Introduction to Moodle

Version 1.8

Notting Hill Housing Group

Contents
Contents .........................................................................................................................2 Introduction....................................................................................................................4 Creating a Course...........................................................................................................5 The Site Home Page...................................................................................................5 Editing Moodle Course Settings ..................................................................................11 GENERAL...............................................................................................................11 ENROLMENTS.......................................................................................................15 ENROLMENT EXPIRY NOTIFICATION ............................................................15 GROUPS..................................................................................................................16 The Course Page ..........................................................................................................18 Navigation and Orientation......................................................................................18 Modifying the Course Page Layout with Blocks.........................................................21 Enabling editing of the Course Page........................................................................21 Adding Blocks to a Course ......................................................................................21 Removing Blocks from a Course.............................................................................22 Moving Blocks.........................................................................................................23 Hiding Blocks from Students ..................................................................................23 Collapsing Blocks ....................................................................................................24 Blocks in Detail............................................................................................................25 Activities Block .......................................................................................................25 Administration Block...............................................................................................26 Blocks Block............................................................................................................28 Blog Menu Block.....................................................................................................29 Blog Tags Block ......................................................................................................29 Calendar ...................................................................................................................30 Courses Block ..........................................................................................................30 Course Categories Block..........................................................................................31 Course/Site Description ...........................................................................................31 Global Search Block ................................................................................................31 HTML Block............................................................................................................32 Latest News Block ...................................................................................................32 Loan Calculator........................................................................................................33 Mentees Block .........................................................................................................33 Messages ..................................................................................................................34 Online Users.............................................................................................................35 People Block ............................................................................................................35 Recent Activity ........................................................................................................36 Section Links Block.................................................................................................36 Upcoming Events.....................................................................................................37 The Main Course Area.................................................................................................38 Topics.......................................................................................................................38 Activity/Resource Icons...........................................................................................39 Adding Resources and Activities to the Course Page..................................................41 Accessing Resources....................................................................................................43 Labels...........................................................................................................................45 Text Pages....................................................................................................................46 Web Pages....................................................................................................................49 2

Link to a File or Web Site............................................................................................52 Uploading Files to Moodle ......................................................................................55 Directories....................................................................................................................57 File Types.................................................................................................................58 The News Forum..........................................................................................................60 Glossary Overview.......................................................................................................61

3

Introduction
Moodle is a course management system (CMS) - a free, Open Source software package designed using sound pedagogical principles, to help educators create effective online learning communities. More relevantly, Moodle is the basis for Notting Hill's Learn Where You Work eLearning system. This course will introduce the elements which make up a Moodle course and take you through the process of building and configuring these elements to help you create dynamic and (hopefully) interesting e-Learning resources to promote personal and organisational development at Notting Hill.

Iain McCulloch Learning & Development Team

4

Creating a Course
To create a course in Moodle you must already have a Moodle user account and have been granted Course Creator privileges on the Moodle site by a site administrator. Although all Notting Hill staff are encouraged to use the Learn Where You Work Moodle site, relatively few will actually need to create courses. If you are one of these staff (or you are just interested in how courses are created in Moodle) then this is the place for you.

The Site Home Page
The Notting Hill Learn Where You Work Moodle eLearning site is located at http://www.learnwhereyouwork.co.uk/, although staff will normally access the system via the My Systems menu on Nott.net:

The site login page will appear something like this:

5

Enter your username and password to access your personalised home page. Your username is normally your first name and surname in lower case with no spaces. Your password will be your surname in lower case. Your home page will provide links to the courses available and will appear something like the image below:

6

Clicking on a category provides a list of the courses in that category. Sometimes you will see an information icon beside the course name. Clicking on the icon brings up a pop-up window with further information about the course:

7

This is the course that we will now configure to meet our teaching requirements. Clicking on the course title brings up the course page below:

8

Clicking on the settings link in the Administration box on the left of the screen opens the “Edit Course Settings” page. This is the page that allows you to define how the course will appear to your students:

9

These settings will be looked at in more detail in the next section: Editing Course Settings.

10

Editing Moodle Course Settings
We saw the course settings page at the end of the last section. The course settings are grouped into sections, and they will be considered in the same sections below:

GENERAL

Category Moodle Administrators and Course Creators have set up a number of course categories. Choose the one most applicable for your course. The choice will affect where your course is displayed on the course listing and may make it easier for students to find your course.

11

Full name The full name of the course is displayed at the top of the screen and in the course listings. More advanced users can use HTML code to add an image. This is a mandatory field. Short name This provides a shorthand way of referring to a course. Even you don't already have such a name for your course, make one up here. It will be used in several places where the long name isn't appropriate. The most common use is in the navigation bar (also known as a "breadcrumb trail") that is at the top of most pages. The short name also appears in the subject line of email messages that are part of the course. This is also a mandatory field. ID number The ID number is an alphanumeric field. Generally it is not displayed to students. It can be used to match this course against an external system's ID. Summary The summary of the course is a brief description of the course and is displayed in the course listings. This is a mandatory field. Format A Moodle course may use one of the following formats:

Weekly format - The course is organised week by week, with a clear start date and a finish date. Moodle will create a section for each week of your course. You can add content, forums, quizzes, and so on in the section for each week. If you want all your students to work on the same materials at the same time, this would be a good format to choose. Topics format – Is very similar to the weekly format, except that each "week" is called a topic. A "topic" is not restricted to any time limit. When you create a course using the topics format, you start by choosing the number of topics you will cover in your course. Moodle then creates a section for each topic. If your course design is concept-oriented, and students will be working through a range of concepts but not necessarily according to a fixed schedule, this is a good choice. Social format - This format is oriented around one main forum, the Social forum, which appears listed on the main page. It is useful for situations that are more freeform. They may not even be courses. For example, it could be used as a departmental notice board. LAMS course format - The Learning Activity Management System (LAMS) is an open source LMS which allows teachers to use a Flash-based authoring environment for developing learning sequences. LAMS has been integrated with Moodle to allow teachers to develop LAMS activities within a Moodle course. This course format makes LAMS central to the course, only displaying the LAMS interface.

12

Very few institutions use LAMS as it duplicates much of the Moodle functionality. It is unlikely that many staff at Notting Hill will wish to use the LAMS format. SCORM format - The Sharable Content Reference Model (SCORM) is a content packaging standard. SCORM packages are self-contained bundles of content and JavaScript activities which can send data to Moodle about the students score and current location. Moodle can use SCORM packages as a content type (see SCORM/AICC module), or as a course format. If you have a large SCORM object you want to use as an entire course, then you can select this course format and students will only be able to interact with the SCORM object, not the rest of the Moodle tools. Weekly format, CSS/no tables - The CSS / No Tables variant of the Weekly format displays the Weekly course format without using tables for layout. This improves the accessibility of the format, but you should be aware that older browsers often have trouble displaying it correctly.

Number of weeks/topics This setting is only used by the 'weekly' and 'topics' course formats. In the 'weekly' format, it specifies the number of weeks that the course will run for, starting from the course starting date. In the 'topics' format, it specifies the number of topics in the course. Both of these translate to the number of "boxes" down the middle of the course page. Course start date This is where you specify the starting date/time of the course. If you are using a 'weekly' course format, this will affect the display of the weeks. The first week will start on the date you set here. This setting has no effect on courses using the 'social' or 'topics' formats. However, one place this setting will have an effect is the display of logs, which use this date as the earliest possible date you can display. In general, if your course does have a real starting date then it makes sense to set this date to that, no matter what course formats you are using. Hidden sections This allows you to decide how hidden sections in your course will be displayed to students. By default, a small area is shown (in collapsed form, usually gray) to indicate where the hidden section is, though they still can not actually see the hidden content. This is particularly useful in the Weekly format, so that non-class weeks are clear. If you choose, these can be completely hidden, so that students don't even know sections of the course are hidden. News items to show A special forum called "News" appears in the "weekly" and "topics" course formats. It's a good place to post notices for all students to see. (By default, all students are subscribed to this forum, and will receive your notices by email.) This setting determines how many recent items appear on your course home page, in a news box

13

down the right-hand side. If you set it to "0 news items" then the news box won't even appear. Show grades Many activities allow grades to be set. By default, the results of all grades within the course can be seen in the Grades page, which is available from the main course page. If you are not interested in using grades in a course, or just wants to hide grades from students, then they can disable the display of grades with this option. This does not prevent individual activities from using or setting grades, it just disables the results being displayed to students. Show activity reports Activity reports are available for each participant that show their activity in the current course. As well as listings of their contributions, these reports include detailed access logs. Teachers always have access to these reports, using the button or tab visible on each person's profile page. Student access to their own reports is controlled by the teacher via this course setting. For some courses these reports can be a useful tool for a student to reflect on their involvement and appearance within the online environment, but for some courses this may not be necessary. Another reason for turning it off is that the report can place a bit of load on the server while being generated. For large or long classes it may be more efficient to keep it off. Maximum upload size This setting defines the largest size of a single file that can be uploaded by students in this course. It is ultimately limited by the site wide setting created by the administrator. It is possible to further restrict this size through settings within each activity module. Is this a meta course? A metacourse automatically enrols participants from other courses. For example, for every course that is a "child" of the metacourse, all students in the child course are enrolled in the metacourse. This may apply to key-skills or other additionalities for main courses. Metacourses do not allow student enrolments. Default role This enables a default course role to be set. This role will usually be a student, which is the site default.

14

ENROLMENTS

Enrolment plugins An interactive enrolment plugin may be selected. The site default is internal enrolment. Course enrollable Yes, No or give start and end date range. Enrolment duration This setting specifies the number of days a student can be enrolled in this course (starting from the moment they enrol). If this is set, then students are automatically un-enrolled after the specified time has elapsed. This is most useful for rolling courses without a specific start or end time. If you don't set this then the student will remain in this course until they are manually un-enrolled or the clean-up function to remove defunct students takes effect. If you have selected to manage this course as a meta course, the enrolment period will not be used.

ENROLMENT EXPIRY NOTIFICATION

This provides options to notify teachers, student and define a threshold for notification. Notify This setting determines whether teachers are notified about enrolment expiry.

15

Notify Students This determines whether students are notified about enrolment expiry. Threshold This sets the threshold for warnings to be sent about enrolment expiration.

GROUPS

Group mode This allow you to set the group mode at the course level. This will be the default group mode for all activities defined within that course. Note that you don't need to change this setting to enable groups. The default setting of this and 'Force' enables each activity to have its group mode set individually. Force If group mode is "forced" at the course-level, then this particular group mode will be applied to every activity in that course. Individual group settings in each activity are then ignored. This can be useful when, for example, one wants to set up a course for a number of completely separate cohorts.

AVAILABILITY

Availability This option allows you to "hide" your course completely. It will not appear on any course listings, except to teachers of the course and administrators. Even if students try to access the course URL directly, they will not be allowed to enter.

16

Enrolment key A course enrolment key enables access to courses to be restricted to those who know the key. If the field is left blank, then anyone who has created a Moodle username on the site will be able to enrol in the course. If a key is specified, then students who are trying to enter will be asked to supply the key. Once enrolled, Students are not required to enter an enrolment key to gain access. The idea is that Teachers supply the key to authorised people using another means like private email, snail mail, on the phone or even verbally in a face-to-face class. If the password "gets out" and you have unwanted people enrolling, you can un-enrol them (see their user profile page) and change the key. Any legitimate students who have already enrolled will not be affected, but the unwanted people won't be able to get back in. Guest access You have the choice whether you allow "guests" into your course or not, and if they need an enrolment key or enter without one. People can attempt to log in as guests using the "Login as a guest" button on the course login screen. Guests ALWAYS have "read-only" access - meaning they can't leave any posts or otherwise mess up the course for real students. No useable information is stored for guests. This can be handy if you want to let colleagues look at your work, or to let students see a course before they decide to enrol. Note that you have a choice between two types of guest access: with the enrolment key or without. If you choose to allow guests who have the key, then the guest will need to provide the current enrolment key EVERY TIME THEY LOG IN (unlike students who only need to do it once). This lets you restrict your guests. If you choose to allow guests without a key, then anyone can get straight into your course.

LANGUAGE

If you force a language in a course, the interface of Moodle in this course will be in this particular language, even if a student has selected a different preferred language in his/her personal profile.

17

The Course Page
The appearance of your default course page will vary depending on the course format and any themes selected. This example will use the “Topics” format and the standard theme. It is possible for you to customise the layout of some course components.

Navigation and Orientation
This section will help you to become more familiar with the layout of the course page. The full page is shown below:

The course name, in this case “My course 101” can be seen on the top left of the screen. This is the name of the course entered in the “Full name” field in the “Edit course settings page.

18

Near the top-right hand corner of the screen are two links similar to the ones shown below:

The First name and Surname entered in the user profile (Iain McCulloch in this example) are displayed. Clicking on this link will open the user profile:

Adjacent to the link to your user profile is the login/logout link. When this displays “Logout”, clicking on the link will log you out of the course and the site. To log back in you will need to re-enter your username and password at the site login page and then navigate back to your course. The links above also appear at the bottom of the course page.

The Navigation Bar

This provides an indication of where the use currently is within the site. On the left is the CONEL Moodle site home page, followed by the course short name entered in the “Edit Course Settings” page, followed by the type and then name of any activities/resources currently being accessed.

19

The Turn Editing On Button

Clicking on this button enables the course editing features. These can also be accessed via the link in the Administration block (see below).

Blocks
The default course layout contains a number of blocks:
       

People Activities Search Forums Administration Course Categories Latest News Upcoming Events Recent Activity

Blocks are considered in more detail below.

The Main Course Area

This area is where the bulk of your course activities and resources will be placed. In the next section we will see how to modify the course page layout using blocks.

20

Modifying the Course Page Layout with Blocks
Enabling editing of the Course Page
Click the “Turn editing on” button to display a range of additional features which enable customisation of the course layout.

Adding Blocks to a Course
In addition to the default blocks, which were displayed when the course was created, further blocks can be added to the course page. Locate the “Blocks” block:

Click on “Add…” to display a list of the blocks that are not currently displayed on the course page. When displayed, this block is always the lowermost block on the righthand side of the course page.

21

To add a block to your course, select it from the list displayed.

Removing Blocks from a Course
When you are in editing mode, all blocks (except the “Blocks” block) are displayed with an “ X ” in their header:

Clicking on the “ X ” will remove the block from the course.

22

Moving Blocks
Blocks which are displayed on the course page may be repositioned:
 

From the left side of the course page to the right (or vice versa). Up or down the left or right side of the course page. NOTE: Blocks may not be positioned in the central area of the course page.

In editing mode, all blocks (except the “Blocks” block) contain navigation arrows in their headers:

When an arrow is clicked the block will move in the direction indicated. The arrows displayed indicate the permitted movements. When a block is moved from left to right (or from right to left) the block will appear at the bottom of the column.

Hiding Blocks from Students .
Even though blocks have been added to a course, it is possible to hide them from the view of students. In editing mode, all blocks (except the “Blocks” block) contain an “eye” icon in their header. Clicking on this icon will cause the block to be hidden from Students.

When hidden, the icon in the header resembles a closed eye:

Hidden blocks retain their position on the course page. If a block is removed and subsequently replaced it must be repositioned from its default initial position which will be immediately above the “Blocks” block.

23

Collapsing Blocks
Blocks may also be collapsed by clicking on the “ - “ in the header. Clicking on the “ + ” in the header reverses the action.

The next section considers blocks in greater detail.

24

Blocks in Detail
This section provides a description of the blocks available to you in Moodle for modifying your course layout. It can be read sequentially or used as a quick reference when you need further information about particular blocks. Contents Activities Block Administration Block Blocks Block Blog Menu Block Blog Tags Block Calendar Courses Block Course Categories Block Course/Site Description Global Search Block HTML Block Latest News Block Loan Calculator Mentees Block Messages Online Users People Block Recent Activity Section Links Block Upcoming Events

Activities Block

An activity is generally an interactive learning segment for a student in a course. You can add activities by a pull down menu found in the course sections when edit mode is turned on. The Activities Block lists and allows navigation between the different activities available in your course (forums, quizzes, assignments, etc.). The list will grow as you add activities to your course. The first time you enter your course, the only category listed is Forums. This is because one forum exists by default – the news forum. Activities are listed alphabetically.

25

Whenever you add a different activity or resource to your course, an icon will appear in this block representing the specific Moodle module. These icons link to a list of all instances of that module that appear in the course. NOTE: Hot Potatoes Quizzes are a “non-standard” activity (very useful but, in Moodle jargon “non standard”). Return to contents

Administration Block

Only teachers on a course can access all of the links in the administration block. Students receive their own version of the block which displays a link to their own gradebook and, if enabled, their own course logs. Non-editing teachers also receive a limited version of the administration block. Features in the administration block allow teachers to manage student and teacher enrolments and their groups, view the course gradebook , create custom grading scales and access the Teacher forum. (The teacher forum is a private forum only available to teachers of that course. It can be used to discuss course content, the direction the course could take or even to attach files to that can be shared among the course teachers.) The links within the Administration Block are briefly described below: Turn editing on/off This link toggles between edit mode and normal view in the same way as the “Turn editing on” button.

26

Settings Links to the “Edit course settings” page. Assign Roles This allows you to assign roles within the course to individuals. Roles will usually be assigned automatically at the start of the year, but it may be necessary to add or remove individuals in exceptional circumstances. The roles that are likely to concern you are:  Teacher  Non-editing teacher  Student Groups Participants on a course may be allocated to groups. The way in which group participants are allowed to interact can be defined in the course settings or specified for specific activities. Backup Allows you to backup a course, or specified elements of a course. Restore Allows you to restore (or import) a course from a previously created backup. Import This link provides the facility to import course data from any other course where you have editing rights (i.e. any course where you are a teacher). Reset Clicking this link will empty a course of user data while retaining the activities and other settings. You can delete any of the following in any combination:  Students  Teachers  Course events  Logs  Groups  Posts from forums  Quiz attempts WARNING : The selected user data will be permanently deleted from your course! Reports This links to the reports page where teachers can view course logs and activity reports. Questions This feature allows teachers to create, preview and edit questions in a database of questions called the “course question bank”. These questions can then be used in quizzes or, through the export process, in a lesson.

27

Scales Clicking on this link accesses the interface for creating and/or modifying grading scales, which may then be used for grading activities. Files The files link shows a list of files and folders, depending upon the viewer's role. The list will contain the name, size, last time modified and permitted action(s) to modify that item. To preview any file or drill down, click on its name. Your web browser will take care of either displaying it or downloading it to your computer. Depending upon your role, this is a place to upload files and find Moodle created files such as backup(s) of the course. The files area can contain PDF files, HTML, Multimedia, word processing, presentations or any digital content for inclusion in an activity, resource, course section, link or a direct download. Grades This links to the area where course grades are displayed and are available for download. Unenrol me… This allows you to unenrol yourself from the course. This link will not appear to students if they are not allowed to unenrol themselves from courses (This is a sitewide setting controlled by the site administrator) Return to contents

Blocks Block

This is displayed when editing mode is turned on and allows you to add further blocks to the course page in addition to those which were displayed when the course was created. Return to contents

28

Blog Menu Block

This is only likely to be of use if you wish to incorporate a blog in your course. It enables users to
    

Add a new entry to a blog. View entries in the Blog tab of their profile page. Modify their Blog preferences. View site entries in the Blogs tab of the site participants page. Add/delete tags (in a pop-up window).

Return to contents

Blog Tags Block

This is only likely to be of use if you wish to incorporate a blog in your course. A Blog Tags block displays a "tag cloud" of tagged entries in a blog. (A “tag cloud” is a list of tags where more frequently used tags appear in a larger font size). Block configuration To configure a Blog Tags block, click on the edit icon in the block header. The following options are available:
  

Blog tags block title - You can change the title of the block. Number of tags display - Here you specify how many tags you want to display in the block. Display tags used within this many days - You can specify here how recent the tags that you want to appear are. For example, if it is 90 days then only tags that have been used in the last 90 days will be used.

29

Sort the tag display by - Here you can specify in what order you want the tags to appear. You can choose to sort the tag according to tag name. So the tags will be sorted in alphabetical order. Or you can choose to sort them according to last date used. So the most recent tag would appear first.

Return to contents

Calendar

The Calendar Block displays the following types of event:
   

Site (events viewable in all courses - created by admin users). Course (events viewable only to course members - created by teachers). Groups (events viewable only by members of a group - created by teachers). User (personal events a student user can create for themselves - viewable only by the user).

Return to contents

Courses Block
This block provides links to all the courses in which you are a participant (either as a teacher or a student). The “All Courses…” link will display a list of all the courses available to you whether you are enrolled on them or not. A brand new user who has not yet enrolled on any courses will see this block with the title “Course Categories”. Return to contents 30

Course Categories Block

See “Courses Block” above Return to contents

Course/Site Description

This block contains a summary and/or description of the course at entered in the “Summary Text” on the Course Settings Page. Return to contents

Global Search Block

This can only be used if the Global Search feature has been enabled by the site administrator. Return to contents

31

HTML Block

The HTML block will be of particular interest to those with some HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) skills. This block provides a convenient way to add additional text or images. More than one instance of an HTML block may be added to the course page if allowed by the site administrator. The HTML block is a flexible block that can incorporate a variety of functions and uses. Whilst it provides an HTML editor for formatting text, adding images or creating links, switching to the code view allows any valid HTML markup to be used. This enables video, sounds, Flash, and other files to be embedded providing extra functionality and a unique look and feel to your course page. Return to contents

Latest News Block

Recent posts made to the news forum will appear as listed items in this block if it has been included in the course page. This is one of the default blocks which are displayed when the course is created. By default, the Latest News Block displays the 3 most recent news items. This can be changed in the Course Settings Page. Return to contents

32

Loan Calculator

The Loan Calculator provides a facility for calculating repayment details for a loan given the amount to be borrowed, the term of the loan, the interest rate and the frequency of repayments (weekly, fortnightly, or monthly). Return to contents

Mentees Block

This block provides a mentor with a quick method of accessing the profile pages for their mentee (s). Return to contents

33

Messages

The messages block indicates whether any messages have been received by the current user and, if so, how many and from whom. Clicking on the link indicating the number of messages or the envelope icon will display the messages. Clicking on the “Messages…” link will open a pop-up window allowing you to manage your contacts.

Return to contents

34

Online Users

The Online Users block shows a list of users who have been logged into the current course. This block can be added or deleted by a teacher. The list is updated on a regular basis (the default is every 5 minutes). The time frame can be modified for the entire Moodle site by the site administrator. Note: Even though a user may have been logged into a course within the last 5 minutes, it does not necessarily mean that they are still online.
  

Bold type indicates a teacher If you hold the cursor over somebody's name, you will see how long ago that person was last "seen" in the course If you click on the envelope icon next to somebody's name, you will be able to send a private message to that person (using Moodle's messaging system)

Return to contents

People Block

The people block contains a link to the list of course participants. You can also view participants’ profiles from this block. Return to contents

35

Recent Activity

The Recent Activity block shows different activity reports depending upon the role of the viewer (i.e. Teacher, Non-editing Teacher or Student). In earlier versions of Moodle these reports were also called logs. Clicking on the “Full report of recent activity” link will go to the activity report filter and generator. Return to contents

Section Links Block

This block displays numbered links to the sections within the course. Clicking on a link will take the user to that particular topic area. If you are using the weekly course format the block will be entitled “Weeks”. If a topic has been hidden, it will be greyed out in this block when viewed by a teacher. Hidden sections are not displayed to students in the Section Links Block. Return to contents

36

Upcoming Events

The Upcoming Events block displays future events in a summarised list. The number of days in advance that events are displayed is set as a global variable. Events are generated directly from the calendar and/or activity deadlines, providing a link to the full details or directly to the activity. There are also links to “Go to calendar...” and “Add a New Event... ”.
 

If you click on a date, you will go to the day-view calendar for that day. If the title of the event is a link, and you click on it, you will be taken to that event.

Return to contents

In the next section we will look at the Main Course Area.

37

The Main Course Area
Topics
The central area of the course page is divided into numbered sections. In the case of the Weekly course format each of these sections is also dated.

At the top of the column of sections is an un-numbered area which is always displayed. This provides an ideal location for some introductory text and/or instructions about the course. This area can also be used as a convenient repository for activities and resources which should be available throughout the course, and which are not related to a particular topic. A summary of each topic may be added by using a text editing area which may be accessed by clicking on the edit icon in the top-left corner of each section. Each numbered topic in the main course area has a series of icons associated with it. These may be used to control the availability, appearance and position of the topic:

The Show Topic icon is the only icon available to students. Teachers also have access to the Highlight Topic icon , the Hide Topic icon , and the Move Topic . Up/Down icon Clicking on the Show Topic icon makes that the only topic visible. The icon

changes to to indicate that other topics are hidden. Clicking on this icon will display all topics.

38

When only a single topic is displayed the user can replace it with another by using the “Jump to…” drop-down list. Topics are identified by their number and an extract from the first line of the topic summary or, in Weekly format, their week number and dates:

NOTE: If “Hidden sections are completely invisible” was selected from “Hidden Sections” on the Edit Course Settings page, the invisible topic will still appear in this list but will not be displayed if selected. The Hide Topic icon toggles the topic state between visible and hidden (i.e. available or unavailable to students). Topics are always available to teachers. will move the topic in the direction Clicking on the Move Topic Up/Down icon indicated by the arrow.

Activity/Resource Icons
When an activity or resource is added to a section of a course it is identified by its own icon and descriptive text link. The icon indicates the type of activity or resource that has been added. To the right of the identifying icon and text are a group of icons that can be used to configure the position and accessibility of the activity/resource. These icons also provide access to editing options for the activity or resource.

39

The arrow icons to the left of the group allow the activity or resource to be repositioned within the main course area. Only the arrows for permitted movements are displayed. The next icon is the “Update” icon of the activity/resource. which opens the page for editing the settings

is used to delete an activity or resource. If this icon is clicked, a The Delete icon warning message is displayed which asks you to confirm the deletion:

NOTE: Deleted activities or resources cannot be restored unless they have been previously backed up. When the Highlight Topic icon is clicked, the chosen topic is highlighted and the borders change to a different colour. Clicking the icon again changes the topic back to its un-highlighted state. This option is not available in Weekly format. The Hide icon is used to hide an activity or resource from students. When the activity or resource is in hidden mode, the icon will change to resemble a closed eye . In addition, the descriptive links for hidden activities or resources appear greyed out, although they will still be active if clicked by teachers.

In the next section we will begin to look at the various resources and activities that you can add to your Moodle courses.

40

Adding Resources and Activities to the Course Page
Each section within the Main Course area contains two drop-down boxes, one of which offers a list of resources and the other a list of activities.

You will probably have noticed the small question-mark icons that appear to the left of the drop-down boxes before. These provide context-sensitive help with features and resources within Moodle. Clicking on one of these icons causes a pop-up window to appear with specific help relating to the adjacent element. Clicking on the drop-down box for “Add a resource…” reveals the list of resources that may be added to the topic:

Similarly, clicking on the drop down box for “add an activity…” gives us:

An activity or resource can be added to the course page by simply selecting an item from the appropriate list.

41

If we click on the help icon next to the “Add a resource…” drop-down box the following pop-up window appears

An index list of all help files can be viewed by clicking on the link at the bottom of the pop-up window.

Resources are considered in greater detail in the next section.

42

Accessing Resources
With the exception of labels, all resources appear on the Course Page as an icon and a text link which are clicked to gain access:

In most activities and Resource pages in Moodle there will be a “Jump to…” dropdown box at the top and bottom of the page which will contain a list of any resources available:

You will notice that there is a box like this at the top of this page. Clicking on the drop-down box allows you to navigate to any available resource without having to return to the Course Page.

In addition to these routes, a summary page listing all Resources available to course participants can be accessed by clicking on the “Resources” text-link in the Activities Block on the Course Page:

43

  

Topic – The topic in which the resources are located (this displays as “Week” for courses using the Weekly format) Name – The name of the resource as displayed on the course page. Clicking on this link opens the resource Summary – Displays the summary text which was entered in the “Summary” text area when the resource was created or updated. This is not displayed on the Course Page.

In the following sections we will go on to look at particular types of Resources in more detail.

44

Labels
The “Label” resource is fairly self-descriptive. It is used to create a label for another Resource or Activity. It can be used to provide instructions which can be read without having to open the Resource or Activity. To add a label you need to go to your Course Page and turn editing on. Choose the topic which will contain the label, click on the “Add a resource…” drop-down box and select label:

The Settings page will then be displayed:

Label Text: Allows you to add text or other content (including images) in the text entry area. Many of the formatting options will be familiar to you from other text editing/word processing applications. Visible to Students: This determines whether the label will be visible to students. If “No” is selected, students will not see the label, although the label will be visible (but greyed-out) to teachers. Save Changes: Clicking here saves the content. The label will be displayed on the Course Page.

45

Text Pages
To add a simple text page as a resource for your course, click on the “Add a resource…” drop-down box and select “Compose a text page” from the list displayed:

This will display the text page settings page:

The various options shown are described below: 46

 

  

Name: The contents of this field become the clickable text-link on the course page. This is a mandatory field. Summary: The summary is a very short description of the resource. For some resource display options, the summary is printed alongside the resource itself. Otherwise it appears on the resource index page making it easier for students searching for particular resources. Do not be tempted to write too much here. Full Text: This is the text which is displayed when the resource is accessed. Format: Select the formatting option required from the drop-down list. The options available are described in greater detail below. Window: Select whether you want the resource to appear in the same window, at full screen width below the navigation menu, or in a new browser window. Clicking on the “Show Advanced” button allows you to specify how the new window will appear.

Visible: This determines whether the text page will be visible to students. If “No” is selected, students will not see the page, although the link to the text page will still be visible (but greyed-out) to teachers.

More About Text Formatting: When writing text in Moodle there are several formats you can choose to produce the output you require, depending on your expertise and the type of browser you are using. Usually you can just leave this setting to the default value and things should work as you expect. 1. Moodle auto-format This format is best for when you are using normal web forms for entry (instead of the Richtext HTML editor). Just type text normally, as if you were sending an email. When you save your text, Moodle will do a number of things to automatically format your text for you, for example:  URLs such as http://gateway/ or even www.google.com will be turned into links.  Your line breaks will be retained, and blank lines will start new paragraphs.

47

 

Smiley characters such as will automatically become their graphical equivalents. You can even embed HTML code if you want to and it will be retained.

2. HTML format This format assumes the text is pure HTML. If you are using the HTML editor to edit text then this is the default format - all the commands in the toolbar are producing HTML for you. Even if you are not using the Richtext HTML editor, you can use HTML code in your text and it should come out exactly as you intended. Unlike the Moodle auto-format, no automatic formatting is performed. 3. Plain text format This format is useful when you need to include lots of code or HTML that you want to be displayed exactly as you wrote it. It still translates spaces and new lines, but otherwise your text isn't touched. 4. Markdown text format Markdown format tries to make it easy as possible to type well-formatted XHTML pages using nothing but text written more or less like you would write an email. It's very good for writing clean text pages with some headings and some lists but without many links or images. Links providing further information about these formats are available on the Introduction to Moodle 1.8 course on Learn Where You Work.

48

Web Pages
HTML web pages can be a very flexible resource for your Moodle course. Because the Moodle HTML editor has been enabled on the Notting Hill Learn Where You Work site, HTML formatting is performed in the background. If you are going to be creating resources on other Moodle sites, you should be aware that if the Moodle HTML editor is not enabled the system will assume that all entries in the text are HTML code. To add a web page to your course, go to the Course Page, and turn editing on. Click on the “Add a resource…” drop-down box in the topic where you want the web-page resource to appear and select “Compose a web page… ”:

The Web Page Resource settings page will be displayed:

49

The various options shown are described below:

50

 

 

Name : The contents of this field become the clickable text-link on the course page. This is a mandatory field. Summary : The summary is a very short description of the resource. For some resource display options, the summary is printed alongside the resource itself. Otherwise it appears on the resource index page making it easier for students searching for particular resources. Do not be tempted to write too much here. Full Text : The text and images etc. which are entered in this area will be displayed when the resource is accessed. Window : Select whether you want the resource to appear in the same window, at full screen width below the navigation menu, or in a new browser window. Clicking on the “Show Advanced” button allows you to specify how the new window will appear.

Visible : This determines whether the web page will be visible to students. If “No” is selected, students will not see the page, although the link to the web page will still be visible (but greyed-out) to teachers.

51

Link to a File or Web Site
This allows a link to a file which has previously been uploaded to Moodle or to an external web page to be added to your course. To add a link to a file or an external web page to your course, go to the Course Page, and turn editing on. Click on the “Add a resource…” drop-down box in the topic where you want the link to appear and select “Link to a file or web site” from the list:

The settings page will be displayed:

52

The various options shown are described below:
 

Name: The contents of this field become the clickable text-link on the course page. This is a mandatory field. Summary: The summary is a very short description of the resource. For some resource display options, the summary is printed alongside the resource itself. Otherwise it appears on the resource index page making it easier for students searching for particular resources. Do not be tempted to write too much here. Location: The location of the uploaded file or the URL of the web page must be entered in this field.

53

For web sites you should type in the URL, ensuring that the http:// remains intact. To search the internet for the web page, click on the “Search for web page…” button. This will launch a search engine (Google) in a new window to assist you with the search. For uploaded files click on the “Choose or upload a file…” button which will cause the “Files” area to be displayed:

Click on the “Choose” link to select the file. NOTE: Files in this area are only accessible to your course. (Instructions for uploading files to the Moodle site are included below.)

Window: Select whether you want the resource to appear in the same window, at full screen width below the navigation menu, or in a new browser window. Clicking on the “Show Advanced” button allows you to specify how the new window will appear.

Parameters: This optional area allows information to be sent to the resource file or website. The information to be sent is selected from the “Parameters” drop-down boxes: 54

Visible: This determines whether the link will be visible to students. If “No” is selected, students will not see the link, although it will still be visible (but greyed-out) to teachers.

Uploading Files to Moodle
Files for your course can be uploaded and stored on the Moodle site. To upload a file, go to the Course Page for your course and click on the “Files” text link in the Administration Block. The “Files” area will be displayed:

Clicking on the “Upload a file button” will bring up the file upload window:

If you click on the “browse” button a pop-up window, “choose file”, will appear:

55

Choose the file you want to upload, select it and click “Open”. The path and name of the file to be uploaded appears in the file upload path field:

NOTE: If the file size exceeds the maximum shown (currently 20Mb) it will not be uploaded. Click the “Upload this file” button to complete the uploading of the file to your course. If the upload is successful, a message to that effect is displayed and the file will be present in the “Files” area:

56

Directories
A “Directory” resource allows all the files in a named directory or folder, together with the contents of any subdirectories, in the “Files” area to be displayed and downloaded. Students are then able to browse and view these files. To make the contents of a directory available to your learners, you must first upload the files to a named directory in the Files area of your course on the Moodle server. Then, go to the Course Page, and turn editing on. Click on the “Add a resource…” drop-down box in the topic where you want the web-page resource to appear and select “Display a directory” from the list:

The Display directory settings page will be displayed:

The various options shown are described below:

57

 

Name: The contents of this field become the clickable text-link on the course page. This is a mandatory field. Summary: The summary is a very short description of the resource. For some resource display options, the summary is printed alongside the resource itself. Otherwise it appears on the resource index page making it easier for students searching for particular resources. Do not be tempted to write too much here. Display a Directory: The drop-down box will display a list of all the directories within the “Files” area of your course:

Select a directory from those shown. When the “Save changes” button is clicked a list of all the files in the selected directory will be displayed:

Visible: This determines whether the web page will be visible to students. If “No” is selected, students will not see the page, although the link to the web page will still be visible (but greyed-out) to teachers.

File Types
Certain uploaded files are accompanied by icons when they are displayed to give a visual indication of the nature of the file. They do not necessarily indicate that a suitable program to open the file is installed on the computer. Audio AVI Movie Excel Flash 58

HTML Image file PDF PowerPoint Text, PHP Unknown file type Word Zip file

In the next section we will consider the first of two Moodle "Activities” to be considered in this course: The News Forum.

59

The News Forum
The news forum is a special forum that is automatically created for each course and for the front page of the site. It is a place for general announcements. By default, only teachers (and administrators) may add news or reply to news. Also by default, everyone participating on a course is forced to be subscribed to the news forum. A course may only have one news forum. The forum is accessed from the link on the Course Page:

By default, this link will appear at the top of the list of topics in the main course area. Clicking on this link will take you to the News Forum:

Teachers (and administrators) may click on the link to add a new topic (such as cutoff dates for submitting assignments, portfolios etc.). The Latest News block displays recent discussions from the news forum.

Next we will look at Glossaries, perhaps one of the most useful and powerful tools available in Moodle.

60

Glossary Overview
Glossaries in Moodle are defined as Activities. The Glossary Activity allows participants to create and maintain a list of definitions, like a dictionary. The entries can be searched or browsed in many different formats. The glossary also allows teachers to export entries from one glossary to another (the main one) within the same course. It is possible to automatically create links to these entries from Resources and Activities throughout the course. To add a Glossary to your course, go to the Course Page and turn editing on. Click on the “Add an activity…” drop-down box in the topic where you want the glossary to appear and select “Glossary” from the list of available activities:

The settings page will be displayed:

61

Some of the main settings are described below:
 

Name : The contents of this field become a clickable text-link on the Course Page. This is a required field. Description : Text and any other content added here will appear at the top of the Glossary page. This should include the purpose of the glossary, any instructions for its use, background information, links etc. Entries shown per page : The number of glossary entries displayed on each page is limited to the number entered here. The default value is 10 entries per page. Glossary Type : Here you can decide whether the glossary will be the main glossary or a secondary glossary. Only one main glossary is allowed in a course, and the main glossary can only be updated by a teacher. Entries in secondary glossaries can be exported to the main course glossary by a teacher. Visible: This determines whether the glossary is visible to students. If “No” is selected, students will not see the glossary, although it will still be visible (but greyed-out) to teachers.

62

Links to further information about glossary settings can be found on the Introduction to Moodle 1.8 course on Learn Where You Work. . Clicking the “Save Changes” button will create the glossary:

If glossary entries are to be organised within categories, the desired categories should be created before new entries are added. If categories are created later you will need to revisit entries to assign them to categories. To create categories, click on the “Browse by category” link in the row of tabs on the Glossary page:

Clicking on the “Edit categories” button Categories page:

will display the

Click the “Add Category” button to see the “Add category” settings:

Type the desired category name and save the changes. Repeat this process until all required categories have been created. Glossary entries can now be added and assigned to the appropriate categories. 63

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful