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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.
A great feature of the built-in calendar inside of Moodle is the ability to export its calendar information into the open standard iCal format. Any calendar program that you use on your desktop system that will work with the open iCal format can then import this calendar directly into your desktop calendar program. In this movie, we're going to show you how to do this on the Mac. In the next movie, we'll show you how to do this in Windows. So if you're following along with the Mac, simply scroll to the bottom of your calendar page and click on the button for Export Calendar. Now, we can set up the parameters as to how we want our calendar to be exported.
We can choose to have all events or only events related to this course. We'll go ahead and set this to All Events. Then we can set the duration that we want to have our events for. Let's go ahead and select Recent and next 60 days. We can then choose to either get a calendar URL or export the overall calendar. We'll do both. Let's start with exporting the calendar. Simply click on Export and then you want to save the file down to your desktop. So click the Save File button and click OK. We'll go ahead and minimize Firefox.
Then on our desktop, we should have a file called icalexport.ics. If we simply double-click that file, it should open up our iCal calendar program that's built into Mac OS X. We can then choose which calendar we want to import these events into. By clicking the dropdown menu, we can select New Calendar, and then click OK. A new calendar is created for us and all of the events that we've created inside of our Moodle calendar have been added to our local iCal calendar. Note that all of these events are localized events. So that if an event changes up on our Moodle calendar, that event is not going to be updated inside of our iCal calendar.
However, there is a way to do this. Let's go ahead and uncheck the box next to iCal Export. This will turn off or hide away the existing calendar that we've just imported. Let's return back to our web browser and this time, click on the button for Get calendar URL. Now, we get a pop-up that has the URL of our iCal calendar that's going to be dynamically pushed out of Moodle and will pull directly into iCal.
Select the complete URL inside of this listing and then copy it with Command+C. Next, minimize your Firefox browser, go back over to iCal, and go up to the Calendar menu. Select the top option for Subscribe. Then simply press Command+V to paste the full URL that we copied out of Moodle. Click the Subscribe button, and you're given the ability to name your calendar.
We'll type in the name of Coral Reef Ecology. We can select the color that we want our calendar to appear in. In this case, we'll leave it set to Orange. You can give the calendar a description. Then you can choose how you want the calendar to react. You can select to refresh everyday, every hour or on various other time limits. We'll go ahead and tell it to refresh every 5 minutes, and then click OK. Now, our calendar is set up inside of our iCal calendar, and if an event changes on our Moodle system, that event is going to update automatically inside of our iCal calendar on our local machine.
This is a great way to keep your students informed of the various different happenings inside of your class and have it show up in their localized calendar application that they're using. Let's go ahead and return back to our course inside of Moodle and return back to the main calendar page by clicking on the link for calendar.
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