Catalyst FAQs - faculty and staff

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Moodle = Catalyst

Student view

  • Test size on screen

Course development

Course layout

Syllabus, Block 0

I have a question regarding where I post the course syllabus. I read in the instruction guide that it should go in block 0, but when I look at my master shell, I can't find block 0. I just have "news" first, then the weeks listed. Am I missing something?

News is in Block 0. So now you know what they are talking about. Weeks or topics are Blocks 1, 2, 3...

Add a "resource" to block 0 - call it Syllabus or Green Sheet and place a copy of your syllabus there. Either copy in the actual text (probably best) or link to the public version of your Syllabus. I like to keep a copy of the Syllabus as a resource so it will be kept with the course session in case there is a need to reference exactly what the syllabus said that semester.

Block 0 is a good home for links to a general questions discussion forum and any important course documents that relate to the whole course, like special instructions that apply to all assignments throughout the course - how to write citations, how to work on group projects...

You don't want too much stuff in Block 0, or the main page gets too cluttered before students get to the weekly assignments. But it is handy to have a few important things in that top section.

Media, audio, video

I am interested in using audio with my hybrid classes in the fall. Is this something that I can add?

Marty Kahn : You can add audio files quite easily. You have a couple of options for doing so:

  • Upload directly to Catalyst -- If you have a small number of files, and you compress them as .mp3's (please do not upload .wav files as they are very large) you can upload them directly to catalyst. We try to keep the volume of media files relatively small, because large numbers of audio and video files will slow down the performance of Catalyst for all the users.
  • If you wish to provide regular podcasts (say, once a week) I would be glad to set up a directory in our iTunesU site. Your directory can be password protected, if you wish, or open to the public with no log in required.


  • Themes - controls the course look - Administration Setting option
  • Chameleon - Chameleon allows almost complete control over styling elements in Moodle. It makes working with themes easier for theme designers and opens up a wide range of experimental uses for interface designers. Just change and work with the changed page and go on optimizing your theme whilst you work with Moodle.

Wish list

  • I really like the colors of the "cornflower" theme, but it puts a logo at the top that says "CR cornflower too" instead of the course name that appears there in all the other themes. Can that be fixed. ..MH aug08
Alternative - replace theme logo image /moodle/theme/cornflower/images/logo.jpg 457x112 pixels - with school logo
  • Is it possible for teachers to create their own styles for pages? I would like to use a larger font as the default. I am familiar with CSS. ..MH aug08