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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.
To follow along with this course, you're going to need a copy of Moodle installed on a web server. Now you can do this in one of two ways. You can either follow along with this chapter and we'll step you through the process of downloading and installing a copy of the Moodle server on your Mac or on your PC and show you how to configure it and get it all set up and running. Or if you're at an institution that's already using Moodle, you can go ahead and contact your IT department or whichever department is managing your Moodle server.
Ask them to create a test course for you so that you'll be able to follow along with this training title. Now you should note that throughout this course, we're going to be using a very specific theme or user interface that comes with the default Moodle installation. If you use the installation of Moodle from your institution, more than likely you'll be working within a different theme and your user interface is going to look slightly different from what you see in these training videos. Don't worry though. We're going to show you how to go ahead and understand how each of the different functions inside of Moodle works so that you're going to be comfortable using whatever theme is presented to you.
The first thing that you're going to want to do is you are going to want to open a copy of Firefox. Now if you don't have Firefox, go ahead and go to getfirefox.com and download a copy of Firefox for your operating system. It's important to use Firefox instead of using Internet Explorer or Safari or any other different web browser. Moodle is going to react differently with the different web browsers and Firefox seems to work the best. So once you've got Firefox downloaded and installed on your system, go ahead and point Firefox to moodle.org. When you get to moodle.org, look for the Downloads link. It's often times over here in the lower-right hand corner but if they update their site, it could be in a slightly location.
Go ahead and click on Downloads and you're going to need to get a copy of the Moodle installation for your operating system. If I scroll down just a little bit, you can see that there's a Moodle for Mac OS X and a Moodle for Windows. For the next two movies, we're going to step through the process of installing Moodle for Mac OS X and Moodle for Windows. Go ahead and just watch the movie that's appropriate to your operating system. Next, at the end of each of these movies, we'll go ahead and customize the default installation for Mac or Windows so that it would appear as if we were installing the Standard Moodle packages that you see above.
We're not going to install the Standard Moodle packages because those are meant to be used in a production environment where you are installing on an actual server. Because we're installing just a test environment, we want to make that test environment look as close to a real production server as possible. So go ahead and watch the movie appropriate for your operating system and then continue on with the rest of the course.
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