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In this course, author Chris Mattia helps educators create online courses that complement classroom-based instruction and foster student interaction using the free learning management system Moodle. The course details the basics of setting up a test environment, disseminating course information, creating forums, and assessing student progress. Tutorials on building course materials with Moodle's built-in HTML editor, preparing and posting various types of media, uploading assignments, and evaluating tests automatically are also included.
Now let's go ahead and look at customizing our user profile. Inside of Moodle you have a personal profile that contains all of the settings, or preferences, that configures Moodle for the way that you want to work. It also contains all of your personal information as well. To customize this, go on down to the left-hand side and look for the Settings block and click on the My profile settings link. Then click on the link for Edit profile. The first thing to note here are these items that are listed in red: First name, Surname--or your last name-- Email address, City/town, and Select country.
These items are required, and everyone must go ahead and fill this information out. What we are going to go through now though, is we are going to look at some of the specific preferences and setup options that are available to you as a teacher to help make your life a little bit easier. The first one is Email display. If you click the dropdown menu here, you can see the various different options, and the one that I like to set all the time is Allow everyone to see my email address. Now this is great for teachers because if you have it set like this, then students that are looking to take your course in the future can be able to find you and find your information on the Moodle system for your institution.
Otherwise, only students in your class would be able find your information. The next option, Email format, it's a good idea these days to go ahead and leave it set to the Pretty HTML format. That way any formatting that your students apply to any forums, posts, or other email messages that get sent to you through the Moodle system will come in formatted. This next option, Email digest, this one is probably one of the most important for a teacher. By default, it's set to be No digest, and that means that every single time one of your students posts a message into one of the discussion forums, you're going to get an email.
We all get way too much email these days, and so the setting that I like to choose is the Complete option. That means that every day for each different forum that you're subscribed to, you will get a single email that will contain all of the full posts from all of your students for that forum for that day. This will help reduce your overall amount of email and help you manage your time a little bit easier. Forum auto-subscribe, I like to go ahead and make sure that I'm always subscribed to all the forums that I create and that I post in. This next option, Forum tracking, by default it's set to No.
If you need assistive devices, such as screen readers, you can go ahead and set this next option to Yes, but we are not going to do that right now. But what I do want to call attention to is this small yellow ball with the question mark in it. Moodle has built-in help and if you go ahead and click on any of those little yellow balls with the question mark in them, it's going to pop up contextually aware help that will let you know some information about whatever this option happens to be. You can close it by hitting the little X in the upper right-hand corner. Now we have the next bit of things already filled out. So we'll go ahead and scroll down here to the Description.
Now this is a general description about you, and it can be a short bio if you'd like. I am going to go ahead and just type in here "Educational Technologist and Instructional Designer." If you'd like, you can go ahead and you can format the information that you've just typed in here using the WYSIWYG Editor, or the What You See Is What You Get. There is an entire chapter later on in this title that will explain how to go ahead and use all of these functions. For now let's go ahead and scroll on down a little bit further, and we are now in the User picture section.
And anytime you make a post of any content inside of Moodle users are able to see your picture that's been attached here, if you've put one. Let's go ahead and post our image. So we've got a link for New picture. Go ahead and hit the Choose file and this will bring up the standard File picker that's gone throughout Moodle. In an earlier movie, we went ahead and posted an image inside of our Private files section. So we'll go ahead and click on Private files on the left-hand side, and here you can see we've got the folder we set up, and there's the link to that graphic, the headshot.jpg.
So go ahead and click one time on that, and it's going to grab that file. The Author and license information is already set for us, so we will go ahead and hit Select this file. And for the Picture description, we will just go ahead and put our name in here. Now we'll scroll down a little bit further, and we are going to go here to the Interests section. You can go ahead and fill in some of your common interests. This is a nice thing for your students to be able to have some other things to relate to you other than just the specific class that you're teaching. So I am going to put in a few of my interests here: Sailing and Swimming and Kayaking.
Great! And we'll scroll down a little bit further, and now we are down to the Optional section. Here is where if you have a personal web site that you would like to direct your students to, you can type in that URL here. If you have any of these other different accounts, such as an ICQ or a Skype account, an AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo!, MSN, you can go ahead and type that information in here. By default, the plug-ins are not available right now inside of Moodle to be able to link to those services. But there are third parties that have developed modules that will allow you, for instance, to be able to make Skype calls available directly from inside of your course.
Now the bottom sets of the Optional information here, ID number, Institution, these are a lot of times used by your institution to fill in additional metadata on your user account. We are going to go ahead and leave those blank for now and go ahead and hit the Update profile button. And there we go! When screen refreshes, you can see that our picture that we posted is showing up here on the left-hand side. And we've got our little description here, and we even have our interests listed in here. So that worked out pretty well. Now one quick note about the images that you're posting: it will be a good idea to use an image that's cropped in a square format.
I've gone ahead and made this image to be 200 pixels x 200 pixels. And you can use most of the common different formats of images. I've gone ahead and used a JPEG image for this image. So that's all there is to setting up your personal preferences in your personal profiles. If you needed to do something like change your password, you're able to do that right here on the left-hand side. And you can also access the built-in messaging service within Moodle. If we go ahead and click on that link right here, this is going to bring up a set of preferences for us to be able to say how we would like to be contacted depending on the various different systems that are available inside of Moodle.
So we can just scroll through these pretty quickly. We've got Assignment notifications are both set to Email, whether we are logged in or logged out. Course creation request, approvals, I am going to set that to Email. Course rejection notifications, Essay graded notifications, Personal messages between users. This is one that may be appropriate for you if you want when you're online to have a pop-up so that if another user wants to message you through Moodle, that will just pop up a pop-up. Otherwise, if you're offline, it's going to send you an email.
Feedback reminder, if there's some feedback that's required, whether or not you've subscribed to posts and some notifications. We can scroll on down to the very bottom. Now one final feature that is a great new little addition here, and that is for the Email notifications many institutions require that all communication go directly through a particular campus email system. And many of us have our own outside email accounts that we would like to use. So if you'd like to fill in your outside email account that may be outside from your institution, or one that you kind of check all the time and you may not check your institution mail all the time, you can go ahead and fill that in right here, and you can then hit the Update profile button, and those preferences should be saved.
So let's go ahead and return back to the Home link in the upper left-hand corner. And that gives you a quick walkthrough of the personal profile settings for Moodle 2.0.
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