Monday, April 21, 2014

Instructor Responsibility Sign

The other day, I noticed a sign mounted on the wall by the door inside a classroom:

It made me think of what an equivalent sign might look like for a Moodle course shell. How about this:

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Creating a Hyperlink in Moodle

This tutorial will help you create a clickable link in Moodle, utilizing the familiar text editor used by a large number of websites.

First, take a look at these two different ways of sharing a link in Moodle:

1. Here is a really interesting story I found:


2. Here is a really interesting story I found.

As a web user, which would you rather see? Do you want to select all of the URL (I would call it a "link" but it's not a link), and then copy it, and then paste it into a browser address bar, and then press the "Enter" key on your keyboard, or would you rather click the link, and be directly to the web page?

It's really easy to give your readers the convenience of an actual link, rather than a text URL to copy & paste (imagine if that's all we ever saw on the web!). Let's avoid that whenever we can.

1. Here is the text editor you will see a zillion times in Moodle, and elsewhere:

2. Rather than pasting a link like this:

3. Make it easier for your readers by making the URL a clickable link. Type in the copy you want to become an active link, then select it:

4. I prefer to make it as obvious as possible that the text is a link by making it bold and underlined, but that's just a preference (two cursors - pretty cool, huh? Don't try it at home):

5. Here is the critical piece - click the "Insert/edit link" button:

6. Paste the link to the page in the "Link URL" field. For pages outside of LBCC Moodle, we recommend setting the "Target" to "Open in new window." Input a Page Title, then click the "Insert" button: 

Now you have provided a live link to a web page that people can view with a single click!

Oh, here's that link to the interesting story in this tutorial.

Sharing a Google Doc With Specified & Unspecified People

When it comes to getting eyeballs onto a Google Doc (including Presentations and Spreadsheets), there are two main paths to follow: Publishing, and Sharing. See our tutorial on publishing a Google Doc here.

When you think of sharing a Google Doc, there are a lot more options and features, compared to the old email attachment method. I am writing this tutorial in the context of a student sharing a doc with their instructor and other classmates, but the concept can be easily applied to a number of office procedure scenarios where an online document needs to be efficiently shared among people. Also, this is just an overview, so be sure to explore the features and benefits of the options we don't cover here; there are some great tools there! Here goes:

1. When you are viewing the Google Doc in question, click the blue "Share" button in the upper right:

2. This brings up the "Share with others"dialog box. Click "Get shareable link"

3. Click the "Anyone at Linn-Benton Communit…" area, then click "More…" at the bottom of the dropdown menu:

4. "Anyone with the link" is a good way to share most docs in an LMS course. That won't require students to be logged in to their Google Apps for Ed account to view it.

Note that "Can view" is the default Access setting, but you can also choose to give people editing or commenting privilege. NOTE: "Can comment" is non-editing.

5. Click the "Save" button at the bottom, and the link will be ready to copy to the clipboard:

6. Paste that link into your Moodle course, email message, etc., and people will be able to access the live document!

Ok, now we will branch off a little to show how to share with a specified person(s). Take a look at the screenshot in step 2, the "Sharing settings" dialog. Here it is again, after clicking in the "Invite people" field:

When you start typing names in the field, note how people's names start to appear. Be sure to select the correct email address, as many employees have both a staff- and student-formatted account:

Decide among the various sending options, and click the blue "Send" button.

And that's how you share a Google Doc with specific people!

We would love to know how you share Google Docs, so feel free to share via a comment below!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Fix Your Broken Attendance Activity

In case you haven't noticed, the Attendance activity in our current version of Moodle is… well, it's not really broken, it just has numerous redundant session types. The most commonly used session types are:


You only need one each of those basic session types to use the Moodle Attendance activity, but most Instructors I have been working with shy away from it when they see all of the redundant (not to mention repetitive and extraneous) session types:

Ugh. Who would want to take the time to delete all but one each of the necessary "PLEA" session types? I'll tell ya who - ME! Want a copy of it to put into your own Moodle course? Okay, here you go, and here is how to put it into your course shell:

2. Log into your Moodle course.

3. Click "Restore" in the Settings block:

4. Browse for the "Attendance-PLEA.mbz" file you downloaded from the above link, and click the "Restore" button:

5. Make sure "Merge the backup course into this course" is selected, and click the "Continue" button below it:

6. Click the "Continue" and "Next" buttons on the next few screens…

7. … and then the "Perform restore" button.

8. When the process is complete (it should only take a few seconds), click the "Continue" button to be taken to your course shell:

9. You can now use the Attendance activity to track student attendance, with or without point value. You can also deploy the corresponding Attendance block:

There you have it - now you can document your students' attendance directly in Moodle!

Moodle Student Orientation 2018