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In this course, author Chris Mattia helps educators create online courses that complement classroom-based instruction and foster student interaction using the free learning management system Moodle. The course details the basics of setting up a test environment, disseminating course information, creating forums, and assessing student progress. Tutorials on building course materials with Moodle's built-in HTML editor, preparing and posting various types of media, uploading assignments, and evaluating tests automatically are also included.
Now that we have Moodle up and running on our Windows machine, the next thing we want to do is make a few tweaks to the user interface, so that what you see on screen is the same thing that I'm going to be showing on my screen throughout the rest of the training. So in order to follow along, simply come on down here to the Site administration link in the lower left-hand corner, go ahead and click on that, and scroll down until you find Appearance. Go ahead and click on Appearance and then click on Themes. Then we want the second link here, which is Theme selector.
This is where you go in and you set up what theme that you want to use. The default setup is the one that we are looking for, here the Device types is default, and then over in the right-hand side you want to click the button for Select theme. Now, in a later movie, we'll go ahead and explore some of these themes in more detail, but for right now let's go ahead and set up the Formal White theme. So I am going to scroll down until we find Formal White and then simply click the Use theme button right here. We get a little information about the new theme.
We get a preview of it, and everything is all set up. We'll go ahead and click the Continue button. This takes us to our Notifications page. These things are actually not going to affect us right now, so we are going to go ahead and click the Home button in the upper-left corner just underneath of the Moodle logo here, and that takes us back to our Moodle Home. We want to do a couple of tweaks to the user interface here on the Moodle Home page. So we are just going to go ahead and scroll down just a little bit until we get to the Settings section. Then we're going to click the link for Turn editing on.
This turns on the editing functionality for Moodle, and it gives us a few other things that show up. You will notice that we now have a Main menu, and this is a set of tools that allow us to add content here to this first page. But we're going to go ahead and work with a few other blocks. In the upper right-hand corner here is this block right here that says Welcome to Yondo University. I am going to go ahead and get rid of that block for right now. We are not going to use that one. So we are going to hit the little x next to that and that gets rid of that block. Now, we're going to add a block, and you do that down here in the lower right, where the Add a Block block is. Hit the dropdown menu here, and the one that we want to add is the Courses block.
So go ahead and find Courses in the pop-up menu and select Courses. After a few seconds, the Courses block will appear, and now we want to move it in to a location over here on the left-hand side. And to move the block, all you need to do is hit this little up-and-down move arrow right there, hit that one time, and after the screen refreshes, you'll notice these little dotted lines that have started to appear around on your screen. So go ahead and scroll down, and we want to click inside of the set of dotted lines that are right above the Settings and just below Navigation.
So click one time inside of that section, and that tells Moodle where you want to put the Courses block. This is a block that will just have a listing of the courses that are on the system. Now that we've added the Courses block, let's go ahead and add one more block. If we come back over here to the right-hand side and click on the dropdown menu for Add under the Add a Block area, go ahead and select the Online users block. When you select Online users a new Online users block should appear when the screen refreshes, and you can see currently that just the Admin User is listed as previously logged in within the last so many minutes.
So in my case I've got it set to the last five minutes on screen. This way, you can tell who has been logged in to your system. Next, let's come over here on the left-hand side and scroll down and click on the Edit settings link inside of the Settings block. We're going to go ahead and edit the homepage settings for Moodle. And we have already got our Site name and our Short name and our Front page description, but we are going to scroll down a little bit further, and we want to go down here and make sure that Front page has the top option which is List of courses, and Front page items when logged in also has List of courses.
So just go ahead and verify that both of those are set there like that. We can scroll all the way back down to the bottom and click Save changes. The last set of setting changes that we need to do is, during the installation I mentioned that the password restrictions are a bit excessive for having a testing server just running on our local machine. So let's go ahead and reset those settings now. So we scroll down on the left-hand column again, and we're in the Site administration section. You want to find the link for Security.
Go ahead and click on Security, and then we want to click on the link for Site policies. In the Site policies section, we are going to scroll down pretty far down the page, and what we are looking for is this Password policy. By default, it's checked on. As you can see in the description here, it's applying all of these different password properties to it, so a password of eight characters with a digit, and a lowercase letter, an uppercase letter, and alphanumeric characters. That's a bit excessive, so we'll go ahead and uncheck this box.
If you were deploying Moodle out on to the Internet, and if this was a live production server, then yeah, you would want to have a lot of these restrictions put in place to make sure that your passwords were not accessible. But this version of Moodle that we are installing right now is not going to be accessible to the outside world. So we'll go ahead and scroll all the way down to the bottom now and click Save changes. And the final change that we want to make is to actually go ahead and reset our administrator password. So let's go up here and click on the Home button back up here in the breadcrumbs.
We are going to scroll down in the Settings section to the section that says My profile settings. Go ahead and click on that, expand that menu out, and you can see there is a link for Change password. Go ahead and hit Change password. Now, it's going to ask us to type in our current password. Now, the current password is the one that we set in the last movie during the installation. It's the one that is the Qwerty!1. That was the temporary password that we set up for the Admin account.
For the New password, and the one that I am going to be using throughout this training title, is going to simply be 12345. So type that in and then click in the Next field and type it in again, 12345, and click the Save changes button, and there we go! It says, our password has been changed. Click Continue and there we are. We have our Admin User account. Go ahead and click back to Home in the upper left, and let's go ahead and test this now. So we are just going to go up to the upper-right corner now and there's a link for Logout. Let's go ahead and hit Logout.
That will effectively log us out of our Moodle server. You can see the URL is set back to localhost. To log in, we're just going to come up here to the upper-right, click on the Login link, and it asks us what username. We are going to type in admin, and the password is now 12345. I am going to go ahead and hit the Login button, and there we go! We were able to log in. We can tell that we were able to log in because it tells us right here, "You are logged in as Admin User." Excellent! That's exactly what we want. So in the next movie, we are going to be back with everyone who is watching both on the Mac and Windows, and we are going to go into a few more configuration and setup changes that we are going to want to play with here inside of Moodle.
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