Following on from our earlier post about 10 Key Moodle terms explained, here are another ten terms which may cause confusion when beginner Moodlers start diving into the rich features of Moodle.
In Moodle 2.9, logged in users can access essential areas of the site from a user menu accessed top right of the screen next to their profile picture. This menu (which may be customised by the admin) provides links to all course grades, easy access to your profile and dashboard and a helpful Preferences page allowing you to manage your badges, blogs, forum notifications and more.
Atto or TinyMCE?
If the admin allows, every Moodle user has a choice of editor to use when adding text to Moodle. Moodle’s default – and recommended – editor is Atto, a responsive and accessible editor which allows for image drag and drop and auto-saving. If you are more familiar with the settings of the popular TinyMCE editor, you may select a version of it from the Preferences page in the User menu, and for those who like it, it’s also possible to choose a plain text editor.
The concept of roles is something which can be puzzling to Moodle newbies who presume that, if they are a teacher or student offline, they’ll automatically be a teacher or student in Moodle. Apart from the all-powerful administrator role, any other user when first logged into Moodle is an “authenticated user” who is given a role in each course, rather than globally. So in the same Moodle site you could be a teacher in a History course and a student in a Chemistry course, just as at your own college could be teaching History during the day and studying Chemistry at an evening class in the same building. Read up on roles here.
Cohorts, groups or groupings?
A cohort is a site or category-wide group which allows for easy enrolment of large numbers of students into courses. Cohorts may be created manually or uploaded via a CSV file. A group is course or activity specific. You might have a cohort of 100 Economics students and once in a course, you might wish to divide them into groups of 20 according to the tutor they have. Activities and resources may be restricted to groups. A grouping is typically a collection of groups, although you could in theory have a grouping of only one member just as you could have a group of only one member. Groupings allow several groups to work together in a course.
A very sophisticated and powerful Moodle activity, the term Lesson can mislead newcomers to Moodle. Use course sections, resources and activities to add the materials you would have in your face-to-face “lessons” and once you’re ready for a worthwhile challenge, explore the branching features of Moodle’s Lesson. Working a bit like a website where you to navigate through a choice of pages, it allows you to personalise the learning path of your students, testing them along the way, with time restrictions if needed.
Moodle.org or Moodle.com?
Moodle.org is our community site where people can download Moodle and additional plugins for free and get 24/7 support from Moodlers around the world in many languages. If you’re looking for hosting, customisation or paid support then Moodle.com is our commercial site, listing over 60 Moodle Partner companies globally.