Before creating a course on the Moodle learning management system, it is important to understand the look and layout of the platform and how to efficiently navigate it. It is important to become familiarized with the navigation and administration blocks in order to take advantage of Moodle's many features.
- In this course, I'll use the learning management system, Moodle 3.0, to create a fictitious course titled "21st Century Communication" for Orange Valley University. Although we'll start from scratch and build the course up step-by-step, I want to start out by showing you how to navigate a Moodle course. In order to do this, I'll show you what our course will look like once we've customized many of the settings and added some resources and activities. Right now, I'm on the course page for my "21st Century Communication" course. In the upper right, I have access to my profile and settings.
I can also access grades and messages from here. On the main course page, I have blocks on the left and right side, which will help add functionality to the course. There are a wide variety of different blocks that you'll be able to add in order to customize your course layout and functionality. If I look here, I can see the Upcoming Events block. I have Latest News, Online Users, and a Calendar, and there are a ton of different blocks that we can add. An example of one of the blocks is this Latest News block in the upper right, which notifies students of any news or notifications that I post.
In the center is where our course is broken up into sections. I have my course divided up into different topics that we'll be covering during the year. At the top is my introduction, and below this, I have my different sections: "Communication Fundamentals," "Crafting a Message," "The Communication Medium," and so on. Within each section, you can see that we've added resources, including pages, files, assignments, and quizzes. Let's take a look at some of these resources. Here's a PDF that's been added, and it opens up right in a pop-up on the Moodle platform for students to view.
Close that out. Up here, I've embedded a video, which students can also watch on the platform. Here is an article that I shared with students, which, again, is brought up inside of a pop-up on the Moodle platform. And there are many more. If at any point we want to make changes to the course, we first need to turn editing on. In the top right corner, there will be a button titled "Turn editing on." This also appears in the Administration block on the left-hand side. On the left-hand side, I have two very important blocks: The Navigation block at the top is the one that will help us move around our course.
Here, as you can see, we can navigate to different areas within our course, we can navigate within sections, and even access resources from here. I can also navigate the course using the breadcrumb paths, which are available on most pages. Below the Navigation block is the Administration block. The Administration block will really help us to create and manage our course. In the Administration block, I can turn editing on, I can also edit the settings of our course, I can enroll users, add them to groups, or change their permissions.
I can view reports or grades, and a wide variety of other things. Another neat thing is that you can switch roles at any time within the Moodle platform, if your administrator has this function turned on. Here, I'm going to click on "Switch role to," and I'll click on "Student," and this allows me to view the course from the eyes of a student. Now, here it doesn't change much, but in some situations, it will. So it's a great feature to be able to quickly switch and look at it from another perspective. When I'm done, I'll click on "Return to my normal role." While in Moodle, take advantage of their in-line help, which is represented by the question mark with a circle around it.
If you click on these, they'll give you descriptions and tips on how to use different features within Moodle. Moodle has a ton of settings for almost everything, which is good, because it allows you to customize your course. One very important thing to mention, and something I'll mention throughout this course, is that your Moodle platform may look slightly different than mine. The Moodle platform is one that needs to be uploaded and installed on a server. Your system administrator who set up your platform was able to customize the platform to change the look and layout and determine which features will be enabled.
No worries. The information that we go over in the course will still be relevant, but you may start out with a slightly different look. Moodle is a powerful LMS with a ton of features and functions. Hopefully, this course will help you gain a better understanding of how to use it effectively for your course.
- Navigating a Moodle course
- Starting with a blank course shell
- Using Moodle blocks to add different features and functionality
- Creating course sections
- Adding resources as file downloads and links
- Incorporating assignments, quizzes, and forums
- Enrolling students
- Creating groups
- Setting up the gradebook