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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've got ideas to what the HTML Editor is and its basic functions, let's go ahead and apply that knowledge by creating a new text document that is going to have a listing of all of the papers that we're going to have on reserve in the library and that we want our students to read for the first week of class. So to do this, let's go to the block for the first week, which is 26 January - 1 February, click the dropdown for Add a Resource and select Compose a web page. I'll type-in Required Readings and in the Summary section, which is going to appear in our list of resources that we saw earlier. Say Required readings for week 1 are on reserve in the Library. I'll go ahead and scroll down to our Compose a web page section.
Now if you're following along with the exercise files, you can go ahead and open up the week 1 references.txt file from the Chapter 3 exercise files folder. Go ahead and select all of the text that's in here and we'll copy it by pressing Command or Ctrl+C, and we can close our Text Editor and go ahead and paste that into the HTML blank by simply hitting Command or Ctrl+V. Let's go ahead and just look and see what we've got here. So we've scrolled all the way down to the bottom, we'll click the Save and Display button and we can see that all of the text that we just posted up here is available to our students and the students could actually see this. They have the information that they need and this could actually suffice.
But we want to make this better. We want to make it clear and easier to read. So we'll go in now and apply some formatting to this file. So in the upper right-hand corner click on the button that says Update this Resource and scroll back down in your Window until you get back to the Compose a web page section. Let's first start by creating a title or a heading for the content that's here. So click right in front of the first line of text, hit Enter or Return on your keyboard and then the Up Arrow to go back up to the top line and let's simply type-in Required Readings.
Let's go ahead and select that text and to apply a predefined Style to this text, click on the third dropdown menu, which has all of the styles that are built into HTML. The first style here Heading 1 is going to bold this text and make the font size larger. Now depending on a particular theme that is being applied to your version of Moodle, when we see this in the finished document, how it's going to appear may be slightly different, but that's all just dependent on the particular theme that is applied to your Moodle installation.
The next thing that we want to do is we want to provide some separation for each of these references, so that the author's name and the date all show up on one line and then the rest of the reference is not only showing up on the second line but it is block- indented so that it shows some separation. So to do that, simply click right in front of the word Nutrient in the first reference and hit Enter or Return, and you may be tempted to just go ahead and hit the Tab key and that would create a new tab over. But if we go up to the Increase indent tool and click on that, because all the rest of this text is all one continuous paragraph of text, even though it's separated on two lines here.
Moodle is going to block indent that code. So it's going to provide that nice separation. So let's go ahead and do that for the rest of the references. So for the Cook and D'elia reference right in front of the Are Natural Populations, Enter or Return and then click the Increase Indent. Then for Phil Dustan's paper, let's go ahead right in front of Distribution of Zooxanthellae, Enter or Return and then press the Block Indent. Scroll on down or let's do the P.W. Glynn article right in front of Coral reef bleaching, Enter or Return and Increase Indent. The Muscatine et al article, The effect of external nutrient, hit the Enter or Return and then Block Indent it.
And finally the Stimson Kinzie article. Let's go ahead right in front of The temporal pattern, Enter or Return and click the Increase Indent. Let's go ahead and scroll back up and things are starting to look a little bit better here. We're starting to see that nice separation of the articles and this certainly will look more like what you would expect the bibliography to be formatted like at the bottom of a paper. We also have some scientific names that are in the titles of some of these articles. Now scientific names should always be differentiated either by italicizing them or by underlining them. And since we're working on a webpage, and links are typically defined as having an underline underneath of them, and usually are called out in some other color of text, let's go ahead and differentiate the scientific names in this text by italicizing them.
So go ahead and simply select the name Acropora palmata or Acropora palmata and click the Italicize button up at the top. We'll go ahead and scroll down a little bit and we'll look for any other scientific names that we have in here. Here is Montastrea Annularis or Montastrea Annularis and italicize that name. We'll go ahead and scroll one down a little bit further and we see that Pocillopora damicomis in the Stimson article needs to be selected and italicized as well.
So that's looking much better, now we've got those all in here. Scroll back up to the top. And the last thing that we want to call out some attention to is it would be good to have a little bit of a separation between the title of the article and it's actual reference, the journal that it's in, the volume and page number. So let's go ahead and select the journal name, volume and page numbers and we'll go ahead and Bold all of those. And that will add another layer of separation. So the Cook and D'elia article, let's select Symbiosis and it's Bold.
We'll come down here to Phil Dustan and select the Bulletin of Marine Science, select that guy and we'll bold him. Moving down the Glynn article is in Coral Reefs. The Muscatine et al is in the Proceeding of Royal Society of London and bold that guy, and the last one, the Stimson and Kinzie article is in the journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. I'll select that guy and bold him.
Formatting text is very simply done by simply selecting the text that you're working with and applying the correct Style or button or the formatting that you have up in the top. You're probably already familiar with most of the rest of these buttons, so we're not going to go into all of them. But if we go now all the way down to the bottom and click the Save and Display button, you can see that the journal articles that we have here have been called out a little bit nicer now, the author's name and date are all on one line. The rest of the text is all indented properly and we have our scientific names, all italicized and our journal entries are all bolded.
So it gives us a nice clean separation that required readings where we gave it a Heading 1, you can see that the particular template that we are using inside of Moodle has put a large box around with a background color and kind of bolded the text so that it really stands out and shows as a clear heading. So all that's looking great, let's go and return back to our course BIOL432 in the upper left-hand corner. We can see that our web link is here for the students to be able to click on, where they can save Required Readings, they have a nicely formatted bibliography that not only conveys the information that we want to display to them, but it is also in the format that you're going to want your students to be putting their references in at the end of the documents that they're writing.
So it's a kind of reinforcement of what it is that you want them to do in their writing and you are modeling it here for them. So let's return one more time to our course.
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