Make Your Own Moodle Homepage With Blocks Catalogue

Source: Make Your Own Moodle Homepage With Blocks Catalogue | Moodle News

Make Your Own Moodle Homepage With Blocks Catalogue

Could Moodle and the Olympic Triple Jump have anything in common? I think managing an LMS (Learning Management System) is an ongoing effort of perfecting one’s stride. A step in the wrong place could affect momentum or even disqualify my effort altogether. Fortunately, practice is all it takes to get an encompassing flyover.

So what is your “Moodle jump” sequence? Mine would go something like this:

  1. Go to the forums. I get a sense of the students’ minds, their questions and issues that affect our course, directly or indirectly. If I can quickly point them out to the resource they are looking for, I do not hesitate. But if they are looking for something that does not exist, I take note for when it’s time to decide on content creation.
  2. Grade submissions. I take a look at my dashboard. I focus on students above the acceptable risk thresholds. I apply prepared remedial tools if it happens, or think about new ones, if possible.
  3. Upload new content. I try to repurpose content from previous courses as much as I can, knowing full well when I cannot. I write a summary message with a bit of reporting about important things happening inside and outside our Moodle.

Whether your steps are different from mine or not, the Blocks Catalogue plugin is the tool to have. Coupled with a refining approach to management, it helps you to be on top of your Moodle with precision and brevity. Blocks Catalogue lets you create a customizable homepage where you can put and sort your administration steps to your liking.

Catalogue provides items for the main Moodle blocks. Administrators can decide the level of customization a teacher can have for the Catalogue homepage.

Block Catalogue is a new plugin. It was developed by Brice Errandonea and Salma El-mrabah from the Université de Cergy-Pontoise, in France.

Check out the Moodle page for Blocks Catalogue for download and setup instructions here.

Contribute to the plugin via GitHub here.

How To Use The Moodle Mobile App For Education In The Classroom

Source: How To Use The Moodle Mobile App For Education In The Classroom | Moodle News

How To Use The Moodle Mobile App For Education In The Classroom

To be a good teacher takes a restless adaptation of your teaching approach. The practice of knowledge transfer is for you to master, to benefit your students. This takes a special importance in those cases where awareness about the acquisition process affects learning. Like reading exercises: if you are aware that you are reading then you aren’t exactly reading, since your focus is elsewhere.

The subconscious part of the learning process needs attention for the whole to be truly effective. If you use videos and infographics during your presentation, a more compelling set of stimuli aligned around a meaning will increase the retention rate of your students. In the age of technology, students expect their professors to rely on technology to simplify things, and because gadgets and apps make learning fun. Proficiency in mobile learning tools are wondrous skills to have. Moodle Mobile is a powerful tool for education. This article will point out its strengths and some ideas about using the App as a support for the classroom.

Moodle is an eLearning authoring tool that can help you embrace the spirit of project based learning, with increased momentum for what we’ve gone on this century. And you are likely teaching generations born after the mid 80’s, and these are technological natives. By using technology, you will bring your lessons a step closer into their worlds. Lessons will be far more visual, and easier to remember. The Moodle Mobile app enables a swift exchange of information. You can upload all the necessary materials and students will have access to it on their devices.  This comes especially handy in many cases: when students have difficulties attending lectures in person, or they have jobs or long commutes.

It would be ideal to use Moodle Mobile for making all relevant reading material for you course easily accessible, through files and links. It will save students time and it will show them that you are a teacher who is a kindred spirit of theirs, someone who enjoys acquiring information by browsing the internet. Furthermore, the whole process of collaboration will be far easier for you as well.  You can organize additional online lectures, consultations, give bonus hints and extra credits.

How to use Moodle Mobile

Let’s go through some of the tips on how to optimize your course by using Moodle. First, optimize your materials for mobile screens. Reading might not seem an ideal activity for small screens, but it can still work, if the reading is brief and the text zoom is adaptable. You can do far better with a slides presentation or a video, though, that narrates all the crucial points of the lecture. Explore the course delivery formats available on Moodle. I recommend Topics or Weekly.

Even though your students use technology, do not assume that everyone will know how to use Moodle. You might need a lecture to explain the basics of the Moodle mobile app and how they can use it. Just make sure everyone is in the know. You can also share some video links of Moodle Mobile tutorials so that students can experiment and figure out the features on their own, of which there are plenty. Always recommend, before you begin a course, that every student enables notifications in the app. That way there will be no excuses allowed about missing any crucial updates or deadlines for your course.

When you are supplying additional links that lead to relevant content and reading materials, make sure the websites are mobile friendly as well. Give a short introduction of the material, so your students know what they are about to open. I would avoid posting downloadable content since it can clutter your students devices. Lastly, make sure you use a Moodle theme that is mobile friendly as well.

Benefits of using Moodle

You might think this is too much trouble and that it is too time-consuming, but there are many benefits of using Moodle to support your teaching. With e-learning authoring tools like Moodle Mobile 3.1, you can do all sorts of things to improve project based learning.

  1. You can use it to point students to useful blogs, and encourage them to start live-blogging as well. Writing is always a beneficial skill in any career, and if you reward this behavior, you will be helping your students a lot.
  2. With RSS you can also monitor forums and deliver podcasts for students. With chat technology and video features, there is nothing stopping you from holding online lectures, perhaps with foreign guests. This is also a great way to organize the outcomes of online discussions and collaboration, and to perform revisions.
  3. Since all of your students are connected, they can do peer evaluation and peer correction, even anonymously. They can also interact with students from other schools and share thoughts.
  4. You also gain access to student activity logs to get a picture of just how much some of your students are engaging with your subject. Moreover, they can maintain learning diaries, so they, you and everyone involved can track their progress.

As you can see, there are many benefits to using Moodle 3.1, and if you work as a teacher, it’s an app that definitely warrants your consideration.

Technology is making the world a better place. It makes your job as a teacher easier, and it makes the learning process for students more engaging and fun. Students get to acquire some useful skills, since companies nowadays ask for high levels of competence when it comes to using technology.

Check out the latest Moodle Mobile App and find out its qualities on your own.

Author Bio:

Kamy Anderson is an ed-tech enthusiast with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of corporate training and education. He has 7+ years of experience working with ProProfs learning management system and other eLearning authoring tools, which has given him a hands-on experience of the latest course authoring software and an exclusive insight into the eLearning industry.

Pathfinder for Moodle beginners – Groups and Groupings

Source: Pathfinder for Moodle beginners – Groups and Groupings #LearnMoodle – Moodle World – Moodle World

Few days ago, we posted about the Generico filter pathfinder written by Steve Ambro, Moodle community member from US and now Steve is back with another pathfinder tutorial for Moodle beginners based on the “Groups and Groupings” topic.

The new pathfinder is to introduce the new learners with the difference in the terms Groups and Groupings in Moodle world. The pathfinder will explain about creating groups, assigning students in groups and then using those groups in assignment activities. Afterwards, it covers about how to apply the groups to groupings.

Pathfinder for Moodle beginners - Groups and Groupings #LearnMoodleYou can check out the Groups and Groupings tutorial here – http://sga.professorsplace.info/?page_id=5749and you can share your feedback with Steve at  SGA (at) ProfessorsPlace (dot) info

Groups In Moodle:

The Groups feature allows you to divide up the students on your course into groups, such as their class groups. Students can then undertake Moodle activities within these groups, allowing them to work together more closely, and encouraging more participation from each member than they might get in a whole-class exercise.

Why Use Groups:

  • You are a teacher in a course where you have several classes and you want to filter your activities and gradebook so you only see one class at a time.
  • You are a teacher sharing a course with other teachers and you want to filter your activities and gradebook so you don’t see the students from your colleagues’ classes.
  • You want to allocate a particular activity, resource or topic section to just one class or set of users and you don’t want others to see it

Groupings:

A grouping is a collection of groups within a course. Using groupings allows you to direct tasks at one or more groups in your course, so that they can work together on the tasks.

If you would also like to share similar tips, tutorials or any news related to Moodle,You can share with us through this form.

References:

Essential theme updated with fixed bugs and new features

Source: Essential theme updated with fixed bugs and new features #MoodleThemes – Moodle World – Moodle World

Gareth is doing a wonderful job by adding a lot of new features and fixing the existing bugs in one of the most downloaded Moodle Theme ever – Essential theme.

Recently Gareth posted about the release of the minor update version of the Essential theme which includes a lot of fixes for all supported Moodle versions i.e. Moodle 2.9, 3.0 and 3.1.

The most notable new features includes:

  •  Display block region names when editing.
  • Allowing blocks placed at the top of the content column. This feature is funded by Servei de Recursos Educatius, Universitat Rovira i Virgili.

Essential theme updated with fixed bugs and new features #MoodleThemes

You can check out the complete list of changes in the new version here and here. You can download your copy of the Essential theme from the Moodle plugins database here –https://moodle.org/plugins/theme_essential

After the release of Moodle 3.2, I believe that the Moodle theme designers will design more awesome themes. Check out the prototype demo of the new theme project for Moodle 3.2 here. Even you can also help in suggesting a new name for the theme also in this forum thread.

Grant Your Moodle A Sense Of Meaning With The Buttons Course Format

Source: Grant Your Moodle A Sense Of Meaning With The Buttons Course Format | Moodle News

Grant Your Moodle A Sense Of Meaning Through Button Course Format

The Buttons Course Format puts a content navigation header in all pages of your Moodle course. A sequential layout like this one helps engagement by giving students a ready next best choice after completing a page activity. If your content is following a clear storyline, the Buttons Course format will give your student perspective, on where they are and where they are heading.

The plugin lets you group section buttons, by modules or weeks, for example. Although there is no limit on the number of buttons on the header, it is not advisable to have more than twelve. Another good idea is to group the buttons by “chunks” of three or four items to elicit meaning from your course. You can also customize the color of active and inactive buttons.

Install Buttons Course Format by downloading it from the Moodle Plugin Database. After you extract it into the moodle\course\format directory, it is only a matter of activating it inCourse settings > Course format > Buttons format.

For more on filling out a Moodle course format, sections and layouts follow this official documentation page.

The Buttons course format plugin is developed and maintained by Brazilian Rodrigo Brandão.

Download Buttons Course Format from the Moodle plugin directory page.

And clone, fetch, branch, commit, pull or just check out the plugin in the GitHub page.

Incentivize Attention And Awareness In Moodle With The Stash Plugin

Source: Incentivize Attention And Awareness In Moodle With The Stash Plugin | Moodle News

The Stash plugin could be appropriately described as a way to play “hide and seek” inside Moodle. With Stash, you create code snippets for images that you can place anywhere in your course. The snippet includes an image and a collection button. When students find the item, they add the item to their “stash” by clicking. You can set a limited number of supplies for the item, to reward fast navigation. You can also set interval times to hide the item for a given amount of time after a student discovers it, to prevent overcrowding.

To use Stash, after it is installed and enabled in your Moodle, go to your course sections and Turn Editing On. A Stash module will appear, with a “Settings” link for you to click on. This will take you to a page with items, which will be empty if you are about to make your first submission. Click on “Add an item”.

You will be taken to a submission form in which you upload an image. A pop-up will allow you to select an already uploaded file, to upload one, or to find one online through Wikimedia. Choose your preferred image, name the snippet and add number of Supplies and Interval time. When you are done this creates the page. Go back to the list of items to set a location for the item and retrieve the snippet code.

Go back again to the course contents to place the item by pasting the snippet on the page content. Remember to do so in the HTML view instead of the rich editing view.

That’s all! Students now must be extra aware along the course contents to complete their own stashes. You can award extra credit or include their stash into their evaluations, in which case make sure there’s enough items for everyone to find.

Stash requires Moodle 2.9 or higher.

Restrict access to course sections & activities relative to course start date using this plugin

Source: Restrict access to course sections & activities relative to course start date using this plugin #Moodleplugins – Moodle World – Moodle World

Restriction by week from start  is a new availability type plugin released in the Moodle plugins database recently which allows you to release course activities or sections with a relative week shift from course start date.

The simple and yet very useful plugin developed by Valery Fremaux is focused on doing a small improvement perfectly and is a must have plugin. However as of now the plugin is only available for Moodle 2.7 version.

Restrict access to course sections & activities relative to course start date using this plugin #MoodlepluginsThe plugin provides you the capability to put a new access restriction condition for any course section or any course activity. The restriction capability allows you to release the course content after a certain weeks have elapsed from the course start week otherwise it will be hidden from the students.

The current version of the plugin however supports only setting 6 weeks shift from the course start date but as per the plugin developer it can be extended to more weeks in the next release.

You can download the plugin from the Moodle plugins database here and make sure to test it out on a development server before using it on the production server. The plugin is also awarded with theAutomated Testing Support Badge.