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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.
Let's go ahead and now subscribe to our calendar inside of Moodle with our Local Calendar program. In this case, we're going to go ahead and use our Outlook Mail program. We've already got it up in running here you can see and we currently do not have any calendars or any calendar items listed inside of our calendar. So we'll go ahead and jump back into our web browser and we're inside of the Calendar Link, inside of our course and we'll scroll all the way to the bottom of our page. There is a link here for Export Calendar and you can see the format is iCal. Now, iCal is an open standard format that's out on the Internet. So we'll go ahead and click the link for Export calendar. Our page is going to refresh.
Now, we have a couple of options available to us as to how we want to export our calendar. For this export, we'll go ahead and make sure we're set to all events, and we'll say Recent and the next 60 days because we want all the current information throughout as much of the semester as we can get. Now, there is two ways we can go about subscribing to our calendar. Now, I'll go ahead and show you both ways. The first way is to simply click the Export button. When we click the Export button, Windows is going to attempt to download a file called icalexport.ics and it should default to trying to open with your default calendar program.
Now, if you're not using Microsoft Outlook, there are a variety of other calendar programs that support the ICS format. Just go ahead and check with your local calendar program and see if it supports the ICS format. Most of them do. So we'll go ahead and make sure we set the Open With set to Microsoft Outlook and we'll simply click the OK button. The calendar will then get download and you can see it listed here in our other calendars and it's listed as iCal Export. We can then see the different events for the week that are being pushed directly into our calendar. So our calendar updates with all the information that we've entered into our online calendar.
This is a great way for you to get the information that you've got in your calendar for your course directly out to your students, so that they can use it inside of whatever local program they're using to manage their calendars. The one disadvantage to using the Export button is that you're just getting a snapshot of the information that's in your Moodle calendar. Now, if we go and when we make a change to the Moodle calendar, your Outlook calendar will not update if you use this method. But if you've already set up all your calendar events for the entire semester, this is a nice way to get that information out to your students.
Let's go ahead and right-click on our dropdown here for Other Calendars and we'll choose to delete the iCal Export. We'll go ahead and say Yes, and we're back to not having anything inside of our calendar. Next, we'll come back over to Moodle, and we'll go ahead and select the button for Get calendar URL. When we click on that, a little frame is going to pop-up here for us and there's going to be a complete URL here. Let's go ahead and select that URL, and we'll go ahead and copy it with Ctrl+C on our keyboard. Then we'll jump back over to our Outlook program or whatever calendaring program that you're using.
Next, we're going to want to go to the Tools menu, and come down to Account Settings. Once we select Account Settings, you want to come over to the Internet Calendars tab, and click the New button. It's going to ask us for the URL of where our calendar is currently located. We'll go ahead and paste with Ctrl+V that URL that we just copied inside of Moodle. Now, when we click Add, we should get a pop-up that's going to ask us some general information about what we want to call this calendar. We'll change the name from Export Execute to BIOL432.
We can give a description if we'd like inside of here. We can also choose whether or not we want to download any attachments for this internet calendar, and we can choose how we want to update, whether we want the calendar to be updated every time we hit Send and Receive or not. We'll go ahead and leave that box checked, and we'll click OK. We should now see a listing for our Internet calendars for BIOL432. We'll go ahead and click the Close button. Now, it doesn't appear that anything has changed. We'll go ahead and click the Other Calendars, and it will reveal that there is a calendar listed here now called BIOL432.
When we check the box next to it, your Outlook program is going to go out to your Moodle server and it's going to get all the calendar events that have been created inside of Moodle, and is going to put them directly inside of your local Outlook calendar. The great advantage to using the internet calendar link as opposed to the export and download the ICS file is that as changes are made now to your Moodle calendar, those changes will automatically be updated inside of your local calendar for Outlook.
So this is a great way to keep your students up-to-date and informed about all the goings-on inside of your course. Here you can see that we do have the live chat session with Dr. Hatch that we've set up earlier. All of our times for our courses are all set up properly as well. So everything appears to be working. We'll go ahead and close our Outlook program, and we'll return back to the main calendar page by clicking on the link for calendar.
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