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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.
If you are looking for a way to have your students collaboratively build a website and post content inside of your Moodle course, the best activity to choose to use is to create a wiki. A wiki come from a Hawaiian term wikiwiki, which means very fast, and it's a great tool inside of Moodle that will allow your students to quickly and easily post content, write web pages and work collaboratively without having to know any HTML. Wikis have their own language for marking up content. It's very easy to learn and in this chapter, we are going to step through the process of creating a wiki and then editing the content inside of it.
To begin, click on the dropdown menu for Add an activity inside the header block for your course and select Wiki. We need to name our wiki and for this course, we want to have all of our students as they are preparing to go on our research trip during spring break. We want them to be able to post content individually as groups but then collaboratively as a class. So we'll name this wiki Research Project Wiki.
For a Summary, we'll give a simple summary of a wiki to post materials for your group research project. When you first begin adding a wiki, you are in the simplified view. We need to open up some additional options, so click on the button for Show Advanced. Now we can go ahead and set up all the different parameters that we are going to need in order to configure our wiki. For Type, we want to go ahead and leave this set to Groups, there are three options here Groups, Student, and Teachers.
Groups will allow all of your students to collaboratively build a group wiki and the group will be defined by the entire class of students meaning all the users. If you choose Student, each student would then have their own wiki that they can privately create but they would not be able to collaborate with other students within the course and a Teacher wiki is one where you as the instructor have access to create content, but your students would not have access to create content. So in this case we want everybody to be able to create content, so we are going to choose Groups. The next option of Print wiki name on every page, we'll go ahead and say Yes. That way students have a reference point inside of a wiki to know where they are at. For the next option of HTML mode, there are three choices: No HTML, which would use the standard wiki markup, Safe HTML, which would allow students to intermix standard wiki, and HTML if they know it or pure HTML.
We have already seen the HTML editor throughout this course many times. So in this case, let's go ahead and select No HTML so that we can learn how to create a wiki using the Standard Wiki Markup Language. The next option for Allow binary files. If you want to have your students to be able to upload content and link to specific files that they are creating inside of the wiki, you want to go ahead and set this to Yes. This would allow students as they're writing documents to post Word documents, images, audio, video and so forth directly inside of the wiki.
As of the recording of this video, there is an issue with linking to outside images. So if you select Yes, you will not be able to link to outside images and get them to appear properly. If you say No, then students will be able to link to outside images and have them appear inside of their wiki but they won't be able to upload content directly inside of the wiki. For this example, we'll go ahead and say Yes so that students can upload content directly inside of the wiki. For Wiki autolinking options, there is a checkbox here for disable CamelCase linking. Now if you look at the word CamelCase, you can see that there is a capital letter at the front of each word but there is no space in between the words of CamelCase.
If you leave this box unchecked, then anytime you want to create a link inside of a wiki, you can simply write the name of the link that you want to create as a CamelCase word and the wiki will automatically create a link to that page. The danger here is if you are linking to outside websites and outside URLs have a mix of capitalized and lowercase letters in them, then links may not function properly inside of your wiki if you have CamelCasing enabled. So in our case, we want to make sure that links to outside websites work properly all the time, so we'll go ahead and disable CamelCase linking. There are times when you want to turn this on, but in our case, we are going to leave it off for simplicity sake. The next set of options allows you to set how you want students to be able to administer pages inside of a wiki.
By default, all of these options are set to off. So the students will not be able to set flags on pages, strip pages out of the site, remove pages or revert mass changes to content. This is decision that you may want to make. But in our case, we are going to leave all of these options set to off so that students can simply create and add content inside of the pages but they are not able to delete large blocks of content. As we scroll down on the page, the next set of options allows us to set the Page Name for our wiki site. We'll go ahead and set this to Research Project Wiki. For an initial page, we'll leave this blank so that Moodle will go ahead and create an initial page for us. The next set of options for Group Mode are different from the type that we see up here where we had selected groups instead of student or teacher.
Since we do not currently have any groups defined inside of our site, we'll go ahead and set the Group Mode to No Groups. If you were to set Group Mode to either Separate groups or Visible groups and you do not have any groups currently created inside of your Moodle course, when you go to save this configuration for your wiki, you would get an error message but since we do not currently have any groups, we'll go ahead and leave this set to No Groups. This one shows that all students have access to write to the same wiki. We'll go ahead and divide the wiki into our separate groups inside of the wiki itself. For visibility, we want this wiki to be available to all of our students immediately so we'll go ahead and leave this set to Show. We don't need an ID number and for Grade Category, we are going to leave this activity uncategorized for now.
We can go ahead and click Save and return to course and the wiki has been created for us. We can see the link for it right here in our Header section called Research Project Wiki. We can also see that under the activities block on the left, there is a link that will point us to all the wikis that are created inside of our course and now that you have created your first wiki, the next step in the process is to begin editing content inside of the wiki.
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