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Moodle: Faculty/Administrator help

Moodle Tricks

The Albright Faculty Toolkit is a repository of user-friendly tips, ed-tech tools, training and resources. The goal is to identify, explain, develop, implement and support innovative technology for the enrichment of academic experiences.

Use HTML5 to animate elements of a course.

Content Types and Applications (All content types.  New types are added periodically.)

Users may need to use the back button or bread crumb navigation links to exit a H5P content page.  Grading is inflexible at the moment.  Some H5P items might work best as gatekeepers, testing knowledge before permitting access to new content. 

These are probably the content types most likely to be useful.

  • Course Presentation  Mix various content types on a page. 
  • Accordion  Save real estate with sections that expand and close.
  • appear.in  Online video conferencing for up to eight persons (also available via an external site).
  • Column  Layout H5P content in a column.
  • Dialog Cards  Flash cards with audio and images.
  • Documentation Tool  Assess a project and print the results.
  • Drag-n-Drop  Drag text blocks onto an image and get feedback.
  • Interactive Video  View videos.  Review questions take students back if the answer is incorrect.
  • Timeline  Create a timeline with illustrations and a scale of years.

 

 

Instructors are encouraged to request individual assistance.  If you can't come to Reading, help and training are available by screen sharing.

Don't be frustrated.  We're here to help.

The Sandbox is a site where faculty can experiment and practice and not risk their regular Moodle sites.  Contact us for access.

Do you feel frustrated managing email exchanges with students in your Moodle classes? Would you like a way to manage messaging with students without having to use a separate program? Some clever users have found a way to combine Moodle features to create a private communication link in the course using a forum and group settings. Teachers and students can communicate privately using a link on the course main page.

The good news is that exchanges with students can be simplified and documented.

The bad news is that settings must be managed carefully to ensure privacy. Automatically naming a group for each student is not yet supported, so groups have to be renamed manually. There is an investment of time at the beginning to save time later in the course.

Click on Groups under Users in the course Administrative menu.

At the next screen, click “Auto-create groups”.

Set “Auto create based on” to “Members per group” and “Group/member count” to 1.

You can click “Preview” to see the groups that will be created. If the groups look o.k., click “Submit” to create the groups.

Click on a group to see who is assigned to the group.

Now comes the annoying part. This is a new trick for Moodle and the Group module isn’t yet programmed to create groups based on student names. So the teacher needs to edit the group settings to rename the group for the student. First, note the name of the student in the group, then highlight the group name and click “Edit group settings”.

Delete the default group name and type in the name of the student. Then click “Save changes” at the bottom of the page. Repeat the process to rename each group. Yes, this can be annoying in large classes.

To set up the private forum.

 

On the course main page turn editing on and click “Add an activity or resource.”

In the popup window select “Forum” and click “Add”.

Provide a meaningful forum name. A brief description may be helpful. Put a check mark in the “Display description on course page”. If this is not checked, the student will see the description text when they click the link.

In the “Common module settings” area set “Group mode” to “Separate groups”. Then click “Save and return to course”.

The forum will display on the main course page. If there are any unread posts, a notification will display. Click on the forum link to view any messages.

Clicking on the post’s title or the number under “Unread” will display the post.

The drop down menu has options to select how replies are displayed. The “Reply” link opens a window to type a reply.

 

 

Uploading and Managing Content in Moodle

1. Q: What kinds of documents can I upload to Moodle?

A: Uploading just means putting your document up onto the Moodle server or any Internet server. You can upload just about any file type to Moodle, however the type of document that you upload affects how your students can view it. If you upload documents that were created and saved in specific software programs (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.), your students will have to have that particular software installed on their computer to view the documents. 
For example, if you upload a PowerPoint document (as a .ppt or .pps), your students will have to download the file and then open it in PowerPoint or the PowerPoint viewer. However, if you save your files as HTML, the students can view the documents directly on screen from within Moodle.

2. Q: I uploaded a Word document to Moodle, but when I open it, edit and save the changes don’t show up. How can I edit a Word document in Moodle?

A: When you attach a Word.doc in Moodle, you can open it up again and edit it but when you save, you are saving back to your computer. Think of it as an email attachment. If someone sends you a document, you can open and edit and save it to your desktop, but if you want to send it again, you have to reattach it.

So you just need one more step, which is to upload the edited document back to Moodle. Here's how you do it. After you open and edit an attached document, make sure that you note where on your computer you are saving it. For example you can select Save As and then choose the folder where you keep your syllabi or just save to the desktop. Then upload the document back to Moodle like you did in the first place. You can delete the old version from Moodle or rename it as "oldsyllabus" or better yet, include the date in the name so it looks something like this "syllabus_4_8_08.doc."

 

3. Q: Why should I save and upload my files as HMTL?

A: Saving HTML documents in Moodle allows your students to directly access the information from within the Moodle page. This is preferable for course information and documents, such as assignment instructions and timelines, which students may need to check often. There may also be times where you want to upload files for download, such as templates or forms that need to be modified or copied or longer documents that students will want to print. In those cases, leaving the document in its original form (.doc, .xls) would be preferable.

 

4. Q: What should I put in the Name of Link to File field?

A: If the file is for downloading, type something like "Click to download." If the file is in a web format and will be viewed on screen, type something like "Click to view." This lets the student know what will happen when they click the link. Remember, whatever you type in this field becomes the actual link that students will click on.

 

5. Q: How should I save my graphics?

A: The most universally supported file formats on the Web are .gif and .jpg format. In general, use .gif format for graphics that have few colors, graphics that contain text or type, or graphics that have large areas of a single color. Use .jpg format for graphics that have many colors and lots of fine detail, such as photos. It is NOT recommended to use bitmapped graphics with Moodle. These files are very large and can affect your course performance, as they are slow to load, especially for modem users. Many scanners default to .bmp files, so make sure you check this if you are scanning photos or images.
It is also important to remember that Moodle will upload all graphics in their original size. Make sure that you have sized and saved your graphics in an appropriate size for your course site. There are recommended sizes shown in the Page Editors when uploading course banners and staff photos.

6. Q: What kind of media files are supported by Moodle?

A: The following media files can be viewed within Moodle. 
Graphics: GIF and JPEG
Video: MPEG, Quicktime, AVI
Audio: WAV and AIFF
Animation: Flash, Shockwave
Note: students will need the appropriate software and plug-ins to view the media files.

7. Q: How fast (or slow) will my files be downloaded?

A: When developing your course materials, remember that the students may be connecting to the Internet via a dial-up modem. Files should be kept small enough so users with slower connections will still be able to access the files in a reasonable amount of time. If you cannot keep the file size down, an alternative is to use the text field in the Add Item area to provide the student with information describing what the file is, how large it is, and why it is important that they view it. Often, simply letting a student know that the download may take longer than usual will diffuse any frustration associated with the long process.
Keep in mind that download time will vary based on Internet traffic and connection speed.

8. Q: I posted a Word.docx file to the course page but some people can’t open it.

A: This is a compatibility issue. Microsoft Office 2007 files have an extra x on the end of the extension, so a Word.doc will look like Word.docx if you are using Word 2007. People who have older Word versions, will not be able to open these files. This can be fixed two ways:

  1. You can re-save your document as an older version. For example in Word, go to save as and select save as a .doc file.
  2. People who have the older Microsoft Office can download a pack from Microsoft. This will enable them to open any 2007 Microsoft Office documents such as Word, Power Point or Excel. The pack can be downloaded at this URL:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/Search.aspx?displaylang=en#

If you are an instructor, you can post this link on your Moodle site.


9. Q: I uploaded Power Point slides to my course, why are some students having problems viewing them?

A: There might be a few possible issues. Here are the fixes:

1. Use Firefox instead of Internet Explorer as your browser. This will fix the problem. Here is a link to the free download.

2. If you are using Internet Explorer to view the course page, when you click on the Power Point link, instead of selecting "open" file, choose "save." The file will download to your computer and then you should be able to open it.

3. If you are using Internet Explorer to view the course page and when you click on PPT, a blank page opens up, you need to add http://moodle.moc.edu to your Internet Explorer's trusted sites. Click here to see how to do that.

4. If you don't have Power Point on the computer that you are using to view the files, you won't be able to view Power Point slides unless you have a PPT Viewer. You can download the viewer here . It is free from Microsoft.

10. Q: How do I link a streaming video into my course?

A: Here are the steps:

1) Turn editing on in your course.

2) Select Add a Resource, choose Compose a Web Page.

3) In the next screen put the description of the video in the top box.

4) In the Compose a Web Page Block, click the <> button (html) and paste in the HTML path from UTube or another site you are pulling the video from.

5) Choose Open in the Same Window

6) Press Save.

Now you should see the video in the course.

11. Q: When I click on the link to view a PDF document and it just hangs and doesn't download the file.

A: You may need to update the version of Adobe Reader on your PC. Especially, if you are using the latest Firefox browser, version 3.0, you will need to the most current version of Adobe Reader. Go to Adobe Reader and download the latest version. Once the install is complete, try clicking on the file link again in Moodle and the document should open immediately.

12. Q: I tried to upload a file, but it didn't work. What went wrong?

A: Up loading a file is generally very simple. If it didn't work, check the name of the file. It shouldn't have any punctuation in it: no commas, apostrophe's etc. Remove all punctuation by renaming the file and then try the upload again.

13. Q: How can I quickly navigate to a particular topic/week section of the course at my course main page?

A: If you don’t want to scroll up and down to find a particular topic/week section of the course, you can add Section Links block to the course. Click on “Turn edit on” button. At the bottom right corner of the course main page, there is “Block” drop down menu. Choose “Section Links” to add “Section Links” block at your course page.

The “Section Links” block helps the student or teacher to quickly navigate to a particular topic/week section of the course (depending on whether the course uses either the "Topics" or "Weekly" format. The numbered links displayed within the block are the numbers assigned to the course topic/week sections.

Where a topic/week section is highlighted, the link to that section within the "Section Links" block is emboldened. In addition, a link for the highlighted section ("Jump to the current topic/week") is displayed. Click the "Jump to the current topic/week" link to display the highlighted section at the top of the screen. 

14. Q: Both my students and I don’t want every forum posting gets emailed to our email account. How to turn off this feature in Moodle?

A: At each forum setting page, for the setting “Force everyone to be subscribed?”, if you chose “Yes, forever” or “Yes, initially”, the post message will send to everybody’s email whenever someone posts a message in that discussion forum. If you do want to turn this feature off, please go to each forum setting page, and choose “No” for the setting “Force everyone to be subscribed?”

15. Q: Where can I find who is logged into my Moodle course when I am in my course?

A: At the bottom right corner of the course main page, there is “Block” drop down menu. Choose “Online Users” to add “Online Users” block at your course page.

The “Online Users” block shows the users who have been logged into the current site for a period of time set by the site administrator (default is 5 minutes). By clicking on the envelope icon next the student name, you are able to send instant message to the student. 

16. Q: How can I embed a webpage in my course?

A: Use an iframe in a label allows external or internal web pages to be displayed in the middle of the Moodle screen (instead of just putting a link to them). 

How to do: 
• Create a label 
• Display raw HTML code (use the editor button <> ) 
• Insert code like: <iframe width="100%" height="300" src="http://www.google.com" border="0"></iframe>

Last modified: Monday, July 2, 2012, 12:39 PM
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General Information

  • Wireless Support.  If you need assistance in connecting using Albright's wireless networks, a support site is available.  Log in to Moodle and type "Wireless Support" in the Search courses box.
  • Practice Sites.   If you need a site to practice with or wish to redesign a class before that class is available on Moodle, email moodle@albright.edu and provide your name, Albright email address, suggested site title, and  the names/email addresses of anyone who needs faculty level privileges on the site.

Semester Beginning and End

At the end of the semester, professors should:

  • Make Moodle sites for courses that have ended unavailable to students.
  • Save an archival copy of course grades.

At the beginning of the semester, professors should:

  • Import any desired content from another Moodle site and add any new material.
  • Make the Moodle site of the new course available to students.
  • Delete any old Attendance modules and create a new one.

Moodle in a Minute or Two Video Tutorials

Moodle in a Minute or Two Videos
Helpful web sites

Moodle Docs (From moodle.org)

This site is a hub for Moodle developers and users.  You can search it for explanations of Moodle features and particate in community forums.  Free registration is required for access to some features.