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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.
The most common type of resource that you'll be adding to your Moodle course is the file type. Now a file is simply any outside document that you want to add into your Moodle course and display to your students. This can take many different forms. It can be a Word document, a PDF document. It can be an Excel spreadsheet full of data. It can be an image file, audio file. Any kind of a document that you have on your machine that you want to distribute out to your students can be included in this resource type. For this example, let's go ahead and add a PDF file that shows our students what we're expecting the final presentation of their project to look like.
We'll go ahead and add it into the Assignments section of Week 1. To begin, make sure you have editing turned on. Then scroll down to the bottom of the Week 1 block and click the dropdown menu for Add a resource. The first item in Add a resource is almost always File, because it's the most commonly used. Go ahead and click on File and the Add a file page appears. You must enter in any items that are listed out in red with the asterisk. So in this case we will add a name for Sample Final Presentation.
I always like to go ahead and put a space dash space and give the students some indication as to what type of file this is. Since we are going to be adding a PDF file, I'll go ahead and type in PDF. Now this is not absolutely necessary, because as soon as the file is posted inside of your Moodle course, the icon for this document should appear as a PDF icon. However, it's just one more nice thing that doesn't take very long to add, and it really helps your students to be able to identify the exact type of document that they're going to be opening.
Okay, in the Description field, this field here is just the place for you to add some additional information about this file. And depending on how you have the file linked, it may or may not display with the file, or it may just be metadata that's associated with this file for searching in a few other locations within the Moodle course. So for the Description of this file, we'll go ahead and simply add in "A sample final presentation document for you to use as a guide in building your project." Go ahead and scroll down to the next section in this page, which is Content.
Here you're able to add the files that you want to attach. You can also create folders to keep additional files organized. In this case, we are just going to add a single file. So click the Add button and this will bring up your standard File picker that we've been using throughout the title so far. Go ahead and click into the Private files section and then go into your BIOL432 folder. Here we have all of the different documents that we've been working with so far, but we don't have the document that we are looking for right now. So go ahead and hit the Upload a file.
And then if you're following along with the exercise files, hit the Browse button, navigate to your Desktop, and go into the Chapter 06 exercise files and grab the file called Sample Presentation.pdf. Select the file and click Open. Any other file will work as well. Go ahead and click the Upload file button and the file gets uploaded into your course, and it appears right here inside of the Content section. We can see that the file has been correctly identified as a PDF file because the icon is showing out here on the left-hand side.
You'll notice that there's a dropdown menu at the right-hand side that allows you to control this document. You can download it to look at a copy to make sure this is the exact file that you're looking for. If you have multiple files, you can set a particular document as the main file type. You can rename it, you can move it to another location, or you can delete this one altogether, and you can add another file. Go ahead and click off of that dropdown menu, scroll down a little bit further. And in case you don't have it open, click the Show advanced button and you can see the other options that you have available to you inside this window.
The first item, Display, should almost always be left on Automatic. You do have some other choices here. What this option will do is when one of your students clicks on the file out in the main part of your course, this Display option will allow you to control your student's experience. If the document that you're presenting is one that could be embedded within a page, you can embed that file right here. If you want force the students to download the file, because in this case we have a PDF file that we want them to always be able to access and open, we may want to go ahead and force that to download.
That way anytime a student would click on this file, it wouldn't open in their browser; it would attempt to just download straight to their computer so they have a copy of it. You can also have the option to simply open the file. Now in this case, because this is a PDF file, many web browsers will go ahead and display that PDF file right inside of their browser window. So if you select the Open option, you should be able to control the students' experience so that PDF file just displays right there for the student. You can also choose In pop-up. Now if you choose In pop-up, what will happen here is when the student clicks on the link, a new browser window will pop open over the top of their main browser window, and these will be the parameters of that new browser window.
So you can even control the pop-up width and height right here. So for a PDF file, maybe 620x40 is a little small, so maybe we could change that to 1024x768, and that would be a more appropriately sized window to display this content in. I am going to go ahead and leave my Display set to automatic, so Moodle will go ahead and detect the user's browser and figure out what is the best option for that particular user. You can choose whether or not you want to display the resource name if you're having the page open in a separate page, or you can also choose to display the resource description.
Now the resource description is this field right here, and the name is up here. So go ahead and scroll back down. I am going to go ahead and leave mine set to resource description. And because this is just a simple PDF file, I am not going to worry about any filters or content. If I was posting a media file that I wanted to have displayed, I could select either HTML files only or All files, and I could control how I wanted the Moodle filters to be able to interact with that file. I am going to leave mine set to None though. The last section down here is Common module settings.
Now the first setting here is Show or Hide. Let's say you're building the materials for your course and you're working ahead of the students and you have some material that you don't want quite release to the students yet, but you want to make sure that it's already prepped and it's up on your site. When you create the asset, you can change the Visible setting to Hide. You will see the file as the instructor, but your students will not have access to it. At anytime in the future you could come back into this page and you could change the visibility to change from Hide to Show and that file would instantly be available to your students.
I am going to go ahead and make this file available to my students. I am going to leave the option set to Show. The last option down here, ID number. If you're planning on having this file or this document included in some way throughout your Gradebook, you may want to go ahead and add in an ID number so that the item can be identified within the Gradebook. We are not going to worry about that right now, so we are going to go ahead and leave this item blank. Okay, everything looks correct, so I am going to simply hit the Save and return course button to finish off posting this file. Moodle should then automatically return me back to the week that I was just working in.
Now the file has been added to the bottom of the block, so I will go ahead and scroll down to the bottom, and here it is, Sample Final Presentation - PDF. So now I know this is a PDF file, and I can also see that here because the icon for the file is showing me the Acrobat icon. Now it's already in the Assignments section where I would like it to appear, but it's not quite tabbed over yet. It's not aligned with the other object. So just come on over here and click on the Move Right button, and that'll move this link so that it just tabs in just a little bit so it lines right there with the other assignment.
Okay, that's all you need to do. If you wanted to have your Sample Final Presentation to appear above Research Project Ideas, you could just grab the Mover tool and drag it up one just a little bit, and that file will then appear on top of the Research Project Ideas. That's all there is to posting a file inside of your Moodle course. This is going to be probably the most used resource type that you're going to have within your course, so you should get very familiar with this particular resource type.
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