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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.
Throughout this chapter we're going to be exploring all of the different resources that we can add to our course. Now if you remember, resources are information that we want to convey and provide to our students. If we think about the three key functions of any course: you're providing information, you're developing community where the students are interacting with the material and with each other, and you are providing assessment to them. So let's begin exploring the resources by looking at the use of labels.
Every one of the content blocks inside of our Moodle course has a label already associated with it, and it's this header label. Up here at the top of the block, there is an edit summary, which really is just a special type of label. It's one that's already included, and we edit this label up in the top header block. But let's go ahead and edit this one here. So I'll click the hand icon with the pencil. This first week what we're doing is we're doing an introduction to major tropical ecosystems. I'll go ahead and select that, and we'll give it a Heading 1 and save the changes. Now we can see that when the students come in and they look at this block, they can see the date range for that week, and what is going to be covered.
Now let's go ahead and add a label so we can separate out the type of content that we have. So far we've just been listening all of the individual documents that we were providing out to our students. But we have a mix of some presentations, which is really the same as these materials that we want them to read and look over. But then we have these project ideas, which is actually an assignment. So let's go ahead and click the dropdown menu for Add a Resource, and select Insert a label. We'll insert a label here for Lecture Materials. We'll select it, and give it a Heading 2, and go ahead and click the Save and Return to Course.
Now if we scroll down, we can see where that Lecture Material has ended up. It ended up down here at the bottom, but really we want to have it up at the top. So we'll use the double-headed arrow, so we can move this content. As soon as we click that, it's going to show us all the different possible places that we can move that content to. To move it up here to the top, we simply click on this box with the little arrow pointing to it, and it will allow us to move Lecture Materials to this location. We click on that box, and now lecture material shows up directly underneath of the main heading. So we'll scroll down a little bit, and we'll add another resource, and we'll insert another label. This time we'll go ahead and insert a label for Assignments. Go ahead and select that, and we'll label that also a Heading 2, and Return to Course.
Scroll on down, and now rather than move the assignments up, let's go ahead and just move this project ideas down. So we'll click the Move button, and click underneath of Assignments. Scroll down a little bit, and so now our Lecture Materials are all grouped together, and our Assignments are all grouped together. Let's just go ahead and preview what that would look like for a student. So scroll back up to the top, and click the dropdown menu for Switch role to, and we'll change back over to a Student. Now we can see that we've got our header information for our course. As we scroll down, the block of content for week one has headings for what the students are going to be learning that week, then a separation for the lecture materials, and any assignments that they have.
Now we could go through and we could additional labels down for the other pieces of content here. But I'm going to show you another use for a label. So we'll go ahead and scroll back up to the top, and click on the Return to my normal role, and turn Editing back on. Now let's come on down to the 2nd week's worth of information. Here we've got our 2 February - 8 February. Let's go ahead, and add a new resource, and insert another label. We'll go ahead and click inside of the HTML editor that we have here.
Now this is just a standard HTML editor. So anything that we learned how to do previously in the HTML editor, we can do here as a label and include that content right on the front page. So for instance, we can go ahead and click on the Insert an image button, and we can go into our Images folder. In the previous exercise we created and uploaded this Thumbnails folder. So we'll go ahead and click into the thumbnails, and here's a nice image of an Acropora palmata. Go ahead and just click on that image. It's going to preview it for us over here on the right-hand side. It's going to fill in the URL for us. Go ahead and type in some Alt text of Acropora palmata.
We don't need to worry about any alignment or spacing for right now. It's already filled in our size, and we'll just go ahead and click OK. You can see that the image has been placed inside of here, and we'll just click the Save and Return to Course. Now when we scroll down, we've managed to insert an image directly on this front page. So using labels you can enhance the content and flow of information on the main blocks of content in the home page of your site.
So take a few minutes and go ahead and rearrange the files that we've posted here. We have an image of an Acropora palmata, we have some pronunciations of the Acropora palmata. We also have some images of the Moray Eel, and some videos of the Moray Eel. So go ahead and rearrange all of those, add in some headings. In the next movie we'll explore the next resource that we can enhance our course with.
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