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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.
Now that we have a good idea as to what functions are available to us as a teacher inside of our Moodle course, the next step in setting up our course is to customize our personal profile so that if a student wants to get in touch with us through the Moodle learning management system, they have access to all of our personal information that we are willing to share. To edit your personal profile, go up to the upper right-hand corner of your screen where you see the line that says 'You are logged in as' and click on your name. This will take you to your public profile that has all of your personal contact information that you've set up inside of your Moodle system.
The first thing that you want to check and make that's correct is your email address. If your email address is not correct, users will not be able to email you directly from inside of Moodle. Another thing that's nice to customize is the little Happy Face icon over on the left-hand side. It's the default icon for all users. It would be great if we had a picture of ourself in here so that users would know what we look like. We'll also add a short description up here in the top. At the bottom of the page, there is a button for Change password. You can use this anytime you want to change your password on the Moodle system. It gives the ability to un-enroll yourself from a course and there is a button for Messages. If you click the button for Messages, you have the ability to send messages to other users on the Moodle learning management system. Click on the tab for Search and you can search for one of your colleagues or another student on your campus.
For now, let's go ahead and click on the Edit profile tab. Verify that the information that we have in here for our settings is correct and scroll down to the Description field. Go ahead and type in a description for yourself; Teaching the Coral Reef Ecology Class. Scroll down a little bit further to the section for picture. Click on the Browse button to the right of New picture and if you have access to the Exercise Files, there is a picture inside of Chapter 02 called mattia.jpg.
You want to make sure that the picture that you upload has been cropped to a square image and the image should be fairly small in size. This image is only 192 kilobytes. So that's pretty good. We'll go ahead and click the Open button and the path is filled in so that the image will upload. Under Picture description, go ahead and just type in your name. If you want to add additional contact information to your students, click on the Show Advanced button in the lower-right and scroll down and you can see where you can add a link to your personal web page, a variety of different instant messaging systems; your department, your phone number, your mobile phone number, and your address if you'd like to provide it. I'm going to go ahead and type in my campus extension, x4387, and then click the Update Profile.
My profile has now been updated so that it has my picture, my campus phone number extension, and my email address. You should also note that inside of this Profile section. You have a tab for Forum posts, which shows you all of the posts that you have made to all discussion forums throughout the entire Moodle learning management system. The next tab for Blog is a personal blog that's available to you to use anytime you want. The Note section is a section specifically set up for teachers.
The top option here, Site notes, allows you to add notes about a particular student. Any notes that you add here though will be visible to all other teachers throughout the entire Moodle learning management system. The Course notes allow you to add a note about a student that will be shared only amongst the other teachers of your course. The section for Personal notes is a place where you can make notes about a student that are only visible to you. The last tab, Activity reports, allows you to track a variety of different reports and activities that you have been conducting throughout Moodle.
Let's go back and return to our course by clicking on the BIOL432 at the top-left of your screen. Now that our profile is updated, the next step is to go in and adjust some of the settings in the Administration block. We'll do that in the next movie.
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