Teacher's Manual

Teacher's Manual

Site: Brokenshire College eLearning
Course: Brokenshire College eLearning
Book: Teacher's Manual
Printed by:
Date: Saturday, 20 January 2018, 09:28 PM

Table of Contents

Logging On

There are several ways you can log in to your account. You could just type your Username and Password in the “Login” block, and then press the Login button. This will take you directly to one of your classes. Or, you could click on the login hyper-link in the upper-right corner. You could also click on your class name. Either of these actions will bring you to this login screen:


Fill in your “Username” and “Password,” and click on “Login.” This will take you into your class.

1.0 Your Class Space

If this is the first time you are entering the class, it will be mostly blank:

class space

Please note that all of the individual sections (called “blocks”) can be shifted around to customize the space to your liking. For the purposes of this manual, I will refer to the blocks where they are by default (like on the screen above). I will go into how to move the blocks around later in the manual.

1.1 Administering Your Class

Probably the most important block for the teacher is the Administration block. By
default, on the left-hand side of the screen are the administrative tools for your class. A brief synopsis of each link is as follows:
1Turn editing on - allows you to make changes to your class.

Settings - allows you to change the look of your class (more on this later).

Assign Roles – allows you to set roles for your class (much more on this later).

Groups - allows you to establish group settings for your class (more on this later).

Backup - allows your class data to be backed up.

Restore - allows you to restore old class data (that was previously backed up).

Import – allows you to transfer data from another course you are currently teaching.

Reset – allows you to remove user data from your course, while retaining activities and resources.

Reports - shows you all of the activity in your class for a set amount of time.

Questions - This link takes you directly to your question bank, which you can use to generate questions for your quizzes.

Scales - allows you to define special scales for evaluation. These are made up of word evaluations (i.e., Excellent, Good, Average, etc.).

Files - allows you to upload files to your “classroom,” or to view any files that are already there.

Grades - lists the grades of the tests and quizzes of each enrolled student.

1.1.1 Settings

This allows you to change the look of the class. If you click on the “Settings” link, you should see a screen like this:


All of the individual settings have “?” next to them to explain what they do. Any fields in red and marked with an asterisk are required to be completed. Detailed explanations of these fields are as follows:


Full name – This name will appear at the top of the screen and in the course listings throughout the Moodle system. I recommend that you use some sort of consistent naming scheme throughout your installation. For example, at Sweet Briar, this should be COURSE ID#SECTION# - COURSE NAME – SEMESTER YEAR
(e.g. PAN101.01 – Elementary Spanish I – Fall 2008)

Short name – This name will appear in other areas of your course, where the full name might be too cumbersome. Again, I recommend you use some sort of standard. At Sweet Briar, it is:
CourseID#.Section#.SemesterAbbreviation.LastTwoDigitsOfYear (e.g. SPAN101.01.F.08)

ID number – this field is used to create a number that can be used to interface with other programs. Moodle itself does not use this number internally, so in many cases, this field can be left blank. However, at Sweet Briar, we just use the same information as our short name.

Summary – this can be anything. If you have HTML editors enabled, you can use full formatting, including superscripts, subscripts, emoticons, etc. At Sweet Briar, we use the same course description that is in our published course catalog.

Format – this is an important field. There are three different formats for the class – Weekly, Topic, and Social. The weekly format organizes the class into weeks, with assignments, discussion boards, tests, etc. all residing in a week-by-week block. The Topic format organizes everything by topics (or units), regardless of how long they take. The Social format is built around a forum (bulletin board), which is good for announcements and discussions. I find the Weekly and Topic boards to be the more useful, but someone may come up with a creative Social format use.

Notice that the Weekly and Topic formats look very similar, but they are organized very differently. Weekly format lends itself to classes that are structured in a regular format, and Topic lends itself to classes that have units that are chronologically dynamic.

For the rest of this manual, I will be using the Topic format, but all the functions work in the Weekly and Social formats as well.

Number of weeks/topics – this displays the number of weeks or the number of topics displayed on your class page (the default is 10 weeks or 10 topics).
Course start date - This is where you specify the starting date of the course. If you are using a 'weekly' course format, the first week will start on the date you set here. This setting does not affect courses using the 'social' or 'topics' formats except in the display of reports, 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 setting controls how hidden sections appear (or don’t) in your class. You want to hide a section in your classroom if you are making changes on it, or if you do not want the students working ahead (on a future topic). If you hide a section (a topic or a date), a small bar will normally appear to let the student know there is a hidden section there. The students cannot see anything in the section, but will know it is there. If you set this control to “Hidden sections are completely invisible,” then nothing shows up in the class for the students to see.

News items to show – this sets how many news items to show for your class. Any time you post something in the News forum (at the top of the classroom), the title will appear in the “Latest news” box (at the top of the page by default). The number you set here limits how many news items to post before old ones get dropped. If you enter “0” for this menu, the “Latest news” box will not be displayed.

Show grades – this item sets whether or not students can see the grades you give them on any assignments that support giving grades (which is most of them). By default, this is set to “Yes” so the student can see the grade you gave. If this is set to “No,” then students cannot see the grades that were given.

Show activity reports – this feature defaults to “No.” If this is switched to “Yes,” then students can see their activity log (logon times, what they did while on, etc.). Note that this can put a strain on a server if this is turned on for large classes. The teacher can always see the activity log of a student, no matter what this feature is set to.

Maximum Upload Size – this lets you choose how large of a file you want users to be able to upload within your site (the upper limit is set by the administrator of your Moodle installation).

Is this a Meta Course? - In Moodle, you can create Meta Courses which are designed to be a shared space for multiple regular courses. In the Meta Course, you can provide information... without having to duplicate it in all the other courses. Instead of enrolling students in the Meta Course, you enroll sub-courses. All the students enrolled in those sub courses have access to the data provided in the Meta course. An example is illustrated below:
In this example, all the students enrolled in CHEM 201, CHEM303 and CHEM313 would have access to any content created in the Chemistry Department site. Obviously this is an excellent way to share information, without having to re-create it for each class!

Default role – this lets you choose the default role of each user when they enroll in your course. We will discuss roles in detail later.


Enrolment Plugins – Moodle is a flexible system that allows for many methods of enrolling students. The default (and the only one currently used at Sweet Briar) is internal enrolment, where users enroll themselves into courses. Other enrolment options include: Authorize.net Payment Gateway, External database, Flat file, IMS Enterprise (1.6), LDAP, Paypal, OSCommerce. These options will only be available if your administrator has enabled them.

Course enrollable - Whether this course is enrollable or not. With a third option of llowing enrolment within a range of date.

Enrolment duration – This sets how long a student can be enrolled in a class from when the student registers. After the time set here, the student will be unenrolled from your class.


Notify – If set to “yes”, this will notify you if a student’s enrolment period is about to expire (obviously this doesn’t matter if the enrolment duration is set to unlimited)

Notify students – If set to “yes”, this will notify the student if their enrollment period is about to expire.

Threshold – this is the point at which notifications will be sent out if either of the two above options are set to “yes”. (e.g., if set to 3 days, a student would receive notification that they are about to be unenrolled three days in advance)


Group mode – This is the default setting for groups for the course. You have threesettings to choose from if you use groups:

No – if this is set, the class is one big group. Everyone can see everyone.
Separate – if this is set, each group is separate – the groups cannot see each other (can not see other groups’ postings, assignments, etc.).
Visible – if this is set, students belong to groups, but the groups can see each other.

Force - if this is set to “No,” then groups can be assigned for each module added (each assignment). In this case, the class group setting is the default setting, but that can be changed. If this is set to “Yes,” then the group setting cannot be changed at he assignment level – the setting for the class level is always the setting.


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.

Enrollment key – this is the classroom password. If you fill in this field, students will have to put in the password the first time they log in to the class. This is to keep people who are not in your class from joining. The enrollment key can be anything – a word, numbers, or a combination. This can be changed as many times as you like in case the password gets spread outside of class. Again – students only need to put this key in the first time – after that they do not have to. If someone from outside of the class joins and then you change the key, they do not have to put in the new key because they have already joined, but they can be kicked out by you. Once they are kicked out, they would have to know the new key to rejoin the class.

Guest access – this controls if people without accounts can get into your classroom. This is set to “Do not allow guests in” by default, but it can be changed to allow guests in who have the classroom enrollment key (the password) or to allow in any guest, even if they do not have the enrollment key. Note that guests cannot change anything in a course – they can only read or see what has been done.


Force language – this feature let’s you pick the language for your course! By default, it will be in English, but you can select another language instead. Then, all the buttons, and system files will appear in the language you chose. (This is an excellent use for foreign language instructors!)

When done modifying the class settings, click on the “Save changes” button.

1.1.2 Roles

The next link in the Administration block is “Assign Roles”, but before we can discuss this link, we need to explain what roles are. Moodle now uses a set of Roles throughout its system. Roles are mostly managed and maintained by your system administrator, but as a teacher, you do need to know the basic concept of the roles. A role is basically a collection of permissions defined for the whole site that you can assign to specific users in specific contexts.

For example, you may have a Role called "Teacher" that is set up to allow teachers to do certain things (and not others). Once this role exists, you can assign it to someone in a course to make them a "Teacher" for that course. You could also assign the role to a user in the course category to make them a "Teacher" for all the courses under that category, or assign the role to a user just in a single forum, giving that user those capabilities just in that forum.

To better understand this, we should talk about contexts. Contexts are the "areas" in Moodle where roles can be assigned to people. They are arranged in a hierarchical fashion, with permissions inherited from "higher" to "lower" contexts.

1. Site (System)
2. Course Categories
3. Course Sub-categories
4. Courses
5. Blocks and Activities

So… if a user was defined as a “Teacher” role for a Course Category, they would be a teacher in all of the course sub-categories, courses and blocks and activities that resided beneath that particular Course Category.

By default, when your course is created and you are assigned as the teacher for that course by your administrator, you will have the role of “teacher” for your course. When students enroll in your course, they will have the role of “student” for your course. Other roles that exist include a “non-editing teacher” and a “guest”. Your system administrator can also create any additional non-conventional roles as necessary.

Why is this important to you? Well… as a teacher in your class, you will be able to assign roles for all the blocks and activities in your class (as well as for the actual course itself). So, if you wanted to allow a student teacher in your class to grade assignments, but not alter activities… you could set their role for the course to be “non-editing teacher”. Or, if you wanted to set up a forum where one of your students had total control in running the forum, you could set their role for just that activity to be “teacher”. Then, they could edit all the forum settings… but they would still remain as a student for the rest of your course. Basically, roles simply give you the flexibility to decide who gets to do what. Assign Roles for the entire course

imageSo, now that you understand about roles… how do you implement them? Well, remember you can assign roles either for the entire course… or on a block-by-block or activity-by-activity basis (we’ll get to those later). To assign roles for the entire course, look at your administration block.

You’ll notice that you now have an Assign Roles option. When you click on this link, you will see the following screen:


Here you can click on any of the roles that you have the ability to assign to the students enrolled in your course. For our example, I’ll click on “Non-editing teacher”. This will bring us to our next screen.


At this point, you simply select the name from the list of potential users, and use the arrow buttons to move them to the existing users list. This user will now be a Non- editing teacher for your entire course. If you want them removed from this role in your course, just select them from the “existing users” column and click the opposite arrow. (This is how you can manually add and remove users from your course)

1.1.3 Groups

Notice that in your Administration block, you have a link called Groups. When you click on this button, the following page will appear:


In Moodle 1.8, the concept of Groupings is introduced: a way of organizing various groups in a hierarchical structure. While this approach may prove to be more powerful, using groups is no longer as intuitive. For example, a teacher teaches four sections of the same class. The teacher could have 4 groupings (i.e. one for each section). Within those sections the teacher could assign various students to various groups within the groupings. Another great advancement is that students may now belong to multiple groups. How to add students to groups

To add students to a group, the teacher must follow these steps:

Create a grouping: First, click on the “Create grouping” button. On the new screen that appears, enter the "Grouping name" and optionally a description. Press the "Create grouping" button at the bottom of the screen.

Create a group in the grouping: Select the title in "Groupings" that you just created. Then, click the "Create group in grouping" button. On the new screen that appears, enter the "Group name" and optionally a description. Also, you can optionally enter an Enrollment key. (If you define a group enrolment key then not only will entering that key let the user into the course, but it will also automatically make them a member of this group.) Press the "Create group" button at the bottom of the screen.

Assign users to the group: Select the title in "Groups in: Groupings" that you just created. Click the "Add/remove users" button. In the next screen from the "Potential members" list, select the students you want to add to the group. Click the arrow button that points towards the "Existing members" list. When finished, Click the "Back to groups" button to return for more editing. Editing Groupings & Groups

After you’ve created your groups, you’ll be able to edit them by using the various buttons located underneath the group lists, as illustrated in the picture below:


Edit grouping settings: Allows you to update the grouping name and/or description.

Delete grouping: Removes the grouping (note any groups that are in the grouping will remain, but will no longer be part of a grouping unless they have already been assigned to another one).

Create grouping: Allows you to give a name and description to a new grouping.

Printer-friendly display: Shows an indented list of all your groupings & groups.

Edit group settings: Allows to update the group name, description, enrollment key, picture and add the group to other groupings.

Create group in grouping: Allows you to create a new group in a grouping.

Create orphan group: Allows you to create a new group that is not assigned to any grouping.

Add/remove users: Lets you add or remove users to your selected group. An example to illustrate how groupings/groups work


As you can see groups in Moodle 1.8 are extremely flexible. You can have users in multiple groups, and they can only see content in the groups they are assigned to. Groups will be discussed more when we look at adding activities (chat rooms, forums, assignments, etc.) later in this manual.

1.1.4 Backup

The Backup link in the Administration block allows you to choose not only the type of activity you want to backup… but you can also choose between individual activities as well. Note the example illustrated below:


All you have to do is choose the individual activity you want, decide if you want to include the user data (any student files, grades, comments, etc…), and then you can click on the Continue button. This will bring you to a new screen, which will allow you to give the backup file a name (note that the file is a ZIP file format) and will give you a synopsis of your backup. When you press the Continue button again, the file will be created, and can be accessed through your files section (which we’ll get to in a little bit).

1.1.5 Restore

If you have backup files you wish to restore to the system, click on the Restore link in the Administration block. It will show you a list of your file section, and if you have any backup zip files already created, you will have a link labeled “restore” next to the file.


When you click on this Restore link, it will take you to a new screen, asking if you want to start the restore process. Notice that later in this process you will have a choice of adding this backup to an existing course or creating a completely new course. Press the Yes button to continue, and you will be taken to a summary screen, which will tell you information about the file you are attempting to restore. Press the Continue button to proceed. Finally you will be taken to a screen similar to this:

Here you can pick to either Restore to the “Current course, adding data to it” or to the “Current Course, deleting it first”. You can also select the types of activities, as well as the individual activities you would like to restore. When finished press the Continue button, and your files will be restored.

1.1.6 Import

The “Import” link in the Administration block will take you to the following screen:


Here, you can choose another Moodle course that you want to copy some content from. (This is great for instructors who use some of the same material in multiple courses) Either choose the course from the drop down lists “Courses I have taught” or “Courses in the same category”, or type in the name of the course and click the search courses button. Notice that you will only see courses that you are enrolled in as a teacher.

Also before we move on, note that there is also an import groups section. This area lets you upload a CSV (comma separated value) file with pre established groups. You can click on the help icon for more information, but we won’t go into great detail on this subject since most instructors will manually create groups for each course.

When you have selected the course you want to copy data from, you should see a window similar to this one:


Here, you can pick which areas you want copied to your course. When you have made your choices, press the “Continue” button and follow the instructions to complete the process.

1.1.7 Reset Course

Another link in the Administration block is the “Reset” link. This link will take you to the following screen:


This page allows you to remove user data from your course, while retaining any activities and other settings you may have implemented in your course. Types of user data you can remove include: Students, teachers, course events, logs, and/or groups. You can also reset the course start date. Also, you have the option to remove posts and/or subscriptions from any forums created in your course. USE CAUTION when using this feature, because once you click the “reset course” button, your user data from the course is gone for good!

1.1.8 Reports

The next link in the Administration block is named “Reports”. When you click on the “Reports” link, the following screen appears:


As you can see, the reports page is divided into four boxes, or sections. The top section entitled “Choose which logs you want to see:” has a variety of different drop-down menus that let you narrow your results of the logs. The drop downs are (from left-toright, top-to-bottom) courses, participants, date, activities, actions (view, add, update, delete all changes) and display (Display on page, download in text format, download in ODS format, or download in Excel format). When you click on the “Get these logs” button, you’ll see the following information:


Up at the top, you have the same drop down boxes as previously mentioned, where you can refine your logs if necessary. Notice that the results shown at the bottom gives you the Time, IP Address, Full Name, Action and Information about the records that meet your criteria.

If you return the main page of reports, notice that the second section has a link for “Activity Report”. When you click on this link, you’ll see a summation of all the activity in your course. It should look something like this:


Here, you are shown a break down of the activities and resources in your course, the number of times they have been viewed, and the last time they were viewed.

The third section on the main page lets you run a participation report. Here, you can choose an Activity Module, a period of time to “Look back”, which users to show, and which actions to show. When you press the “Go” button, a page similar to this one will appear:


This screen shows you some basic information about what that user did, based on your criteria. You can also check mark the “Select” box next to their name, and then from the “With Selected Users” drop down, you can choose to send them an email message.

The final section on the main page has a link for “Statistics” (if this is replaced by the phrase “Statistics is not currently enabled” this means that your administrator hasn’t activated this feature). When you click on the “Statistics” link, you will see graphs and tables which show how many hits there have been on various parts of your site during various time frames. They do not show how many distinct users there have been.

1.1.9 Questions

The next link in the Administration block is “Questions”. This link will take you to a screen similar to this one:


Basically, this area is your question bank for any questions that you create for your quizzes. There is a lot of material to cover here, but it makes more sense to discuss it once we get to the topic of quizzes. So for now, the important thing to know is simply that you can access your question bank at any time through the administration block.

1.1.10 Scales

This screen allows you to create a word-based evaluation scale (like “fair,” “excellent,”etc.). The screen should look something like this:

From here, you can add a new scale by clicking on “Add a new scale.” This will bring up a scale like this:

Name – This is the name of the scale. It can be anything that you like. In my example, I will call it “Computer Scale.”

Scale – This is where you input your scale words. You can have as many as you like, but they need to be separated by commas, and they should be from the lowest level comment (like “Poor”) to the highest level comment (like “Excellent”).

Description – This is an optional field. You may type anything you like here.

My example now looks like:


When you are done typing in the information, click on “Save changes.” The new scale will now be available to the resources that can use it (more on that later), and it appears on the list of scales:


1.1.11 Files

This allows you to upload files to the server. Students do not have access to these files unless you link them to another part of the site (more on that later). A file can be text documents, sound files, spreadsheets, and more. When you click on this link, you will see a screen like this:


You can select files or folders, by check marking the box to the left of the name (or by using the “Select all” / “Deselect all” buttons). Once the file or folder is selected you can choose from the “With chosen files” drop-down menu to either:

Move to another folder – will let you choose which folder you want to move the file to
Delete completely – removes the file from the system
Create Zip archive – creates a zip file of the files or folders that have been selected

Under the action column, you will always have the option to “Rename” the file… and if you have a zip file, you will also have the option to unzip, list (which will show a list of the contents) or restore (which, if it is a backup file can be used to restore your course, as previously discussed).

You can create a new folder for organizational purposes by clicking on “Make a folder.” Or, to add a file to your classroom, click on “Upload a file.” This will take you to a screen that looks like this:


You can browse for a file on your computer by clicking on the “Browse” button. When you have located the file, click on “Upload this file” to load the file into your class.

1.1.12 Grades

This shows the grades of tests, quizzes and projects that students have done. When you click on this link, you see the following page:


There are six tabs that appear: “View Grades”, “Set Preferences”, “Set Categories”, “Set Weights”, “Set Grade Letters” and “Grade Exceptions”. View Grades

In this tab, you have two buttons. The button labeled “Download in Excel format” allows you to download your entire grade book as a Microsoft Excel file. The button labeled “Download in text format” allows you to download your entire grade book as a text (.txt) file. In this location, you also see a summary of your grade book. You can click on the links “Sort by Last Name” and “Sort by First Name” to sort the grade book. You can also click on the “Stats” link that appears next to any grade book item to get a statistical summary of that item. Set Preferences

In the “Set Preferences” tab, you can change some options for your grade book. When you click on this tab, you should see the following window:


If you see a button that says “Show advanced features”, I recommend that you press it, so that you can see all your options. These options include: Set Categories

This is where graded items can be placed into categories, curved and set as extra credit items. New categories can also be added and existing ones deleted. When you press the tab, you should see a window similar to this appear:


Category: Adjusts which category a graded item belongs to. Just select the appropriate category from the drop down list. Items that have not been assigned a category or were in a category that was deleted will be automatically placed in "Uncategorized"

Curve To: Allows you to curve grades. Set this item to what you would like the particular graded item graded out of. So if the max grade was 30 and curve to was set at 28 students grades and percents would be calculated against a possible 28 points rather than 30.

Extra Credit: Check this box if you would like a particular category to be calculated as extra credit. Please note that setting all items to extra credit for a particular category will have unexpected results, and will most likely not count the category or extra credit at all.

At the bottom, you can add or delete categories. Set Weights

When you click on the “Set Weights” tab, you should see the following window:


This is where you can set the grade weights for a category as well as dropping the lowest X assignments from grade calculation, adding bonus points to a category, hiding a category from grade display and calculation. Set Grade Letters

When you click on the “Set Grade Letters” tab, you should see the following window:


You can set your grade letter scale here. Initially a "suggested" scale is presented and all that needs to be done to use this scale is to click "Save Changes". If however you do not like this scale, just change any entries you want and then click "Save Changes". After this initial setting you will see your current selected scale. Leave an entry blank to not include it or delete it from the grade scale. Grade Exceptions

When you click on this tab, you will see the following window:


This can be used to exclude students from individual assignments. This is useful if two class sections merge or a student transfers from a different section several weeks into a semester. It is also useful for extenuating circumstances: sickness, injury, etc. There are three columns:

Left: Is students for the course that are "Included in Grading" for a particular graded item.

Middle: A listing of all graded items followed by a total number of students excluded from grading in parenthesis.

Right: A list of students that are excluded from a particular assignment

To exclude students click the assignment in the middle and then click the students name in the left column (holding down CTRL or APPLE will allow selection of multiple items). Then click "Exclude from Grading" at the bottom. The student(s) should be moved from the left column to the right, and they will now be excluded from grade calculations for that assignment.

To include students that have been excluded; Choose the appropriate assignment, click the student in the right column and finally "Include in Grading" at the bottom. The student should be moved from the right column to the left column.

1.2 The People Block

By default, in the upper left of your course is the “People” block:


When you click on the “Participants” link, you will see a page like this:


Notice that there is a lot more going on here now. First, there are two tabs “Participants” and “Blogs”. (We’re going to concentrate on the information in the Participants tab for now, but we’ll get back to Blogs later).

At the top of your list, you have several drop-down menus:

My Courses:Allows you to see participant lists of any courses you are teaching

Current Role: Allows you to limit your list to particular roles (teachers, students, etc…)

User List: Lets you pick between a less detailed, and a more detailed view of your participants.
You can sort this list by clicking on the “First name”, “Last Name”, “City/town”, “Country” or “Last Access” links. Notice that you can select each user, either by using the check mark in the Select column, or by pressing the Select all or Deselect all buttons at the bottom of the list. Once you have selected users, you can then use the drop-down menu at the bottom of the screen to choose “Add/Send message”. This will bring up an HTML editor where you can compose an email, and send it off to the participant. Unfortunately, you can not add attachments, so I still recommend using third-party installations, such as Quickmail (which I’ll discuss later), which your administrator can install on your Moodle server.

1.2.1 Profiles

To see all of the information on a person in your class, click on the person’sname. You should see a screen like this:


(This screen will appear anytime you click on a person’s hyper linked name anywhere in the Moodle system) You will notice a picture of an envelope next to your email address. If you click on the envelope, it disables all Moodle-generated email (from any discussion forums that you are subscribed to, etc.) from being sent to that address. This is a quick way to disable email from being sent to you when you are on vacation or the like.

In addition to the “Profile” tab, there can also be an “Edit Profile”, “Forum posts”, “Blog”, and “Activity reports”. Edit profile will only show up if you’re looking at your own profile. “Activity reports” will only appear if you’re looking at one of your student’s profile. Edit Profile

To edit your personal information, click on “Edit profile.” This allows you to change information about yourself. If you click on this you will see something like this:


Most of the fields are straightforward, but several need special attention:

Email display – This allows you to show or hide your email in the class. You can set it so all users (including guests) can see your email, or so that only other students in the class can see your email address, or so that no one can see your email address at all.

Email digest type – This setting allows you to choose how you want to receive any emails you get from forums. There are three choices:

“No digest” – there is no email digest created – you will get every post, in full, that is made to a forum that you are subscribed to.

“Complete” – this creates a single email digest of all the posts made to a forum you are subscribed to. You will get one email per day containing all of the posts made to the forum.

“Subjects” – this creates a single email digest that contains just the subject lines from the posts to any forums you are subscribed to. You can go to any topic that you are interested in.

Forum auto-subscribe – This setting lets you decide if you want email copies of posts that are added to forums (bulletin boards). If you set this to subscribe, the system will email you copies of new posts in forums that you join.

When editing text – This can usually be left on “Use HTML editor.” This allows for text formatting options, but requires newer browsers. If you find your browser is not letting you edit text, change this setting to “Use standard web forms.”

Description– This can be anything you like – “Teacher,” “Mr. Riordan – CVCA,” or any text you like.

New picture – If you wish, you may upload a picture to represent you. To do this, click on the “Browse” button and find the picture you would like to upload, and click on “Open.”

When you are finished, click on “Update profile.” You will now see your updated profile. Forum posts

If you click on the “Forum posts” tab, you will see a screen like the one shown at right. Here, you can click on either the “Posts” or the “Discussions” tab, to see any posts or discussions that person has participated in. We discuss Forums in greater detail later in this manual.

image Blogs

One of the huge enhancements to Moodle is that it now supports blogs. Blogs allow students, teachers and administrators to have a public web log. This online journal has various settings to control who can read them. Every user can create their own blog by going to their profile page. Once you are at your profile, notice that there is a tab called “Blogs” at the top. Click on this tab,and you should see the following screen:


Here’s some basic Blog terminology… to help you as you create your blog:

Blog: An online web journal (kind of like a published diary)

Entry: Think of this as a new page in your journal. You create a new entry
any time you have something new to add to your blog.

Tags: Keyword identifiers used to classify your blog entry

Add an entry
To add a new entry to your blog, click on the “Add a new entry” link (either at the top of the page, or on the right in the “Blog Menu” section). Here you will see the following screen:


At this point, you can give your entry a title, type the body of your message, and add an attachment if desired. You can also choose how you are going to publish this particular entry. Your choices will be:

Yourself (Draft) - Only you and the administrators can see this entry.

Anyone on this site - Anyone who is registered on this site can read this entry.

Anyone in the world - Anyone, including guests could read this entry.

Then, finally you can add tags to your entry. If you are writing about your pet cat’sbirthday in your blog entry… you might want to add the tags “cat” and “birthday”. Or, if you’re writing an entry for your CHEM101 class, you might want to use the tag CHEM101. Using these descriptive tags will help other users find your blog entry.

Generating an RSS Feed to Share Your Blog
So… once you’ve made your blog… how do you share it with other people? Well, first keep a few things in mind. If you made your blog entry only visible to yourself… no one else will be able to see it. If you made it visible just to anyone on the site… people will only be able to view your blog if they’re already in the Moodle system. However, most people want to find a way to share their blog with people outside of their Moodle system. To do this, your entries must be set to be available to “Anyone in the world”. Once that is done, you can generate RSS feeds for your blogs. There are basically three types of blogs you can view in Moodle... a user blog, a course blog and a site blog. A user blog is accessed by clicking on the persons profile link. A course blog is accessed by clicking on the “view course entries” in a course blog menu. And, a site blog can be accessed by clicking on the “view site entries” link in a blog menu. Once you see the blog, it will look something like this:


Notice, how at the top in bold, larger letter there is either a person’s name, a course name, or the name of your Moodle site. That should help you recognize whether you’re viewing a user, course or site blog. Just to the left of the “Blog Menu” block, there is an orange “RSS” button. When you click on that, it will take you an RSS feed for that particular blog, such as this example:


If you look at the address bar of your browser, you will see the RSS feed URL. You can share this with anyone else interested in viewing that particular blog. Activity Reports

If you click on the “Activity Reports” tab, you will see the following page:


Here, you can click on the links “Outline report”, “Complete report”, “Today’s logs”,“All logs”, “Statistics” or “Grades”. The Outline Report will show you a basic outline of activity. The complete report shows you a detailed summary. Today’s logs show you detailed information about all activity for this profile today. All logs gives you detailed information about the profile since its creation. Statistics will show a statistical analysis of the user. And grades will show all of their grades in your class.

1.3 Activities

This block lists all of the categories of the things that are available in your classroom (forums, quizzes, assignments, etc.). The first time you enter your classroom, the only category that is listed is “Forums.” This is because one forum (discussion board) exists by default – the news forum. The activities list will grow as you add activities to your classroom.


1.4 Search Forums

The search forums block allows you or your students to search for any word (or words) that occur in any forums (discussion groups) you have in your class. This lets you track down any keyword(s) that you are interested in.


1.5 My Courses

This block lists all of the classes you are enrolled in or teach.


1.6 Latest News

This block shows the latest discussion posted to the News Forum.


1.7 Upcoming Events

This block shows your class what events are coming up (based on the calendar). It also includes a link to go to the calendar or to add new events (see 1.9.4 Calendar for more details on adding events). My example looks like this:


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. In my example, if you clicked on “PC Safety,” you would be taken to the journal entry called “PC Safety.”

1.8 Recent Activity

This block shows you what has changed since the last time you have logged in. It is a good way to keep track of what is changing in the class. This is very useful for the students to see what has happened since the last time they logged in.

1.9 Blocks (customizing your classroom)

Moodle organizes all of the information on the sides of the classroom into units called blocks. Blocks can be moved around and turned on or off to suit the needs of your classroom. If you click on “Turn editing on” at the top of the page, or as the top entry under the “Administration” block, you should see a screen something like this:


All of the blocks (“People,” “Activities,” “Calendar,” etc.) now have additional symbols showing. The symbols change the appearance or the location of the individual block. The symbols look like this:


The symbols do the following:

-The eye – if you click on the eye when it is open, it will shut. When the eye is shut, you can see the block (in this example, the calendar), but the students in the class cannot see the block. If the eye is shut and you click on it, it will open, and the block will be visible to the students again.

-The “X” – if you click this symbol, the block will be deleted from your class page. If you delete a block and want to show it again later, add it from the menu in the “Blocks” block, which is located at the bottom right of the page.

- The arrows – these arrows move the block in that direction. If you click on an up arrow, the block will move up the screen. If you click on a down arrow the block will move down. If you click on a right arrow, the block will move all the way across the screen to the right-hand side of the screen. If you click on a left arrow, the block will move to the left-hand side of the class screen. These arrows move blocks around the screen, and this can be repeated as many times as you wish.

1.9.1 Adding Blocks

If you delete a block and wish to add it back, or if you wish to add a few of the blocks not shown by default, you can add them through the “Add” menu under the “Blocks” section in the upper right of the screen. The “Add” menu will show all the available blocks:


Some of the blocks not on by default are discussed here. These blocks can be added to your class at any time.

1.9.2 The Blog Menu Block

You now have another block you can add to your course called “Blog Menu”. To add this block, first turn editing on in your course, and then from the “Blocks” block, choose “Blog Menu” from the drop-down menu. This puts a block in your course that looks like this:


Add a new entry: When any user in your class clicks on this, they will add a blog entry that will be directly associated with your particular class

View my entries: Any user that clicks here will see all the posts they’ve created, whether they are personal, for your course or for another course

Blog preferences: Here any user can set the number of blog entries that will appear per page.

View course entries: This will show ONLY the blogs that were created in association with this particular class.

View site entries: Will give access to view all the blogs throughout the Moodle installation.

Add/delete tags: Gives the user the ability to manage their user defined tags.

1.9.3 The Blog Tags block

Another block you can add to your course is called “Blog Tags”. To add this block, first turn editing on in your course, and then from the “Blocks” block, choose “Blog Tags” from the drop-down menu. This puts a block in your course that looks like this:


This block is what is called a “Tag Cloud” it lists all the different tags that are used in the blogs, and the more often a tag is used (throughout different blogs) the larger the tag becomes. When you click on any tag, it will take you to the blogs that contain that tag. For example, these are the blogs that generated the above tag cloud:


The tag “Bombay” was used as a tag in both blogs, so that is why “Bombay” is a larger word. This can be an extremely efficient way to sift through user-generated content, as long as it is constructively tagged.

You can also edit the “Blog Tags” block, by clicking on edit button (hand holding a pencil) when editing is turned on for your course. When you do, you’ll see the following screen:
blog tags
Here, you can give the Blog tags block a different title, choose how many tags to display (up to 50 of the most commonly used ones), choose how many days old tags can be to be displayed, and choose to sort the tags either by the tag text, or by the date the tag was last used.

1.9.4 Calendar

The calendar shows events that are happening in your classroom. Events are added to the calendar, and can be for individual users, for your defined groups, or for your courses. If you add closing dates to assignments, forums, quizzes, etc., these will also show up on the calendar. My calendar looks like this (with a few assignment dates on it):

imageYou can view previous or future months by clicking on the left or right arrows next to the current month’s name. Today’s date is always outlined in black (September 20th in my example). Other vents are color coded based on what the event is (the color key is under the calendar). On my calendar, I have due dates for course activities showing (on the 21st and the 24th).

You can hide or show the various categories of events by clicking on the color key. This can make the calendar easier to read (especially if there are many events on the calendar). For example, if I wanted to hide any group events dates (events assigned to groups you create), I would click on “Group events” on the bottom of the calendar. This would hide all the (group) events, and the color code would disappear from the link on the calendar. To show the events again, click on the link at the bottom of the calendar (“Global events,” etc.). Any (and multiple) of the categories can be hidden. Hiding/showing events changes only your account – hiding group information does not hide it for every member of the group, but only for you. Also, hiding a category of events is only temporary – you will see all events the next time you log in.

To see more detail on an event, you can click on thedate in question. If I click on the 21st I get a screen like this:


This tells me all of the events on the day I on which clicked.

Back on the main screen, if I click on the month link (“September 2004”), I will get an expanded month view:


Both the daily detail screen and the monthly detail screen have the “Preferences” button in the upper right. This button leads to a screen like this:


In the “Time display format” setting, you can choose either a 12 or 24 hour format. In the “First day of week” setting, you can choose the day of the week that your calendar week will start on. The next two settings (“Maximum upcoming events” and “Upcoming events look-ahead”) affect how the “Upcoming Events” block displays information. You maychange any of these settings to suit your class needs. “Remember filter settings” if enabled, will remember your last event filter settings and automaticallyrestore them each time you login. When you have finished any changes, click on “Save changes.”

Both the daily and monthly detail screens have the “New Event” button. This allows you to manually add events for your classes (However, please note that the system will automatically add due dates for assignments, quizzes, etc. when you create those activities). If you click on “New Event,” you will see a screen something like this:


In my example, I can add a user event, a group event, or a course event. A user event is private – no one else can see your user events (a personal date book). A group event can only be seen by the members of the group you choose in the pull-down menu. A course event is viewable by everyone enrolled in your class. The other type of event, global events, are set by site administrators.

An event is anything you want to show up on the calendar. For my example, I will add a user event. If I click on “OK,” I will see a screen like this:


- Name – this can be anything you like, but probably should be short. -Description – this is the full details of the event.
- Date – this sets the date and time of the event. The default is today’s date.
- Duration – this sets how long the event lasts. It can have no duration (the default), can last minutes, days, or more (by setting the date in the “Until” line), or can last a set number of minutes.
- Repeats – this field sets if the event repeats weekly or not. If it does repeat, you must set how many events to create.

When you are done filling in the information, click on “Save changes.” You will then be taken to a detail screen of the event you just put in:


You may edit the entry by clicking on the hand holding the pencil and you may delete the entry by clicking on the “X” on the right-hand side.

One thing to notice – the small calendar on the right should update; there is now a light blue (user event) entry on the 18th.

For any given day, only one color will show. The highest “rank” color will show – the global event color always shows if it is present, then course events, then group events, and finally user events (the user event colors only show if there are no other higher events on the same day).

1.9.5 Course Summary

If you like, you may add the “Course Summary” block to your class. To do this, choose the “Course/Site Description” from the Blocks drop-down menu. My example looks like this:


1.9.6 HTML

This block lets you create your own custom block, by adding whatever HTML content you want. You can add as many of these custom blocks as you’d like.

1.9.7 Messages

imageIf you add the “Messages” block, you can create your own instant messaging area. The block will initially look like the picture shown at right.

imageIf you click on the “Messages…” link, it will open a new window that looks like the picture shown at left. In the “Contacts” tab, you will see a list of any contacts you have added to your account. (In this example, none have been added yet).

To add contacts, you can click on the “search tab. You will see the page shown at right. Here, you can search for a person to send a message to, or to add to your contacts. Or, you can search your messages for certain keywords.

If you search for a person, the results will appear like what you see at the left. If you click on the name, you will send a message to that person. If you click on the white face after the name, it will add the person to your contact list (or if the face is brown, it will remove the person from your contact list). If you click on the green octagon, it will block that person from your messages (or if the octagon is red, you can click it and unblock). If you click on the last icon, it will show you a history of the messaging you have had with that person.

The last tab in the messaging window is the “Settings” tab. When clicked, your window will look like this:

These settings are all self explanatory. You can make the appropriate changes that suit your needs, and then press the “Save my settings” button.

1.9.8 Quiz Results

The quiz results block displays the highest and/or lowest grades achieved on a quiz within your course. Therefore, your course must have at least one quiz created in order to use this block. When you first add this block you will not have selected which quiz you wish the results of to be displayed, generating the notice:


Clicking the Configuration icon (the hand with the pencil) allows you to choose which quiz you want to see the results for from the following window:


Here, you can pick the quiz you want to display (unless you don’t have any quiz activities created, like our example above). You can also set several other options such as the number of the lowest and highest grades displayed. If both the highest and lowest grades are set to zero then no results will be displayed; to display all grades you would need to set either of these to the number of participants in the course. You can also determine whether grades will be displayed as percentages, fractions or absolute numbers. If the quiz supports groups you can also show group results instead of students.

2.0 Editing your class:

This is where the majority of things happen in your classroom. This is where you add discussion boards, journals, tests, quizzes, online resources and more. To start editing your page, click the "Turn editing on" button (on the left-hand side, or at the top right of the page).

This will change the look of the page slightly. Editing symbols will now appear next to existing features, and two "Add" boxes will now be in each topic box (or week box if you use Weekly format):


For existing items (like "News forum" above) there is a series of symbols next to the item. If you "hover" over each symbol with the mouse, it will tell you what the button does:


The right-facing arrow indents the item (for organizational purposes). If the item is already indented, there will be a left-facing arrow to “un-indent” the item.

The double arrows move the item up or down in the list.

The hand holding the pencil edits the item.

The “X” deletes the item.

The eye hides the item from students (or shows the item if it is already hidden).

The person symbol allows you to toggle the item between “No Groups,” “Visible Groups,” and “Separate Groups.” (See 1.1.3 Groups for more details on groups.)

2.1 Adding Content

We can now add content to each topic. Note that next to each “Add” menu there is a “?” symbol. This brings up a window that explains what each item is, in case you need help.

The first thing we can do is to add text to the topic box (or week box if using Weekly format). To do this, click on the hand holding the pen in the box to which you wish to add text:


This will bring up the editing box:


Add the summary (a short description of the week or topic), and click on “Save changes.”

2.1.0 The Add a Resource Menu

We can now add more content from the “Add” menus. This section will look at the “add a resource” menu. See below for details on the “Add an activity” menu. The “Add a resource” menu contains:

Compose a text page
Compose a web page
Link to a file or web site
Display a directory
Insert a label
Add an IMS Content Package

2.1.1 Compose a text page

This resource allows you to post a page of text (text that you type in or cut-and-paste from another document). To add a text page, select it from the “Add a resource” menu:


You will then see a screen like this:


Name - can be anything you like. This is what the students will see in the classroom.

Summary - is a brief summary of the main text. It is used to help students quickly determine if the resource is relevant to what they are looking for. The summary box supports formatting (bold, underline, etc.) that can be found on the tool bar.

Full text - is where the main text is entered. By default, the text box supports emoticons and web addresses become hyper-links. This behavior can be changed in the “Formatting” pull-down menu under the full text box.

Formatting - is a pull-down menu that defines how the text box is interpreted. You have the following options available:
-Moodle auto-format.” This is a good all-purpose setting thatsupports hyperlinking and emoticons.
- Plain-text – pick this formatting if you want the text to look just like you typed it(no emoticons or hyper-links).
- Markdown format – pick this formatting if you want to use markdown formatting (which looks a lot like text email formats).

Window: Show (or Hide) settings - lets you change how the resource is viewed. By default, theresource appears in the same browser window that the user started in. If you want it to open another browser window, click on “Show settings” and select “New window.” You can then also define how big the new window will be, and other options.

When you are finished, click on “Save changes.” My classroom now has a resource called “Computer Safety 101”:


2.1.2 Compose a web page

This resource is very similar to the text page (see above), except it supports full formatting in the main “Full text” box. To add a “Compose a web page” resource, select it from the “Add a resource” menu:


This will take you to a page like this:


Name - can be anything you like. This is what the students will see in the classroom.

Summary - is a brief summary of the main text. It is used to help students quickly determine if the resource is relevant to what they are looking for. The summary box supports formatting (bold, underline, etc.) that can be found on the tool bar.

Full text - is where the main text is entered. This box supports all formatting tools on the tool bar (bold, underline, etc.).

Window: Hide (or Show) settings - lets you change how the resource is viewed. By default, the resource appears in the same browser window that the user started in. If you want it to open the page in a new browser window, click on “New window.” You can then also define how big the new window will be, and other options.

Visible to Students - If it is set to “Show” will allow your students to see this page. If it is set to hide, your students will not see the page (useful if you’re still editing it!).

When you are finished, click on “Save changes.”

2.1.3 Link to a file or web site

This resource adds a quick link to files you have uploaded to the classroom, or it adds a link to other websites. To add a link, select “Link to a file or web site” from the “Add a resource” menu:


This will take you take you to a screen like this:


Name – this is the name of the resource. It can be anything (it does not have to be a web address).

Summary – this is a brief description of the resource. It shows up in the listing of all resources (in the Activities block or in the navigation “breadcrumb” at the top of the page). This helps students quickly decide if the information is relevant to what they are looking for.

Location - is the actual path to the file or web site that you want to post. If you are uploading a file, you click on the “Choose or upload a file” button. This brings up a page like this:


If the file you want is there, click on “Choose” on the right-hand side of the screen. If you need to upload the file from your computer, click on the “Upload a file” button. This opens up a screen like this:


This allows you to browse for the file you are looking for by clicking on the “Browse” button. Once you find the file, double-click on it. The path will fill in for you; click on “Upload this file.” The file will then be available for you to select.

If you want to add a web address, you can simply type it, or you can click on “Search for a web page.” This opens up a new window for you to search for the web page you want. Once you find it, you can copy the address and paste it in the “Location” box.

Window: Hide (or Show) settings - lets you change how the resource is viewed. By default, the resource appears in the same browser window that the user started in. If you want it to open the page in a new browser window, click on “New window.” You can then also define how big the new window will be, and other options.

Parameters: Show (or Hide) settings - lets you see and set parameters for settings you might need to pass to another website. A common use of this is to pass a user name and password to another site so your students can have access to the site. There are many options of parameters to pass, and the ones you would use depend on the site you are linking to. You can leave these settings blank for most uses.

Visible to Students - If it is set to “Show” will allow your students to see this page. If it is set to hide, your students will not see the page (useful if you’re still editing it!).

When you are done, click on “Save settings.”

2.1.4 Display a directory

This resource allows the students to view an entire directory (folder) at once. The directory and the files in it must already exist (they can be added using the “Files” link in the “Administration” block). It is a great way to make many files available using just one link. To add a directory, select it from the “Add a resource” menu:


This brings up a screen like this:


Name – this can be anything you like (it does not have to be the same as the name of the directory).

Summary – this is a short description of what the directory contains. This helps students quickly determine if the files will be relevant to what they are looking for.

Display a directory – this drop-down menu allows you to pick from any directories (folders) that you have created for your classroom. These directories must already exist (they can be created using the “Files” section of the “Administration” block). Note that if you pick a directory that has other directories (folders) inside of it, the students have access to those files as well.

Visible to Students - If it is set to “Show” will allow your students to see this page. If it is set to hide, your students will not see the page (useful if you’re still editing it!).

When you are finished, click on “Save changes.”

2.1.5 Insert a label

This feature allows you to insert text, images, and other things directly into the topic (or week) box. To add a label, click “Insert a label” in the “Add a resource” menu:


This will take you to the label editing page:


Label Text – Here, you may now type what you want to add to the class topic (or create a link, or add a picture, etc.).

Visible to Students: If it is set to “Show” will allow your students to see this page. If it is set to hide, your students will not see the page (useful if you’re still editing it!).

When you are done, click on “Save changes.” In my example, I have added a (bold faced) label that says “Please be careful with the computers!”

2.1.6 Add an IMS Content Package

When you turn editing on in your class, you have a drop-down menu labeled as “Add a resource”. There is now a choice in this drop-down list, called “Add an IMS content Package”. An IMS content package is one of the standards used for sharing content backand- forth between different Learning Management systems. If you were using a different Learning Management system at another institution, and exported your course information in an IMS compatible format, you would then be able to upload that content as a resource in Moodle. When you choose “Add an IMS content Package” from the drop-down list, you get the following screen:


Here, you can give your IMS package a name and summary, choose the location of your package file, and choose whether the contents open in the same window or a new window. You can also set various parameters for your content, including: a navigation side menu, table of contents, navigation buttons, skip sub-menu pages and an up button.

This covers all of the options in the “Add a resource” menu.

2.2 The “Add an activity” menu

The “Add an activity” menu allows you to add assignments, forums, and more. These differ from resources in that they are interactive – they encourage and in some cases require student participation. There are many options available in the “Add an activity” menu:

Advanced uploading of files
Online text
Upload a single file
Offline activity
Survey (Note: this one is mostly for online course evaluation)

2.2.1 Advanced uploading of files

This activity is useful when you want your students to turn in multiple files (Word Document, Excel Files, etc…) as an assignment. When you choose the “advanced uploading of files” activity, you are brought to the following screen:


Assignment name – is required, but can be anything you like.

Description - is also required and describes the assignment. It can have full formatting using the toolbar (bold, underline, images, etc.).

Grade - sets the grade as either a number (from 1-100) or as a custom word-based scale set up in the “Scales” section (see earlier section).

Available from - lets you pick the date that your students will begin to have access to this assignment

Due Date - sets the date the assignment is due.

Prevent late submissions - if set to “Yes” then students can submit their assignment after the Due Date. Otherwise they will not be able to submit a late assignment.

Maximum size – lets you choose the maximum size of the files which will be uploaded.

Allow deleting - If enabled, participants may delete uploaded files at anytime before grading.

Maximum number of uploaded files – This is the maximum number of files each participant may upload. This number is not shown to students, so it’s best to write the actual number of requested files in the assignment description.

Allow notes - If enabled, participants may enter notes into a text area. It is similar to an online text assignment. This text box can be used for communication with the grading person, assignment progress description or any other written activity.

Hide description before available date - If enabled, assignment description is hidden before the opening date.

Email alerts to teachers If enabled, teachers are alerted with a short email whenever students add or update an assignment submission.

Common Module settings
The last two settings are common to all activities. So, we’ll discuss them at this point, but won’t talk about them for each subsequent activity. Just keep in mind that these options will always be available to you in any activity that you create:

Groups - The group mode for each activity can be one of three levels:
Visible – If set to show, students will see the assignment. If not, the assignment will be hidden. This is useful is you want to prepare an assignment in advance (like a pop-quiz).

2.2.2 Online Text

On online text assignment allows students to submit editable text, using the normal editing tools. Teachers can grade them online, and even add inline comments or changes. To add an Online Text assignment, click on “Online Text” under the “Add an activity” menu. This will take you to the screen:


Most of the options for this activity are the same as the “Advanced uploading of files” activity. However, there are two different options in the “Online Text” section:

Allow resubmitting - By default, students cannot resubmit assignments once the teacher has graded them. If you turn this option on, then students will be allowed to resubmit assignments after they have been graded (for you to re-grade). This may be useful if the teacher wants to encourage students to do better work in an iterative process.

Comment inline - If this option is selected, then the original submission will be copied into the feedback comment field during grading, making it easier to comment inline (using a different color, perhaps) or to edit the original text.

2.2.3 Upload a Single File

With this activity, each participant will be able to upload a single file, of any type. This might be a Word processor document, or an image, a zipped web site, or anything you ask them to submit. To add an “Upload a Single File" assignment, click on “Upload a Single File” under the “Add an activity” menu. This will take you to the screen:


These fields are identical to the ones found in the previous activities.

2.2.4 Offline activity

If you choose “offline activity” Students can see a description of the assignment, but can't upload files or edit anything. Grading works normally, and students will get notifications of their grades. This is useful when the assignment is performed outside of Moodle. It could be something elsewhere on the web or face-to-face. The screen for an Offline Activity is as follows:


Notice, that most of the fields are the same as the previous activities.

2.2.5 Chat

A chat is a chat room. It is used for live-time discussions. Moodle also supplies a bulletin-board discussion space (see “Forum” below). The main difference is that Chat is a very efficient way to discuss things in live-time. If you expect your students to log in over several days at different times, then the forum is a better choice. Please note: Chat will archive a session if two (or more) people interact within a five-minute span. Otherwise, the program will not archive the session (why archive only one person talking?).

When you add a chat, you should get a screen like this:


Name of this chat room – This can be anything you like.

Introduction text – You can type anything you like here. Whatever you type will appear on the chat room’s introductory screen. This text supports formatting (bold, underline, etc.) using the tool-bar.

Next chat time – This is to advertise to students when to enter the chat room. Students may enter the chat room before the scheduled time, but this is useful to organize the start of a chat session.

Repeat sessions – This sets whether or not to advertise when the chat room will be in session. If you choose to advertise the “opening” time, you can choose whether it is a one-time chat event, a daily event, or a weekly event.

Save past sessions – This is where you set how long a chat room should be archived (from two days to “never delete”).

Everyone can view past sessions – This sets if students can see past chat sessions (the teacher can always see past (archived) sessions regardless of this setting). Please remember that a session will not archive unless there is interaction between two (or more) users within a five-minute period.

Group Mode - You can use this section to assign how groups will operate with this activity.

Visible - If it is set to “Show” will allow your students to see this page. If it is set to hide, your students will not see the page (useful if you’re still editing it!).

When finished, click the save changes button. Using the Chat Room

You can then enter the chat by clicking on the link in your course. You’ll see something like this screen:


View past sessions – This link in the upper right, will take you to an archive of any past sessions

Click here to enter the chat now – will take you to a frame based chat room. It will look similar to this:


You’ll see a list of all the people who have entered the chat room on the right. On the left, will be each message entered by the users, along with their name and time stamp. To enter a message just type in the bottom section and press the “return” or “enter” key on your keyboard. The chat module contains some features to make chatting a little nicer.

Smilies - Any smiley faces (emoticons) that you can type elsewhere in Moodle can also be typed in here and they will be displayed correctly. For example, smile = smile

Links - Internet addresses will be turned into links automatically.

Emoting - You can start a line with "/me" or ":" to emote. For example, if your name is Kim and you type ":laughs!" or "/me laughs!" then everyone will see "Kim laughs!"

Beeps - You can send a sound to other people by hitting the "beep" link next to their name. A useful shortcut to beep all the people in the chat at once is to type "beep all".

HTML - If you know some HTML code, you can use it in your text to do things like insert images, play sounds or create different colored and sized text.

Version without frames and JavaScript – will take you to a simpler chat room that doesn’t use frames or JavaScript. This page looks like this:

Here, you see a list of participants at the top, and can send a message beneath the list of participants. You can use the submit button to submit your message, and the refresh button to see the list of messages below. If you check mark the “show only new” box, you will only see new messages. This option is good if students are on machines that have JavaScript disabled for some reason.

Also worth noting… is that some of your students can enter the normal frame chat, while others enter the non-frame chat room. They will still all interact with each other. They are just different windows to the same information.

2.2.6 Choice

A choice is basically a poll. When you add a choice, you ask a question, and supply two or more answers to the question. Then students may vote. This only asks one question at a time, so works well as a poll, but would not work well as a multiple choice test (that is under the quiz module). One great way to use this is to hand out topic assignments to your class on a first-come, first-serve basis. To add a “Choice,” select “Choice” from the “Add” menu. This will take you to the “Choice” screen:

imageAt this point, add a name and a question. The question (”Choice text”) can be formatted (bold, underline, etc.) using the tool-bar. Then fill in the possible answers in the “Choice #” boxes. If you enable the limit, you can set a limit for the number of responses for each choice. If you need more choices, press the “Add 3 fields to form” button. You also have the option to restrict when the students can vote on the choice. Next, you can set the display mode for the choices. (If you’ve got a long list, I recommend vertically, rather than horizontally). You may then choose when to publish the results of the choice – never, after a student votes, after the poll closes (based on the closing time you set) - or you can select to always have the results available. You then choose how the results are displayed: with student names, or anonymously. You then set if students may update (or change) their vote. You may also select if you want students to see a list of who has not yet answered the choice with the “Show column for unanswered” field (teachers always see who has not yet answered). You also can set Group options and choose if this activity is visible to students. When finished, click on “Save changes.”

2.2.7 Database

The Database activity allows the teacher and/or students to build, display and search a bank of record entries about any conceivable topic. The format and structure of these entries can be almost unlimited, including images, files, URLs, numbers and text amongst other things. You may be familiar with similar technology from building Microsoft Access or Filemaker databases. One useful way to use activity in a classroom would be to use it as a student portfolio area, where students could share their work.

To create a Database activity, choose “Database” from the “Add an Activity” drop-down menu. The following screen will appear:


Here, you can give the database a name, a bit of introduction text, and set the available & view dates. You can also choose how many entries are required for the users to complete this activity, and how many entries are required before the users can view the rest of the entries. You can also set a maximum number of entries each user can submit, and whether or not each student can comment on other entries. If you require approval, the user’s entry will not be visible to other users until you have approved it. You can also rate the posts, and set the format for the grading.

When you’ve finished configuring your database settings, press the “Save Changes” button. At this point, you will see the following screen appear:


At this point, you can use the drop down menu labeled “Create a new field” to begin creating fields for your database. Fields

There are 12 different preset fields you can create for your database. Below is a description of each field, along with a picture of the settings needed to be completed for each field.


Checkbox: Allows you to create one or more checkboxes. You need to give this field a name, and an optional field description. Then, each line in the options box is a different checkbox. For example, if you had the following in “Options”:
would give you three checkboxes to choose from when creating your entry, one for each color. If your object was red and blue, you could check both of them. When viewing the entry, you would only see the text for the options that had been checked during the creation of the entry.


Date: Allows users to enter a date by picking a day, month and year from a drop down list. You need to give this field a name, and an optional field description.


File: Asks users to upload a file from their computer. You need to give this field a name, and an optional field description. You can also restrict the maximum size of the file. (If it is an image file then the picture field may be a better choice. )


Latitude/longitude: Users can enter a geographic location, by specifying the location's latitude and longitude. For example, Sweet Briar, VA is located at 37.5614722744 latitude & -79.0859141522 longitude. You need to give this field a name, and an optional field description. Then, you need to pick a link-out service, so that when viewing the record, links are automatically generated linking to a geographic data services such as Google Earth, OpenStreetMap, GeaBios, Mapstars and more.


Menu: This field is used to create a dropdown list for the user when creating an entry. You need to give this field a name, and an optional field description. Then, the text entered in the “Options” area will be presented as a drop-down list for the user to choose from. Each line becomes a different option in the drop-down list.


Menu (Multi-select): Almost identical to the “Menu” field; however by holding down control or shift as they click, users will be able to select multiple options. (Not all users might be comfortable with this method of selection, so it may be wise to use multiple checkboxes instead.)


Number: Asks the user to enter a number. The number must be an integer, though it can be negative ( e.g. ...,-2,-1,0,1,2,3,...). If you enter anything else but numbers and a leading minus sign the number will be truncated or converted to zero e.g. "3.14" becomes "3", "1,000,000" becomes "1" and "six" becomes "0". You only need to give this field a name, and an optional field description.


Picture: The user can upload an image file from their computer. You need to give this field a name, and an optional field description. You can also set the width and height of the picture when viewed in either single or list view. You can also set a maximum size for the picture.

Radio buttons: Allows the user to choose only one of a range of options. If the user doesn't select any of these options then they will be prompted to do so and can only submit the entry when the option is chosen. You needto give this field a name, and an optional field description. Then, the text entered in the “Options” area will be presented as radiobuttons for the user to choose from. Each line becomes a different radio button.


Text: Users can enter text up to 60 characters in length. You need to give this field a name, and an optional field description. You may also allow terms to be autolinked to other sections of your Moodle course.


Textarea: Allows users to enter a long piece of text including formatting similar to that found when creating forum posts. You need to give this field a name, and an optional field description. You also need to set the width (number of columns) and height (number of rows) for your text area field.


URL: Asks the user to enter a URL. You need to give this field a name, and an optional field description. If you also enter a “Forced name for the link” then that text will be displayed in place of the hyperlink. For example in a database of authors you may wish people to enter the author's website. If you enter the text 'homepage' as a forced name then clicking on text "homepage" will take you to the entered URL. If you select “Autolink the URL” then the URL becomes a clickable link. Add an Entry

Once you have completed adding your fields to your database, you can begin adding entries. To do this, click on the “Add Entry” tab. Your screen should look similar to this (with different fields, of course):


Now, you can fill out the fields, and press either the “Save and view” button or the “Save and add another” button. Or, if you want to upload your data in bulk, you can click on the “Upload entries from a file” link. That will give you additional options shown here:


If you have your information saved as a CSV (comma separated value) text file, you can choose the file and click the “Upload file” button. You can also set alternate delimiter characters, and set a Field Enclosure (such as a double quotation mark, “ ) to identify text entries. Viewing Entries

To view the database entries, you can either click on the “View List” tab, which will show you all your entries in a list form, like this:


Or, you can click on the “View Single” tab, which will show you each record one-by-one, like this:


Either way you choose, you will have the ability to arrange your results by selecting options at the bottom of the page. You can choose your number of entries per page, you can search your entries, and you can sort by any of the fields you created in either an ascending or descending fashion. Templates

Templates are basically the way you control the visual display of the data from your database. Formatting is similar to the way you would set up a mail merge in Word. When you click on the “Templates” tab, it will take you to a screen like this:

image Presets

When you click on the “Presets” tab, it will take you to a screen that looks like this:


In the Export section you can export the templates (not the data, just the structure) of your database as a Zip file. Or, you can save the templates as a “Preset”… which will allow any other instructors on Moodle to use the same templates that you have when they create their databases.

In the Import section, you can import a zip file (that you would have previously exported from another database) to use the template structure from that file. Or, you can use any presets that are available on your Moodle installation (by default, there should just be an image gallery choice).

2.2.8 Forum

This is basically a bulletin board. You may create a forum to discuss various topics for your class. To add a “Forum,” select “Forum” from the “Add an activity” menu. This will take you to the “Forum” page:


Again, there are help buttons next to each pull-down menu (the “?” buttons). You will be required to give the forum a name, and an introduction. The “Forum type” offers four choices: “A single simple discussion,” “Each person posts one discussion,” “Q and A” or “Standard forum for general use.” In “A single simple discussion,” you have just a single topic, all on one page. Useful for short, focused discussions. In “Each person posts one discussion,” each person can post exactly one new discussion topic (everyone can reply to them though). This is useful when you want each student to start a discussion about, say, their reflections on the week's topic, and everyone else responds to these. The “Q & A” forum requires students to post their perspectives before viewing other students' postings. After the initial posting, students can view and respond to others' postings. This feature allows equal initial posting opportunity among all students, thus encouraging original and independent thinking. In “Standard forum for general use,” you have an open forum where any one can start a new topic at any time. The “Standard forum” is the most commonly used forum.

Next is the “Force everyone to be subscribed?” option. If this is set to “Yes,” then every student in your class will get an email copy of every post in the forum. This might get old in a big discussion group, but would be useful if the forum were a class news forum where students would be emailed any new announcements. Students can always elect to be subscribed to a forum if this setting is set to “No.”

Your next option is “Read tracking for this forum”. If 'read tracking' for forums is enabled, users can track read and unread messages in forums and discussions. The instructor can choose to force a tracking type on a forum using this setting. There are three choices for this setting:

The next setting is “Maximum attachment size,” which allows you to limit the size of any attachments that students may want to upload.
If your administrator has enabled RSS feeds (news feeders), you will see two additional entries:


If the RSS questions do not appear on your screen, then your administrator probably has not enabled RSS feeds. See your administrator for more information. Since RSS is available in multiple modules, it is covered in its own section. For more information, see Appendix 3: RSS Feeds.

2.2.9 Glossary

The “Glossary” option adds a flexible way to present definitions (and more) that can be linked through your entire class site. For example, if you define the term “sonnet” and the word sonnet comes up in a forum discussion, the word sonnet will appear as a link that will take the user to the definition. To add a Glossary, select “Glossary” from the “Add an activity” pull-down menu. This will take you to the Glossary screen:


Name: This field can be anything you like – it is the name that shows up on the class page. For my example, I will call it “Computer Terms.”

Description: This can be anything you like. This does support formatting (bold, italics, etc.) by using the tool-bar.

Entries shown per page: This is useful to help users with slow connections. If you limit the entries to 10 or 15 per page, the load time is faster. If you do not specify a number, the system will load every definition.

Glossary Type: This can be either “Secondary glossary” or “Main glossary.” You can only have one Main Glossary for your entire classroom. You may have as many Secondary Glossaries as you like. Entries from Secondary Glossaries can be transferred to the Main Glossary. This allows you to build a Main Glossary with the definitions you want from any definition in the Secondary Glossaries. Students cannot modify a Main Glossary.

Duplicated entries allowed: This sets if students can define a term more than once (if two or more students can define “sonnet” or the like).

Allow comments on entries: This sets if others in the class can make comments on glossary entries or not.

Allow print view: Students can be allowed to use the print view of the glossary. You can choose whether this feature is enabled or disabled. Teachers always can use the print view.

Automatically link glossary entries: If this option is set to “Yes”, then every time a term is used anywhere on the site, the term will link to the definition in the glossary. For example, if I define sonnet, and someone uses the term sonnet in a forum discussion, the word sonnet will become a link to the definition I wrote.

Approved by default: If this setting is set to “No,” then all student entries must be approved by the teacher before they become available to everyone. If this is set to “Yes,” then all entries are available to everyone.

Display format: This sets how the glossary will appear to the students. There are several choices:

- Simple, dictionary style – this presents the terms like a dictionary, in alphabetical order. Any attachments are shown as links. Author information is not presented.
- Continuous without author – this presents the terms as one big page, and sorts the terms by date. The author is not indicated.
- Encyclopedia – this presents the terms like an encyclopedia. All uploaded images are seen in the article, and the author is indicated.
- Entry list – this presents the terms as a list of the terms with no definitions. Your Moodle administrator must set what happens when you click on the term – it may or may not show the definition depending on what is set by the administrator.
- FAQ – this presents the terms as a frequently asked question forum. The term’s “Name” field will be presented as a question, and the “Description” field will be given as the answer.
- Full with author – this is similar to the “Encyclopedia” setting, except attachments are seen as links instead of being in the definition. Author information is given.
- Full without author – this is the same as “Full with author,” except no author information is given. This looks very much like the “Simple, dictionary style” except time and date information is given.

The “Adding a new Glossary” screen:


Show 'Special' link: if this setting is set to yes, it allows students to browse using special characters (like $ % #).

Show alphabet: if this is set to yes, it allows students to browse by letter of the alphabet.

Show ‘ALL’ link: if this is set to yes, it allows students to list all entries in the glossary at once.

Edit always link: if this is set to yes, then students can edit their glossary entries at any time. If this is set to no, students cannot edit their entries once they are submitted.

2.2.10 Lesson

This feature allows you to add entire lessons that guide the student based on the student’s answers. It might be helpful to think of a lesson as a kind of flowchart. The student reads some content. After the content, you ask the student some questions. Based on the answers the student gives, the system sends him or her to another page. For example, if a student chooses answer one, then the system goes to page 3. If the student chooses answer two, the system goes to page 1. If the student answers 3, the system goes to page 5. Lessons are very flexible, but do require some set-up. To add a lesson, select “Lesson” from the “Add an activity” menu. This will take you to the lesson page:


Name : This names the lesson. You can name it anything you like.

Timed : This puts a time limit on the lesson. Students are shown a JavaScript counter and the time is recorded in the database. Due to the inconsistent nature of JavaScript, the timer does not evict a student from the lesson when the time is up, however a question answered after the time limit is not counted. The time in the database is checked each time a student submits a question.

Time Limit (minutes) : Type a number in minutes here for the time limit.

Maximum number of answers/branches: This value determines the maximum number of answers the teacher can use. The default value is 4. If the lesson uses only, say, TRUE or FALSE questions throughout then it is sensible to set this value to 2. This parameter also sets the maximum number of Branches that can be used in a Branch Table. It is safe to change the value of this parameter in a lesson with existing content.

Practice Lesson: A practice lesson will not show up in the grade book.

Custom Scoring: This will allow you to put a numerical point value on each answer. Answers may have negative values or positive values. Imported questions will automatically be assigned 1 point for correct answers and 0 for incorrect, though you may change this after the import.

Maximum grade: This sets the maximum grade available for the lesson.

Student can retake: This setting determines whether the students can take the lesson more than once or only once. The teacher may decide that the lesson contains material which the students ought to know thoroughly. In which case, repeated viewing of the lesson should be allowed. If, however, the material is used more like an exam thenthe students should not be allowed to re-take the lesson.

Handling of re-takes: When the students are allowed to re-take the lesson, the grades shown in the Grades page are either their average (mean) grade over the re-takes or their best (maximum) grade for the lesson.

Display ongoing score: Will show the current score while the student works on the lesson.

Allow student review: This will let the student navigate back through the lesson to change their answers.

Display review button: This will display a button after an incorrectly answered question, allowing a student to re-attempt it. It is not compatible with essay questions, so leave this off if you are using essay questions.

Maximum number of Attempts: This sets how many times a student can try a question before the lesson automatically moves them on. This allows students to make progress even if a particular question stumps them.

Display default feedback: If set to Yes, then when a response is not found for a particular question, the default response of "That's the correct answer" and "That's the wrong answer" will be used. If set to No, then when a response is not found for a particular question, then no feedback is displayed. The user taking the Lesson will automatically be directed to the next Lesson page.

Minimum number of Questions: This sets the number of questions that a student is expected to answer. The grade is calculated from this number. If this is set to zero, the grade is figured based on the number of questions the student tried. If this is set to another number (like 10), the system calculates the grade out of at least that number. If a student only answers 5 questions and this number is set to 10, the grade is 5 out of 10, or 50%.

Number of pages (Cards) to show: This sets the number of pages that a student will be shown. The lesson ends when this number is reached. If this is set to 0 (the default), every page is shown. Also, if this number is set to a number greater than the number of pages available, then lesson will end after every page has been shown.

Slide show: This enables the display of the lesson as a slide show, with a fixed width, height, and custom background color. A CSS based scroll bar will be displayed if the width or height of the slide is exceeded by the content of a page. Questions will 'break out' of the slideshow mode, only pages (branch tables) will be shown in a slide by default. Buttons labeled with the lang default for "Next" and "Back" will be shown at the far right and left of the slide if that option is chosen on the page. Other buttons will be centered below the slide.

Slide Show Width: Type a number for how many pixels wide the slides will be.

Slide Show Height: Type a number for how many pixels high the slides will be.

Slide show background color: Type in a 6 letter hexadecimal code for the color of the slides.

Display left menu: This will show a list of the pages (Branch Tables) in the lesson. Question pages, cluster pages, etc. will not be shown by default (you may choose to show question pages by checking that option on the question). Also, by specifying a grade greater than 0, the user taking the Lesson must have a grade equal to or greater than the grade set in order to view the Left Menu. This allows Lesson designers to force users to go through the entire lesson during the user's first attempt. Then, if a user retakes the Lesson after meeting the required grade, s/he can see the Left Menu to help with review.

Progress Bar - Display a progress bar at the bottom of the Lesson. Currently, the progress bar is most accurate with a linear Lesson.

Password Protected Lesson: This will not allow a student to access the lesson unless they type the password.

Password: If you have set Password Protected Lesson to "Yes", type a password here.

Available from: This sets the start date of the lesson.

Deadline: This sets when the lesson will no longer be available.

Dependent On: This section allows this current lesson to be dependent upon a students performance in another lesson that is in the same course. You would select that lesson from the “Dependent On” drop-down menu. If the performance requirement(s) is not met, then the student will not be able to access this lesson. Conditions for the dependency include:
Any combination of the above can be used if needed.

Pop-up file or web page – This section allows you to create a pop-up window at the beginning of a lesson to a file (example: a mp3 file) or a web page. Also, a link will be printed out on every lesson page that re-opens the pop-up if necessary. Optionally a "Close Window" button be printed at the bottom of the pop-up and the height and width of the window can be set as well. Supported embedded file types: MP3, Media Player, Quicktime, Realmedia, HTML, Plain Text, GIF, JPEG, PNG. All other file types will default to a link for download.

Link to an activity - The drop-down menu contains all of the activities for this course. If one is selected, then a link to that activity will appear at the end of the Lesson.

Number of High Scores Displayed: Type a number to limit how many of the top scores are displayed. As long as this number is greater than 0, a list of the high scores for the lesson will be shown. Students who get a high score can choose a custom name to list their score by. There is a 'badwords' filter which checks for naughty names. High scores do not display if the "Practice lesson" option is turned On.

Use this lesson’s settings as defaults: Select yes before Saving the lesson, and the settings you have chosen for this lesson will be the default settings for the next time you create a lesson for this course.

Visible – If it is set to “Show” will allow your students to see this page. If it is set to hide, your students will not see the page (useful if you’re still editing it!).

When you are finished with these settings, click on “Save changes.” This will take you to a screen like this:


This is the structure page of the lesson. You can Import Questions, Import Powerpoint, Add a Branch Table or Add a Question Page here. Once you have started adding questions, you will also be able to edit them here. Import Questions

This function allows you to import questions from external text files, uploaded through a form. A number of file formats are supported:

GIFT format: GIFT is the most comprehensive import format available for importing Moodle quiz questions from a text file. It was designed to be an easy method for teachers writing questions as a text file. It supports Multiple-Choice, True-False, Short Answer, Matching and Numerical questions, as well as insertion of a _____ for the "missing word" format. Various question-types can be mixed in a single text file, and the format also supports line comments, question names, feedback and percentage-weight grades.

Aiken format: The Aiken format is a very simple way of creating multiple choice questions using a very clear human-readable format.

Missing Word: This format only supports multiple choice questions. Each answer is separated with a tilde (~), and the correct answer is prefixed with an equals sign (=).

AON: This is the same as Missing Word Format, except that after importing the questions all Short-Answer questions are converted four at a time into Matching Questions. Additionally, the answers of multiple-choice questions are randomly shuffled during the import. It's named after an orga nization that sponsored the development of many quiz features

WebCT: Currently, the WebCT format only supports importing multiple-choice and short answers questions

Course Test Manager: This will enable you to import questions from the Course Test Manager from Course Technology

Other formats available include: Examview, Hotpot, Learnwise, Multianswer, Qti2, Xhtml and xml. Import PowerPoint

When you click on the “Import PowerPoint” link, it will take you to this screen:


Here, you can browse your file section, or upl oad a file, to find the PowerPoint file you want to use. Each slide will come in as a new branch page in your lesson. The title of the page comes from the title of the PowerPoint slide. The descriptions on the branch page are blank, so the initial settings will follow the flow control parameter in lesson settings. You can, of course go in and edit the settings after the pages have been created through the import process. Add a Branch Table

Branch tables are simply pages which have a set of links to other pages in the lesson. Typically a lesson may start with a branch table which acts as a table of contents. They are used for navigation in the lesson. Branches give the students choices of where to go in the lesson. There are no “Responses” fields like the ones found in standard Pages. When a branch ends, you can have the lesson end, or you can have the program jump back to the original branch page. An example might be helpful. Here is a branch page:


Clicking on “Click here to learn more about safety” would take the students to pages about safety. You, as the teacher, define where the buttons jump to – it could be the next page, or it could be to page 27 (if you had one).

To add a branch, click on “Add a Branch Table.” This will take you to a
screen like this:


Add the name of the page, and add the contents of the page. The contents can be fully formatted (bold, italics, etc.) using the format bar. You can also choose if you wish to “arrange branch buttons horizontally in slideshow mode” and if you want to “display in left menu”. You then fill in the various Description boxes (you do not have to use them all). You then can choose where the page will “jump” to if this description is chosen. You can always select “This page” (which will just refresh the current page), “Next page” (which will take to the next page in the lesson) or “Previous page” (which will take you the page before this one). Once you have inserted other branches and/or question pages, you will also see their names as selections here. You will also have the option to jump to the end of the lesson. Note that you may want to jump to a page you have not yet created. If that is the case, you create the page you want later, and then come back and edit this branch table so it will point to the correct page. When you are finished, click on “Add a branch table.” My example looks like this:


Note that both of the “Jump” fields have “This page” set. I would need to go back and change those when and if I added more pages. Also notice that we now have a variety of links at the top and bottom. In addition to the “import questions” and “add a Branch table”, we also have “add a Cluster”, “add an end of cluster”, “add an End of Branch”, and “add a question page here”. Add an End of Branch

This ends a branch from a branch table. When the system sees one of these, it returns to the first page of the branch table. Once added, you can edit an End of Branch if you want it to jump somewhere other than back to the start of the branch. If a branch does not have an End of Branch, it will continue to the last question in the branch, and then the lesson will end. Add a Question Page

This is the standard page of a lesson. These pages consist of information, questions, responses and “jump to” menus. Click on “Add a Question Page here” above or below the current page (depending if you want to add it above or below the current page). This will take you to a screen like this:


Before adding a question, you might want to note that a great overview of Lessons is found by clicking on the “?” at the top of the page. Type a page title and the page contents. The page contents may be formatted (bold, italics, etc.) by using the tool-bar. After the page contents are several fields for “Answers” and “Responses” and selections for “jump to” menus. Typically, you will end the page content with a question. Each answer is a possible answer to that question, and each response is optional information that will display if the student picks that answer. At the top of the page, there are tabs labeled “Question Type.” This allows you to pick the style of question that you want. Note the help “?” next to the menu. This help screen is very useful if you want more details on a type of question. In most questions, you put in the Answers in order, but the system will scramble them when the students see them. There are several choices:

Multiple Choice

When you are finished creating the question, click on “Add a Question Page.” My example now looks like this (this is the teacher view, with answers):

image Add a Cluster and Add an End of Cluster

A cluster represents a set of questions from which one or more may be randomly chosen. Clusters should be completed with an End of Cluster page for best results (otherwise they treat the End of Lesson as the EOC). Questions within a cluster are randomly selected by choosing "Unseen Question within a Cluster" as a jump. Questions within a cluster may either link to the EOC to exit the cluster, or jump to an unseen question within the cluster, or jump to any other page in the lesson. This also enables the creation of scenarios with a random element using the lesson module. Grades

If your lesson is graded, the system computes the number of right and wrong answers to compute a grade. A right answer is any answer than moves the user to a page DOWN in the logical order (the screen we have been looking at). A wrong answer is any answer that sends a user UP in the logical order or has the user stay on the same page. Remember that the logical order (what you as the teacher see) and the navigational order (what the student sees) do not have to be the same (but they can be, depending on your lesson). Grades are computed only from the logical order. The first page of a branch table (the one with the navigational buttons) is not graded. The logical order versus the navigational order can be confusing. The logical order is the order you see when building the lesson. The navigational order is what the student sees when taking the lesson (and what you can check by clicking on the “Check navigation” link). Note that essays must be manually graded.

2.2.11 Quiz

This feature adds a quiz to the class. It can contain any number of questions, and they can be true/false, multiple choice, and fill-in-the-blank. The quiz may also have feedback, where it can explain to the students why the answer is what it is. To add a “Quiz”, select “Quiz” from the “Add an activity” menu. This takes you to the “Quiz” editing screen:


Again, there are help buttons available if you need them (the “?” buttons).

Name – this can be anything you like.

Introduction – this is the introduction to the quiz. You can add full formatting using the formatting tools (bold, italics, etc.).

Open the quiz – this sets the opening date and time for the quiz. Students cannot take the quiz before this time.

Quiz Closes - this sets the ending date and time of the quiz. Students cannot take the quiz after this time.

Time limit – this sets how long a student has to take the quiz (1-110 minutes). The default is “0,” which means the student can take as much time as needed.

Time delay between first and second attempts - If you set a time delay, then a student has to wait for that time before they can attempt a quiz after the first attempt.

Time delay between later attempts – amount of time required to wait before they can attempt their third or later attempts.

Questions per page - For longer quizzes it makes sense to stretch the quiz over several pages by limiting the number of questions per page. When adding questions to the quiz page breaks will automatically be inserted according to the setting you choose here. However you will also be able to move page breaks around by hand later on the editing page.

Shuffle Questions – this changes the order of the questions on the quiz every time the student takes it (or for every different student who takes the quiz). This helps to prevent students from copying each other.

Shuffle within questions – this is very similar, except it changes the order of the answers given for multiple choice or matching questions.

Attempts allowed – this sets the number of times a student may take a quiz. This can be very useful if the quiz is a review exercise, as the student can take it as many times as the teacher wants (and each grade does get reported to the teacher).

Each attempt builds on the last – this sets whether or not the quiz builds on previous quizzes. If multiple attempts of a quiz are allowed, and this is set to “Yes,” then the former quiz results will be included in this attempt (including feedback, if turned on). If this option is set to “no,” then the quiz will be a fresh (blank) quiz every time the student takes it.

Adaptive Mode - If you choose Yes for this option then the student will be allowed multiple responses to a question even within the same attempt at the quiz. For example, if the student's response is marked as incorrect the student will be allowed to try again immediately. A penalty will usually be subtracted from the students score for each wrong attempt (the amount is determined by the penalty factor).

Grading method – this allows you to set how quizzes are scored if the student can take the quiz multiple times. You can choose from keeping the highest grade, keeping the average of all the grades, keeping the first score, or keeping the latest score.

Apply Penalties - If a quiz is run in adaptive mode then a student is allowed to try again after a wrong response. In this case you may want to impose a penalty for each wrong response to be subtracted from the final mark for the question. The amount of penalty is chosen individually for each question when setting up or editing the question. This setting has no effect unless the quiz is run in adaptive mode.

Decimal digits in grades - By using this setting you can select the number of decimals to be showed in the grade of every attempt.

Students May Review - This option controls whether and when students will be able to review their past attempts at this quiz.

Show quiz in a “secure” window - The "secure" window tries to provide a little more security for quizzes (making copying and cheating more difficult) by restricting some of the things that students can do with their browsers.

Require password – this is an option field. You can type a password here that students are required to type in before they can take the quiz.

Require network address – this is an option field. You can fill in IP addresses here, and only those addresses can take the quiz. The system can understand partial IP addresses, like 10.0. and can accept multiple addresses separated by commas (,, etc.).

Group Mode - You can use this section to assign how groups will operate with this activity.

Visible - If it is set to “Show” will allow your students to see this page. If it is set to hide, your students will not see the page (useful if you’re still editing it!).

Overall feedback - The overall feedback is some text that is shown to a student after they have completed an attempt at the quiz. The text that is shown can depend on the grade the student got. For example, if you enter: Grade boundary: 100%
Feedback: Well done
Grade boundary: 40%
Feedback: Please study this week's work again

Then students who score between 100% and 40% will see the "Well done" message, and students who score between 39.99% and 0% will see the other message. That is, the grade boundaries define ranges of grades, and each feedback string is displayed to scores within the appropriate range. The grade boundaries can be specified either as a percentage, for example "31.41%", or as a number, for example "7". If your quiz is out of 10 marks, a grade boundary of 7 means 7/10 or better.

When you have the settings the way you want them (and they can always be changed), click on “Save Changes.” This will take you to a screen like this (note that you can also get to this questions bank by going to the “Questions” link in your administration block):


On the right, you may select a category (there is one set up called “default”). These are ways of organizing your questions. If you use the same questions over and over, you may wish to organize them (into categories like “Othello,” “Hamlet,” etc.). The questions are then available to pick and choose from to create your quiz (this is useful if your electronic classroom has spanned several semesters and you have questions built up). To add new categories, click on “Edit categories,” add the new category, and click on “Save changes.” Also, you have the option to publish categories to all teachers (this is an option under “Edit categories”). This makes all the questions in that category available to any teacher, which can be handy if you are teaching the same book/lesson/unit as someone else.

To “build” a question, select a category (for my examples, I will use “default”). The screen will then show any existing questions, and allow you to add new ones. When you create a question, it is stored in the category you selected. It is then always available to add to any quiz at any time. To create a new question, select the type of question you want from the pull-down menu.

You have the option of adding a Calculated, Description, Essay, Matching, Embedded Answers (Cloze), Multiple Choice, Short Answer, Numerical, Random Short-Answer Matching or True/False questions. Calculated

To add a calculated question, select “Calculated” from the pull-down menu. This will take you to the calculated question editing screen:


Click on the help button (the “?” next to “Editing a Calculated question”) for additional details about this type of question. A calculated question requires a numeric response, but you can use variables within the question and there are options for the type of tolerance used for the answer. Description

To add a description, select “Description” from the pull-down menu. A description is not actually a question. It allows you to add text to a quiz (such as a story or an article) that you can then ask other questions about. The description editing screen looks like this:


Fill in the “Question name” with a name that will help you remember the description. Then, in the “Question text” box, fill in your description (story, article, etc.). If you have uploaded pictures in the “Files” section, you can choose to display them with the description (so your description can describe a picture). You can even leave feedback (although not sure why you’d need too…) When everything is filled out the way you want it, click on “Save changes.” Your description should now appear in the list of questions. Essay

You will notice that there is an “Essay” choice when you click on the “Create new Question” drop-down menu. This allows you to add an essay question to your quiz.


Here, you can give the question a name, add the text for your question, and assign it a grade. You can leave general feedback or regular feedback for this question type. Unlike feedback, which depends on the question type and what response the student gave, the same general feedback text is shown to all students. Matching

To add a matching question, select “Matching” from the pull-down menu. This will take you to the matching question editing screen:


Fill out a question name that you will recognize, and then write the “big” question – this is the introduction the student sees in the “question text” field. This could be “Match the following questions with the correct answers,” or “Match the name of the president with the year he was elected,” or anything else you like. Note that you can add an image, assign the default question grade, apply a penalty factor and include general feedback. You then need to fill in at least 3 questions that will be matched to the answers you provide. The “questions” can be one word to be matched to the answer. Each matching part is worth an equal amount (if you have four matches, each is worth 25% of the whole question. The whole question then can be weighted on the quiz – more on weighting later). Embedded Answers (Cloze)

These questions embed the answers into the question. This allows you to have questions that look like this:


These are great questions, but do require some formatting. The Embedded Answer (Cloze) editing page looks like this:


The “Question name” names the question for the list. The “Image to display” near the bottom lists any pictures you have uploaded to your “Files” section. The “Question text” part is where you type your question, but this MUST include the formatting. This can take some getting used to. This text (from Moodle help) is a valid question, and produces the example shown at the beginning of this section:

This question consists of some text with an answer embedded right here {1:MULTICHOICE:Wrong answer#Feedback for this wrong answer~Another wrong answer#Feedback for the other wrong answer~=Correct answer#Feedback for correct answer~%50%Answer that gives half the credit#Feedback for half-credit answer} and right after that you will have to deal with this short answer {1:SHORTANSWER:Wrong answer#Feedback for this wrong answer~=Correct answer#Feedback for correct answer~%50%Answer that gives half the credit#Feedback for half credit answer} and finally we have a floating point number {2:NUMERICAL:=23.8:0.1#Feedback for correct answer 23.8~%50%N/A#Feedback for half-credit answer in the nearby region of the correct answer}.

The formatting works like this:

- Normal text is just typed (like “This question consists of some text with an answer embedded right here” from above).

- To open a field in the embedded question, use the left bracket { and close the field with the right bracket }.

- To insert a pull-down menu, type the number of points the field (the menu) is worth (1,2,3, etc.). The entire question is worth the total of all the points of each part (the menus and the short answer parts). Follow the number by a colon, followed by the word MULTICHOICE followed by another colon (1:MULTICHOICEsmile. Then type your possible answers followed by tildes (~). The correct answer must start with an equals sign (=). An answer that counts for partial credit starts with the percent sign followed by the credit followed by a percent sign (%50% for 50 % credit). A full example would be:


This would make a pull-down menu of 5 items. This menu would be worth 2 points. In this example, Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln are wrong, Franklin is right, and Adams is worth half-credit.

- To insert a short answer (fill-in-the-blank), put in the points the short answer is worth, followed by a colon followed by SHORTANSWER followed by a colon (2:SHORTANSWERsmile. Then put an equals sign (=) followed by the right answer inside the brackets. An example would be {2:SHORTANSWER:=Maine}. This would make a blank worth 2 points where the answer is Maine (and spelling does count!). You may list other correct answers by separating them by a tilde sign (~) – like this (don’t forget the “=” sign):


When you have everything the way you want it, click on “Save changes.” Your Embedded Answers question will now be in the list. Multiple Choice

To add a multiple choice question, select Multiple Choice in the “Create new question” pull-down menu. This will take you to the multiple choice question screen:


This works like a standard multiple choice question. Type in the name of the question (something to help you identify the question in the list), and type in the question. The “Question text” box allows formatting (bold, italics, etc.) by using the formatting tool bar above the text area. You do not have to type the answers in the “Question text” box – the program will list the answers you type in the various “Choice #” boxes.

You may select an image to display, if you have any loaded in your “Files” section.

Default question grade – the number of points assigned to the multiple choice question

Penalty factor - You can specify what fraction of the achieved score should be subtracted for each wrong response. This is only relevant if the quiz is run in adaptive mode so that the student is allowed to make repeated responses to the question. The penalty factor should be a number between 0 and 1. A penalty factor of 1 means that the student has to get the answer right in his first response to get any credit for it at all. A penalty factor of 0 means the student can try as often as he likes and still get the full marks.

You may then select if students are allowed to select more than one answer, or if there is only one answer allowed. You can also choose to shuffle the answers.

You may then fill in your answers, grades, and feedback for the multiple choice question, and include feedback text if you wish.

Something that is different for multiple choi ce questions is they have weight, based on the grade you give each answer. The positive answers must add up to 100%, or the system will ask if that is what you want to do. You do have the option to assign negative weight to an answer, such that a wrong answer might actually count against the student, instead of being no credit. This might be true where multiple answers are possible, such that A) is worth 50%, B) is worth -50% and C) is worth 50%. A student selecting A) and C) would get full credit, but a student selecting A) and B) would get no credit at all. You do have the option to make a wrong answer not count either way as well.

Feedback can also be given for any correct, partially correct or incorrect response.

When you are done filling in your questions, answers, feedback, and grade, click on “Save changes.” You should go back to the quiz screen again, with the new question listed. Short Answer

To create a short answer question, select Short Answer from the “Create new question” pull-down menu. This will bring you to the short answer question screen:


Fill in the question name (something that will tell you what the question is) and the question itself. The question can have multiple “answers.” This can be very flexible. You can make a fill-in-the-blank (Matt is ___ years old), or just ask for answers (Name the first 3 presidents). One big caution to pass on to students: a misspelled answer is WRONG (unless you put in the right answer and the 2 or 3 most common misspellings – that would work).

Note that you can choose to force case sensitivity if you desire. You can also set the total points for this question and a Penalty factor, like in our other question types.

Above each answer is the “Grade” field. The total points of the question must equal 100%. In the case of the presidents question above, you would make each answer worth 33% of the question. In the case of the fill-in-the-blank question, one answer (33 years old right now…) would be worth 100%.

You can have multiple answers be worth 100% (in the case of listing common misspellings, or in the case of “Name 1 of the first 3 Presidents” – where 3 answers would be worth 100% each).

You may also fill in feedback for each answer. This feedback would only appear if they submitted that particular answer. If you wanted them to see feedback when they answered incorrectly, you could use the general feedback section. That feedback could show the student the correct answer if the student guesses wrong, even if the wrong answer is not in the list of answers.

Once you are finished, click on “Save changes.” This will take you back to the quiz screen, and the new question should be. Numerical Question

To add a numerical question, make sure “Numerical” is selected in the “Create new question” pull-down menu. This will take you to the numerical question screen:


A numerical question is a question that expects a number for the answer. It has the added flexibility to accept a range of answers (10 +- 3 would accept anything from 7 to 13). Fill in the “Question name” with anything that will help you identify the question. In the “Question text” box, fill out the question you wish to ask (“How fast can Matt run?”). If you have loaded any picture images to the system (in the “Files” section from above), you will have the option to display the image as part of the question. You may also set the default number of points assigned to this question and a Penalty factor. You then fill in the correct answer (10 in my example) and the accepted error (2 in my example would allow a correct answer of 8-12). You may then fill in feedback if you wish to use that feature.

Note that you can have multiple answers. This might work well for a question like “Identify one of the first odd-numbered 5 prime numbers”. Then, you could give a grade of 100% for the answers “1”, “3”, “5”,“7” and “11”. And maybe you’d give a grade of 50% for the answer “2”… since it is one of the first 5 primes… but it’s not an odd number.

There are also optional fields to add units (like meters, kilograms, etc.). You may also add additional units with the appropriate conversion multiplier. For example, if your main units were meters, you could also add a multiplier of 100 with the units of centimeters. IMPORTANT: If you add units, the question will be wrong if the student does not give the exact units. For example, 10 kph and 10 k.p.h. are different answers because the units are different (spaces are okay – 10kph and 10 kph are the same). When everything is filled out the way you want it, click on “Save changes.” The question will then appear in the list of questions. Random Short-Answer Matching

This question makes a matching question by drawing random questions and answers from among the short-answer questions you have created. You must have at least two short-answer questions in a category for this feature to work. The random short-answer matching editing page looks like this:


The category is whatever category you were in when you selected the random short answer matching question. The question name can be anything you like, but I would suggest adding a number to the end (#1, #2, etc.). You may leave the existing default introduction, or you may change it if you wish. You then select the number of questions you would like to have (the number of matches to make). When you are finished, click on “Save changes.” You should see the quiz editing screen with the new question listed. True/False

The questions are just that – true/false. To add a true/false question, select True/False from the “Create new question” pull-down menu. This will take you to a screen like this:


Fill in a question name (a short name that tells you what the question is), and then fill in the actual question in the question text box. If you have uploaded images to your course (in the “Files” section from earlier), you can add an image if you want to ask a question about the picture. Just like in the Multiple Choice page, you can set the Penalty Factor. Then you select the answer (true or false). You may then add feedback to each answer (text explaining why the answer the student chose is right or wrong) if this is a feature you wish to use. When everything is the way you want it, click on “Save changes.” This will take you back to the questions page. You should see your question added to the available questions. Adding questions to the quiz

Let us suppose that those are all the questions I want for my quiz. To construct my quiz, I check the box next to each question I want (remember, there may be questions I don’t want to use because they are from another unit), and I click on the “Add selected to quiz” button:


I selected four questions for my quiz. I may edit them just for the quiz and leave the originals alone by editing the “quiz” side of the screen (the left half of the screen). I can also change the order of the questions by clicking on the up or down arrows on the left. The random short-answer matching question will pick a question from the remaining short answer questions that were not selected for this quiz.

You can also add random questions to your quiz from the bottom of your question pool. Simply choose how many random questions you want, and press the “add” button. When you add a Random Question to a quiz, then it will be replaced with a randomly-chosen question from the same category - for each attempt. This means that different students are likely to get a different selection of questions when they attempt this quiz. When a quiz allows multiple attempts for each student then each attempt will also contain a new selection of questions. The same question will never appear twice in a quiz. If you include several Random Questions then different questions will always be chosen for each of them. If you mix Random Questions with non-random questions then the random questions will be chosen so that they do not duplicate one of the non-random questions. The grade for the randomly chosen question will be rescaled so that the maximum grade is what you have chosen as the grade for the Random Question.

Finally, I can weight each question. Next to each question name is a “Grade” box. I can type any number in that box, and then press the “save grades” button to update the grades. If most questions are weighted as a “1,” then a weight of “5” will be worth five times as much as the “1” questions. This is important as you can use this to make matching questions worth more than normal questions. If most of your questions are worth “1,” and you have 2 matching questions of 5 parts each, you might want to make those worth “5” each to reflect that they have more parts. The total of the quiz can be anything (it does not have to total 10 or 100). This total will be “scaled down” to the maximum grade you set on the first screen. Importing questions

Notice at the top, under the tabs, you have a variety of links. One of them is “import”. When you click on this link, the following screen appears:


Here, you can pick a category for the imported questions to be transferred to. You can pick the file format, and how the grades will be matched up (in case your previous format used different grade percentages than Moodle). Then, pick the file you want to upload… or pick a file that you’ve already uploaded to your course files. Exporting questions

You can also export files from your question bank, so that you can use them in other systems (or, so that you can import them into a Lesson activity). To do this, click on the Export link at the top. The following screen will appear:


Here, you can pick a category to export, choose the file format you want to save it as, and give the file a name. When finished, click on the “Export questions to file” button. Reviewing your Quiz

When your quiz appears, note that you have a variety of the tabs above it:


The tabs include “Info”, “Results”, “Preview” and “Edit”. The “Info” tab, as shown above, basically just shows you the quiz’s name and description. The “Edit” tab would take you back to the previous area (where you could add more questions, change the order, etc…). The “Preview” tab, takes you to a screen where you can see what the Quiz would look like to students. The “Reports” tab, takes you to a screen like this:


Notice how you now have four additional links above “Overview”, “Regrade”, “Manual grading” and “Item analysis”.

2.2.12 Survey

This adds pre-built surveys to the class. These are typically used for online, distance learning courses. If you are curious, feel free to add one – you can always delete it later if you don’t find it useful. Future versions of Moodle are supposed to allow the user to design surveys (although, if your administrators add the Questionnaire module, you’ll have it already!)

2.2.13 The News Forum

This covers all of the activities available from the “Add an activity” menu. There is another activity that is useful – the News forum. You will notice that at the top of the class pages there is a forum called “News forum.” The “News forum” is always present, and the system recreates it if you delete it.
The News forum is a place for you to post news items relating to your class. To add a news item, click on the News forum icon at the top:


Before we “Add a new topic,” I want to point out the link in the upper right. By default, “Everyone is subscribed to this forum.” This means that every time you add a news item, the system will email everyone in the class automatically. To change this option, click on the “Everyone is subscribed to this forum” link, and it will change to where the students have the option to sign up to get emailed. If you do change this, and then want to change back, click on the “Everyone can choose to subscribe” link.

If you click on the “Add a new topic” button, you will be taken to a screen where you give the announcement a name, type the details of the actual announcement, and have the option to attach a file to the announcement. The attachment can be any file – Word, PowerPoint, etc. When you are done adding the announcement, click on “Save changes.” The system will then tell you that you have 30 minutes to make changes to the announcement. Click on “Continue.” The news item will now show up in the news forum:


If you go back to the main screen (click on the short class name), you will see that the “headline” now appears on the right under “Latest news” (unless you have “Latest news” disabled):