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User:James Neill/Training notes

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UC Moodle training notes by James Neill during 2-day training at University of Canberra by Mark Drechsler (Netspot), September 16-17, 2008. Feel free to edit.
To be sorted later.

Adding Content

Insert label

  • Adds information to a topic (or week)
  • Good for a brief summary; but will add to length of site homepage, so keep it simple
  • Can use html, images, etc.
  • Can't add a heading for a topic when in Weekly mode

Add web page

  • Adds a link on the homepage to a webpage
  • Summary
    • Isn't often displayed - (it does display on resource page but whether "resource" shows in the navigation bar is configurable at admin level and is sometimes/often switched off)
  • Page content can be 'anything' e.g., can embedded multimedia (e.g., add a youtube video) (using object or iframe html code)

Breadcrumbs/Navigation bar

  • Resources/Activities breadcrumb can switched on/off globally, but not site-specifically.


  • It seems there is no restriction on file type :)
  • Uploading mp3, swf, wma, wmv, etc. will automatically be recognised, with relevant icons added, etc. - where's the list of such recognised file types?


  • LaTeX code works for mathematical expressions (and much more) - start with $$ - can also use equation editor


  • (i) yellow links to MoodleDocs
  • (?) blue links to help info (opens pop-up)


  • Sideblocks are fixed width (not%)



  • Gathers together a group of web pages (essentially a book is a link structure; must be web pages - not other stuff unless embeddedded in web pages)
  • WimbaCreate can also do something similar (can import a whole book); currently Book can only import only headings
  • Can have sub-chapters
  • Students can download a book


File storage

  • General Moodle files are stored at a global level e.g., logo
  • Site files are stored locally within a site
  • Eventually UC might eventually use something like Equella - Equella
  • e.g.,
    • Algebra
      • Notes
    • Images
  • Moving - goes to clipboard, then go to Folder
  • Bulk actions vs. single file actions
  • Pop-ups (consider - because of pop-up blockers)

External content creators

Moodle is not a high-end content-creation tool (e.g., to convert ppt, etc. and export to swf or html or other more playable etc. formats)

  • Articulate $$ (e.g., ArticulateEngage)
    • Several products, e.g.,
    • PPT to flash converter (advantages of flash)
      • Smaller file size
      • More accessible format
      • 99% of browsers have flash presenter
    • Wimba Create $
      • Good for converting .doc to .html
    • Adobe Captivate $$$
    • Camtasia
      • Screen recording
      • Annotate powerpoint
      • Zoom in on stuff
      • MoodleTraining site vides (UC) done this way
    • Powerconverter
    • (free)
    • Courselab (free; Russian; obscure
    • FreeMind (free)
  • Conversion to html will be to something like index.html, default.html, <filename>.html plus folders such as /CSS, /XML, /FLV, /SWF, etc. - all of this would need to brought into Moodle
  • ZIP and then upload, unzip OR use WebDAV
  • Dilemma - new window uses pop-up but as a page includes top nav-frame (which varies browser to browser) -> another option it to use iframe


A way of embedding local pages or external content within a webpage:

 <iframe src="" height="200">Alt text</iframe>


  • Social constructivism background - some aspects about this are good; others not so good
  • Roles
    1. Lecturer
    2. Tutor
    3. Guest
    4. Auditing Student
    5. Auditing Staff
  • "Student" roles will be auto-populated from Callista
  • One extreme - no groups - everyone sees/can do everything
  • Other extreme - separate groups - separate groups cannot see the conduct of other groups or be aware that they existed
  • Groups separate by activities
  • Groups see the same content and assignments
  • But they see different discussion fora
  • Middle option - Visible groups - can see other groups, but can't post to them
  • Each of these is true for tutors and students
  • Various ways of allocating groups e.g., random allocation
  • If making a forum posting (as a lecturer/teacher), make sure to select which groups can reply to the post.
  • Could set up for student to self-subscribe to groups (with Enrolment key)


  • Must have Groups - then use Groupings tab
  • e.g., "Honours Group" and "Remedial Group" - then the Grouping is set (e.g., only Group A belongs to Honours Grouping and Group C belongs to Remedial Grouping) (can add/remove Groups to Groupings - any combination possible)
  • Can then see Activity allocations to a Grouping
  • For an Activity or resource, in common module settings, can allocate to a Grouping (not a Group)


  • Most utilized collaboration tool in Moodle.
  • Setting up an announcements-only forced subscription
    • All students automatically subscribed to announcements forum (one-way) forum - initial discussion seems to be around support for this as a part of the initial site template for UC
  • 30 minutes editing
    • e.g., watch out - can change a post and make someone's reply look 'silly'
    • Pedagogical implications of this feature warrant further discussion and investigation
  • Edit Profile - settings - choose no email, digest, or email per message


  • Go to the URL - ID and then join (depends on default config for enrollability and whether an enrollment key is used)
  • How can one unenrol?


  • In general there are Resources or Activities - glossary seems to straddle these


  • TBD


Help (staff)

  • (goes to LearnOnline Help Desk (Netspot) )
  • ( - UC LearnOnline Admin)
  • ( - UC LearnOnline Training)


  • Disk image needs to allow pop-ups from


  • e.g., see work by Julian Ridden (Moodle guru) - pre-packaged database structures


  • Forums are most common
  • Constructivist philosophy - but implementation of this to date is so-so
  • Possible tools/functions to consider:
    1. Forums - good e.g., ratings, etc. -> Gradebook (Pretty good)
    2. Databases and Glossaries -> Gradebook (OK-ish/Pretty good)
      • e.g., must submit one entry before seeing other databases
    3. Wikis - nWiki (not the default/original one (Erfurt) but will be the one used for v.2 - simple, OK, but not as powerful as MediaWiki)
    4. Blogging - student blogs are whole-of-moodle (only way to make specific to a site is to add tags which make specific)
    5. E-portfolios (-> social constructivist POV is to allow students to publish publically - Moodle core doesn't allow this) - integration now written with Mahara
    1. Journals


There are 4 types of assignments: (Note: Hardest part is creating an appropriate question so that students know what to do / what buttons to click)

  1. Online text: Text area submission (lecturer receives email)
  2. Upload a single file (simple; file upload; no comments, etc.)
  3. Advanced uploading of files (upload bunch of files, with comments, etc.)
  4. Offline Activity (student can't do anything with it e.g., a practical session -> but we still want it in the Gradebook - manually add grades or bulk upload grades from a spreadsheet)


  • Available from
  • Due by
  • Prevent late submissions

Online text

  • Allow resubmitting (e.g., drafts/feedback/resubmit)
  • Email alerts to teachers
  • Comment inline (teacher's commented text)

Common module settings

  • Group mode
  • Grouping
  • Available for group members only
  • Visible
  • ID number
  • Grade category

Report -> Grading

  • Comments - could be extensions in here (students can see) - using quick grading


Quiz categories

  • Can be site-specific, discipline-specific, or whole-installation (e.g., student evaluation questions)

Quiz import

  • Can important many types

Quiz question types

  • Calculated
    • e.g., allows use of a formula for determing the answer (can have a range)
  • Description
  • Essay
    • e.g., write a paragraph on X - the only type which is not auto-marked
  • Matching
  • Embedded answers (cloze)
    • Requires markup
  • Multiple choice
  • Short answer
    • Must match a pre-canned words/phrased (not a "long" short answer)
  • Numerical (can accept range)
  • Random short-answer matching
    • Choose a combination of short-answer choices
  • True/False

See also: Question types

Quiz fields


  • Open time & close time
  • Time limit
  • Time delay b/w first and second attempt
  • Time delay b/w later attempts


  • Questions per page
  • Shuffle questions
  • Shuffle within questions


Relates to multiple attempts

  • Attempts allowed
  • Each attempt builds on the last
  • Adaptive mode


  • Grading method
  • Apply penalties
    • Toggle on/off
    • Only applies if multiple attempts
  • Decimal digits in grades

Review options

  1. Immediately after the attempt
  2. Later, while the quiz is till open
  3. After the quiz is closed
  • Responses
  • Answers
  • Feedback
  • General feedback
  • Scores
  • Overall feedback


  • Secure (pop-up window) - not that 'secure'?
  • Require password
  • Require network address - e.g., proctored exam

Common module settings

  • Group mode
  • Visible
  • ID number
    • unique identifier for that quiz - can be used later to call up that quiz

Overall feedback

Responses based on their overall marks

  • Note that can only seen own results (in a quiz and a gradebook)

Question admin

  • Question bank
  • Questions in this quiz
    • Could be random
    • Adds default grade per questions (can override the default at this point)
    • Shows total (e.g., 8) -> can be expanded to a Max. grade for the gradebook (e.g., 10)
  • There are no conditional activities within quizzes

Question fields

  • Question name
    • Display of this are configurable
  • Weighting
  • Penalty
    • e.g., can have another go, but if wrong, receive penalty e.g., if weight 1 is penalty is .1 they can have 10 gos
  • Feedback
    • General (always)
    • For each option
  • For simple questions, a correct answer gets 100% for that question

Quiz sideblock

  • Can be added to show top/bottom results by name, ID, or anonymously
  • Probably need to upload class feedback separately (unlike WebCT, can't see class graph)


  • Complex
  • Add Activity - Lesson
  • Conditional pathways (branches) for content.
  • Can be exploratory, or can have quiz-type graded questions
  • Can take any 'html' content


  • Turn editing on
  • Admin - Grades
  • Add category e.g., Total?
  • Grade calculations
  • Looks like its best to set up assessment items to be weighted out of 100, e.g., essay 20, exam 50, participation 30, then use a a calculation to total to 100


Stuff to follow-up:

  • How to find lecturer contact details? (A: via Participants)
  • Email preferences
  • Messaging & Contacts
  • Why is (sometimes) so slow? e.g., when logging in/out in UC computer lab? Mostly, it is smooth, but on logging in/logging out, it took me in the order of 5-10 minutes sometimes
  • Dummy students - how to create these? (e.g., to input responses such as too quizzes and student-view output check output, messaging, feedback, etc.)

UC-specific: Psychology

  • Get staff to login - creates a login - this will change shortly
  • Then do a course request for a playpen - this will be replaced by the Callista integration script
  • James to list all units (check with staff) to be requested for bulk migration


  • Admin - Reports - various ways to explore activities by activity and/or by user


  • Contacting with one another?
  • Can select students by amount of activity

See also


Other topics

Student FAQ

Some most asked student FAQs include:

External links

Sample Moodle site