Moodle: Creating a Wiki in Moodle

Suppose we have the following scenario: you are teaching a class and you would like to use the wiki feature in Moodle in a way that allows students to work in groups. The students in each group will only be able to see their own wiki from their corresponding group. Suppose that at some point after all the work is completed, you, the teacher, would like to enable each group to see the wikis belonging to other groups. All of this is possible with Moodle’s wiki feature (to find out more about wiki pages, you can visit this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki ).

Let’s go ahead and create the situation explained above:
1. Log into your course where you would like to create the wiki
2. Create the student groups that are going to be creating their own wiki pages. In order to do this, you have to click on the Groups option in the Administration panel in your course. To create a new group, simply click on the Create group button, give it a name and a group description and click Save Changes.
To add/remove students to/from a particular group, select a group and click on the Add/Remove users button. To add a student, simply select the name and click on the Add button (the same goes for remove, by clicking on the Remove button).
3. Now that we have our groups created, let’s add the wiki. Go to the course main page and Turn Editing on (the button on the top right of your screen):
Figure 1: Turn editing on button in Moodle
4. Click on the Add an activity drop-down menu and select Wiki (it should be the last option).
Figure 2: Adding a Wiki activity

5. In the Adding a new wiki window type in the name of the Wiki and a Summary related to the content that needs to be created in that wiki.
6. From the Group Mode submenu select Separate Groups. This means students will be able to work and see their own wiki.
Figure 3: Setting the Group Mode to Separate groups
7. Optionally, you can select a Grade Category if you want this activity to be graded.
8. Click on Save and return to course. You should now be able to see the wiki activity in your course.
9. At this point, students can go ahead and work on their wiki pages. Once all the work is done, you could allow the students to see the work of other groups. To do this, you need to turn editing on in your course and then going to the Update option that is right next to the wiki name along with other options such as Move, Delete or Hide etc.
10. In the Group Mode submenu select Visible Groups (this is the same menu as seen in Figure 3). This will allow students belonging to one group to see the work of other groups.
Note: You can always go back and forth between Visible Groups and Separate Groups without losing any information. The only drawback is that you have to do this manually; there is no option to change this option after a particular deadline.
This completes this tutorial on creating a wiki in Moodle. If you have any questions, feel free to send us an e-mail at help-sta@trincoll.edu or to call us at X2589.

Create a VoiceThread in Moodle

VoiceThread is a convinient tool that can be accessed through Moodle. VoiceThread enables students and professors to post audio and video recordings, pictures, and documents online. The feature also gives the option to comment on each other’s work which makes peer review very easy and interesting. VoiceThread is easy to work with and this blog will deepen your knowledge of this tool.
It is important to mention that a VoiceThread account will be automatically created for you with your first visit of the tool. However, if you would like to set up a group on VoiceThread (the equivalent of a course), you will have to contact the Manager of Blume Center at blume-center@trincoll.edu
Now, the way we navigate to VoiceThread is by logging-in to the course page in Moodle, turning editing on, and adding the “VoiceThread” block. Once the block is added, it should look like this:


When you click on “Go to VoiceThread!”, a new window will open. There you will see your personal account on VoiceThread. You will be automatically logged in, and you will have the options to post materials on VoiceThread. When you go to “Create”, you will see that you can upload files. As you can see in the image below, VoiceThread lets you upload images, docs and videos by using a few buttons.

VoiceThread lets you post online a webcam video with the option to include voice. However, VoiceThread does not support voice recording directly from your computer with the opportunity to post the recording afterwards. If you would like to post a voice recording, you will have to first use a voice recording tool, such as Audacity, and then upload the sound file online. Audacity is a software solution that is just as easy to work with. For more information, regarding Audacity, please see the blog post dedicated to it HERE. Once you have your recording done (with Audacity), you can quickly locate the sound file through clicking on “Upload from… My Computer” and get it up on VoiceThread.

VoiceThread lets you upload anything from video projects to quick homework responses. Once you have uploaded the files you need, it is your turn to make them available to the entire class. Remember that by just uploading the files on VoiceThread, you will not automatically make them available to others!

Under the “MyVoice” category, you will find out all of the files that you have ever uploaded. Once you see the files there, you will be able to drag and drop them in the corresponding groups (courses).

In the case presented above, two files have been uploaded. One is a webcam video and the other one is a voice recording. Also, in the image you can see that there is only one group that the user has been registered for – STA 101. However, if there are more than one groups available, you will be able to post materials to any of them.  The way you make materials available for everybody in the group (class), is just by dragging and dropping a file onto the group name. For example, if you would like to make the “test video” available to everybody in STA 101, all you will have to do is drag the video and drop it on STA 101.
VoiceThread is an easy and fast way to share files, homework, term assignments, research or any interesting findings. It is a fun way for everyone in the classroom to stay engaged while still working on skills development. For questions regarding VoiceThread, please feel free to contact the STA office.

Moodle: Creating picture gallery in Moodle using Lightbox

Introduction

In this blog post we will go through the process of creating a picture gallery in Moodle using a resource called Lightbox gallery. This feature is useful for a variety of reasons; many courses depend on pictures to illustrate new concepts or reinforce old ones. For example an Art History class could use Lightbox gallery for displaying pictures of Ancient Rome, or a foreign language class can make use of Lightbox gallery to show pictures of objects which students have to learn etc.

Useful tips before going to Moodle
Before we go into Moodle and learn about creating a gallery in Lightbox, we first need to have a folder of pictures that we want to upload to our class in Moodle. For this purpose, you can create  a folder on your desktop and paste all your pictures in that folder (or choose any other folder for that matter). After you have decided what pictures to use, you should consider creating a .zip archive of these pictures because it is easier to upload a single archive in Moodle rather than having to upload each individual picture to your course.
There are several ways to archive your pictures, but the easiest ways are the following:
On a MAC machine you can simply right click on a folder and select Compress.
On Windows you can right click, go to Send to and select Compressed (zipped) folder.
Creating the Lightbox Gallery in Moodle
After creating the .zip archive, log into your Moodle course and Turn Editing On by clicking the button with the same name on the top-right part of your screen.
Once you turn editing on, go to “Add a resource”, and then “Add a lightbox gallery”. Give the gallery a name and a description, and then select “Save and Display”.
On the next page, select “Add images”, and then “Choose a file”. On the box that opens, select “Upload a file”.
Find the .zip file that you created, and upload it. You have now created your Lightbox Gallery, and your students can view the images.
If you have any questions about this entry, feel free to call the Student Technology Assistant Program at Trinity College, x2589, or email us at sta-help@trincoll.edu.

Create a NanoGong assignment in Moodle

NanoGong is a module of Trinity’s Moodle server which allows faculty and students to create audio recordings. NanoGong can be especially utilized in language classes. It is a great tool that will record and play speech.
The use of NanoGong is not complex at all. There are a few steps you have to take which will enable you to enjoy the feature.

1) Go to your Moodle course page and turn editing on.
2) From “Add an activity” drop-down menu, choose “NanoGong voice activity.” You will be redirected to a new page.
3) Fill out the blank spaces with appropriate information.  It is mandatory that you provide a name for the assignment. In the example, below the assignment name is “Introduce yourself” which is followed by a short description.

As you scroll down the page, you will find more options, such as allowing or preventing late submissions, and allowing or preventing students to listen to each others’ work. When you are satisfied with your selections, press “Save and display”.

4) The assignment will be now available to the students in the class. They can make their recordings. They will see a screen with a player, similar to the one below. They can record themself by clicking on the Record button. Before they submit the assignment, they can also save a copy on their hard drive, by clicking on the Save icon at the right side of the player.

5) Once your students have submitted recordings, you can go and listen to them. To do so, click on the NanoGong assignment. You will see a drop-down in a section called “Recordings of each student for entering feedback”. This drop-down allows you to see the submitted recordings, as well as the students who have not submitted a recording.

When you click “Students who have submitted recordings”, you will see all of the recordings that were submitted, with the student’s name on the left, and the recording to the right. When you are ready to hear the recording, select the little audio symbol, and the recording will begin playing. After the recording plays, you can grade the student. To do so, select “Click here to edit”. The next page will prompt you for a grade and comments for the student. When you are satisfied, select “Save changes”. You have now graded a NanoGong assignment.

 

If you have questions regarding the use of NanoGong, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the STA office. We are here to assist you!

Moodle: Creating quizzes in Hot Potatoes and importing them in Moodle

In this blog post we will talk about creating quizzes in a freeware application called Hot Potatoes and then importing them in Moodle for the purpose of assessing students’ knowledge.

Let’s begin by first saying a few words about Hot Potatoes.
“The Hot Potatoes suite includes six applications, enabling you to create interactive multiple-choice, short-answer, jumbled-sentence, crossword, matching/ordering and gap-fill exercises for the World Wide Web. Hot Potatoes is freeware, and you may use it for any purpose or project you like. It is not open-source.” For more information and for downloading Hot Potatoes visit the official website: http://hotpot.uvic.ca/
Creating a quiz in Hot Potatoes
1. Open Hot Potatoes. You should see the Hot Potatoes main window displaying 6 choices: JQuiz, JCloze, JCross, JMatch, JMix. For information on each of these types, consult the help menu within Hot Potatoes.
2. Select the JQuiz option. See Figure 1 below:
Figure 1: Selecting JQuiz from the Hot Potatoes interface
The interface of JQuiz is very intuitive. All you have to do is type the question, write the possible answers and check marking the one that is correct. For this example we are going to create a Multiple-choice question.
3. Type the question in the Question box. See Figure 2 below:
Figure 2: Typing the question in JQuiz
4. Type the answers to the Multiple-choice question and check mark the correct answer. See Figure 3:
Figure 3: Typing the answers and selecting the correct answer
Once you are done with the first question you can add more questions by clicking on the up arrow next to the question number. Once you press the up arrow, a blank form similar to the first question will appear. To go back to any questions previously created simply click the down arrow. See Figure 4:
Figure 4: Changing the question in JQuiz
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 to add as many Multiple-choice questions as you need.
When you are done adding questions, go to File, click Save, type-in a name in the File name box and make sure the Save as Type is JQuiz files (*.jqz). Click Save.
Importing the Multiple-choice quiz in Moodle
1. Log-in to your Moodle course where you would like to add the quiz
2. Turn Editing On from the upper right-hand corner in Moodle.
Figure 5: Turning Editing on in Moodle
3. Go to the section of your course where you would like to add the quiz. For example, I added my quiz in the “19 July – 25 July” week. Click the Add an activity … drop down menu and select Hot Potatoes Quiz.
4. Click Choose or Upload a file …
5. Click Upload a File and from the following window click Choose File
6. Browse to the location on your hard drive of your quiz select it and click Open
7. To upload the selected file click on Upload this file. If everything went well, you should see your Hot Potatoes Quiz being uploaded to the server. You should expect to see something similar to Figure 6:
Figure 6: the Hot Potatoes quiz uploaded to Moodle
8. Click the Choose option right next to the Hot Potatoes quiz. You should see it in Figure 6.
9. You are now taken back to the main menu entitled Adding a new Hot Potatoes Quiz. Read through the other options that are available. For the purpose of this tutorial, we went with the default settings and clicked Save and return to course.
At this point you should see your quiz added to your course. Here is what ours looks like:
Figure 7: The quiz added to the Moodle course
If you would like to see how the quiz works, you can change your role to a student and then clicking on the quiz and answering the questions.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact us at the STA Office, e-mail sta-help@trincoll.edu or by phone at x2589.

How to leave feedback for students on Moodle

Moodle allows you to leave a short feedback for every grade item for each student. So in addition to the letter grade or score, students can also view feedback you have left for them. The process is fairly straightforward.
  • Go to Grades from the Administration block.
  • Now click on the Turn editing on button.
  • Click on the small hand that appears under the quiz/test/etc. that you want to comment on. Make sure you select the hand on the row that correlates with the proper student name.

  • On the page that opens, type your feedback into the “Feedback” box.
  • After you are done make sure to click on Save changes in order to save any changes made.

 

  • To view the Gradebook as your student sees it, select User Report under “Grade Administration” on the left-hand side of your Moodle course.
  • On the right hand side of the screen, you will see another scroll down menu that allows you to select any registered student in your class.
Selecting a student will bring up the report as that particular student sees it. This will include the students grades as well as the teacher comments you have left behind.

Understanding Moodle Gradebook (part 2)

Aggregate only non-empty grades.
This means that any empty grades are not used to calculate the aggregate for the student.
This only works if the grade box is empty. Assigning a score of 0 does not mean the grade is empty. A score of zero (0) will be used to calculate the aggregate score using predetermined (Aggregation) settings.If you do not select this option, any and all empty grades will be automatically assigned a score of zero.

Aggregate including subcategories.
Checking this box will ignore the aggregation of sub categories within a category. It is recommended to leave this box unchecked.

Multiplicator.
This is usually done if for instance you wish to increase the weight of a quiz/test. Suppose, for instance, that you had originally planned to take 10 quizzes but you only managed to take 5. You could set the multiplicator value to 2 so that the score from each quiz for each student is multiplied by 2 and you then have the equivalent aggregate score of 10 quizzes.

Offset
This tool is best used for grade curving purposes. Suppose a test featured a question worth 10 points that you judged to be much more difficult than expected. You could set the offset value to 10 so that the scores for each student receive 10 additional points at the end. You could likewise use this feature to deduct points from the overall scores of students.

Explaining the options in Actions


The actions menu could have a total of five (5) options depending on whether it is for a category, or grade
item. The functions of each are explained below.

Edit
This is the icon shaped like a hand. It allows you to edit features of the grade item/category such as the
title, aggregation options, etc.

Delete.
The big cross sign allows you to delete and remove grade items and/or categories.

Move Items.
This option allows you to move and shift grade items.

Clicking on the icon will bring out a simple schematic of the total structure of you gradeboook with the categoris, sub-categories and grade items arranged accordingly. The dotted line boxes with arrows pointed towards them represent the possible new locations for your grade item.

Hide.
The hide feature is represented by the eye. When the item or category is hidden (represented by a shut eye),the category/item will disappear from your students grade view.

Lock
This feature is self explanatory.Locking a category indicates that all grades have been filled in and are ready for calculating final grade. Do note that you can unlock a category/item at any time simply by clicking on the icon again.

Embedding a YouTube video in Moodle

Many times YouTube is an essential tool to course work. Teachers and students often choose to look up videos on YouTube as a way to further enhance the course material. Sometimes teachers even require that students watch online specific movies, films, or video clips. Embedding a particular YouTube video in Moodle is a good idea because students will have easy access to it, will not forget to watch it, and will not encounter troubles of finding it online. This blog post will guide you through several steps that will explain the process of embedding a YouTube video in Moodle.

Step 1: Turn on the editing mode in Moodle.

Step 2: Go to the “Add a resource…” menu and select “Page”. The Menu is located on the calendar, usually on the right-hand side.

Step 3: In the “Name” field, insert a name for the YouTube video you are about to embed. For example, if your video is about the Spanish Civil War, you may title it “Spanish Civil War Video”.

In case you plan on embedding more than one YouTube videos for a particular project, it might be useful to add a number for each video. For example if you plan on embedding three videos about the Spanish Civil War, you may title the first one “Spanish Civil War Video #1″, and so on…

Step 4: Go to YouTube and open the video that you want to embed.
In YouTube, below the video you should see a button that says “Share”. Once you click on “Share”, you should see another button called “Embed” appear below. When you click on the “Embed” field, a variety of options appear below the field, such as what resolution you would like the video to have. After you have finished adjusting the settings for the video, copy the entire code from the “Embed” field.

Step 5: Go back to where you were in Moodle. Now you have to embed the code that you copied from YouTube in the “Content” field. To do so, click on the small HTML button (Toggle HTML Source) right above the “Page Content” field. At this time, a box should open. Enter the HTML code in this box, and then select “Update”.

Once you are content, click either “Save and return to course” or “Save and display”.

The YouTube video is now embedded in Moodle. Your students should be able to view it in Moodle without any hassle. Should you have any questions about embedding YouTube videos in Moodle, please contact any of the STA representatives.

Understanding the Moodle Gradebook (Part 1)

The moodle gradebook includes a couple of new features that provide greater flexibility as well as providing a variety of options not found in Blackboard.
This blog post will discuss the layout and some new grading options in Moodle.

Access the gradebook and click on either the simple view or the full view. Moodle allows you to view class data in two view modes. The Full View mode offers additional features over Simple View. However, for most purposes, i.e. adding/editing grade items and categories and setting grading schemes Simple View should suffice.

First of all, the Moodle Gradebook utilizes a very distinct layout. There are Categories which are like the main folder, we then have sub-categories which lie within the categories (which are akin to sub folders) and then finally the individual grade items which lie within the sub-categories. The gradebook is organized such that you have to make use of folders and sub folders to organize and calculate the total grade at the end. This is because individual items cannot be manipulated. Grade items have to be placed within categories, and these categories can be manipulated such that all grade items within the categories behave accordingly.

Once you open the gradebook, you will be greeted with several colums at the top indicating various available selections. If you choose Full View, you will be greeted with the follow selection options.

 

Aggregation: The Aggregation option allows you to determine how the grade items within the category are calculated to determine the total score. Most of the Aggregation Options are pretty straight forward, some of the less familiar ones are explained in the following link.

Aggregation Options

Weight (Note**: This will not appear unless you select “Weighted mean of grades” under Aggregation): This option allows you to assign the weightage you would like to allocate to the overall score from this category. For example if you wish to assign 25% of your total grade from quizzes, then you would accordingly enter 25 in the Quiz Category. Please do note that the sum of the weightage (including other categories) should equal 100.

Extra Credit: This option allows you to set a grade item as an Extra Credit item. This would enable the scores from the grade item to function as extra credit.

Drop the Lowest: This feature allows you to drop a certain number of Grade Items from calculating the total score of the category. For example putting in ’2′ would result in the two lowest grade scores being dropped.

Multiplicator and Offset explained in Part 2.

Adding Items to Categories and New Weighing Options in Moodle

All the grade items placed in a category will be graded using the same way. This means if you have four quizzes in the Quiz category and have selected the category to be graded according to the weighted mean, then the final grade will be calculated according to the weighted mean of all the quiz scores.
The process of creating a Grade Item (For example Quiz 5) and then moving the item to the Quiz category is straightforward:
Go to the Grades section under Administration from your course home page (you need to be logged in as a Teacher). Then Select “Categories and items” under the “Grade administration” header of the left hand side. Next, click on Simple View. You will be greeted with a page similar to the one shown below.
You add grade items by selecting add Grade Item (located at the bottom of the page) and then filling in the details for the grade item. Then select “Save changes”.
You can then move the grade item in different categories by selecting the grade item (the select box is on the right hand side), and then selecting move selected items to. The grade item will now appear in that category and its scores will be used according to how the category has been set up.

 

Compared to blackboard, which only has four (4) grade weighing schemes
Moodle offers a wider selection of grading schemes which might be confusing at first. The new types of grade editing that might be cause for some confusion are:
Mean of grades
The sum of all grades divided by the total number of grades.
A1 70/100, A2 20/80, A3 10/10, category max 100:
(0.7 + 0.25 + 1.0)/3 = 0.65 –> 65/100
Weighted mean
Each grade item can be given a weight, which is then used in the arithmetic mean aggregation to influence the importance of each item in the overall mean.
A1 70/100 weight 10, A2 20/80 weight 5, A3 10/10 weight 3, category max 100:
(0.7*10 + 0.25*5 + 1.0*3)/18 = 0.625 –> 62.5/100
Simple weighted mean
The difference from Weighted mean is that weight is calculated asMaximum grade – Minimum grade for each item. 100 point assignment has weight 100, 10 point assignment has weight 10.
A1 70/100, A2 20/80, A3 10/10, category max 100:
(0.7*100 + 0.25*80 + 1.0*10)/190 = 0.526 –> 52.6/100