User:Vtaylor/Moodle for teaching and learning

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Using Moodle for teaching? Need to find ways to be effective and efficient? What are you doing now without Moodle? Can this be applied or adapted for use in Moodle?

Moodle basics

What do you know about online teaching and learning? Are you familiar with course management systems? Have you had an opportunity to be a student in an online of hybrid course that included online activities?

  • Moodle overview
  • course management systems

Course development

Do you have a Moodle account? Do you have a Moodle course or sandbox where you are the administrator with authority to added and change all aspects of the course activities?

  • Moodle tutorials
  • instructional design
  • evaluation criteria


How do you provide information to the whole class? How do students communicate with you privately? How do students communicate among themselves in the Moodle environment?


To what extent do you use question-based learning in your teaching? Do students participate in discussions once the prompt has been started? Are all students able to participate equally in these discussions? Students who are language learners? Students with disabilities?


  • facilitating online communities


Are students able to work together on projects? What tools are available to encourage and facilitate collaborative writing?

  • Wikipedia
  • WikiEducator - Learn4Content tutorial

Managing the course

What are some of the Moodle features that you use to make course management manageable? How do you keep yourself and your students organized during the course.

  • Moodle - course management
  • News forum
  • participants profiles, activities
  • discussion display - differences


How are grades assigned? Are students able to track their own progress independently? How do you resolve grading discrepancies when they come up?

  • grades display
  • quick grading
  • overrides

What Moodle functions are provided to help you make your course better?

  • quiz analysis

Moodle Wiki

More about Wikis

The wiki is a special area where every student can write and edit one or more pages that can be viewed by other students. We are using wikis for you to submit your Research Project presentations. You will also look here to review presentations submitted by others for the Peer Review assignment.

  • Individual MidTerm Projects

To create your first report page, open the wiki and choose your name from the Students list. Clicking on the "?" following your name should take you to a page you can edit. Be sure to click the Edit tab to enter updates and save your work by clicking the Save button at the bottom. To see other student's work, click on their name link.

  • Final Group Research Project

Pages can be added and edited by all students.

Getting Started

To create your first report page, choose your name (or the "?" following your name) to take you to a page you can edit. Select the Edit tab. Now you can just start entering text into the input box. Use the editing tools from the edit tool bar to add formatting.

Be sure to click the Edit tab to enter updates and save your work by clicking the save button at the bottom.

Text Formatting

In a wiki, you can add formatting. The WYSIWYG editor should be displayed if your browser provides this feature. There should be a row of tool icon pictures above the text input box. This will allow you to add formatting and pictures to your research project pages. Use the formatting tools to add headings, change text color and size, and format lists.

If the row of tool icons or symbols above the input text box for wikis and assignment submissions does not appear, check your student Profile.

External links

The easiest way to make an external link is to simply type in the full URL for the page you want to link to enclosed in square brackets e.g. [1]

To make the link display something other than the URL, for example to make a link to, there is the web link tool which can also assist you.

Note - The Prevent Automatic Linking tool - the chain link with the red X over it doesn't seem to work e.g. YouTube - still has ? for new page creation

Create a new page

The Catalyst wiki will automatically create a new web page if you tell it you want one. In the text of the existing page that you are editing, type in the name of the new page - either as a CamelCase word (starts with a Capital letter and contains at least one other Capital letter in the name with no spaces) or by putting the page name including spaces in square brackets [sample page name].

Having problems? Do you see the edit tool bar - one or two rows of little pictures above the input text box when you have selected the Edit tab? If you don't see the edit tools, go to the Profile section.

If you have selected Edit and see the input text box, try typing [My First Page] and saving that. Then you should see My First Page text with a little "?" following it. Click on the ? - that should take you to a new page called My First Page. Select Edit and add any text that you would like to have on this page.

For a graphic illustration of this process, scroll down to A graphic demonstration of adding a page (located at the bottom of this page).

Create multiple pages, if that is appropriate.

Creating links to other wiki pages

It is useful to make multiple wiki pages and make links from page to page (not web address).

If you created a page called Sandbox, you can link to it from any other wiki page. To make a wiki link, simply put the word or words in square brackets, like this: [Sandbox] . The wiki processing looks for a page called Sandbox and automatically creates a link from the page you are editing to the page "Sandbox".

If you make a wiki link to a page that does not exist, one will automatically be created if you click on the ? in the page View where the wiki page link was specified.

Add a picture to your page

One of the big advantages of using online publishing is the ability to add pictures to your work. In the edit tool bar there is a little framed picture of a mountain - this is the Insert Image tool.

Viewing other wiki pages

For student wikis - there is one page per student automatically created, although it may be blank. To see other student's work, choose their name from the Other wikis: pull-down menu on the top right.

For class wikis - there is only one main page automatically created. All other pages, if they exist, are linked from the first page or other pages created from the first page. Catalyst automatically created links back to the "parent" page of every page in the wiki. Additional links can be created to help navigation. It is helpful to viewers to see the links to the next and previous pages in a sequence. These can be added by the author by adding the page name in square brackets.

Adding list text

Do you see a row of editing tools above the edit box - font, size, B (bold)...

  • to add a list
  • just type in your points
  • and another

then select them and click on the list tool - picture with 3 bullet points - point with the cursor and it should say "bulleted list"

Unfortunately the Moodle documentation for wiki editing does not match what actually happens in Catalyst. This resource will be updated in response to student questions.


You have a personal profile that you can edit. Select Edit Profile from the left navigation menu.

In your student profile, the default for the profile option When editing : should be "Use HTML editor (some browsers only)" and if your browser provides an HTML editor, there will be a row of tool icons or symbols above the input text box for wikis and assignment submissions. If you do not see the edit tools, check your student Profile.

A graphic demonstration of adding a page Many thanks to Stephen Chen, as student in Spring 2007.

3I'm going to take a swing at helping everyone. I have summed up on how to format in a 5 step procedure that I learned myself when trying to figure this out.

First off go to your wikipage.

  • Go to edit
  • Notice the first circled item entitled "Introduction", if you want to make that into a link put these around it: "[" "]".. so it'll end up looking like this [Introduction]. after that click save and you'll be brought back to your original page
  • Notice how next to "[Introduction]" there is a little "?" next to it in blue. Click that and you will be brough to a new page. Copy the paragraph you wanted to be in the link by highlighting it and select copy.
  • Now paste everything you copied into the new box and click save.
  • Once you do, it'll bring you back to your homepage and you'll notice that the "?" is gone, and the word [Introduction] is now an actual link that brings you to another page. Now go back to edit and delete the original paragraph that you used to copy and paste so it won't show up on your home page.

Learn more...

  • - help, Using Moodle, Moodlers socialise

  • eCommunities of Learning - High School Teachers, Middle School Teachers, Higher Education, Homeschool, TESOL
  • online workshops - Moodle for Teachers (M4T), Online Teaching and Learning (OTL),

Students say what works for them...

Moodle features and guidelines that students wanted to pass along to others. Interesting that these are mostly about communication.

  • I really benefited with the instructor link and the assignments page. With the instructor link it helped me a lot because I always knew that I could get in touch with my instructor in less than 24 hours. It was also great for all the questions that I had. The assignments page was great because I could aways go there when I wanted to make sure that I did all my assignments. It just helped me make sure I did everything I needed to.

  • Student chat - This is a tool that I found to be very useful when working in groups when online at the same time. There is a button on the bottom of the catalyst page titled "CIS 2 student : student chat." If you click on it and enter chat it opens up an instant messaging program that makes it very quick and easy to communicate with group members or other class mates.

  • The messages is a good way to talk to your peers, its basically like an email that pops up when your in Moodle. In a way its similar to GChat.

  • For every class, there is this "Online User" section. From this section you can see who is on this online class with you and how long did they log on this class. In additional, you can send messages to them, so you can easily communicate online.

  • Getting in touch with your classmates (Privately) - If you need to get in touch with your classmates and have a private discussion with them, the best way is to send them a private message. In order to send a message, you will find a "People" box on the right hand side of the main course menu, you need to click on the participants page and view a list of everyone in the course. You then need to click on the person you need to get in touch with in order to send them a message. This is also a great way to find out the last time a person logged in. Its also a good indicator to see if the person has viewed or message based on when you sent the message and when the person last logged on to Moodle.

  • This is my first time using this Moodle software, and have found it very difficult to navigate my way around the system. I am sure there are plenty of ways to send a message to the instructor, but I have only found this one. It becomes very helpful when you need to send a message to the instructor and not have your message disseminated to all users. From the Main Menu, below the course title click on the instructor name. From this hyper link appears with an option to message the instructor.