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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 one of the most helpful types of resources you can add into your course is the label. Now we've seen labels already previously in the course when we added these, where we added these subheadings, like LECTURE MATERIALS and we added this map onto here. Basically, what a label does, it allows you to display content directly in your Moodle course on the front page without having to have the students click into that resource to go and explore more information; it allows you to present it right there on the front page. Now, in this video I'm going to show you how to use a label to display a custom Google map directly on the front page of your course.
As part of this course, our students are going to be traveling to Belize during their spring break, and they're going to need to know about the barrier reef system and about the atolls that are off the coast of Belize, so let's go ahead and create a custom map where they can display that information. To begin with, go ahead and scroll down to the bottom of Week 1 and click the dropdown menu for Add a resource. Here we'll go ahead and select Label from the dropdown menu. The Label resource is very simple. There's a space for you to add the label text or any label content that you want displayed on the front page and then one simple item for Visible, and that allows you to show or hide that item.
It's a pretty simple type of resource. So in this case, let's go ahead and type right into the Label text area "Map of the Barrier Reef and Atolls of Belize." Go ahead and select that text. We'll give it a designation of Heading 2 to make it standout a little bit more, and then we'll also go ahead and color the text. In this case hit the dropdown menu for Color and under More colors, go ahead and type in the color of #990000.
This is the same red color that we've been using for a lot of our subheadings. Go ahead and hit apply and we can see that that color has been applied. At the end of the line, click your mouse and then hit Return one time. This will bring the mouse cursor down to the next line. Now to add the Google map, we're going to need to do a trick of going into the HTML view, so hit the button for Edit HTML Source. This will bring up the standard HTML Editor for this particular source file, and what we're going to do is we're going to paste in some code that we're going to go and get from Google Maps.
Now let's go ahead and get that code. So in your browser, go ahead and press Command+T, or Ctrl+T, to open a new tab and point the URL to maps.google.com. This should bring up the basic Google Maps page within your browser. We're going to navigate in this down to Belize. It should be down here just underneath of the Yucatan Peninsula in Central America. Go ahead and double-click a few times to zoom your map down until you're able to see the barrier reef system here in Belize.
Let's go ahead and zoom out just a little bit, a few more clicks. We want to see this barrier reef system and these different atolls that are out here. Next we want to get the code that will allow us to embed this map into our page. So if you come up to the upper right-hand side of the map, you'll see a variety of different icons up here. And one of them shows a Link icon and if you hover your mouse over top of it, it should say Link. Go ahead and click on that item and a dropdown menu should appear, where it has you can paste in an email or an IM, you can paste HTML into a web site, but then there's this other link down at the bottom that says Customize and preview the embedded map.
Go ahead and click on that link, and now we have a custom map that we can drag around and we can adjust to fine-tune it to be just the way that we want it. Now this map is looking a little bit large. Let's go ahead and check the small size and see how that looks. All right! That's looking a little bit better. We just want to adjust the map so that it's showing just the information we want. We should be able to see from Belize City down to Dangriga. We should be able to see this Barrier Reef System that's just off the coast. We can look at the Map view if we wanted to, all right.
Now we know those are the islands that we're looking for. So we can go back to the Satellite view, make sure that's all set. And now if we scroll down in this page, at the bottom there is some text that allows us to copy and paste this text directly into our Moodle page. So go ahead and select all the text inside of the box. Make sure you drag down and get all the way down to the very bottom of where that map code is being displayed. Then press Command+C, or Ctrl+C, on your keyboard to copy that text to your clipboard. You can go ahead and minimize this Google Maps window, and let's go back to the Editing Label tab in Moodle.
We should be back where our HTML Source Editor is located. You want to make sure that your cursor is at the very end of the line of text and then simply press Command+V, or Ctrl+V, on your keyboard to paste in all of that code. Come down to the bottom and click the Update button. Now when your page refreshes, you should be able to scroll down and see that map that's displayed right here inside of the Label text area. Go ahead and click the Save and return to course button and your page should refresh and take you right back down to Week 1.
Now we want to move that item up here into the LECTURE MATERIALS section, so we'll simply scroll down to the very bottom. Here's our map. It's all ready to go. Underneath of the map you can see there is a small Move icon, so grab the Move icon and just drag up in the page, and you want to make sure that you get it so that the gray line appears just underneath of the map and just above REQUIRED READINGS. Go ahead and drop that item in place, scroll down a little bit more, and let's go ahead and use the Move Right button to go ahead and move that map and snap it into alignment with all of the other items.
Now to see how this looks to the students, go ahead and scroll all the way back up at the top and turn editing off. Now when we scroll down in our page, our students not only get to see a map that shows where the coral reefs are located around the world, but as they scroll down a little bit more, they can see the map of the Belize barrier reef system and the atolls of Belize. They can even click and drag around inside of this map. They can use the Map tool to look at other different views of it. They can look at the Terrain view. They can look at the Google Earth plug-in. If they have Google Earth already plugged into their browser, they can access that directly through here, or they can simply go back to the Satellite view and see all the information that's in there.
Labels are an incredibly useful tool for displaying information directly inside of your Moodle page. Anything that you can do in HTML is pretty much fair game for you to be able to add content and enrich your course page with lots of different materials and media.
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