Using the Moodle forum option of each person posts one discussion
Using the Moodle forum option of each person posts one discussion
How to create a simple discussion forum in Moodle
Explanation on using general forums in Moodle
Gradebook views in Moodle
This video explains the grader report view in Moodle
Understand how to add actitivies to the Moodle gradebook
This video explains how to add grade items to the Moodle gradebook.
Video on making categories in the Moodle gradebook
This video explains how to create and use scales in Moodle
This video provides an example of using a rubric in Moodle
Before teaching a Moodle course it is critical that a teacher design what they want to do. For many teachers, they believe that they begin the design process by going to Moodle and adding activity and other resources to their class. For someone who is thoroughly familiar with Moodle and have developed courses before this might work. However, for the majority online teachers they need to wire frame what they want their moodle course to look like online.
Why Wire frame a Moodle Course
In the world of web developers a wire frame is a prototype of what a potential website will look like. The actual wire frame can be made in many different platforms from Word, powerpoint, and even just paper and pencil. Since Moodle is online a Moodle course in many ways is a website so wire framing applies to this context.
It doesn’t matter how a you wire frames their Moodle course. What matters is that you actually do this. Designing what you want to see in your course helps you to make decisions much faster when you are actually adding activities and resources to your Moodle course. It also helps your Moodle support to help you if they have a picture of what the you wants rather than wild hand gestures and frustration.
Wire farming a course also reduces the cognitive load on the teacher. Instead of designing and building the course a the same time. Wire framing splits this task into two steps, which are designing, and then building. This prevents extreme frustration as it is common for a teacher just to stare at the computer screen when trying to design and develop a Moodle course simultaneously.
You never see and architect making his plans while building the building. This would seem careless and even dangerous because the architect doesn’t even know what he wants while he is throwing around concrete and steel. The same analogy applies with designing Moodle courses. A teacher must know what they want, write it down, and then implement it by creating the course.
Another benefit of planning in Word is that it is easier to change things in Word when compared to Moodle. Moodle is amazing but it is not easy to use for those who are not tech-savvy. However, it’s easiest for most of us to copy, paste, and edit in Word.
One Way to Wire Frame a Moodle Course
When supporting teachers to wire frame a Moodle course, I always encourage them to start by developing the course in Microsoft Word. The reason being that the teacher is already familiar with Word and they do not have to struggle to make decisions when using it. This helps them to focus on content and not on how to use Microsoft Word.
One of the easiest ways to wire frame a Moodle course is to take the default topics of a course such as General Information, Week 1, Week 2, etc. and copy these headings into Word, as shown below.
Now, all that is needed is to type in using bullets exactly what activities and resources you want in each section. It is also possible to add pictures and other content to the Word document that can be added to Moodle later. Below is a preview of a generic Moodle sample course with the general info and week 1 of the course completed.
You can see for yourself how this class is developed. The General Info section has an image to serve as a welcome and includes the name of the course. Under this the course outline and rubrics for the course. The information in the parentheses indicate what type of module it is.
For Week 1, there are several activities. There is a forum for introducing yourself. A page that shares the objectives of that week. Following this are the readings for the week, then a discussion forum, and lastly an assignment. This process completes for however many weeks are topics you have in the course.
Depending on the your need to plan, you can even planned other pages on the site beside the main page. For example, I can wire frame what I want my “Objectives” page to look like or even the discussion topics for my “Discussion” forum.
Of course, the ideas for all these activities comes from the course outline or syllabus that was developed first. In other words, before we even wire frame we have some sort of curriculum document with what the course needs to cover.
The example above is an extremely simple way of utilizing the power of wire framing. With this template, you can confidently go to Moodle and find the different modules to make your class come to life. Trying to conceptualize this in your head is possible but much more difficult. As such, thorough planning is a hallmark of learning.
Brief explanation of making rubrics in Moodle
Below is a video on setting up the assignment activity in Moodle
Below is a video that explains the options available in the assignment activity in Moodle
Below is a simple and brief video on how to create assignments in Moodle
Making groups and groupings are two features in Moodle that can be used for collaboration and or for organizational purposes in a class. This post will provide examples of how to use groups in an activity in Moodle
Using Groups/Groupings in a Forum
Groups and Groupings can be used in a Forum in order to allow groups to interact during a discussion topic. It is assumed that you already know how to make a forum in Moodle. Therefore, the instruction in this post will start from the settings window for forums in Moodle.
2. Depending on your goals there are several different ways that groups can be used.
In this example we will select group mode set to “visible groups” and groupings to “none once you click “save and display” you will see the following.
3. To see what each group said in their discussion click “all participants” and a drop down menu will be displayed that shows each group.
Using Grouping for Assignments
To use groups in assignments you repeat the steps above. In this example, we will use the grouping feature.
2. Another set a features you want to set for an assignment is the “group submission settings”. The options are self-explanatory but here is what I selected.
3. Click save a display and you will see the following
The red messages just states that some people are in more than one group or not in any group. For this example, this is not a problem as I did not assign all students to a group.
The concepts presented here for forums and assignments apply to most activities involving groups in Moodle. Group is very useful for large classes in which students need a space in which they can having meaningful communication with a handful of peers.
In a prior post, we looked at how to make groups manually in Moodle. In this post, we will look at two additional features in making groups and they are
Auto-groups allows you to have Moodle make groups based on a criteria you give it. If the characteristics of the groups doesn’t matter that is a fast convenient way to put students in groups. Below are the steps
2. Click on Auto-Create Groups and you will see the following
3. The page is mostly self explanatory. Groups can be formed based on the number of groups you want or the number of people per group. Group formation can also be limited by role in the class or by last name, ID, etc. Before groups are finalized you can use the preview button to look at the potential groups. Below is an example of a completed group formation
The auto-group feature made 12 groups and the names of the members are listed in the table. Once you are satisfied you click submit and return to the previous page
Groupings allows you to place several groups into a “grouping” this allows you to add several groups to an activity at once. In order to use groupings you must first make groups which we have already done. Just like with the group feature in which the same person can be a member of several groups so can one group be a member of several groupings. Below are the steps to making groupings
2. Click on create grouping and you will see the following
3. We will give the grouping a name and click save changes and this will send you to the previous page shown below
4. To add a group to the grouping, you need to click on the people icon under the edit column and you will see the following
5. Now we will pick several groups to add to our grouping and click add as shown below
6. When you are done adding groups you click on back to groupings to finish the process as shown below
We now know how to make groups manually and automatically. We also know how to create groupings. However we have not yet learn how to actually using groups and or groupings in Moodle learning experiences. This will be a topic of a future post
One of the many features available for teachers to use is the group mode for activities within a course in Moodle. This post will look at how to setup groups in a Moodle course.
What to Use the Group Mode For?
As with other features in Moodle, the challenge with the group mode is that you can use it for almost anything. The unlimited variety in terms of the application of the group mode makes it challenge for novices to understand and appreciate it. This is because as humans we often want a single clear way to use something. Below are several different ways in which the group mode can be used in a Moodle course.
If this is not confusing enough, you can also have students in several different groups simultaneously if you wanted. Therefore, whenever you are trying to use Moodle you need to consider what your goal is rather than whether it is possible to do it in Moodle. As stated before, the problem is the flexibility of Moodle and not its inability to facilitate a learning task.
In this post, we are only going to learn how to make groups. In a future post, we will look at using groups in terms of teaching and assignments.
Creating Groups in Moodle
2. There are several things to mention before continuing
First, there are two different ways to create groups. You can create them manually by clicking on “create groups” or you can have Moodle make the groups using the “Auto-create groups” button. The auto-group option will be explained in a later post as welling as the grouping feature.
Second, there is a tab called “grouping” this is a feature that allows you to create a group of groups. In other words, several groups can be assigned to a grouping. This allows you to assign several groups to an activity simultaneously rather than having to add each on manually. This is a great feature for a course that has two sections and each section has group activities. For now we will learn how to make groups manually.
Lastly, the column on the left, called “groups” will display the name of any groups that are created while the column on the left, called “members of” will contain the names of people who are a part of the group. Right now both are empty because there are no groups yet.
3. Click on the “create group” group button and you will see the following.
4. You now need to give the group a name. You also have the privilege to add other information if you want such as description or even a picture to represent the group. After providing the needed information you need to click “save changes” in order to see the following.
5. To add members to our practice group we need to click on the “add/remove” button. After doing this, you will see the following.
6. There are two columns, “potential members” and “group members.” To add people to the “group members” section just highlight whoever you want in the “potential members” side and click “add”. Below is an example of this
Just a note, at the bottom of both the “group member” and “potential member” list is a search function that can be used to find specific people in either section.
7. After placing people in the group, you can click on the “back to group” button. You will see the following.
The group name is displayed on the left and the members of the group are displayed on the right.
In this post we learned how to create groups. However, we have not learned yet how to use groups in a moodle course yet. This will be explained in a future post.
For those of us who are not tech-savvy, the idea of making a database can sound very intimidating. However, a database is not as mysterious or difficult to create as you may think.
A database is strictly is just an organized way of collecting and storing records. If you ever made a list of your CD or book collection this is in many ways a highly simplified database.
Moodle allows a teacher to create a database to allow students to upload and or share information for whatever purpose. The secret to developing a database is to know what information you want it to store. After this, you just select the fields in Moodle to complete the database.
This post will explain how to develop a database in Moodle based on particular needs. We will make a database that stores information about Asian food.
2. After clicking “add”, you need to give the database a name and if you want, a description. The options are mostly familiar except for “entries”. The “entries”” options allows you to control when an entry is viewable. Below is a picture of the database.
3. After clicking “save and display” you will be taken to the next page where you add the fields you want. The fields are simply the different forms of information you want the database to store. There are 12 of them as listed below and next to each is a description of how we will use them in the example
We will now use all twelve in making a database
4. First, we will create a date field so the student can indicate when they tried the food. To do this click on the drop down box to add a new field . Type in the information and click “add”.
5.We will now make a text input. This is a single line of space for inputting text. In this field, the students will be able to put the name of the Asian food. There are also two options for making this field required and to autolink it throughout the course. Below is a visual
6. The picture field allows the students to upload a picture. For us, we want to be able to see the food that the students eat. You can set the options if you desire for the size of the picture
7. We will now create a menu field. This field will allow the student to indicate one of several options. For our example, the student will select if the meal was for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. In the options, you must put one choice per line
8. We will use the number field to indicate the level of spiciness of the food
9. The multimenu allows you to select several options at once. For our example, we want to know who eats this type of food foreigner, local, or both.
10. The checkbox field allows for multiple choices to be selected. For our example, we want to know where the food is prepared.
11. The radio button allows a person to make a single choice. For example, we want the students recommendation about the food
12. The text area allows for anything to be added. It is also possible to determine the size of this box. For us, we want to allow the student to share additional comments about the food.
13. The file field allows for attachments. We are going to have the students upload the recipe of the food.
14. The url field allows for a link. For the example, the students will put a website that explains more about the food
15. Lastly, the Latlong field allows for the inclusion of location. You have to indicate the external map services you want to use. For our example, we are asking for the location where the student ate the food.
16. After completing the various fields, you need to click on “templates’ in order to set the template.
Below are two more pictures, the first picture shows what an empty entry looks like. This can be accessed by clicking on “add entry”. The second picture is a picture of a completed entry. This can be seen be clicking on “view single”
This post explain how to create databases in Moodle. All that is required is an idea of what exactly you want the students to input. From there, clicking on several different fields is not to complicated for any teacher. The benefit of the database is that it is a highly structured way of collecting data. This is useful for students who require a greater degree of support.
The attendance module in Moodle is yet another excellent tool for learning management. Unlike other Moodle modules, the attendance feature is still simplistic and is surprisingly simple to setup. With this module you can do some of the following.
This post will provide a step-by-step procedure for setting up the attendance module in Moodle.
1. Log in to Moodle, select the course, and turn editing on
2. Click “add activity” select “attendance” and click “add”
3. For the grade option consider the following
4. Click “add session” and complete the following
a. Start date of the semester
b. Time of the class
c. Check the box “Repeat the session above as follows” because we want to use the attendance module more than once
d. Check the boxes for the days the class is held
e. Make sure class repeats every 1 week if this is how your class works
f. For “repeat until” select the last day of the semester
g. Click “add”
h. NOTE: You can have multiple sessions in a day if you repeat these steps. This is valuable for teachers who see the same students several times in a day.
5. The next page shows the attendance there are five different views
The next step is for customizing the features of your attendance. The example below is from one school but you can modify the settings however you want
6. Click on settings
a. Delete the “excused” column as it is not applicable in our example school
b. Change the number of points for being present from 2 to 1
c. Change the value of late from 1 to 0.65
* The school’s policy is 3 tardies is one absence
* Students should lose 1/3 of a point for be late or about 0.33
* When this happens three times it is the equivalent of losing a full point
* 1/3 + 1/3 + 1/3 = 1 absence
7. Click on “sessions” and take attendance by finding the day you want and clicking on the green circle
8. To check a students attendance do the following
You can view attendance on individual days by selecting any of the following
9. If a students attendance is not acceptable and you want to send a message through moodle do the following
a. Go to “reports”
b. Off to the right hand size are check boxes select the student(s) you want to send a message to
c. Click “send message” in the lower left of the screen
d. Enter your message and click “send message”
11. To check the attendance of a student in their other classes that use this module do the following
The attendance module provides teachers and administrators with a tool to see how students are doing not only in their class but across the campus. This assumes that everyone uses it. As such, modules such as the attendance module in Moodle requires support of all the teachers in order to reach full functionality.