Sunday, June 14, 2009

Moodle Toolbox - Tips and Tricks for K-12

Below are my notes on Mark McCall's Moodle Toolbox - Tips and Tricks for K-12 session at the TCEA Area 7 Conference held on June 12, 2009 at White Oak I.S.D. Session Description: In this session, we will look at key tips and tricks for managing a Moodle server. We will explore the Moodle Site Administration Block features to provide site wide standardization. We will focus on Site wide features that impact grades, modules, and utilizing Front Page Site files.

1. Mark administers the Moodle Server at Bryan ISD
2. Session is about version 1.9.5, which is the most current version
3. In, in the downloads, you can download a full moodle installation. This allows you to have a sandbox.
4. In version 1.9.5, there are major changes to the Gradebook.
5. Moodle has many activities and resources available.
6. Turn editing on and click on drop down box to add an activity or resources, for example, a label, book, assignment, forums, etc.
7. Mark mainly uses forums and quizzes.
8. If you don't want to allow chats, then from the Admin activity window, you can hide the chat option. The teacher won't even see it.
9. Defaults can be set, for example, for quizzes. You can turn off feedback until after the quiz has closed so that students can't log back in and see the questions. This can be done by clicking on the Advanced Settings.
10. If you are an administrator and want to see if 100% of your students were taken on campus, you can set a required network address. To get into the quiz, then student will have to be located on campus. To allow students to work at home, all you have to do is removed the network address.
11. Blocks and RSS feeds can be limited as well at the site admin level.
12. The other area that is important in K-12 is the filters. Multimedia plugins is where you can set what can play. All is set to default on, except flash files.
13. Text filter - this is where you can filter text. This can be enabled.
14. Drag and drop map -
15. Auto Linking Filters works like Wikipedia. This automatically links text within the site.
16. Glossary - LDAP settings - with autolinking turned on, will automatically link to the LDAP settings. Teachers like this feature, up until a quiz is ready to be given.
17. You can select text and click on the red X to unlink text on quizzes or tests to prevent auto-linking.
18. Word Censorship - This will block out certain words. Instead of word, you will see asterisks. You can use a standard list of words. However, it applies to the entire site. You can get around this by creating a graphic/print screen for the word. Graphics break the word filter.
19. Grade Options - The name column, etc. is different.
20. Teacher had many grade custom settings available for them.
21. Outcomes can be added, for example testable TEKS can be assigned to outcomes.
22. From site admin side, defaults for gradebook can be set, for example default for letter grades.
23. Gradespeed is used but Moodle Gradebook is used at Bryan ISD in a drop box context to add assignments so students can see which assignments are missing.
24. Site files - Files located within a course are only available to those students in that course. Course files can be exported from one course and imported to another.
25. Sharing files - A main directory for site files can be created. The URL of the file can be taken and posted to another site and it will display correctly.
26. Question - Can each teacher have a frontpage like the site does? No
27. Multiple Teacher within a Course - Add a teacher and assign roles. Teacher has privileges but the teacher's name appears nowhere in the course.
28. has an add on, called alfresco implementation. Allows a teacher to build a repository.
29. Groups within a Course - Groups can automatically be built with auto-create function. Students can belong to multiple groups.