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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.
One of the things we want our students to do is participate in the Lynda University Research Symposium that's going to be held on May 8th. Each of the student groups is going to have to create a poster and present it and there is lots of places where the students will have opportunities to post electronic drafts of their poster directly into Moodle, but for the actual poster presentation, there is not something for us to really have the students hand into Moodle. But we do want to make note of it inside of our Moodle course, so there is an assignment type that's created exactly for that. So go ahead and go down to the week of May 4th through May 10th and select Add an activity and we're going to choose an Offline activity. Now for the Assignment name we're going to simply call it Poster Presentation and for the Description, let's say Students will present their poster at the Lynda University Research Symposium on May 8.
So we'll scroll on down a little bit and we can see from the course syllabi that this assignment is going to be worth 35 points. So we'll scroll on down until we find our 35 listed here and we'll select 35 and for Available from and Due date we'll check the box for Disable for both of these, so that the assignment appears all the time for our students. We don't need to worry about Preventing late submissions and we'll scroll on down a little bit more and Group mode, we'll set this to Separate Groups, because the assignment is being graded as a group. We'll leave Visibility set to Show because we want it to be available to our students all the time and the ID number can be left blank.
For Grade category, we'll go ahead and click that dropdown menu and the choices here have been populated from a previous movie when we set up our Grade Book and if we look at our syllabi, we can see that the Poster Symposium Presentation is going to be graded as part of the Group Evaluation. So we'll go ahead and select Group Evaluation and then simply click the button for Save and return to course. We now have the assignment has been added to our Moodle course. We'll go ahead and click on it to see what it looks like here and it just gives a simple set of instructions, Students will present their poster at the Lynda University Research Symposium on May 8th which is the description that we gave it.
We can come over here and we can see that currently No attempts have been made on this assignment and because of this type of assignment there won't be any attempts made on it. It'll just have a shell in our Grade Book and we'll show that in just a second as well. There is also the button up here in the upper right to Update this assignment and that would allow us to go in and make any edits or changes that we need to do the instructions for this assignment. Let's go and return back to our course and look and see what a student would see if they were attempting to complete this assignment. We'll come up here and click the dropdown menu for Switch role to and change it to Student and we come on down and click on Poster Presentation. There is just the instructions to let the students know of what's going on here in the course and there is nothing for them to actually do here because it is an Offline assignment. It's not something they are going to come into Moodle and actually complete.
But it's providing the information to the student to what they know that something is here and it's going to happen on this particular point in the course. So, let's go ahead and return back to the course by clicking on BIOL432. And we'll return to our Normal role in upper right and then click the button for Turn Editing on, so we're now back into our course. Let's go over to the Grade Book and look and see what setting up this assignment has done for us and we'll also see what setting up all the other assignments have done for us as well. So click on Grades in the Administration block and we can now see that under the Group Evaluation section, there is a place for us to post our final research paper, the Thesis Statement that we set up.
Here is the Poster Presentation, so that we'll be able to apply a grade to each of the students for their participation in the poster presentation. We also have listings for the project ideas and the week 2 personal contributions. So let's go ahead and return back to our course now by clicking on the BIOL432 and that wraps up how to create the various different assignment types that are available inside of Moodle. Again those assignment types are accessed under the Add an activity and they are simply an advanced uploading of files which allows students to upload multiple files, the online text, they are just able to enter in text into Moodle and not attach any files at all, upload a single file will just give them the ability to upload just one file and Offline activity gives a nice placeholder for an activity or an assignment that you are going to do that is not going to be an online graded assignment, but it will create the space inside your Grade Book for that assignment and put a reminder in for the particular week, so that students know what's coming up.
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