Getting to know the Moodle LMS

This course will provide you with an overview of Moodle and all of it's features and inner workings.

You will learn how to create a course, create a new user, and enroll an existing user, as well as digesting information on creating an assignment. You can then put your newfound knowledge into practice with a post-course quiz.

What is Moodle?

Moodle overview

Moodle is an open source, community developed (often privately hosted) learning management system. Around 20% of US HE institutions have a Moodle environment.

 

 

Why customers use Moodle

Institutions use Moodle because of the low software cost and high customisability of the service.

 

Moodle features

Whether you're a teacher, student or administrator, Moodle can meet your needs. Moodle’s extremely customisable core comes with many standard features. Take a look at a highlight of Moodle's core features below:

 

Modern, easy to use interface

Designed to be responsive and accessible, the Moodle interface is easy to navigate on both desktop and mobile devices.

Personalised Dashboard

Organise and display courses the way you want, and view at a glance current tasks and messages.

Collaborative tools and activities

Work and learn together in forums, wikis, gloassaries, database activities, and more.

All-in one calendar

Moodle's calendar tool helps you keep track of your academic or company calendar, course deadlines, group meetings, and other events.

Convenient file management
Drag and drop files from cloud storage services including MS OneDrive, Dropbox and Google Drive.

Simple and intuitive text editor

Format text and conveniently add media and images with an editor that works across all web browsers and devices.

Notifications

When enabled, users can receive automatic alerts on new assignments and deadlines, forum posts and also send private messages to one another.

Track progress

Educators and learners can track progress and completion with an array of options for tracking individual activities or resources and at course level.

An overview of all of the Moodle features can be found here on the moodle.org community site.  More information about the market share can be found at http://listedtech.com/lms-market-share.

You can view all information about Moodle at moodle.org

What is a Moodle plugin?

Our Turnitin Moodle integration is in the form of a Moodle “Plugin”. A wide variety of plugins are available for Moodle. They all provide different functionality.You can read more about Moodle Plugins by clicking here.

What is a Moodle course?

Within Moodle, a course represents a course/class that a student would study.

A Moodle course can contain different modules, such as reference material, areas to hand in work, quizzes, and forums. 

Tips and tricks

Moving items in a course with many activities

If you click and drag an activity or resource on a course page which has many items, this might cause you difficulties with "scroll of death" issues. Instead of dragging the activity to move it, click on it. It will display a list of all the items on your page and you just need to click to select where on the course page you want the item to be moved to.

Make your course home page look more like a webpage - see Course FAQ.

Activity and resource descriptions can be displayed on the course page just below the link to the activity or resource by clicking the 'Display description on course page' checkbox in the activity or resource settings.

An example course page

1. Navigation block

Normally visible on all pages, this block helps you find your way around the course and site.

2. Administration block

Again, normally visible on all pages, this block gives different levels of access to teachers and students.

3. Course sections

Here is where the learning materials are displayed. This element may be arranged in one or multiple weeks, topics, forums or other (non-standard) layouts.

4. Side blocks

Which blocks you see depend on what the administrator has selected and what you as teacher choose to add.

Further reading:

https://docs.moodle.org/30/en/Course_homepage

How to create a course

By default a regular teacher can't add a new course. To add a new course to Moodle, you need to have either Administrator, Course Creator or Manager rights.

To add a course:

  • Go to Administration>Site Administration>Courses>Manage courses and categories

  • Click on the category where you want your course to be. For more information see Course categories.
  • Click the "New course" link.
  • Enter the course settings, and then choose either to "Save and return" to go back to your course, or "Save and display" to go to the next screen.

On the next screen, if you have chosen "Save and display", choose your students/teachers to assign to the course.

Create your own Moodle course. Name the course "[Your full name] course"

Assessment - Creating a Moodle course - Part 1

To create a Moodle course you must go to the following path Administration > Site Administration >  > Manage courses and categories.

Once you have followed the path above, you click the  link.

Assessment - Creating a Moodle Course - Part 2

  • Add a user to the course.
  • Course navigation
  • Course administration

What makes a Moodle user

Each individual who uses Moodle has a user account that they use to access their courses.

There are three main user types in moodle: Administrator, Teacher and Student. Moodle administrators can create custom user roles. This is often done to enable non standard and typically institutional specific roles so that they can achieve their desired eLearning delivery process.

User permissions are used to define what each role can or can’t do with each part of Moodle.

How to create a Moodle user

An administrator or manager (or any other user with the capability moodle/user:create) can create new user accounts in Site administration > Users > Accounts > Add a new user. (To add users in bulk, see Upload users.)

Create a Moodle user account with "[Your full name]@example.com"

Assessment - Creating a Moodle User

The , first name, surname and  are required fields when completing the user creation process.

User enrollment

Moodle offers a variety of different ways to enrol students on Moodle course. (more information here).

Manual enrolment

The manual enrolments plugin allows users to be enrolled manually via a link in the course administration settings. The plugin has to be enabled by the site administrator (see Enrolment plugins) and should normally be enabled as certain other enrolment plugins, such as self enrolment, require it.

Course settings

Checking you have manual enrolment in your course

  • In a course, go to Administration > Course administration > Users > Enrolment methods
  • Make sure Manual enrolments has its "eye" opened.

Editing manual enrolment settings

Managers (and any other users with the capability enrol/manual:config) can edit the manual enrolment method in the course and set the default enrolment period and default role in Administration > Course administration > Users > Enrolment methods.

It is possible also for students and/or teachers to be notified when enrolments expire by selecting either "Enroller only" or "Enroller and enrolled user" from the dropdown "Notify before enrolment expires" and a time in "Notification threshold".

Enrolling users

Method 1

  1. Go to Administration > Course administration > Users > Enrolled users.
  2. Click the 'Enrol users' button at the top right or bottom left of the page.
  3. Use the 'Assign roles' dropdown if you wish to change the role. (Note that if your course has cohort enrolment, you will see 2 radio buttons (as in the screenshot) To enrol users individually, click the Browse users button. It should be selected by default.)
  4. Click to expaned the enrolment options and set them as appropriate. These include the enrolment duration.
  5. Browse or search for the user (Note that when searching for users, exact matches are listed first).
  6. Click the Enrol button opposite the user. The user will indent in the list and the enrol button will disappear, indicating that the user is enrolled.
  7. When you have finished, click the 'Finish enrolling users' button (or simply close the enrol users box).

Method 2

  1. Go to Administration > Course administration > Users > Enrolment methods.
  2. Click the 'Enrol users' icon in the edit column opposite manual enrolment.
  3. Select users from the not enrolled users list, using Ctrl + click to select multiple users.
  4. Click the add button to add the users to the enrolled users list.

Editing individual enrolment start and end dates

Enrolment start and end dates may be edited for individual students as follows:

  1. Go to Administration > Course administration > Users > Enrolled users.
  2. Click the edit icon in the enrolment methods column for a particular user.
  3. Edit dates as required, then click the 'Save changes' button.

Admin settings

The manual enrolment plugin may be enabled or disabled site-wide in Administration > Site administration > Plugins > Enrolments > Manage enrol plugins.

Site-wide settings, including default settings for manual enrolment in new courses, may be set via Administration > Site administration > Plugins > Enrolments > Manual enrolments.

  • Enrolment expiration action - specifies what happens when user enrolments reach expiration date. Please note that option "Unenrol user from course" purges grades, group memberships, preferences and other user related data from the courses.
  • Hour to send enrolment expiry notifications - specify hour for sending expiration notifications.
  • Add instance to new courses- if this is enabled, then whenever a new course is created, manual enrolments will automatically added to new courses.
  • Enable manual enrolments - this specifies if enrol instances are enabled by default in new courses, it is strongly recommended to keep this setting enabled.
  • Default role - this sets the default role, which is normally student and may be altered by a teacher in a course.
  • Default enrolment start - this feature, new in 3.0, sets the time for when students are enrolled in a course. The default is 'Now', but it can also be set to 'Today' and 'Course start'.
  • Default enrolment duration - this sets the default length of enrolment in new courses.
  • Notify before enrolment expires - specifies if teacher or optionally students should be notified before the expiration.
  • Notification threshold - specify how many days should be users notified before the enrolment expiration.

Enrol the user that you created in the previous assessment

Assessment of enrolling a user

As an administrator you can enrol users and assign them  and . .

Creating a Moodle assignment within the course you created

It is possible to create assignments within Moodle, and an overview of the features of a Moodle assignment can be found here.

Assignment name

Give your assignment a name (which students will see to click on) and, if required, a description. If you want the description to display on the course page, check the box.

 

Availability

Allow submissions from

This stops students from submitting before the shown date but it doesn't hide the assignment and any included instructions or materials.

Due date

Submissions are still allowed after this date but will be marked as late. Disable it by unticking the checkbox. Assignments without a due date will appear on the dashboard with 'No Due Date' displayed.

Cut-off date

After this date, students will not be able to submit and the submit button will disappear. If you want to grant an extension, go to the assignment grading screen, click 'Edit' and choose 'Grant extension' for the relevant student. (See screencast Assignment Extensions).

 

Submission types

Here you can decide how you wish students to submit their work to you.

note icon.png Note: If Submission comments are enabled in Administration>Plugins>Activity modules>Assignment>Submission plugins, students will be able to add a note to their teacher on submitting work. If Blind marking is enabled, student comments display in the gradebook as from "Participant 01 etc" to avoid revealing identities.

Online text

Students type their responses directly in Moodle using a text editor (such as the Atto editor which automatically saves text at regular intervals).

It's possible to set a word limit on an online text assignment. Students get a warning if they try to exceed the word limit. Numbers are counted as words and abbreviations such as I'm or they're are counted as single words.

File submissions

Students can upload and edit one or more files of any type the teacher can open. If the student uploads a pdf file, the teacher can annotate it within the browser, and on saving, the annotated file is made available to the student. See section 5.4.1 Annotating pdfs in Using Assignment. (Check with your admin that Ghostscript is enabled, if you can't annotate pdf files).

Maximum submission size

The maximum upload size refers to each file a student uploads. It cannot be larger than the limit in the Course settings.

 

Submission settings

Require students click submit button

If this is set to 'No' students can make changes to their submission at any time. (If you want to stop them changing work once you are ready to grade, click 'View/Grade all submissions'; locate the student and From the Edit column, click the action icon and select 'Prevent submission changes'.

If set to 'Yes', students can upload draft versions of the assignment until such time as they are ready to submit. Clicking the submit button tells the teacher they have finished drafting and want the work to be graded. They can no longer edit it and must ask the teacher to revert to draft status if they need to change it again.To do that, click 'View/Grade all submissions; locate the student and from the Edit column, click the action icon and select 'Revert the submission to draft'.

Require that students accept the Submission statement

An administrator can define a "Submission statement", ie, a statement where students promise the work is their own and which they must agree to before submitting their work. This may be done via Site administration>Plugins>Activity modules>Assignment. (A default statement is also available.) If the administrator has given teachers the option of using a submission statement or not, then it will be available in the assignment settings screen. If the administrator has forced the statement throughout the site, a teacher will not have this option in the settings but a student will see the statement when accessing their assignment.

Attempts reopened

If 'require students to click submit' is enabled, then students may only submit once. You can change this here to 'Manually' and reopen it for students to resubmit, or you can change it to 'Automatically until pass', for the students to keep resubmitting until they get a pass grade.

Maximum attempts

Here you can decide how many attempts to allow if students can resubmit. If a student has to keep trying until they get a pass grade, you might decide to limit the attempts even though they have not yet passed - or they might be trying for ever!

 

Groups submission settings

These settings allow students to collaborage on a single assignment, eg, working in the same online area or uploading , editing and reuploading an MS Powerpoint in the common assignment area.

When grading, the teacher may choose to give a common grade and feedback to all students in the group or to give individual grades and feedback to each member.

Require group to make submission

Students not in a group can still submit assignments unless this is forced in Site administration > Plugins > Assignment > Assignment settings . Moodle will then display a message You're not a member of any group; please contact your teacher , and the student will not be able to submit the assignment.

Require all group members submit

This setting will only appear if the teacher has ticked the "Require students click submit button" earlier. The assignment will not be classed as "submitted" until all members of the group have made a contribution. When one student has submitted, the other members of the group will be able to see who still has to submit.

Grouping for student groups

If a particular grouping is selected here, then the gradebook will display any other groups and non-grouped students in the "default group", while naming the group(s) that are in the chosen grouping. If "none" is selected, then the gradebook will display the names of all groups and put any non-grouped students in the "default group". See this forum post on grouping for student groups for examples of how this might be used.

Notifications

Please note that if you are using group mode then course teachers need to be members of the group in order to receive submission and late submission notifications.

Video summary

More in depth information on Moodle assignments, including details of the possible settings and steps to create them, can be found here.

Create a Moodle assignment called "[Your full name] assignment"

Assessment of creating a Moodle assignment - CONTENT STILL NEEDED

Moodle admin user features

There are a wide range of administrative features Moodle offers  (see “Administrative Features” here) . A customer’s Moodle environment can be using several different administrative features including a custom theme, secure authentication, multiple languages, custom roles, and user permissions.

All of the features listed can potentially cause issues or conflict with our integrations.  For example a custom theme may alter the UI of our plugin resulting in a smaller submit file box or even a missing submit button.

Using a language identifier reference we do not support might also cause issues with the text displayed in our user interface.

Moodle Summary

Please take the time to watch our Moodle video which shows you a brief sumamry of what we've covered.