8.15.2016

Moodle + Gravatar

We currently create a new Moodle instance each academic year. It can be frustrating that each time a new Moodle is created any profile pictures that were added are lost. There is a way to keep this from happening. It relies on a service called Gravatar.

Gravatar stands for globally recognized avatar. The benefit to using it is that any time you visit a site that supports it your profile image is automatically added. Moodle supports Gravatar. This means that you can create an avatar that will automatically appear each year in the new Moodle. You can set it and forget it (unless you want to update the image). Using Gravatar is free, but does require that you create an account.

8.03.2016

Moodle1617

Moodle1617 is now available and is running version 2.9. Summer and Fall courses have been and are being populated. This version contains a number of updates. A lot of work has gone in this version to make it as user-friendly as possible. 

A few noteworthy changes are listed below. Click here to see the full list. 

Please contact the Moodle Administrator if you have any questions about these updates.


Enhancements for everyone:

Dashboard Page

“My Home” is now “Dashboard” - This is the same user homepage with a new name.

Drag-and-drop in Atto

It's now possible to drag and drop images directly into the Atto editor, for example when editing a course summary or when posting in a forum

New Profile Page

Accessed from the user menu, the new Profile page provides quick links to blog entries, forum post, badges and, depending on the user’s privileges, a variety of reports including a new browser sessions page. The page includes links formerly in the Navigation block.

Enhancements for students:

New Grades Page 

The user menu now includes a new Grades page which display grades from all courses users are students in, with links to the relevant user reports.

Enhancements for teachers:

Improvements to Quiz

Quizzes can now have section headings and questions can be shuffled on different pages. It is now possible to require that a particular question be answered before a subsequent one may be accessed, and quizzes along with responses and feedback will now display attractively when printed from the browser.

New Grades Page 

Courses users are teaching in are also displayed, with links to the relevant course gradebook.

Grade to Pass Setting

If you are using graded activities it is now possible to set a passing grade during the activity set up process instead of having to edit the gradebook directly.

Delete Topic Sections

A new option in each course topic section allows you to completely remove the section and its content, regardless of where the section is located on your course page.

Site Home/Dashboard

When a person logs into Moodle they will now be taken to their own “Dashboard” page. This page provides a list of current enrolled courses in the middle of the page, a Navigation and Administration blocks on the left, a Latest News (Moodle) and Beloit College Events blocks on the right. This page may be customised by clicking the Customise this page button. After doing so you will be able to change the locations of the blocks to your liking and add others if you wish.



Updated My Courses Block


The My Courses block has been updated to be able to show courses by semester. Students will only see courses that have been made visible to them. Faculty will see all their courses.

Autocreated Courses Category

In the last Moodle we had a single category for all courses and courses were organized alphabetically. This time around courses will be created in a subcategory based on the term. There are three terms in our academic cycle (summer, fall, spring). Based on the structure within the Portal, each of these terms begins with the year (2016) and then is suffixed with a number; 10, 20, and 30 respectively. So the category for summer courses is 2016-10, fall is 2016-20, and spring is 2016-30. Each of these in turn will be created as subcategories of the Autocreated category.

7.19.2016

FALL 2016 ITEC Workshops

The Instructional Technology team (ITEC) will be offering a series of workshops this coming fall semester, running September through November. There will be a Rotating schedule with broad topic categories:
  • Week One - Moodle
  • Week Two - Google Apps
  • Week Three - Media Tools
  • Week Four - Drop-In
The full schedule of workshops may be seen below. While we are planning specific topics, we invite attendees to bring their questions and we will do our best to tailor the session in the time we have. 
  • Monday sessions will be held during Common Hour (12:30-1:30 PM) in Science Center 150.
  • Thursday sessions will be held at 4-5 PM in the Learning Studio (Library).
We hope that this staggered schedule will maximize opportunities for attendance. Each of the sessions will be listed in the Master Calendar. While the audience focus may be different depending on the topic, all faculty, staff, and students are welcome to attend.

If you have ideas for topics you would like to see addressed in a session or questions about future topics, please feel free to contact us.

We hope to see you there!

September
DATE
LOCATION
TITLE
DESCRIPTION
Monday 8/29
SC 150
Moodle: IPAL, H5P
This session will take a look at two new tools that are available in Moodle -IPAL (Internet Poling for All Learners) a tool for gathering student responses; and H5P, a tool for creating interactive web content.

We also welcome any questions posed by attendees.
Thursday 9/1
Learning Studio
Moodle: IPAL, H5P

Monday 9/6
SC 150
GAE: Google Classroom
This session will investigate google classroom, discussing what it is and how you can use it.
Thursday 9/8
Learning Studio
GAE: Google Classroom

Monday 9/12
SC 150
Media: Audio Editing
This first session in the Media series we will be looking at editing audio with the program Audacity. We will discuss why you might want to do this and demonstrate techniques for doing so.
Thursday 9/15
Learning Studio
Media: Audio Editing

Monday 9/19
SC 150
Drop-In
Please bring your questions!

We want to discuss and help answer your questions about Moodle, Google, classroom AV, and teaching and learning.
Thursday 9/22
Learning Studio
Drop-In

Monday 9/26
SC 150
Off

Thursday 9/29
Learning Studio
Off



October
DATE
LOCATION
TITLE
DESCRIPTION
Monday 10/3
SC 150
Moodle: Assignment, Rubrics, Marking Guides
In this session we will investigate advanced grading methods in Moodle, demonstrate how to use them and discuss best practices for using these tools.
Thursday 10/6
Learning Studio
Moodle: Assignment, Rubrics, Marking Guides

Monday 10/10
--
Fall Break

Thursday 10/13
--
Fall Break

Monday 10/17
SC 150
GAE: Forms
This session will take a look into working with Google Forms. We welcome audience questions about use cases and how-to’s with Forms.
Thursday 10/20
Learning Studio
GAE: Forms

Monday 10/24
SC 150
Media: Video Editing
This session will be a brief overview of video editing. We will be using two tools available on campus iMovie and Adobe Premiere Pro CC.
Thursday 10/27
Learning Studio
Media: Video Editing



November

DATE
LOCATION
TITLE
DESCRIPTION
Monday 10/31
SC 150
Moodle: Grade book
This session will investigate how to use the Moodle gradebook.
Thursday 11/3
Learning Studio
Moodle: Grade book

Monday 11/7
SC 150
GAE: Bring Your Questions!
There are many Google tools that we have not been able to cover over the semester. Please bring your questions about those tools that you may have and we will do our best to address them.
Thursday 11/10
Learning Studio
GAE: Bring Your Questions!

Monday 11/14
SC 150
Media: Photoshop
This session will be a brief overview of working in Adobe Photoshop CC. We will demonstrate some basic editing techniques/tasks.
Thursday 11/17
Learning Studio
Media: Photoshop

Monday 11/21
SC 150
Drop-In
Please bring your questions!

We want to discuss and help answer your questions about Moodle, Google, classroom AV, and teaching and learning.
Thursday 11/24
--
Thanksgiving


7.18.2016

H5P Interactive Tools

We recently became aware of a new-to-us tool, called H5P. This tool (website) provides a framework for creating interactive web content. It is free and open-source. Click here to see examples of the types of content that may be created. H5P.org recently announced the availability of a plugin to be able to use these tools inside of Moodle. The plugin installs into Moodle as an activity, meaning that it may be used in every context in which other activities may be used. As  with activities, they may be graded.

One of the tools available within H5P is an interactive video. Below is an example:



This tool allows an instructor to paste in a URL from a YouTube video and then layer questions on top of the original video. there are choices about how the questions appear and whether or not the video should pause while the question appears. There are a number of question types.

It remains to be seen how accessible all of these tools are but it appears that making this suite of tools as accessible as possible is a goal of the developer. We will be experimenting with it more over the semester and share any possible updates.

7.14.2016

Update to Google+

We have been informed that Google will be bringing Google Plus into the cadre of core supported Google Apps. In order to accomplish this Google Plus itself will be updated. This will bring a minor change to your current Google Plus page.

The big change is that Hangouts is being separated from Google Plus. Google mentions,
We want to highlight the following functionality currently present in classic Google+ that will not be available once Google+ becomes a core service:
  • Creating Events (users will still be able to view and delete existing events).
  • Initiating Hangouts chats from Google+ (users will still be able to use Hangouts through the Hangouts app, on Gmail, or at hangouts.google.com).
  • Using or creating Hangouts on Air (HOA) from Google+.
    Note: users will still be able to create new live streaming sessions using YouTube Live. Users will also still be able to view and delete existing HOA data.
Will this have a huge impact on your daily use (or not) of Google PLus? Probably not. But fore-warned is fore-armed.

Read more here if you are interested in the nitty-gritty details.

Have a great day!