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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.
As a teacher, you store a lot of your files currently on your own computer, whether it be a laptop or desktop computer, and the typical workflow is that you'll take those files on your computer and you'll upload them directly into Moodle, either into your Private files section or directly into your Moodle course. In recent years the web has matured so now you may no longer store all of your local files on your own computer. You may use various different cloud services such as Dropbox, Google Docs, Flickr, or YouTube to store a lot of the files that you normally would have on your computer.
Wouldn't it be great if you could take all of those files that you've got out there in the cloud and push them directly into Moodle, whether it be into your My private files section or straight into your Moodle course itself? Well, in order to do this you need to help of your Moodle administrator. Your Moodle administrator needs to go into the site administration section of Moodle and then go in and manage this new concept called repositories that's included in Moodle 2. Repositories allow you to get access directly to many different cloud services, such as Dropbox.
What the Moodle administrator needs to do is go into the manage repository section and check a box saying yes, my users should be able to use their Dropbox accounts to post files directly in Moodle, and in order to do that the administrator then has to go out to that service's web site--in this case www.dropbox.com--and find that service's API and get the API key that will allow the local Moodle site to be able to use this cloud site's services.
They'll take that API key and then load it back into the Moodle administration section. Then once this is done the teacher can then go into their Moodle course and when they go to add some content into their course and they bring up the standard File picker a new item appears in the left-hand column for the repository that has been enabled, in this case Dropbox where the user can then click on the link and it'll ask them to log in to their Dropbox account, giving them access to their files that they can load directly then into their Moodle course.
For the remainder of this chapter we're going to step through a series of movies to configure several different repositories. The first movie of each pair will always be using the role of the Moodle administrator, and we're going to show you how to turn on a particular repository, then go out to that web site and access the API key and load it into the Moodle administration section. Once this is done, we'll then spend the next movie logged back in as the teacher and access some files that we've posted onto that cloud service and add some files then directly into our Moodle course.
So for each of the following movies you'll need to log in to the first movie as the administrator and the second movie as your teacher account. Let's get started by setting up a Dropbox repository.
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