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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.
The next step in setting up our test environment is to create a course for us to work with throughout the rest of the training. To do this, simply come over to the Site Administration block in the lower left-hand corner and click on the link for Courses. Next, click on the link for Add/edit courses. The default category that is created in all Moodle installations is called Miscellaneous. Let's go ahead and simply add a new course. Click the button for Add a new course. We can leave the default category set to Miscellaneous. For the Full name of the course, let's go ahead and type in, Coral Reef Ecology. For the Short name, we are going to call it BIOL432.
We don't need to use anything for the Course ID number, but we do want to put something in for the summary. Go ahead and click inside the HTML editor, and enter in the description of Introduction to Coral Reef Ecology. Scroll down a bit, and make sure under the Format dropdown menu, you have the Topics format selected. Number of weeks/topics, we are going to change this setting to 5. All the rest of the settings throughout the rest of this page are all fine to take as default. One thing to note that you may note as a difference between different operating systems and between different installations that you may have, and that is the maximum upload size.
On the particular installation that we are using here, the maximum upload size is 32 megabytes. This is controlled as a parameter setting inside of the server, and we are not going to go in and make any changes to here. So if you are using a default Windows installation, you may only have a maximum upload size of 16 megabytes. Whatever your option here is, make sure it is set to the largest amount. In either case, 16 or 32 megabytes will be just fine for the rest of this course. Go ahead and scroll all the way to the bottom of the window, and click to Save changes button.
The last stage in setting up your course is to add the users to your class. The first user that you want to add is the teacher. So click on the link for Teacher and you should see a listing of all of the different users that we created in the previous movie. Go ahead and select your user account that you created for yourself and click the Add button. This will add you as the teacher for this class. Next, click the dropdown menu at the top where it says Role to assign and change it from Teacher to Student. You can then click on each student, either individually and click the Add button or you can multiple select by clicking the first student and then holding down Shift key, clicking on the last student, and then click the Add button.
You should now have a listing of five different students in your class, and have you listed as the teacher. Click back on the link for lyndaU in the upper left-hand corner and you're taken back out to the main page. You should now see in your listing of available course, the Coral Reef Ecology class, with you listed as the teacher.
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