Courses Update

We have now updated our site to version 3.3.

Hello Everyone, it’s been awhile since we’ve had a significant Moodle upgrade so I wanted to highlight a few of the new features that are now available to you. The following descriptions assume you are using the default theme in your course (either do not choose one or select Boost).

You can limit the types of files you allow in your submissions.
In your submission types section there is a setting for Accepted File types. Enter your file types that you allow (e.g. .docx, .png, .jpg. .mp4, etc.) If you’re not sure, click on the question mark by the setting to view a longer description.

Changing Activity Completion Settings in Bulk:
Whenever possible we want to show students indicators of progress. If you have not already done so, or want to change the settings it used to be a manual process one by one. Now if you click on the course editing icon on the upper right of a course you can click on Course Completion–>Bulk edit tab, click on the categories and items you wish to edit and scroll down/click edit.

Accidentally delete something?
By clicking on the editing menu at the top right of your course you will see a recycle bin. When Moodle automated functions run every few minutes, you’ll see a list of items that have been deleted from your course. You can restore items from there. Current settings archive deleted content for one week.

Grade Calculation
When you click on grades there will be a notification if there is a calculation error which Moodle will try to resolve if you click on it. Reminder, no Checklists should appear in your gradebook. If they do, please contact Jack Dahl to have it resolved.

These are the big ones for now. I’ll be in touch with any other suggestions and announcements; I will highlight changes at the teacher workshop. Overall, students will notice some usability improvements.

If there is something that you wish that the software does please reach out and let me know. There may already be a way, or it can potentially be something I can add.


Helpful post, thanks.

I’m interested in playing around with the PDF editing feature, and particularly how it integrates with a writing tablet. If this works well, I’ll be using it to grade written Japanese assignments, which are always the slowest part of my grading routine.

Here are some things I’m currently working on that might be of interest.

*Tighter integration with Google Apps. This is a feature available in 3.3 and I’m still working on setting up the integration.

*Competency based instruction/reporting. This is a big project. Basically, I’m uploading state academic standards. Once that is done, we can tie them to specific activities and when a student completes the item with a passing grade then we have the option to run student reports that will show us what standards the student has met.

*More automation for feedback loops, data mining, integration with question banks from our new platform Illuminate.

*More usability and design hacks for our site to reduce number of clicks.

I’ll toss in what I’m exploring with Moodle now…

• Moodle 3.3 will run JavaScript right on a Moodle page, so I’m exploring how we might be able to create some more engaging learning activities. At first these will likely be simple things, like drag and drops and matching and whatnot, but I hope to be able to expand beyond basics to activities with more depth. I know we have drag and drops/matching available to a degree now, but they’ve always been kind of ugly and clunky.

• The new Moodle also runs PHP which allows for added functionality. I’m more on the beginning edge with this one, but hope to learn what might be possible from this angle as well.

My first goal with this is to use PHP to create a Mystery Bonus Quiz in my current Japanese 1a course that swaps images depending on the day of the week. There will be seven images in all. Each image will have two Japanese words on it: one of the days of the week and a single word. At the bottom of the page will be a simple sentence that says, “Send me the answer.” In order to get the bonus point, students have to see all seven images, put them in order, read the subsequent question, figure out the answer, and send it to me.

What about a district webpage dedicated to all things Moodle, kind of like a “how to.” It could just be links to YouTube videos or other webpages that describe how to use some of the functions and unlock the power of Moodle. (For example, using the HP5 functionality to create interactive reviews or quizzes.) Perhaps with a discussion forum so that users could post questions and answers. Just a thought.

Like the Moodle Nuts & Bolts course?

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Dang… You caught me sleeping on that one. I didn’t realize that it existed. I was probably told when I first started at 287 but I was too caught up in everything else to really utilize it.

No problem, it’s always worth a mention. The videos are a few years old and I can remake any upon request. The concepts remain the same the views have changed slightly for some of them.

Rob’s post got me thinking though. Do we have a Moodle course that showcases some of the things that we can do?

So not so much an instructional course on how to use Moodle but one that shows things like compact design, checklists, branching lessons, etc., so staff could see what’s possible?

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Ever finish updating Digital Delivery? :wink:

There is a section on compact design in Nuts & Bolts but I’ve pretty much moved away from that now. I’ve found that the compact sections and good naming conventions are almost as good because the completion tracking indicators help show students where they left off in a way that progress bars don’t.

There are also videos on Lesson modules & a sample one. I think videos could be made highlighting the value of them.

There are also videos on Checklists. I have an updated one for that I made for NSO, I’ll look to see if it’s been tweaked for the district site, but those settings have pretty much stayed the same.

I’m going to embark on Moodle Nuts and Bolts, but in case it isn’t covered there, will Moodle support picture prompts in assessments? I’m hoping to update the pre and post test for my family life course - it’s a paper/pencil plus multiple folders of picture prompts disaster right now. Would love to streamline it in moodle, if possible, or upload google slides to support??? Please advise! I’m looking forward to digging in and seeing how we can best use Moodle to serve our DCD population.

Please tell me what you mean by picture prompts.

You can include pictures in questions and responses if you want. Is that what you mean?

In one of my courses I only use pictures and students have to identify which Norse God is in them and how they know.

I’m thinking more of a showcase on things rather than instruction on how to use them.

Like a demo house vs. a course on how to make a house, for lack of a better analogy.

I’m not suggesting you make this, by the way.

No, but it’s something I should probably help/start.

The best I can do for now is to to open up a copy of my ELA 12 course to people if they want more than guest access. I can also offer this video that I made for a presentation to the MN Partnership for Collaborative Curriculum Teachers. It’s about how I use my course in my setting with my students, not Moodle specific. It focuses on online use. I could do some course module highlights. I’ll make that a goal for this week. I would like to see someone make a similar video on how they use one in a classroom blended setting as well.

Pictures or symbols to choose from or to use as a reminder of the possible answers. Would uploading a sample help?

I don’t think that’s necessary. What you are asking for is possible. You can upload audio, images, video to questions and answers. You can also set up a quiz that will offer hints to students (this requires specific settings). If you want to send one so you know what it will look like I can set one up for you.

Quizzes are one of my favorite features, but they take some time to set up. In my opinion, it’s well worth the time because of what you end up saving, the interactivity and the inclusion of personalized feedback and multiple attempts.

The H5P content is something I really want to explore. For the next update with the 287 Driver’s training course, I would really like to use the hotspot tools for things like locating parts under the hood. I wanted to try it out this year but couldn’t due the the time constraints for it to be done.

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Yeah, this is kind of more like what I was thinking. I looked through the nuts and bolts but it still leaves me kind of lost since I’m not sure what questions I should be asking. Thank you for articulating what I was not able to!

I’m trying a new thing. When I get a Moodle question more than once, rather than just answer the question, I’m trying to make a quick tech tip for it.

Here’s today’s:
Is My Moodle Course Visible to Students?

I do this too. It drastically cuts down on the number of questions I receive per year. I’ve also been taking the time to supplement directions whenever I find myself making the same kinds of comments. I give more examples; tell them what is not acceptable in a response; remind them of previous content that should help with those answers. I’ll even flat out tell them the answer and tell them that the answer isn’t what’s import but why that is the answer and why it’s important is, and they should write about that.

I feel like my current version of English 12 is pretty close to approximating how I would deliver the content in the classroom and now what’s left is for me to actually have conversations with them via feedback and email. And that is what’s most fun about it anyway.

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