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In this course, author Chris Mattia helps educators create online courses that complement classroom-based instruction and foster student interaction using the free learning management system Moodle. The course details the basics of setting up a test environment, disseminating course information, creating forums, and assessing student progress. Tutorials on building course materials with Moodle's built-in HTML editor, preparing and posting various types of media, uploading assignments, and evaluating tests automatically are also included.
Perhaps, the most common first thing that a teacher wants to do inside of the Moodle course is to post their course syllabi, and that's what we are going to do right now. The first thing you want to do is make sure that editing is turned on, so make sure you have hit the little button here in the upper right-hand corner, and then up here in the Header block, go ahead and click on the dropdown for Add a resource. And the first item here is File, so go ahead and select File and this will bring up the Add a file page inside of Moodle. We will give this file a name--in this case we are just going to type in "Syllabus"--and under the Description, we are going to go ahead and just type in "The course syllabus." Go ahead and scroll on down a little bit further and under the Content section, hit the button for Add.
This is going to take us to our standard File picker inside of Moodle, and we are on the Upload a file link, and we are going to come over here to the attachment, hit the Browse button, and inside of the Chapter 02, exercise files we have got a copy of the Syllabus.doc. If you have syllabi in a newer format, either a DOCX or a PDF file or any of those other formats, those will be just fine as well. We will go ahead and just select our syllabus and hit the Open button. And we have all the rest of information set up properly here.
We will just go ahead and hit the Upload this file button, and we can see the file is posted right here inside of Content area. Let's go ahead and scroll on down a little bit. In the Options section, the first option is Display > Automatic. When we click that dropdown menu there are a couple of choices available to us: Embed, Force download, Open, or In pop-up. I'd suggest we go ahead leave this to Automatic; the Moodle developers have done a great job of making this Automatic feature work very well, so when a user clicks on the link for your syllabus, depending on how their machine is set up, it will either open directly in the browser, or it will download that file directly onto their computer.
Now we don't need to display the resource name, but we are going to leave the Display resource description checked. Go ahead and scroll down a little bit further, and we've got the Common module settings. For Visibility, we want to go ahead and leave this set to Show. Your two options are Show and Hide, and if you were building content ahead of when your students were going to be looking at it and you don't want them to quite see it yet, but they're in your course and they are already working with the material, you can go in here and you can hide specific content and then come back into the Edit feature and show it back to them later.
In this case with the course syllabi we want to have that visible all the time, so we will leave that to show. We are going ignore the ID number for right now. Go ahead and click the Save and return to course, and there we go. We are taken back into our course, and if we scroll up just a little bit, we can see how this all looks together. We've got our header graphic, and we have our News forum here that we are going to go into in the future movie, and underneath that we have our syllabus. I'd like to have my syllabi be the very first item that's available to my students directly under the header graphic, but Moodle has gone ahead and it's put it down here below the News forum.
Well, it's very easy to do. If we look at this very first icon here, just to the right of the word Syllabus we have a little crosshairs arrow. We can click and drag that. We are going to drag it just up above the News forum and drop it in place, and now we've been able to reorder these items. To see what your students would see, we will just come on up here to the upper right and click the button for Turn editing off, and that's what your students would see when they come into your class. They get the nice header graphic here and a link to the syllabi, and they can click on that link to the syllabi and their browser is going to automatically try and download and open that file for them.
That's exactly what we want.
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