to use, and the students did not find it difficult to navigate. The Wiki module is also very useful for group assignments and online collaboration. The basic chat and forum modules are also excellent for facilitiating class discussions or online conferencing. The module that I found particularly useful to fostering online collaboration was the chat, which I used to offer my students the choice of conferencing with me face-to-face (in our conference rooms) or online.