Student's Manual

Student's manual

Site: Brokenshire College eLearning
Course: Brokenshire College eLearning
Book: Student's Manual
Printed by:
Date: Tuesday, 23 January 2018, 07:55 PM

Table of Contents

Logging On

The login page is shaped like a standard Moodle page with three columns. In the left column you will find a list of manuals and beneath, course categories and course environments. The middle column contains a message board with news about Moodle. Important events concerning the whole organization will be displayed here. The column to the right contains the log in box and a calendar which displays entries from all courses you have access to.

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Editing Your User Profile

When you have logged in for the first time, you should start to check and fill in your user profile, as this important information will follow with you wherever you go in Moodle. You can access your user profile at any time by clicking on your name or your user picture. Moodle will then show your profile such as the other users will see it.

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Click on the Edit Profile tab to make any changes to your profile. You will be presented with the page shown in the image below. Fill out the information you wish to include in your profile. Not all fields are required. When you are finished with the changes click the Save Profile button.

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Entering a course

When you have logged in to Moodle, you will have access to the courses in which you have been enrolled. These are listed in the left column of your Moodle main page in a box called Courses. You can enter a course by clicking on its name.

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Courses are different from each other in the way they appear on the screen. It is depending on the way the teacher intends to use the environment. However, all courses have a bulletin board Forum, Latest News, for general news and announcements, in which the teacher will post important information. This forum is therefore one of the first places to check.


Basic Navication

There are several ways to navigate within the course site. Breadcrumbs - this is a menu positioned below the course title showing your location within the course site. Just as you got there you can now retrace your steps in the opposite direction to return to where you started. Just like leaving a trail of breadcrumbs thus the name.

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The above example of a “breadcrumb” shows your current location is Week Four Assignment. If you click on Resources you will be taken to a page that lists all the Resources within the course. Click on the name of the course and you will be returned to the course homepage. As you navigate you will notice this menu changes to reflect your current position. Dropdown menu - another way to navigate the course site is the dropdown menu. It lists all the areas of the course. Just click and go.

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Blocks

Whenever a different activity or resource is added to the course an icon will appear in a Block representing a specific Moodle Activity Module. Here are just a few of the types of Blocks the instructor may use to set up a course.

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Activity Tools

Moodle contains a wide variety of activity tools, all of which were concisely described in the Beginners' manual (which you should have checked before reading this manual!).

Certain Moodle tools have a very specific use, like the Choice or the Survey tools. Others are very flexible and can be put to many uses, such as the forum or the glossary tools. The choice of tool is mostly up to the teacher who builds the course, but students can always suggest the use of certain tools for certain activities if they have good experiences with those tools. Remember that in on-line learning you play a role in shaping your own learning experience.

The list of activity tools in this manual is not complete, or exhaustive, since it would take up too much time and space to describe every imaginable use of every tool, when in fact many of those instructions would describe the blatantly obvious (or would apply to such rara occasions that it is not worthwhile to mention them here). We prefer to think you are able to figure out the simple things for yourself, so we will go into those areas where you might need some extra information.

Assignments

The Assignment tool contains a task which you have to carry out. Often you will be required to upload and submit your work via the computer, but assignments can also involve writing a text online, or off-line tasks (for example a presentation in class or via LearnLinc).

Assignments normally have a deadline that has to be observed. When the due date and time have passed, you cannot hand in your work anymore. It is therefore important to use proper time management when working on a web course. Note that due times are listed as course events in the Calendar and appear in the Upcoming Events box.

There are four assignment types available (listed in order of popularity):

Uploading a single file

When you look at an assignment that requires you to upload a file you see something like this:

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Clicking the Browse button brings up a window, with which you can locate files in your PC. Select the drive and folder, in which you saved your work.

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Once you have handed in your work (as one file), you can see the file on the assignment page and check it. If by any chance you should have submitted the wrong (version of the) file, you can upload the correct file and it will replace the one that was uploaded earlier.

When you have submitted, the teacher can access your file and give feedback/comments (Normally, after the deadline although a teacher may give you intermittent feedback on an ongoing task as well). Usually, you will also be given a grade. You will be notified of this automatically. To see the feedback you can return to the assignment:


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Note, that in some assignments the teacher can also upload a file. For example, to hand you in advance a file with which you need to work, or to return to you a corrected version of the file you uploaded. This teacher file is called a response file (See the part about the advanced uploading of files assignment further down on this page).

Chat

The chat tool is used in certain on-line courses to organise meetings with dispersed students to discuss certain matters concerning the course. Chat is not very useful in a classroom course that only uses Moodle as a support environment, though sometimes students may like to chat socially (One should be aware, however, that all chat sessions are recorded, so it's better not to get too social wink).

The Moodle chat tool is very simple. You can open the chat anytime, but your best bet is of course when there are other users in the course (The teacher can announce chat times in the Calendar). If there are other users already in the chat room, you will see their info listed. Once you enter the chat, the following window will pop-up (turn off you pop-up blocker, if you have one active):

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The above image should be self explanatory.

If you have a slow connection, or you are at a very distant location from the server, it is possible that you will drop out of the chat from time to time, when your connection cannot manage refreshing the window in time. If you miss important sessions because of this, you can request from your teacher(s) that they publish the recorded chat session(s), so you can read back what was said.

Choice

The Choice tool is a simple poll, i.e. a single question with a certain number of suggested answers. The teacher can use a Choice activity to get quick feedback about something to do with the course you are taking.

Most commonly choices deal with matters of knowledge, i.e. a teacher can use a choice to determine what skill level his group has in a certain subject and adapt his teaching accordingly.

Another use of the choice is when a teacher allows students to choose a date and time for a learning session or an exam.

It is also possible for a teacher to use a Choice to allow students to choose which group they want to belong to, even limiting the maximum number of members.

It is possible that a teacher will ask you to answer the same Choice more than once, so that he/she can see if your knowledge/perception of a subject has changed during the course.

An example Choice:


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Once you have answered a choice, you will in most cases see the results listed. The results may show students divided over the different options (as in the example above) or just the number of students that chose each option. (This view is used when the question is more personal to protect your privacy.)

Forums

The bulletin board tool, called forum in Moodle, is the most important tool and central to all courses. It is very flexible and teachers can link lots of different contents into their forum messages. The forum therefore warrants a detailed description:

The Forum works like any bulletin board in that it allows users to post messages and to respond to each other’s contributions. Some Forums are used to provide information from the teacher to which you can’t respond to in the Forum. Other forums are created as communication platforms between you and the other participants in specific group.


Glossary

The glossary are most often used to list difficult terms related to the subject of a course and explain them. Links to outside information sources, pictures and attachments are possible. In some courses students will be expected to add to the word list. These entries can be commented/evaluated by others. Glossaries can normally be printed out using the Print icon (but be aware that printing a large glossary will use up a lot of paper!).

Glossary entries can be linked automatically to pages in the course, so that you can get glossary explanations for words by clicking on them.


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Add a new Entry

The Add a new entry button appears only when students are allowed to contribute new entries to the glossary. Normally, these entries must be approved by the teacher before they become visible to others. Your student entries usually remain editable to you and you may also delete them. Student entries may be added to the main glossary of a course by the teacher. The secondary glossary can also be used to create a place where students can upload and download files using the attachment option.


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If you decide to link your glossary entry to the course materials, this will link every instance of the word on every course material page where the word occurs to your glossary entry. Therefore you should only autolink to really important terms, so as to avoid plastering course pages with glossary links. If you include keywords with an autolinked entry, the keywords too will link to the entry from the course pages. Select Match whole words only to avoid linking to word combinations and derivates (so that the word “man” will not also link to “woman”).

Journal

The Journal tool in Moodle can be used it to keep notes of your progress during a course, i.e. you can return to this tool as many times as you like and add or change information. It works with the same editor as the forum and it is therefore easy to use. The teacher can read your messages and give comments or advice (which you are encouraged to read).

A new learning diary may look like this:


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When you write a learning diary make sure that you clearly separate your entries from one another and that you date them. A diary with a few entries could look like this:

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When you have started writing, your teacher can comment on and grade your work. Be aware that you can always return to your journal and update or correct your entries for as long as the journal is open (and of course the teacher too can change the feedback (and the grade, if any) according to how well you do). A journal page with feedback from the teacher looks something like this:

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The journal tool is slowly being phased out in favour of other tools like the online text assignment and the blog. It may not return in future versions of Moodle.

Lesson

The lesson tool is normally a multi-page resource. It can be used for text comprehension, or for learning by trial and error, or as a quiz. It will present you with a page of learning material, like text, pictures and/or sound/video which is linked to a question. If you answer the question correctly, you get feedback and can continue to the next part. If you answer incorrectly, you get feedback and will be returned to the lesson material or to a page with additional information. Usually, you can take lessons more than once, except when they are used by the teacher as exam tools.


Different question types are possible; they resemble the questions of the Quiz tool. There are multiple choice questions with one or more than one correct answer, true/false questions, matching questions, calculated (numerical) questions, short answer questions and essay writing questions. Note that in case of short answer questions much attention needs to be paid to correct spelling and punctuation, because grading is automatic (there is no teacher override). The essay questions must of course be graded manually by the teacher.

If a lesson contains only auto-graded questions, you will be given your results immediately when you finish the lesson:

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The more attempts you need to answer a question correctly, the lower your grade will be. The number of attempts per question is limited, so often you will have to do the lesson again to improve your grade.

Essay Questions

Lessons can also be used as text based quizzes, complete with a timer and password access. These quizzes are also the ones most likely to contain essay (open writing) questions, of which this is an example:

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After writing your answer you click the long button at the bottom and continue to the next question (or the end of the lesson). Note that essay questions must be manually graded (and commented upon!) by the teacher, so you will not get your full grade for the lesson until the teacher has graded it!


Quiz

The Quiz tool is used to make on-line tests, which can consist of various question types. These quizzes can either be available as assignments (i.e. you can decide yourself when and how you do them and sometimes you can take the quiz more than once), or they can be made available only during a monitored in-class exam.

The Moodle quiz tool has 6 different question types that mostly speak for themselves:

  1. Multiple choice
  2. True-False
  3. Matching
  4. Short answer
  5. Calculated
  6. Essay

The different question types are shown below (and below them is information about submitting a quiz that you should also read!):

Multiple Choice

Multiple choice questions are used to test knowledge of facts and rules. The standard question has a question and three or four answers from which you must choose the most correct one, so you must read both the question and the answers carefully.

Some MC questions require you to select two or more correct answers, selecting fewer will result in loss of points (i.e. you get either only partial points or no points at all for the question)!

True-False

The True-False question looks just like a multiple choice question (see picture above) except that it has only two answer alternatives (True or False, Correct or Incorrect, Yes or No, etc.). True-False questions are used sparingly to introduce subjects.

Matching

Matching questions test your knowledge of a subject by making you combine related elements from two lists. Matching questions are often used as a warm up at the beginning of a quiz. They can come in combination with pictures, for example, an anatomical picture with numbered organs, the names of which must be selected from the drop down menu.

Short answer

Short answer questions are used for testing your knowledge of terminology/vocabulary and proper spelling. They are therefore most common in language courses.

Calculated question

Where a short answer question can have alphanumerical answers, a calculated question needs a numerical answer. In contrast with the short answer question which has a limited number of fixed corrrect answers, a calculated question can have an error marging. For example, if the correct answer to a question is 20 the teacher can set an acceptable error margin of 10 percent, meaning that all answers between 18 and 22 are accepted as correct.

Essay

Essay questions require you to write longer pieces of text. Copy and pasting text from other applications is discouraged (pasted text may not save properly) and will in many cases also be disallowed or downright illegal!

Unlike the other question types, essay questions are not autograded by the quiz tool. Thus, for quizzes containing essay questions, you will only get your quiz result after the teacher(s) have checked and graded your work.

Saving your Quiz and Feedback

At the end of your quiz you'll find two buttons. One is meant as a safety feature to save your answers from time to time, while you are working on the quiz. If something happens, like a power failure or something, your answers remain saved. The second button is to submit the quiz when you have answered all the questions (If you omit to submit a quiz before the availability runs out, your answers will be saved but your grade will be zero!surprise):


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Once you have submitted a quiz, you are shown a result page like this:

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Depending on the settings made by the teacher, you will be able to review the quiz and see feedback and/or correct answers displayed (sometimes you need to move your mouse over the answer to see the feedback). For quizzes that you can take multiple times, you will normally not be able to see the correct answers until after the deadline has passed. Do check the feedback. It is automatically given. Learning from your mistakes is one of the most efficient ways of learning smile.

The result of the quiz will be displayed on your Grades page.