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Moodle is an online tool that allows educators to interact with students outside the classroom and manage a course from anywhere. In Moodle Essential Training for Teachers, Chris Mattia shows how this program works for teachers on three levels: disseminating information, creating a forum where ideas are exchanged, and assessing the progress of students. Chris shows how to build course materials with Moodle's HTML editor, post assignments, and save time by using Moodle's grade book to evaluate tests automatically and organize scores. Exercise files accompany the course.
A great question type for testing the understanding that a student has gained for the material that you've presented inside of your course is an essay question. In this movie, we're going to create an essay question that has the students discussing the formation of either the Barrier Reef or of Turneff Atoll that is just off the coast of Belize. To further illustrate this, we're going to incorporate a map directly from Google Maps inside of our question. To begin, click the dropdown menu for Create a new question and select Essay from the dropdown menu. We'll select the category of Ecology from the dropdown menu and for Question name, we'll simply enter Essay. Next, for the Question text, we'll enter in, "The attached map shows the barrier reef of the Belize and Turneff Atoll. Please discuss the formation of one of these two structures." Next, we need to go and get the code to display a Google Map directly inside of our essay question. To do this, open a new tab by pressing Command+T or Ctrl+T on your keyboard. Next, we'll go to maps.google.com. Here, we'll scroll around in the window and zoom in by double- clicking over top of the area for Belize.
We'll continue to zoom in until we get the map setup just the way that we want it. Next, we'll come up to the upper right- hand corner of the map area and click the button for Link. We'll then choose Customize and preview embedded map. This will open up a new window for us where we can control how we want this map to appear when we put it inside of our question. The first option we want to set here is Large. It's going to give us a wider view of the map. If we go ahead and scroll down in the window, you can see that there are some code down at the bottom that we're going to paste into our question. We can adjust the map however we want by dragging the content around inside. We can have our maps stay as Satellite view or as the Terrain view to show whichever illustrates our point that we're trying to make better.
In our case, we want to go ahead and leave this map set to the Terrain view because you can clearly see the Barrier Reef of Belize here and Turneff Atoll over here to the right. It's just off the shore of Belize City and also shows the islands that we're going to be going to during our spring break trip, which is approximately right in this area. If we scroll all the way down to the bottom, we can then select all of the code inside of the "Copy and paste this HTML to embed in your website" field.
Make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom though and you get all of the code that's in there, if you need to hold down the Shift key on your keyboard and click at the end of the list to select all of the code that's in the window. Copy that code with Command+C or Ctrl+C on your keyboard and then you can close this window. Let's click back on the tab for our course. Then in our HTML editor, click the button to Toggle HTML Source. We'll then hit Enter or Return and then paste with Command+V or Ctrl+V to paste in all of the code from that Google Map. We can then return back to that WYSIWYG editor by toggling the HTML Source back off. Our map is not going to display until we're ready to preview our question. Go ahead and scroll down on the window and we'll set the other parameters for our Essay question. We don't need to display any other images, so we'll leave that set to None.
The Default question grade is set to 1, which is what we're setting all of our questions to throughout these exercises. We could provide General feedback or more specific feedback to our students in either of these two blanks if we chose to. But the essay question will not be graded directly by Moodle. It will hold the students' answer until a teacher has time to go in and read and apply a grade to that answer. So, go ahead and scroll all the way down to the bottom and click the Save changes button, and now we have our listing for our Essay question.
Let's preview it by clicking the Preview button to the left-hand side of the Question name. If we open up the window a little bit bigger, we can now see that our question is listed of "The attached map shows the barrier reef of Belize and Turneff Atoll." The map is showing exactly the content that we wanted it to show. Students could even click on the Satellite view to toggle back and forth between the multiple views or drag around inside the window if they needed to in order to get additional information from the map. They can then scroll down even further in the window and type in their answer directly into the standard HTML editor. Keep in mind that since this is an HTML editor, they have all the tools available to them that would be available to you as you're creating any other content. So they can apply formatting to text if they need to, create lists, they can even create links to outside websites if you would like them to.
Let's go ahead and scroll all the way back up to the top and close the window for Preview Essay. Let's also click the dropdown menu for Category and show the default category for Coral Reef Ecology and we can see all of the different questions that we have entered so far. One other thing to note is we're getting these in is that on the right-hand side you can see an icon that represents each question type. This gives you an additional cue to know that the box represents an essay, the three bullets with dashed lines represents multiple choice, and so forth.
The next type of question that we're going to create in our question pool is a matching question.
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