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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 very common thing that a lot of faculty want to do is to use their local spreadsheet to work with their Grade Book and then upload their grades back into Moodle. To accomplish this, we already have an assignment that's been created for us in a previous movie, Student-led Discussions. Now, let's go ahead and export our Grade Book so that we can then open it up in a localized spreadsheet. To do this, simply go up to the dropdown menu in the upper left hand corner and from the Export To, select the type of spreadsheet that you are using.
In our case, we are going to use an Excel spreadsheet and use a current copy of Microsoft Excel. Simply select the option and then we need to select the different parameters that we want to use. We can choose if we want to include feedback in this export. The feedback would be any of the comments that we have added as an instructor back to our students associated with each grade. We are going to go ahead and leave this unchecked for right now. Next, it asks us for the number of Preview rows. This is in the next step. Moodle is going to show us what it's going to export and 10 rows will give us plenty of information to know that we have got the correct data selected for our export.
The next option Grade Export Display Type will allow us to select Real, which will be the actual numbers that are going to be exported. Percentage, which will be calculated based on each grade or a letter grade as it will be assigned for each item. We are going to go ahead and leave this set to Real. Next, we can select the number of decimal places that we want each grade calculated to during the export. We'll go ahead and leave this set to 2 for now. The next block of content allows us to select the specific grade items that we want to include. By default, all of the grade items are selected. So if we want to, we could simply click the Submit button and every single grade that we have in our Grade Book currently, would be exported into an Excel spreadsheet. This would allow us to go in and conduct additional manipulations of all of the data that we have collected thus far.
However, for this exercise, we only want the Student-led Discussion data. To speed along the process, at the bottom of the list, there is an option for Select all/none. If you click on the right hand side of that link for None, all of the checkboxes disappear. We can then go up and simply click on the Student-led Discussion data column and then hit the Submit button. We then get a preview of all of the data that's going to be selected. By default, it's going to kick out the student's First name, their Surname. If your institution is using an ID Number or an Institution Department, it will kick those data out as well. It will also export out the email address and the data that we have asked for, which is the Student-led Discussion. All of these data are going to be important when we go back and we re-import our edited spreadsheet back into Moodle.
To download the data, simply click on the button that says Download near the top of the screen. Our spreadsheet will then be downloaded to our local computer. We'll click OK. We'll go ahead and minimize our web browser, so we can get back down to our Desktop. Here, our file has been downloaded as BIOL432_Grades.xls. We'll go ahead and double-click on that file to open it in Microsoft Excel. As I expand out the window, we can see all of the data that has been exported for us. The column for Student-led Discussion is ready for us to begin editing the file.
To do this, simply select the first entry and we'll assign a grade of 50 points for each student. We'll type in the value of 50, hit Enter or Return, and continue typing in that value for the remaining cells. Now, we have all of the data in our localized spreadsheet, the next step is to export these data, and then import them back into Moodle.
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