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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 install Moodle on Windows. We're already inside of our Firefox browser at moodle.org/downloads and we want to scroll down in the window until we find the Moodle for Windows listing and we'll go ahead and click on the link right there. Now when the page loads, you'll see some instructions at the top and then the Windows Moodle Distributions are right here at the top. The one that we want to download is the top listing and as of the recording of this video, we're going to be using Moodle 1.9.4+. Every week new builds are created and uploaded on to the Moodle site and we can go ahead and download the complete installation by simply clicking the Download link right here on the right-hand side.
We'll go ahead and click that one time and we'll see that Moodle is going to go ahead and save the file for us. Go ahead and click OK. Once the download completes, we can simply close the window and we can go and minimize our Firefox browser. Then if we click on the Start menu and then click on our name, it'll open up a Windows Explorer window for us and we can go ahead and click on the Downloads folder where it should have downloaded our file.
What we want to do then is we want to Right-Click on the MoodleWindowsInstaller and select Extract All. We are then going to need to tell the location is to where we want to do our installation. So I'll go ahead and click the Browse button and then click on Computer and C drive. Then we want to make a new folder here and we want to call this new folder moodle19. It's important to put the moodle19 especially if you're doing this installation on Windows Vista.
There are few things inside the installer that will run a lot more smoothly if we name the folder, moodle19. Go ahead and then click the OK button and you should see in the Files will be extracted link, C:\moodle19. When you see that in there, go ahead and click the Extract button and windows will take over unzipping the downloaded installation from Moodle and put it into this folder for us.
Once Windows finishes extracting the files, it should have a new window that should open directly to the moodle19 folder that we just created. Now there is a README file and if you're installing Moodle on XP then you may want to have a look at the README file. However, if you're using Vista then there is a couple of modifications to the instructions that are provided inside the README file. We're going to step through those right now. If you're using XP, you can follow along with these instructions, it will work; it's just a couple of extra steps.
So the first thing you want to do is you want to go ahead and click the Start Moodle link. Just go ahead and double click that and a script will go ahead and run and it'll start up the Moodle server. Now what it's actually doing in the background is it starting an instance of Apache web server, PHP and MySQL. Once it finishes and your screen comes back to this, let me go ahead and click back on your Explorer window and double click the Stop Moodle icon. Do not attempt to go in and start running Moodle right away. You want to make sure you start Moodle up and then stop it. Then press any key to continue.
I'm going to go ahead and press the Spacebar. Then we'll go ahead and double click the Start Moodle icon a second time. This time when the screen comes back up to here, we'll go ahead and minimize this window and we'll go back to our web browser. Now we're going to go to the URL of 127. 0.0.1. And if you read that README file that I pointed out earlier, it's going to tell you to go to local host. Do not do that. Go to 127.0.0.1. Then go ahead and scroll down in the window and click the Next button. The Moodle installation process is now beginning and it's run some test to make sure PHP is running and a bunch of other systems are up and going and ready to go. Everything should show in green saying Pass.
Then click the Next button. Now here, if you read the README file, you would see the web address here should say local host. Don't change it; go ahead and leave it set for right now to 127.0.0.1. We'll go ahead and change this later, but for right now, leave it set exactly like this. Your Moodle directory should be grade out, but it should say C:\ moodle19\server\moodle. Then for your data directory, it should auto be filled in for you again and it should say C:\moodle19\server/moodledata.
Now we'll go ahead and click the Next button. Here it's asking, let's forward the database that we are going to be connecting to and the database type is MySQL. It's part of the initial installation file that we downloaded. The database can be left to be called moodle, the User should be root and we can go ahead and leave the Password blank. Because we're only setting up a test environment on your local system, this is going to be fine for us to go ahead and leave this blank. If you are putting this Moodle system in production, you would definitely want to make sure that you set up a custom password and you do a lot more customization. But since we're just creating a test server, leaving the Password blank is fine.
We can also go ahead and leave the Tables prefix set to mdl_. Go ahead and click the Next button and you should see a bunch of server checks run and on the right-hand side column, for the Status, everything should be listed as OK. So go ahead and scroll down to the bottom and then click the Next button. It's telling us that we have downloaded the language package. We can go ahead and continue using the English language package. So we'll go ahead and click the Next button. Moodle now knows everything it needs to do to set up the config.php file.
Now Moodle is not completely done. We'll go ahead and click Continue. Now it's going to ask us to agree to the User License Agreement or the ULA. We'll go ahead and click the Yes button because we agree to that and now we are at the last place where we have to click on something. We'll go ahead and check the box for Unattended operation. What this is going to do is at the end of each screen, Moodle is going to automatically; as soon as it finishes running a series of processes, it'll go ahead and auto go to the next step on the installation process for us.
Otherwise we would have to scroll to the bottom of each page and click the Next button. But we'll go ahead and check Unattended operation and click Continue. Now Moodle takes over. It's going to go ahead and it's going to set up our database for us, it's going to set up a bunch of HTML pages, and all kinds of different modules and different settings for us. So we'll just go ahead and sit back and just watch these processes run. The last thing we need to do is part of doing the initial installation is to go ahead and set up our administrator account. It's filled in a Username of admin for us already and we'll go ahead and leave that set.
Then for the Password for admin, for the purposes of this training video, we're going to go ahead and use 12345. To make sure that you type that correctly check the box here for Unmask and when you do that, it's going to show you the password that you just typed in. So there you can see the password I typed in, 12345. We can then set up the First name and Surname, Admin and User are just fine. For Email address, you can feel free to put your own email address or you can simply put in firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is a bogus email address; it doesn't actually go to anywhere but we're going to go ahead and use it for the purposes of this training. We can skip on down to the City/town. Go ahead and enter in a City/town for yourself. I'm going to go ahead and enter in Ventura. For a Country, I'm going to begin typing United States. It's going to jump down on the list to the United Arab Emirates and I'll scroll down until I find United States. Now we can go ahead and scroll all the way to the bottom and click the Update profile button. Moodle then takes care of setting up that initial administrator account and now we need to set the settings for our overall site.
So we'll simply come up to the first blank here for a Full site name and we'll type in Lynda University. For our Short name, I'll just go ahead and type in lyndaU. For the Front Page Description, here we'll go ahead and simply just type in Welcome to Lynda University! We can go ahead and scroll on down, these settings are just going to appear on the front page and it's not really important for us to go ahead and set these up. If we were setting up this server in a production environment, we would make sure that the settings were all targeted specifically to our institution.
So the last thing here is Self registration. We'll go ahead and leave that set to Disabled and click the Save Changes button. Moodle then does the last configuration set up that need to happen in order to have to a fully functional Moodle installation. Now the very last thing that we want to do before we go ahead and move on to creating all the rest of our users is for the rest of this training, we're going to be using a particular theme or a particular layout, so to make it so that your screen matches mine as closely as possible throughout the training.
Let's go ahead on the left-hand side inside of this Administration block and come on down until you find the link for Appearance. Go ahead and click on the link for Appearance and then click on the link for Themes underneath of that. You want to then click on the link for Theme Selector, and you'll see that the right-hand side then refreshes with a whole bunch of built-in themes or user interfaces that Moodle has available to it. You can go ahead and choose any one that you want but if you want to follow along with me and have your screen look just like mine during these training videos, go ahead and scroll down until you find formal_white. formal_white is the layout that I'm going to be using throughout the training. And we can go ahead and click the Choose button right here on the right-hand side next to formal_white.
It's going to preview the theme for us so that we can see what it's going to look like and we click the Continue button at the bottom so that we fully activate the theme. So go ahead and click Continue. Your screen then refreshes back here to the overall Moodle installation. Now a couple of quick notes. Now that we have our Moodle installation completely up and running and tweaked, let's go ahead and take care of the URL issue. The URL that we have to our Moodle server right now is 127.0.0.1 and it would be nice if we had that simply set to local host. So we'll go ahead and close our web browser, go ahead and close all of these other instances, here we'll go ahead and close this guy here, so that we are right back to our moodle19 folder that's at the root of our C drive. Go ahead and stop the Moodle server by double clicking the Stop Moodle button and when you get the note telling you to press any key, go ahead and hit any key one time; I'm going to go ahead and press the Spacebar.
Then we need to go inside of the server folder and then go inside of the folder called moodle. Now scroll down until you get to the listing where all the documents are, and the file you are looking for is this one right here. It's called config and if you have your file extension showing, it's going to say config.php. Go ahead and Right-Click on that file and choose Edit with Notepad. The file is going to open up and line 13 should have a URL associated with it.
It's going to be the www.root location that you're going to type into your browser in order to get your Moodle server to work. We want to go and select where it says 127.0.0.1. Make sure you don't select trailing apostrophe and simply type in local host. That's all the edits that we need to do to make Moodle really work now and so you can follow along with the rest of the training. We'll go ahead and click the Save button at the top and close that window. Now we can go ahead and go back to the moodle19 folder and Double-Click the Start Moodle icon. So Double-Click that and Moodle should start up. Now again, when you double click this file what it's really doing is it's starting up the Apache web server and an instance of the MySQL database; all that is completely configured for you as part of just the download and unzip process that we went through.
So your MySQL and your Apache are running. Anytime you need to start up Moodle you want to simply just go to this moodle19 folder and double click that Start Moodle. Then go over to your Start menu and launch your Internet browser and you want to make sure that you are always using Mozilla Firefox. We'll go ahead and open the browser up and we'll type in the URL location, simply localhost, and hit Return. And there we go; we are taken right back to our Moodle installation.
Now you want to login as the administrator account that we have already created. So we can go up here to the upper right-hand corner, there is the Login link, it's right there. We'll go ahead and click on that guy. It asks us for our password for the Username of admin and the Password we created was 12345. We'll click the Login button and there you go. We are all set to continue setting up our Moodle server now with the course and users that we're going to need throughout the rest of this training.
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