principal
Développement de cours e-learning Moodle 3: Créez des cours e-learning très engageants avec Moodle 3

Susan Smith Nash, William Rice

https://www.packtpub.com/web-development/moodle-3-e-learning-course-development-fourth-edition

Un guide complet pour développer et dispenser des cours à l’aide de Moodle 3.x

Caractéristiques clés

  • Obtenez les meilleurs résultats du dernier framework Moodle 3 pour assurer un apprentissage réussi
  • Acquérir de l’expérience dans la création de différents types de cours
  • Créez votre première application Moodle VR à l’aide de la boîte à outils Moodle VR

Description du livre

Moodle est une plate-forme d’apprentissage ou un système de gestion de cours (CMS) facile à installer et à utiliser, mais le véritable défi est de développer un processus d’apprentissage qui utilise sa puissance et mappe les objectifs d’apprentissage au contenu et aux évaluations d’un cours. intégré et efficace. Le développement du cours e-learning Moodle 3 vous guide pour relever ce défi de manière pratique.

Cette dernière édition vous montrera comment ajouter du matériel d’apprentissage statique, des évaluations et des fonctionnalités sociales, telles qu’une stratégie pédagogique basée sur un forum, un module de chat et des forums à vos cours pour aider les étudiants à atteindre leur potentiel d’apprentissage. Que vous souhaitiez soutenir l’enseignement ou l’enseignement traditionnel en classe, ou offrir des cours en ligne et en ligne complets, ce livre se révélera être une ressource puissante lors de l’utilisation de Moodle.

Vous apprendrez à créer et à intégrer des plugins et des widgets tiers dans l’application Moodle, à mettre en œuvre des autorisations de site et des comptes d’utilisateurs, et à garantir la sécurité de votre contenu et de tester vos documents. Ensuite, vous allez implémenter des scripts PHP qui vous aideront à créer des interfaces utilisateur personnalisées pour l’application. Vous comprendrez également comment créer votre première application d’apprentissage en ligne Moodle VR en utilisant la dernière expérience d’apprentissage en réalité virtuelle offerte par Moodle 3.

À la fin de ce livre, vous aurez exploré les décisions, les considérations de conception et les processus de réflexion nécessaires à l’élaboration d’un cours réussi.

Qu’allez-vous apprendre

  • Vous savez ce que fait Moodle et comment il soutient vos stratégies d’enseignement
  • Installez Moodle sur votre ordinateur et parcourez-le
  • Comprendre toutes les fonctionnalités d’apprentissage de Moodle
  • Surveillez la façon dont les étudiants interagissent avec votre site à l’aide des statistiques du site
  • Ajoutez du contenu multimédia à votre site
  • Permettre aux étudiants de s’inscrire seuls ou inviter d’autres étudiants à s’inscrire à un cours

À qui s’adresse ce livre?

Ce livre est destiné à tous ceux qui veulent tirer le meilleur parti de Moodle. En tant que débutant, il s’agit d’un guide détaillé pour comprendre le fonctionnement du logiciel, avec d’excellentes idées pour vous aider à démarrer avec le premier cours. Une partie de l’expérience de travail avec des systèmes d’apprentissage en ligne sera bénéfique. Les utilisateurs expérimentés de Moodle trouveront de solides connaissances dans l’élaboration de cours réussis et éducatifs.

content

  1. Une visite guidée de Moodle
  2. Installer Moodle
  3. Configuration de votre site
  4. Création de catégories et de cours
  5. Ressources, activités et accès conditionnel
  6. Ajout de ressources
  7. Ajouter des missions, des leçons, des commentaires et des choix
  8. Évaluation des étudiants avec des tests
  9. Mise en réseau avec les chats et les forums
  10. Collaboration avec Wikis et glossaires
  11. Animer un atelier
  12. Groupes et cohortes
  13. Prolongez votre cours en ajoutant des blocs
  14. Fonctionnalités pour les enseignants

Editeur:

Packt Publishing

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2

Moodle 3 E-Learning Course
Development
Fourth Edition

Create highly engaging e-learning courses with Moodle 3

Susan Smith Nash
William Rice

BIRMINGHAM - MUMBAI

Moodle 3 E-Learning Course Development
Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2018 Packt Publishing
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form
or by any means, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations
embedded in critical articles or reviews.
Every effort has been made in the preparation of this book to ensure the accuracy of the information presented.
However, the information contained in this book is sold without warranty, either express or implied. Neither the
authors, nor Packt Publishing or its dealers and distributors, will be held liable for any damages caused or alleged to
have been caused directly or indirectly by this book.
Packt Publishing has endeavored to provide trademark information about all of the companies and products
mentioned in this book by the appropriate use of capitals. However, Packt Publishing cannot guarantee the accuracy
of this information.
Commissioning Editor: Amarabha Banerjee
Acquisition Editor: Larissa Pinto
Content Development Editor: Flavian Vaz
Technical Editor: Vaibhav Dwivedi
Copy Editor: Shaila Kusanale
Project Coordinator: Devanshi Doshi
Proofreader: Safis Editing
Indexer: Pratik Shirodkar
Graphics: Jason Monteiro
Production Coordinator: Aparna Bhagat
First published: June 2008
Second edition: August 2011
Third edition: June 2015
Fourth edition: May 2018
Production reference: 1250518
Published by Packt Publishing Ltd.
Livery Place
35 Livery Street
Birmingham
B3 2PB, UK.
ISBN 978-1-78847-219-7

www.packtpub.com

To the memory of my mother, Mona Margaret Wicker Smith, for her continual support,
encouragement, and belief in education and the importance of sharing knowledge
– Susan Smith Nash

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Contributors
About the authors
Susan Smith Nash has been designing and developing online courses and programs for
more than 15 years for education, training, and personal development. In addition to
Moodle 3.x Teaching Techniques, Packt Publishing, she is the author of a number of Moodle
books and training videos, including Moodle Course Design - Best Practices and Moodle for
Training and Professional Development. Other Packt Publishing instructional videos include
two on the Canvas Virtual Learning Environment. She has also authored Video-Assisted Mobile
Learning for Writing Courses.

William Rice is an e-learning professional from New York City. He has written books on
Moodle, Blackboard, Magento, and software training. He enjoys building e-learning
solutions for businesses and gains professional satisfaction when his courses help students.
His hobbies include writing books, practicing archery near JFK Airport, and playing with
his children.
William is fascinated by the relationship between technology and society, how we create
our tools, and how they shape us in turn. Married to an incredible woman who encourages
his writing pursuits, he has two amazing sons.

About the reviewers
Donald Schwartz has been designing and managing Moodle since 2003. He is an expert on
video e-learning course presentation and delivery to large and disparate clients. His clients
include medical societies (AOA), engineering schools, a startup med-tech school, a
distributed recruitment firm, and many of the ENR top 50 for their CAD software training.
Don is the Principal of VectorSpect LLC, a New Hampshire USA based e-learning
consultancy.
Don has reviewed two other Packt publications: Gamification with Moodle and Moodle
Administration Essentials.
John Walker is a licensed professional engineer in industrial engineering and currently a
licensed full-time teacher in computer science at Cleveland High School in Portland, OR.
He has worked on GameMaker Essentials and the GameMaker Cookbook for Packt Publishing.
John has used Moodle since 2005 and beyond administering Moodle and creating courses,
has created Open Educational resources using Moodle.

Packt is searching for authors like you
If you're interested in becoming an author for Packt, please visit authors.packtpub.com
and apply today. We have worked with thousands of developers and tech professionals,
just like you, to help them share their insight with the global tech community. You can
make a general application, apply for a specific hot topic that we are recruiting an author
for, or submit your own idea.

Table of Contents
Preface

1

Chapter 1: A Guided Tour of Moodle
Moodle's philosophy of learning
A plan to create your learning site
Step-by-step instructions to use Moodle

Step 1 – Learning about the Moodle experience
Step 2 – Installing Moodle
Step 3 – Configuring your site
Step 4 – Creating the framework for your learning site
Step 5 – Making decisions about common settings
Step 6 – Adding basic course material
Step 7 – Making your courses interactive
Step 8 – Evaluating your students
Step 9 – Making your course social
Step 10 – Adding collaborative activities
Step 11 – Managing and extending your courses
Step 12 – Taking the pulse of your course
Applying the Moodle philosophy
Adding static content
Interactive and social course material
Creating activities

The Moodle experience
The Moodle front page

Arriving at the site
Using moodlecloud.com
The main menu
Blocks
The site description
Available courses

Inside a course

The navigation bar
Blocks
The navigation block
Sections
Joining a discussion
Completing a lesson

Editing mode
Normal mode versus editing mode
The Edit icon
The Delete icon

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The Hidden/Shown icons
The Group icons

Resources and activities

Adding resources and activities

The administration menu

The Moodle architecture

The Moodle application directory
The Moodle data directory
The Moodle database

Summary
Chapter 2: Installing Moodle
Installation step 1 – Requirements
Hardware

Disk space
Bandwidth and data transfer limits
Memory
Ensuring minimum prerequisites

Installation step 2 – Subdomain or subdirectory?
Installation step 3 – Getting and unpacking Moodle
Choosing a Moodle version
The quick way – Upload and unzip

Uploading and decompressing the ZIP file on the server

Installation step 4 – Creating an empty database
Installation step 5 – Creating the (moodledata) data directory
Creating the database

Installation step 6 – Installing Moodle
Web-based installer

Installation step 7 – Final configuration
MoodleCloud basics
Getting started with MoodleCloud
MoodleCloud options

Summary
Chapter 3: Configuring Your Site
Being mindful of user experience
On-premise versus MoodleCloud
Preparing to experiment
Creating test accounts
Installing several browsers

Exploring the site administration menu
Configuring authentication methods

Manual accounts and no login methods
Manually creating a new user
Suspending a user's account

Enabling email-based self-registration

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Authenticating against an external source

Connecting to an external database or server
What happens when users are deleted from the external database?
What happens when usernames are changed in the external database?

Granting access to courses with enrollment choices
Name
Instances/enrollments
Enable
Up/down
Settings
Manual enrollments

Manually enrolling a student in a course

Guest access

Enabling Guest access for a course

Self enrolment
Cohort sync
Creating a cohort

Adding users to a cohort
Adding a user from the cohort page
Adding a student using the bulk action method

Enrolling a cohort in a course
Category enrollments
The flat file
The file
Student ID number required
Course ID required
Role
Summary of flat files

IMS Enterprise file
LDAP

External database
External database connection
Local field mappings
Remote enrolment sync and creation of new courses

PayPal
Mnet remote enrollments (formerly Moodle networking)

Language

About language files
Installing and enabling additional languages
Installing additional languages
Configuring the language
Sitewide locale
Excel encoding

Offering courses in multiple languages

Security settings

The IP blocker – Limiting access to specific locations
Site policies
Protect usernames
Forcing users to log in
Forcing users to log in for profiles
Open to Google
Maximum uploaded file size

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Changing the limit on uploaded file size in PHP
Changing the limit on uploaded file size in Apache

Allowing embed and object tags
HTTP security

Using HTTPS for logins
Running Moodle entirely from HTTPS

Filters

Activity names and glossary auto-linking filters
Math filters
Email protection filter
Multimedia plugins
Multi-language content
Word censorship
HTML tidy

Configuring the front page

How to use this section
Front page settings page

Full site name
Front page items
Using a topic section on the front page
Show news items

Backup
Setting up the cron job

Summary
Chapter 4: Creating Categories and Courses
Planning based on your institution's mission and vision
Using course categories and the user experience

Displaying courses and categories on your front page
Displaying an uncategorized list of courses on your front page
Choosing the best option for your front page
Creating course categories
Rearranging course categories

Creating courses

Creating a new and blank course

Enrolling teachers and students
Assigning teachers

How to set enrollment methods

Handling course requests

Enabling course requests
Getting notified about course requests

How to request a new course (teachers and students)

Summary
Chapter 5: Resources, Activities, and Conditional Access
Mapping your approach
Identifying course goals and learning objectives
Settings that are common to all resources and activities
Adding a resource or activity
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Entering the name and description
Showing and hiding a resource or an activity
Setting the availability of a resource or an activity

Using the visibility setting to show or hide a resource
Using the ID number to include a resource in the grade book
Restricting access
Summary of the process to use completion conditions

Creating the activities and resources that need to be completed
Creating the activity completion settings
Creating the activities or resources that will be restricted
Setting the competency conditions

Allowing students to see the activity or resource before they can access it

Rearrange/move items on the course home page
Summary
Chapter 6: Adding Resources
Tying resources to course outcomes
Adding different kinds of resources
Adding URLs
Display options – Embed, Open, and In pop-up
Embed
Open
In pop-up

Adding pages

Adding a page to your course
Adding images

Inserting an image file
Inserting a hot-linked picture into a Moodle page
Pasting text
Stripping out the formatting – Pasting plain text

Pasting text from Microsoft Word

Composing in an HTML editor and uploading to Moodle
Learn more about HTML

Adding files for your students to download
When a student selects a file from the course
File repositories

Types of repositories
Using file-sharing services to collaborate
Using repositories to overcome Moodle's limit on file sizes
Enabling the filesystem repository
Creating the directory for the filesystem repository
Uploading files to the filesystem repository
Creating the filesystem repository in your course

Adding media – Video and audio
Adding video or audio to a page

Organizing your course
Name your topics

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Rearrange/move items on the course home page
Giving directions and organization with labels

Summary
Chapter 7: Adding Assignments, Lessons, Feedback, and Choices
Instructional strategy
Learning objectives
Competency learning definitions
Definitions
Selecting assignments
Understanding assignments
What you can do with an assignment
Types of work students can submit

Submitting a digital file
Requiring students to submit online text
Submitting work done in the real world

Submitting an assignment from the student's perspective
Grading an assignment
Receiving a grade for an assignment
Allowing a student to resubmit an assignment

Adding an assignment

Availability
Submission types
Feedback types
Submission settings
Group submission settings
Notifications

Printer-friendly directions
Indicating that assignments are mandatory

Lesson

Definition of a lesson
Example of a simple lesson with remedial page jump
Types of lesson pages
Content pages
Cluster with questions
End of branch

Planning, creating pages, and adding content
Configuring lesson settings
General settings
Appearance

File popup
Display ongoing score
Display left menu and minimum grade to display menu
Maximum number of answers
Use default feedback
Link to next activity

Prerequisite lesson
The flow control

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Allow student review
Provide option to try a question again
Maximum number of attempts
Number of pages to show

Grade
The Practice lesson
Custom scoring
Handling of retakes
Minimum number of questions
Adding the first lesson page
Importing questions
Adding a content page
Adding a cluster
Adding a question page

Creating a question page

Page Title
Page Contents
Answers
Responses
Jumps
This Page
Next or Previous Page
Specific Pages
Unseen question within a cluster

Random question within a content page
Creating pages and assigning jumps
The flow of pages
Editing the lesson
Collapsed and expanded
Rearranging pages
Editing pages
Adding pages

Feedback

Feedback isn't just for students
Creating a feedback activity
Question types

Adding a page break
Avoiding bots with captcha
Inserting information
Adding a label
Creating a textbox for a longer text answer
Displaying multiple-choice questions
Creating multiple-choice questions
The numeric answer
The short-text answer

Viewing feedback

Seeing individual responses
Analyzing responses with the Analysis tab

Choice

The student's point of view
The teacher's point of view

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Limit
Display Mode
Publish results
Privacy of results
Allowing students to change their minds

Summary
Chapter 8: Evaluating Students with Quizzes
Developing graded assignments using quizzes
Question banks
Configuring quiz settings
General
Timing
Grade
Layout
The question behavior

Adaptive mode
Interactive with multiple tries
Immediate feedback
Deferred feedback
Each attempt builds on the last

Review options
Appearance
Extra restrictions on attempts

Techniques for greater security

The overall feedback
Common module settings

Adding questions to a quiz

Adding questions to the Question bank

Moving questions between categories
Managing the proliferation of questions and categories
Creating and editing question categories

Creating a question
Question types
Adding feedback to a question

Types of feedback for a question
Feedback for individual responses
Feedback for a numeric question

Adding the existing questions from the question bank
Adding random questions to a quiz
Maximum grade
Grade for each question
Changing the order of questions

Preventing glossary auto-linking in quiz questions
Preventing an open book quiz

Mastery learning

Competency Frameworks
Certificates
Badges

Summary

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Chapter 9: Getting Social with Chats and Forums
A forum-based instructional strategy
Learning from one another
The Chat module
The chat settings page

The name of this chat room
Description
The next chat time and repeat/publish sessions
Saving past sessions – Past sessions and everyone can view past sessions

Preventing students from seeing one another's chats

Creating and running forums

Forum-based content delivery
Forum-based assignments
Forum-based peer review
Forum-based review and link to assessments
General purpose forum
Using the news forum to send notifications
Multiple forums
Forum settings
General settings

The forum name
The forum description
The forum type
The maximum attachment size
The maximum number of attachments
The display word count
The subscription mode
Read tracking

Post threshold to block settings
Ratings

Summary
Chapter 10: Collaborating with Wikis and Glossaries
Using collaboration as an instructional strategy
Glossary
Enabling glossaries and auto-linking
Enabling glossaries for your site
Enabling auto-linking

Enabling auto-linking for the site
Enabling auto-linking for the course
Enabling auto-linking for the activity or resource

Adding and configuring a glossary

The global glossary versus local glossary
The main glossary versus secondary glossary
Entries approved by default
Always allow editing and Duplicate entries allowed
Allowing comments
Automatically linking glossary entries

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Appearance settings
Enabling ratings

Adding glossary entries
Importing and exporting entries

Wiki

Using a wiki for student contributions and explanations of a topic
Using a wiki to create a list of judging criteria for evaluating a competition
Planning collaborative projects – Using the wiki type and groups mode to
determine who can edit a wiki
Event planning
Business plan for a start-up

Using the wiki type and groups mode to determine who can edit a wiki
The first-page name
The Default format

Summary
Chapter 11: Running a Workshop
Why use a workshop?
When are group project-based workshops best?
Workshop strategies
Peer assessment of submissions
The timing of submissions and assessments
The four questions

The four phases

The setup phase – The edit settings page
Name and description
Grading settings

The grading strategy

The Submission settings
Assessment settings
Feedback settings
Example submissions settings
Availability settings
The edit assessment form page
Adding an example to the workshop

The submission phase – Students submit their work
Allocating submissions

The assessment phase
The grading evaluation phase
The closed phase

Summary
Chapter 12: Groups and Cohorts
Groups versus cohorts
Cohorts

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Creating a cohort
Adding students to a cohort

[x]

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Manually adding and removing students to a cohort
Adding students to a cohort in bulk – Upload

Cohort sync

Enabling the cohort sync enrollment method
Adding the cohort sync enrollment method to a course
Unenroll a cohort from a course
Differences between cohort sync and enrolling a cohort

Managing students with groups
Course versus activity
The three group modes
Creating a group

Manually creating and populating a group
Automatically creating and populating a group
Importing groups

Summary
Chapter 13: Extending Your Course by Adding Blocks
Defining a block
Uses of blocks

Examples of blocks in action

Configuring where a block appears
Standard blocks
The Activities block
The Blog menu block
The Blog tags block
The CALENDAR block
The comments block
The Course completion block
Course/site summary
The Courses block
The FEEDBACK block
The HTML block
The Latest News block
The Logged in user block
The Messages block
The My latest badges block
The My private files block
The Online users block
The quiz results block
The Random glossary entry block
The recent activity block
The Remote RSS feeds block
The Search Forums block
Section links
The Upcoming Events block

Summary

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Chapter 14: Features for Teachers
Logs and reports
Viewing course logs
Viewing live logs
Viewing activity reports
The participation report
Using activity tracking
Viewing grades
Categorizing grades

Viewing grade categories
Creating grade categories

To create a grade category
To assign an item to a grade category

Using extra credit

Weighting a category

Compensating for a difficult category

Summary
Other Books You May Enjoy

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Index

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[ xii ]

Preface
This book will guide you in setting up a course and also use Moodle’s unique attributes and
platform. It will take you on a journey from conception to actualization. After working
through this book, you will be able to design, launch, and administer courses in Moodle
using effective instructional design that is both attractive and engaging. You will be able to
configure your courses so that they incorporate success strategies for students, flexible and
high-quality materials, and learning objectives-focused assessment strategies.

Who this book is for
This book is for educators, e-learning professionals, and teachers who want to get the best
out of Moodle. Experienced Moodle users will find powerful insights into developing
successful educational courses.

What this book covers
This book is intended to be a useful companion as you create your courses in Moodle. It
provides step-by-step instructions, and it also gives illustrative examples. At the same time,
the book should instill confidence so that you feel free to experiment and create resources
and activities that include your own special views and personality. With Moodlecloud and
on-premise installations, you have the chance to create sandbox courses where you can play,
experiment, build, and create your own unique learning world.
Chapter 1, A Guided Tour of Moodle, is a guided tour of Moodle and what makes it unique.

This chapter is an overview and should give you a good idea of what is possible. We hope
you feel inspired to experiment and create after you read this chapter. In this chapter, you
will begin building a plan to create your learning site, and how to do it in a way that
incorporates Moodle's unique philosophy of learning, which rests on a foundation of
interaction and the idea that people learn from each other. You will learn about the way
Moodle is structured and its basic architecture. We will review how to get started and
describe how you can begin to explore ways to make the "Moodle Experience" uniquely
engaging for both students and instructors.

Preface
Chapter 2, Installing Moodle, teaches how to install Moodle on a server (on-premise) and

also to use cloud-based Moodle (MoodleCloud). If you are a small institution or an
individual teacher who would like to create a few courses to experiment with the form, or
even to set up your own courses or tutoring services, in this chapter, you will find step-bystep instructions for installing Moodle. You will also learn how to access and use Moodle
through the cloud so that you do not have to install Moodle on-premise. In learning about
MoodleCloud, you'll find out how Moodle makes it easy for individuals to experiment in a
friendly, free environment.
Chapter 3, Configuring Your Site, focuses on getting your site ready for use, whether you

are using on-premise or a Moodle's cloud-based solution. We will cover the basics of
Moodle navigation, and we will introduce the administrative functions for site
administrators as well as instructors.

Chapter 4, Creating Categories and Courses, takes a close look at content administration in

Moodle. This stage is important, because it involves planning and integrating your
institution's mission and vision with the way that you structure and administer your
courses. We will discuss how to effectively plan your course and how to align the course
with your institution's vision and mission. We'll learn how to set up the framework for
creating courses and also learn how to enroll users, including teachers, students, and
guests.
Chapter 5, Resources, Activities, and Conditional Access, says that as you begin to build your

courses, it's important to take a look at your curriculum as a whole and then standardize in
order to have consistent courses. We will discuss the way to develop your course
frameworks and provide an overview of the kinds of resources and activities that are
available in Moodle. You will learn how to design your course so that it achieves learning
goals, with learning objectives at the center. You will also learn the mechanics of
customizing the courses and their functionality.
Chapter 6, Adding Resources, covers the kind of resources you can utilize in Moodle, and it

describes ways to customize them and organize the course so that your resources are
aligned with your course goals. You will learn how to add different kinds of resources,
which include text files, embedded media files, URLs, and links to different types of
libraries and open source repositories.

[2]

Preface
Chapter 7, Adding Assignments, Lessons, Feedback, and Choices, outlines developing the

instructional strategy you will use for your courses. In addition, you'll find the best way to
build courses around your learning objectives so that you can clearly map your content and
activities to them. Also, you'll learn about different ways to motivate your students and
keep them engaged. We review writing learning objectives and developing assessments
with Bloom's taxonomy in mind. We will also look at competency learning, including
micro-competencies. You will learn how to incorporate certificates and badges in Moodle
so that they are automatically generated when mastery has been demonstrated.
Chapter 8, Evaluating Students with Quizzes, deals with assessment and assuring that

learning objectives have been mastered. We will review how to set up quizzes, and we will
include engagement strategies that involve recognizing student achievement. You will
learn how to build different types of quizzes and tie them to mastery / competencies.
Chapter 9, Getting Social with Chats and Forums, informs that collaboration and interaction

are important in Moodle, and in many learning settings, they constitute the backbone of the
entire educational experience. We will learn how to set up effective social platforms in
Moodle that encourage learning objective-focused engagement. We focus on an interactionbased instructional strategy that emphasizes learning from each other, and uses forums and
chat rooms.
Chapter 10, Collaborating with Wikis and Glossaries, takes you through learning activities

involving collaboration that are very important because they give learners an opportunity
to employ numerous skills and also learn from each other. In this chapter, we will look at
using collaboration as an instructional strategy, and we will discuss when and where to
best employ it. We will go into detail and provide examples. For example, we will look at a
wiki that we call the Shark Tank Wiki, because it deals with evaluating pitches for start-up
funding (as in the popular television show, Shark Tank). Another good example of using
Moodle for collaboration is in planning an event such as a fund-raiser.
Chapter 11, Running a Workshop, demonstrates that using Moodle for an interactive

workshop with group projects is a good strategy, because Moodle has unique attributes
that make student interaction and content sharing very easy and effective. In this chapter,
we discuss why and when to use a workshop and how to select a topic for a project that is
ideal for a group workshop. Then, we review the four phases of a workshop and discuss
the best strategies.

[3]

Preface
Chapter 12, Groups and Cohorts, says that students learn from each other in the course as a

whole and also within groups and subgroups. Many groups are formed for specific
purposes, such as peer review or to develop a wiki or glossary entry. In this chapter, you
learn how to set up and manage groups and cohorts in Moodle.

Chapter 13, Extending Your Course by Adding Blocks, informs that developing content in the

form of a block can be very effective for managing and delivering materials. In this chapter,
we will discuss the use and management of blocks. We will cover examples of blocks and
discuss how to configure a block and control where it appears. We will learn about
standard as well as custom blocks.
Chapter 14, Features for Teachers, says that Moodle has several different types of tools that

make the teacher's life easier, which include customizable logs and reports. We learn how
to manage them in this chapter.

To get the most out of this book
These are the things you'll need to keep in mind in order to get the most of this book:
1. You need to be able to use basic HTML
2. You'll need a good text editor, such as Google Docs or Microsoft Word
3. You'll need to be able to use photo editing programs, either Cloud-based (GIMP,
for example), or installed on-premise (MS-Paint, for example)
4. You'll need to be able to use spreadsheet programs (Excel or Google Sheets) for
importing and exporting student records and questions to test banks in quiz

Conventions used
There are a number of text conventions used throughout this book.
CodeInText: Indicates code words in text, database table names, folder names, filenames,

file extensions, pathnames, dummy URLs, user input, and Twitter handles. Here is an
example: "Note the full course name in the  and <meta> tags. Many search engines
give a lot of weight to the title tag. If your Moodle system is open to search engines, choose
your course title with this in mind."

[4]

Preface

A block of code is set as follows:
<head>
<title>Course: Non-Surgical Anti-Aging Services 




When we wish to draw your attention to a particular part of a code block, the relevant lines
or items are set in bold:

Course: Non-Surgical Anti-Aging Services 




Any command-line input or output is written as follows:
$ git clone -b MOODLE_Version3_STABLE
git://git.moodle.org/moodle.git

Bold: Indicates a new term, an important word, or words that you see onscreen. For
example, words in menus or dialog boxes appear in the text like this. Here is an example:
"To use conditional activities, your system administrator must enable the feature Enable
conditional access under Site administration | Advanced Features."
Warnings or important notes appear like this.

Tips and tricks appear like this.

[5]

Preface

Get in touch
Feedback from our readers is always welcome.
General feedback: Email feedback@packtpub.com and mention the book title in the
subject of your message. If you have questions about any aspect of this book, please email
us at questions@packtpub.com.
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Please contact us at copyright@packtpub.com with a link to the material.
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For more information about Packt, please visit packtpub.com.

[6]

1
A Guided Tour of Moodle
Moodle is a free, open source learning management system that enables you to create
powerful, flexible, and engaging online learning experiences. I use the phrase online learning
experiences instead of online courses deliberately. The phrase online course often connotes a
sequential series of web pages, some images, maybe a few animations, and a quiz put
online. There might be some email or bulletin board communication among the teacher and
students. However, online learning can be much more engaging than that.
Moodle's name gives you an insight into its approach to e-learning. The official Moodle
documentation on http://docs.moodle.org states the following:
"The word Moodle was originally an acronym for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic
Learning Environment, which is mostly useful to programmers and education theorists.
It's also a verb that describes the process of lazily meandering through something, doing
things as it occurs to you to do them, an enjoyable tinkering that often leads to insight and
creativity. As such, it applies both to the way Moodle was developed and to the way a
student or teacher might approach studying or teaching an online course. Anyone who
uses Moodle is a Moodler."
The phrase online learning experience connotes a more active, engaging role for students and
teachers. It connotes, among other things, web pages that can be explored in any order,
courses with live chats among students and teachers, forums where users can rate messages
on their relevance or insight, online workshops that enable students to evaluate one
another's work, impromptu polls that let the teacher evaluate what students think of a
course's progress, and directories set aside for teachers to upload and share their files. All
these features create an active learning environment, full of different kinds of student-tostudent and student-to-teacher interactions. This is the kind of user experience that Moodle
excels at and the kind that this book will help you create.

A Guided Tour of Moodle

Chapter 1

Moodle's philosophy of learning
For those of you who are interested, the underlying learning philosophy for Moodle is that
of "connectivism." Basically, it means that people learn from one another, and Moodle's
framework is structured to maximize interactivity with other students and the content
itself. When Moodle first debuted, the philosophy usually involved forums, with some
potential for real-time chat. However, with the ability to include webinars using
BigBlueButton and other add-ins, the possibilities of synchronous (real-time) and
asynchronous interactivity have expanded.
One thing to keep in mind as you develop a course that incorporates connectivistm as
learning philosophy is that you'll be working with the affective (the emotional) as well as
the cognitive domain. This means that you will be engaging the emotions (which is good
for motivation). Connectivism also means that you can also encourage the sharing of
experiences and allow people to build on prior knowledge and experience. In fact, building
courses that allow students to scaffold their knowledge with experiential and prior learning
can give rise to a very solid approach. Your students will be able to do more with the
knowledge, particularly if the course has to do with applied knowledge and skills.
In this chapter, we will learn the following:
How to launch a plan to create your learning site
How Moodle's philosophy of connectivism creates conditions for learning
The fundamental architecture of Moodle
The way people learn with Moodle
What makes Moodle unique

A plan to create your learning site
Whether you are the site creator or a course creator, you can use this book to develop a plan
to build your courses and curriculum. As you work your way through each chapter, the
book provides guidance on making decisions that meet your goals for your learning site.
This helps you create the kind of learning experience that you want for your teachers (if
you're the site creator) or students (if you're the teacher). You can also use this book as a
traditional reference manual, but its main advantages are its step-by-step, project-oriented
approach and the guidance it gives you about creating an interactive learning experience.

[8]

A Guided Tour of Moodle

Chapter 1

Moodle is designed to be intuitive to use, and its online help is well written. It does a good
job of telling you how to use each of its features. What Moodle's help files don't tell you is
when and why to use each feature and what effect it will have on the student experience,
and that is what this book supplies.
One of the most exciting new developments with Moodle is that Moodle now has a cloudbased virtual learning environment (VLE), which is called MoodleCloud. It is free for you
to use if you have fewer than 50 registered users (students, instructors, and so on). You can
still customize the course, and you can build in a great deal of flexibility and functionality.
It does not have the same number of options as an on-premise local installation, but it saves
a great deal of time and money. MoodleCloud allows you to experiment with designs and
also to start small, with the intention of growing. It also makes it easy for individuals and
organizations to develop new kinds of training, collaboration, and education, and then
scale up when needed.

Step-by-step instructions to use Moodle
When you create a Moodle learning site, you usually follow a defined series of steps. This
book is arranged to support that process. Each chapter shows you how to get the most from
each step. Each step is listed with a brief description of the chapter that supports the step.
As you work your way through each chapter, your learning site will grow in scope and
sophistication. By the time you finish this book, you should have a complete, interactive
learning site. As you learn more about what Moodle can do and see your courses taking
shape, you may want to change some of the things that you did in the previous chapters.
Moodle offers you this flexibility. Also, this book helps you determine how those changes
will cascade throughout your site.

Step 1 – Learning about the Moodle experience
Every learning management system (LMS) has a paradigm, or approach, that shapes the
user experience and encourages a certain kind of usage. An LMS might encourage very
sequential learning by offering features that enforce a given order on each course. It might
discourage student-to-student interaction by offering few features that support it, while
encouraging solo learning by offering many opportunities for the student to interact with
the course material.

[9]

A Guided Tour of Moodle

Chapter 1

In this chapter, you will learn what Moodle can do and what kind of user experience your
students and teachers will have, using Moodle. You will also learn about the Moodle
philosophy and how it shapes the user experience. With this information, you'll be ready to
decide how to make the best use of Moodle's many features and plan your online learning
site.

Step 2 – Installing Moodle
Chapter 2, Installing Moodle, guides you through installing Moodle on your web server. It

will help you estimate the amount of disk space, bandwidth, and memory that you will
need for Moodle. This can help you decide the right hosting service for your needs.

Step 3 – Configuring your site
Most of the decisions you make while installing and configuring Moodle will affect the user
experience. Not just students and teachers, but also course creators and site administrators
are affected by these decisions. While Moodle's online help does a good job of telling you
how to install and configure the software, it doesn't tell you how the settings that you
choose affect the user experience. Chapter 3, Configuring Your Site, covers the implications
of these decisions and helps you configure the site so that it behaves in the way you
envision.

Step 4 – Creating the framework for your learning
site
In Moodle, every course belongs to a category. Chapter 4, Creating Categories and Courses,
takes you through creating course categories and then creating courses. Just as you chose
site-wide settings during installation and configuration, you choose course-wide settings
while creating each course. This chapter tells you the implications of the various course
settings so that you can create the experience that you want for each course. It also shows
you how to add teachers and students to the courses.

[ 10 ]

A Guided Tour of Moodle

Chapter 1

Step 5 – Making decisions about common
settings
In Moodle, course material is either a resource or an activity. A resource is an item that the
student views, listens to, reads, or downloads. An activity is an item that the student
interacts with or that enables the student to interact with the teacher or other students. In
Chapter 5, Resources, Activities, and Conditional Access, you will learn about the settings that
are common to all resources and activities and how to add resources and activities to a
course.

Step 6 – Adding basic course material
In most online courses, the core material consists of web pages that the students view.
These pages can contain text, graphics, movies, sound files, games, exercises—anything that
can appear on the World Wide Web (WWW) can appear on a Moodle web page. Chapter
6, Adding Resources, covers adding this kind of material, plus links to other websites, media
files, labels, and directories of files. This chapter also helps you determine when to use each
of these types of material.

Step 7 – Making your courses interactive
In this context, interactive means an interaction between the student and the teacher, or the
student and an active web page. Student-to-student interaction is covered in a later chapter.
This chapter covers activities that involve interaction between the student and an active
web page, or between the student and the teacher. Interactive course material includes
lessons that guide students through a defined path, based upon their answers to review
question and the assignments that are uploaded by the student and then graded by the
teacher. Chapter 7, Adding Assignments, Lessons, Feedback, and Choices, tells you how to
create these interactions and how each of them affects the student and teacher experience.

Step 8 – Evaluating your students
In Chapter 8, Evaluating Students with Quizzes, you'll learn how to evaluate the students'
knowledge with a quiz. The chapter thoroughly covers creating quiz questions, sharing
quiz questions with other courses, adding feedback to questions and quizzes, and more.

[ 11 ]

A Guided Tour of Moodle

Chapter 1

Step 9 – Making your course social
Social course material enables student-to-student interaction. Moodle enables you to add
chats and forums to your courses. These types of interactions will be familiar to many
students. Chapter 9, Getting Social with Chats and Forums, shows you how to create and
manage these social activities.

Step 10 – Adding collaborative activities
Moodle enables students to work together to create new material. For example, you can
create glossaries that are site-wide and those that are specific to a single course. Students
can add to the glossaries. You can also allow students to contribute to and edit a wiki in
class.
Moodle also offers a powerful workshop tool, which enables the students to view and
evaluate one another's work.
Each of these interactions makes the course more interesting but also more complicated for
the teacher to manage. The result is a course that encourages the students to contribute,
share, and engage. Chapter 10, Collaborating with Wikis and Glossaries, and Chapter 11,
Running a Workshop, help you rise to the challenge of managing your students' collaborative
work.

Step 11 – Managing and extending your courses
Chapter 12, Groups and Cohorts, shows you how to use groups to separate the students in a

course. You will also learn how to use cohorts, or site-wide groups, to mass enroll students
into courses.
Every block adds functionality to your site or your course. Chapter 13, Extending Your
Course by Adding Blocks, describes many of Moodle's blocks, helps you decide which ones
will meet your goals, and tells you how to implement them. You can use blocks to display
calendars, enable commenting, enable tagging, show navigation features, and much more.

[ 12 ]

A Guided Tour of Moodle

Chapter 1

Step 12 – Taking the pulse of your course
Moodle offers several tools to help teachers administer and deliver courses. It keeps
detailed access logs that enable the teachers to see exactly what content the students access,
and when. It also enables the teachers to establish custom grading scales, which are
available site-wide or for a single course. Student grades can be accessed online and can
also be downloaded in a variety of formats (including spreadsheet). Finally, teachers can
collaborate in special forums (bulletin boards) reserved just for them. This is a part of
Chapter 14, Features for Teachers.

Applying the Moodle philosophy
Moodle is designed to support a style of learning called social constructionism. This style
of learning is interactive. The social constructionist philosophy believes that people learn
best when they interact with the learning material, construct new material for others, and
interact with other students about the material. The difference between a traditional
philosophy and the social constructionist philosophy is the difference between a lecture
and a discussion.

Adding static content
Moodle does not require you to use the social constructionist method for your courses.
However, it best supports this method. For example, Moodle enables you to add several
kinds of static course material. This is the course material that a student reads but does not
interact with, such as the following:
Web pages
Links to anything on the web (including material on your Moodle site)
A folder of files
A label that displays any text or image

[ 13 ]

A Guided Tour of Moodle

Chapter 1

Interactive and social course material
However, Moodle enables you to add even more kinds of interactive and social course
material. This is the course material that a student interacts with, by answering questions,
entering text, or uploading files, which includes the following:
Assignment (uploading files to be reviewed by the teacher)
Choice (a single question)
Lesson (a conditional, branching activity)
Quiz (an online test)

Creating activities
Moodle also offers activities in which the students interact with one another. These are used
to create social course material, such as the following:
Chat (live online chat between students)
Forum (you can have none or several online bulletin boards for each course)
Glossary (students and/or teachers can contribute terms to site-wide glossaries)
Wiki (this is a familiar tool for collaboration with most younger students and
many older students)
Workshop (this supports peer review and feedback of the assignments that the
students upload)
In addition, some of Moodle's add-on modules add even more types of interaction. For
example, one add-on module enables the students and the teachers to schedule
appointments with each other.

[ 14 ]

A Guided Tour of Moodle

Chapter 1

The Moodle experience
As Moodle encourages interaction and exploration, your students' learning experience will
often be non-linear. Moodle can enforce a specific order upon a course, using something
called conditional activities. Conditional activities can be arranged in a sequence. Your
course can contain a mix of conditional and non-linear activities.
In this section, I'll take you on a tour of a Moodle learning site. You will see a student's
experience from the time the student arrives at the site, enters a course, and works through
some material in the course. You will also see some student-to-student interaction and
some functions used by the teacher to manage the course. Along the way, I'll point out
many of the features that you will learn to implement in this book and how the demo site is
using those features.

The Moodle front page
The front page of your site is the first thing that most users will see. This section takes you
on a tour of the front page of a demonstration site.
Probably, the best Moodle demo sites are http://demo.moodle.net/ and
http://school.demo.moodle.net/. Many of the screenshots in this book
are from http://school.demo.moodle.net. The contents of that site are
graciously offered by Moodle Pty Ltd, under the Creative
Commons—Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Arriving at the site
When a visitor arrives at the demonstration learning site, the visitor sees the front page.
You can require the visitor to register and log in before seeing any part of your site.

[ 15 ]

A Guided Tour of Moodle

Chapter 1

Alternatively, you can allow the anonymous visitor to see a lot of information about the site
on the front page, which is what I have done in the following screenshot:

One of the first things that a visitor will note is that you can search for courses to download
and use. You can enter keywords, and you'll be able to select from different options. For
example, I entered the word literature, and I was able to find a number of modules that
I can use in my courses. All I have to do is provide proper attribution. Several options are
available, as seen in the following screenshot:

[ 16 ]

A Guided Tour of Moodle

Chapter 1

Using moodlecloud.com
Moodle has created a cloud-based Moodle, which allows you to set up courses, develop a
sandbox, and launch the courses. It is located at http:/​/​www.​moodlecloud.​com, and,
depending on the number of users, your cost can range from absolutely free to higher costs,
seen as follows, and also as described on the information page at https:/​/​moodlecloud.
com/​app/​en/​:
Free: It allows you to develop as many courses as you'd like and develop as
many as 50 users. Your idle courses are not archived, so you need to log in often.
Your account will be deleted if you do not access it regularly.
Starter: It allows you to have the same number of users as the Free option, but
you also have access to more applications such as document converters and
certificate generators. However, you're limited with respect to themes and other
utilities. It costs 80 AUD per year.
Moodle for School: It has different levels and pricing, depending on the number
of users and storage space. With packages that can scale up to 500 users, it's ideal
for a small school, but does not work for a large school.

[ 17 ]

A Guided Tour of Moodle

Chapter 1

The main menu
Logging into MoodleCloud, note the My new Moodle site in the upper-left corner in the
following screenshot. It includes Dashboard, Site pages, and My courses. It tells the user
about the courses you have created and also those made available by Moodle. It includes
Introduction to Moodle, which is an introductory guided tour that all new users should
explore.

In Moodle, the icons tell the user what kind of resource will be accessed by a link. In this
case, the icon tells the user that the first resource is a PDF (Adobe Acrobat) document and
the second is a web page. Course material that a student observes or reads, such as web or
text pages, hyperlinks, and multimedia files, is called resources. In Chapter 5, Resources,
Activities, and Conditional Access, you will learn how to add resources to a course.

Blocks
In the side bars of the page, you will find Blocks. For example, the Main menu, Calendar,
and Tags blocks. You can choose to add a block to the front page, to all the pages in the site,
or to an individual course.

[ 18 ]

A Guided Tour of Moodle

Chapter 1

Other blocks display a summary of the current course, a list of courses available on the site,
the latest news, who is online, and other information. At the bottom-right side of the front
page, you see the Login block. Chapter 13, Extending Your Course by Adding Blocks, tells you
how to use these blocks.
Your site's front page is a course!—you can add these blocks to the front
page of your site because the front page is essentially a course. Anything
that you can add to a course, such as resources and blocks, can be added
to the front page.

The site description
On the right-hand side of the front page, you see a Site Description. This is optional. If this
were a course, you could choose to display the Course Description.
The Site Description or Course Description can contain anything that you can put on a
web page. It is essentially a block of HTML code that is displayed on the front page.

Available courses
You can choose to display the available courses on the front page of your site. You can also
customize the appearance of your front page. You can do that by clicking on Dashboard
and then customizing the descriptions of the courses, and you can also indicate whether
you want to make the default page your home page. If you do not, you can search for a
different page and select it.

[ 19 ]

A Guided Tour of Moodle

Chapter 1

The following screenshot shows what your dashboard looks like after you've clicked on it
and how to customize the descriptions:

When a course is displayed in a list, clicking on the information icon next to a course
displays its Course Description in a pop-up window. Clicking on a course's name takes
you into the course. If the course allows anonymous access, you are taken directly into the
course. If the course allows guest access or requires registration, you are taken to the login
screen.

[ 20 ]

A Guided Tour of Moodle

Chapter 1

Inside a course
Now, let's take a look inside a course:

We will be examining the typical elements that you'll find in a course, starting with the
navigation used to help you move through it. Then we'll look at blocks, sections, and the
places where we can put content.

The navigation bar
In the preceding screenshot, the user has logged in as the Administrator and entered the
Trends in Tourism course. Note the breadcrumbs trail (the Navbar) in the top-left corner of
the screen, which tells us the name of the site and the short name of the course.
At the upper-right side of the screen, we see a confirmation that the user has logged in.
That is not a part of the Navbar, but it usually appears next to it. There is also a box that
allows you to turn on editing.

[ 21 ]

A Guided Tour of Moodle

Chapter 1

Blocks
Like the front page, this course uses various blocks. The most prominent one is the
Navigation block on the left. Let's talk more about navigation.

The navigation block
The Navigation block shows you where you are and where you can go in the site. In the
demonstration, you can see direct links to the topics in the course. This enables the student
to jump to a topic that is much further down on the page, without scrolling.
At the bottom of the Navigation block is a link to the My courses page. If you click on each
course link, you will see an outline of the main units in that course. It helps the student
navigate quickly and easily.
We will cover how to create assignments in Chapter 7, Adding Assignments, Lessons,
Feedback, and Choices.

Sections
Moodle enables you to organize a course by Week, in which case each section is labeled
with a date instead of a number. Alternatively, you can choose to make your course a
single, large discussion forum. Most courses are organized by Topic, such as the one seen
in the next screenshot:

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Note that the first topic is not numbered. Moodle allows you the first topic as the course
introduction.
Teachers can hide and show sections at will. This enables a teacher to open and close
resources and activities as the course progresses.
Topics are the lowest level of organization in Moodle. The hierarchy is Site | Course
Category | Course Subcategory (optional) | Course | Section. Every item in your course
belongs to a Topic, even if your course consists of only Topic 0.

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Joining a discussion
Clicking on the link for any discussion takes the student into the forum. Clicking on a
Discussion thread opens that thread in the forum. You can see, in the following screenshot,
that the teacher started with the first post. Then, a student replied to the original post:

As Moodle supports an interactive, collaborative style of learning, students can also be
given the ability to rate forum posts and the material submitted by other students. You'll
find out more about forums in Chapter 9, Getting Social with Chats and Forums.

Completing a lesson
Next, the student will enter a workshop called Attracting Passionate & Quirky Affinity
Groups: Save the Sea Turtles, Stand-Up Paddleboarding, ZombieNights, and more.

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In this lesson, the learner works through different kinds of course materials and
assessments. The lesson starts with an article and then includes a multichoice activity to
assess the student's mastery. Note that they must go through the content in the proper
sequence:

In this book, we will go through the creation of lessons as well as the individual
components, which include Content and Activities. Note the online editor that the student
uses to write the assignment. This gives the student basic What You See Is What You Get
(WYSIWYG) features. The same word processor appears when the course creators create
web pages, when students write online assignment entries, and at other times when a user
is editing and formatting text.
Moodle can be configured to use several different kinds of editors. Depending upon your
exact version and how your site administrator configures your site, yours might differ
slightly from what is shown here.

Editing mode
We've been looking at Moodle from a student's perspective. Students usually don't edit
course material. Let's see what happens when you turn on the editing mode to make
changes.

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Normal mode versus editing mode
When a Guest user or a registered student browses through your learning site, Moodle
displays the pages normally. However, when someone with a course editing privilege
enters a course, Moodle offers a button to switch into editing mode:

Clicking on Turn editing on puts Moodle into editing mode:

Let's walk through the icons that become available in editing mode.

The Edit icon
Clicking on the Edit icon enables you to edit whatever that icon follows. In this example,
clicking on the Edit icon that follows the paragraph enables you to edit the section
description. An example of a description is shown as follows:

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Clicking on the Edit icon takes you into the editing window for that quiz. In that window,
you can create, add, and remove quiz questions, change the grading scheme, and apply
other settings to the quiz.

The Delete icon
Clicking on the Delete icon deletes whatever item the icon follows. If you want to remove
an item from a course but are not sure whether you'll want to use it later, don't delete the
item. Instead, hide it from view. Hiding and showing are explained in the next paragraph.

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The Hidden/Shown icons
I call these the Hidden/Shown icons, instead of Hide/Show, because the icons indicate the
current state of an item, instead of indicating what will happen when you click on them.
The Hidden icon indicates that an item is hidden from the students.
Clicking on it shows the item to the students. The Show icon indicates that an item is shown
to the students. Clicking on it hides the item from the students.
If you want to remove an item from a course while keeping it for later use, or if you want to
keep an item hidden from students while you're working on it, hide it instead of deleting it.

The Group icons
The Group icons indicate what group mode has been applied to an item. Groups are
explained in Chapter 12, Groups and Cohorts. For now, you should know that you can
control access to items based upon which group a student belongs to. Clicking on these
icons enables you to change that setting.

Resources and activities
The course material that a student observes or reads, such as web or text pages, hyperlinks,
and multimedia files, are called resources. Course materials that a student interacts with, or
that enables interaction among students and teachers, are called activities. Now, let's look
at how to add some resources and activities to your Moodle site or course.
In editing mode, you can add resources and activities to a course. Moodle offers more
activities than resources, such as chat, forum, quiz, wiki, and more.

Adding resources and activities
You add resources and activities using the drop-down menu that appears in editing mode,
as seen in the following screenshot:

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Selecting an item brings you to the editing settings page for that type of item. For example,
selecting URL displays the window seen in the following screenshot. Note that you can do
much more than just specify a hyperlink. You can give this link a user-friendly name, a
summary description, open it in a new window, and more.

Every resource and activity that you add to Moodle has a description. This description
appears when a student selects the item. Also, if the item appears in a list (for example, a
list of all the resources in a course), the description will be displayed.
When building courses, you will spend most of your time in the Edit settings pages for the
items that you add. You will find their behavior and appearance to be very consistent. The
presence of a description is an example of that consistency. Another example is the
presence of the help icon
next to the title of the window. Clicking on this icon displays
an explanation of this type of item.
Also, the edit settings pages are divided into sections. Some sections are present for almost
every resource and activity that you add. These sections are covered once in this book, to
avoid repetition.

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The administration menu
The contents of the Administration menu change depending upon who is logged in. For
example, the next screenshot shows the Administration menu when a student is in one of
our courses:

The following screenshot shows the teacher's view of the Administration menu:

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The choices on this menu apply to the course itself. If a teacher, administrator, or course
creator selects an activity or resource in the course, the user is taken inside that
activity/resource. Then, the Administration submenu for that item will appear. In the
example seen in the following screenshot, the teacher has selected an assignment and is
looking at the Administration submenu for that assignment:

This short tour introduced you to the basics of the Moodle experience. The following
chapters will take you through installing Moodle and creating courses. If you work through
those chapters in order, you will discover many more features that are not mentioned in
this tour. Also, because Moodle is open source, new features can be added at any time.
Perhaps, you will be the one to contribute a new feature to the Moodle community.

The Moodle architecture
Moodle runs on any web server that supports the PHP programming language and a
database. It works best, and there is more support, when running on the Apache web
server with a MySQL database. These requirements—Apache, PHP, and MySQL—are
common to almost all commercial web hosts, even the cheaper ones.

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The Moodle learning management system resides in three places on your web host:
The application occupies one directory, with many subdirectories for the various
modules
Data files that the students and teachers upload—such as photos and
assignments submitted by students—reside in the Moodle data directory
Course material that you create with Moodle (web pages, quizzes, workshops,
lessons, and so on), grades, user information, and user logs reside in the Moodle
database

The Moodle application directory
The following screenshot shows you my Moodle application directory. Without even
knowing much about Moodle, you can guess the function of several of the directories.
For example, the admin directory holds the PHP code that creates the administrative pages,
the lang directory holds translations of the Moodle interface, and the mod directory holds
the various modules.
The index.php file is the Moodle home page. If a student was browsing my Moodle site,
the first page that the student would read is
the http://moodle.williamrice.com/index.php file.
As each of Moodle's core components and modules are in its own subdirectory, the
software can be easily updated by replacing the old files with new ones. You should
periodically check the https://www.moodle.org website for news about updates and bug
fixes.

The Moodle data directory
Moodle stores the files uploaded by the users in a data directory. This directory should not
be accessible to the general public over the web, that is, you should not be able to type in
the URL for this directory and access it using a web browser. You can protect it either using
a .htaccess file or by placing the directory outside of the web server's documents
directory.

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The Moodle database
While the Moodle data directory stores the files uploaded by students, the Moodle database
stores most of the information in your Moodle site. The database stores objects that you
create using Moodle. For example, Moodle enables you to create web pages for your
courses. The actual HTML code for these web pages is stored in the database. Links that
you add to a course, the settings, the content of forums and wikis, and quizzes created with
Moodle, are all examples of data stored in the Moodle database.
The three parts of Moodle—the application, data directory, and database—work together to
create your learning site. Backup and disaster recovery are obvious applications of this
knowledge. However, knowing how the three parts work together is also helpful when
upgrading, troubleshooting, and moving your site between servers.

Summary
Moodle encourages exploration and interaction among students and teachers. As a course
designer and teacher, you will have the maximum number of tools at your disposal if you
work with this tendency, which will make your learning experiences as interactive as
possible. Creating courses with forums, peer-assessed workshops, surveys, and interactive
lessons is more work than creating a course from a series of static web pages. However, it is
also more engaging and effective, and you will find it worth the effort to use Moodle's
many interactive features.
When teaching an online course in Moodle, remember that Moodle generally enables you
to add, move, and modify course material on the fly. If it's permitted by your institution's
policies, don't hesitate to change a course in response to student needs.
Keep in mind that if you're using the cloud-based virtual learning environment version of
Moodle, MoodleCloud, you will have built-in options and may not be able to modify the
course in the way you could if you had a custom or local (on-premise) installation.
Finally, learn the basics of Moodle's architecture, and at least read over the installation and
configuration in Chapter 2, Installing Moodle. Don't be afraid of the technology. If you can
master the difficult art of teaching, you can master using Moodle to its full potential.

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2
Installing Moodle
Even if you don't install Moodle yourself, you should skim this chapter for information that
will be helpful to you as a course manager and creator. This is because the choices made
during Moodle's installation can affect how the system works for people who create, teach,
and take courses on that system.
Installing Moodle requires you to secure space on a web server, create subdomains, unpack
Moodle, create the data director, create the Moodle database, and select front page settings.
Each of these is covered in the following sections. In addition, at the end of this chapter, we
will discuss MoodleCloud, which is a hosting service from the makers of Moodle, which
has the advantage of being cloud-based and more of a virtual learning environment than
simply a learning management system. While using a hosted solution is not for everyone, it
is an ideal option for individuals, small organizations, and solution developers.

Installation step 1 – Requirements
Moodle is run from a web server if you prefer to use Moodle on-premise rather than cloudbased. You upload or place Moodle in your directory on the server. Usually, the server is
someone's computer. If you're a teacher, or work in the corporate world, your institution
might have its own web server. If you're an individual or have a small business, you will
probably buy web-hosting services from another company. In either case, we are assuming
that you have an account on a web server that offers Apache, PHP, and MySQL.
If you must install your own Apache web server and MySQL software, the easiest way to
do so is to use another open source tool—XAMPP from http://www.apachefriends.org.
Apache Friends is a non-profit project to promote the Apache web server. XAMPP is an
easy, all-in-one installer that installs Apache, MySQL, PHP, and Perl. It is available for
Linux, Windows, Mac, and Solaris. If you would like to create a test environment for
Moodle, installing XAMPP onto your computer will install the web server with the
components required to support a Moodle installation.

Installing Moodle

Chapter 2

You can also download a package containing Moodle and the other software needed to
make it run: Apache, MySQL, and PHP. Go to the official Moodle website
(https://moodle.org/), and, under DOWNLOADS, look for installer packages. You can
install Standard Moodle (requires a web server with PHP and a database), and you can add
many plugins from the plugins directory. It's possible to download Moodle Mobile with the
Moodle Mobile app, which you can also experience with Moodle Desktop. Moodle is open
source under the GPL license, and you may download, use, and share it for free. Here's the
site for downloads: http:/​/​moodle.​org/​downloads.

Hardware
It's a good idea to start with a smaller installation and as you gain confidence, you will be
able to expand it.

Disk space
A fresh Moodle installation will occupy less than 200 MB of disk space, which is not much.
However, it's better to budget for 5 GB because of plugins. The content that is added while
the users create and take courses will probably grow larger than that. Base your decision on
how much space to obtain upon the kinds of courses that you plan to deliver. If the courses
contain mostly text and a few graphics, you'll need less space than if they contain music
and video files. Also, consider the disk space occupied by files that the students will
upload. Will the students upload small word processing files? Large graphics? Huge
multimedia files? When determining how much disk space you will need, consider the size
of the files that your courses will serve and that your students will submit. The size of files
that can be uploaded is controlled by the site administrator using a setting under Security |
Site policies | Maximum uploaded file size. It is also controlled by a setting on the web
server that is hosting Moodle. The lower of these two settings—the Moodle setting and the
server setting—determines the size of the files that can be uploaded through Moodle.

Bandwidth and data transfer limits
Moodle is a web-based product, so course content and assignments are added over the
web. Whenever a reader or a user connects to a website, they're using bandwidth. When a
user reads a page on your Moodle site, downloads a video, or uploads a paper, they use
some of your bandwidth. The more courses, students, activities, and multimedia your
Moodle site has, the more bandwidth you will use.

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Most commercial hosting services have a limit of data transfer in their service. If your
account uses more bandwidth or you transfer more data than what is allowed, some
services will cut off your site's access. Others keep your site up, but automatically bill you
for the additional bandwidth or data transfer. The second option is preferable in case of
unexpected demand. When deciding upon a hosting service, find out how much
bandwidth they offer and what they do if you exceed that limit.
In the tip below, consider hosting your videos on YouTube or Vimeo to avoid having to use
up server space and bandwidth, which can be expensive.
Are you serving videos with your course?
If your course includes many videos, or if you'll be serving videos to
many users, that can use up a lot of the bandwidth that your hosting
company provides. Instead of hosting those videos on your Moodle
server, consider hosting them on a dedicated video hosting site like
http:/​/​www.​vimeo.​com or http:/​/​www.​youtube.​com. Then, you can just
embed them in your Moodle page. Vimeo, YouTube, or whoever hosts the
video will take care of the bandwidth.

Memory
It is recommended that you use a 2 GHz dual core or more processor. Although you can
potentially get started with 1 GB of memory, 8 GB or more is a good idea, especially on a
production server. For the best possible performance, visit Moodle's page that contains the
latest recommendations for hardware as well as software. Detailed recommendations can
be found at https:/​/​docs.​moodle.​org/​34/​en/​Performance_​recommendations.

Ensuring minimum prerequisites
Check with your hosting service to ensure that you will be given the following minimum
prerequisites:
Enough disk space for the Moodle software, your course material, and the files
that the students will upload.
FTP access to your server.
Enough bandwidth to serve your course files and for the students to upload their
files.
PHP version 7.

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The ability to create at least one database or to have it created for you.
The ability to create at least one database user or to have it created for you.
Enough shared or dedicated memory to run Moodle's automated backup
routines. You may not know how much that is until you've tried it.
When you can confirm that you have those items, you are ready to proceed with the
installation.
Many hosting services also offer automated installation of Moodle. Search for hosting
services using the terms fantastico and moodle, or one-click install and moodle. These are
usually shared hosting services, so you will have the same performance limitations as if
you installed Moodle yourself on a shared host. However, they simplify the installation and
thus provide a fast and inexpensive way to get a Moodle site up and running.
Automated installations are not always the latest version. Also, they often limit the ability
to install additional plugins and to customize your site. Check with your hosting company
about when they roll out new versions and the limits on customizing it.
You should also research the services offered by the official
Moodle partners. You can find out more about Moodle partners on
http://www.moodle.com (note the .com and not .org address).

Installation step 2 – Subdomain or
subdirectory?
A subdomain is a web address that exists under your web address and acts like an
independent site. For example, my website is www.williamrice.com. This is a standard
website, not a Moodle site. I could have a subdomain,
http://www.moodle.williamrice.com, to hold a Moodle site. This subdomain would be
like an independent site. However, it exists on the same server, under the same account,
and they both count toward the disk space and the bandwidth that I use.
In this example, Moodle is installed in the http://www.moodle.williamrice.com
subdomain.

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Using a subdomain offers you several advantages. Having a site to test updates and addons may be helpful if uninterrupted service is important to you. Later, you'll see how easy
it is to copy a Moodle installation to a different location, change a few settings, and have it
work. If you want to do this, ensure that the hosting service you choose allows subdomains.
If you want to keep things simpler, you can install Moodle into a subdirectory of your
website. In the next step, you will see how Moodle can automatically install itself into a
subdirectory called /moodle. This is very convenient, and you'll find a lot of websites with
Moodle running in the /moodle subdirectory.
Decide if you want to install Moodle into a subdirectory or a subdomain.
If you choose a subdomain, create it now. If you choose a subdirectory,
you can create it later, while uploading the Moodle software.

Installation step 3 – Getting and unpacking
Moodle
Get Moodle from the official website, http://www.moodle.org/. Go to the Moodle
downloads page and select the version and format that you need.

Choosing a Moodle version
For a new installation, the latest stable branch is usually your best choice. The last build
information tells you when it was last updated with a bug fix or a patch. This is usually
irrelevant to you; the version number determines which features you get, not the build
time.
For a production server, do not use the standalone packages mentioned earlier. They are
insecure, because they are meant for use by a Moodle developer for experimentation and
development. To make the development of a site easier and faster, security settings that
would slow down development have been turned off by default. Standalone packages are a
good choice if you want to experiment or develop a Moodle site on your local (nonnetworked) computer.
For a production site, instead of the standalone packages, use the latest stable branch.

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The quick way – Upload and unzip
Moodle is downloaded as a single, compressed file. This compressed file contains the many
small files and directories that constitute Moodle. After downloading the compressed file,
you can decompress (or unzip) the file. Unzipping it on your local PC will extract many
files and directories that you must place on your server.
If you're using a hosting service, they may have the ability to decompress the file on the
server. If so, you can just upload the entire ZIP file, tell the server to decompress it, and all
your Moodle files will be in place. This is much faster than decompressing the ZIP file on
your computer and uploading the many files that it creates.

Uploading and decompressing the ZIP file on the server
1. Go to http://www.moodle.org/ and download the Moodle package (ZIP or TAR
file) to your local hard drive.
2. Upload the file to your hosting service. You may wish to pull the code from the
Git repository, which is the best option for developers because it makes
upgrading very easy. Here is code:
$ git clone -b MOODLE_Version3_STABLE
git://git.moodle.org/moodle.git

3. Secure the Moodle files. Ensure that your files are not writeable by the web
server user.
4. If your hosting service gives you the option to create a new directory for the
unzipped files (Create subdirectory in the preceding example), you can select not
to do so. Moodle's compressed file will automatically create a subdirectory called
moodle for the unzipped files.

Installation step 4 – Creating an empty
database
Create a new, empty database for your installation. Refer to moodle.org for updated
information, and as you do so, you will need to find and make a note of your database
server hostname, username, and password for use during the final installation stage:

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dbhost: This is the database server hostname. It is usually localhost if the

database and web server are the same machine, or it can be the name of the
database server.
dbname: This is the database name. It is usually moodle.
dbuser: This is the username for the database. Use what you assigned, which is
usually moodleuser. Be sure not to use the root/superuser account. Create an
account with the minimum permissions needed.
dbpass: This is the password for the moodleuser.
If your site is hosted, you should find a web-based administration page for databases as
part of the control panel (or ask your administrator). For everyone else, or for detailed
instructions, refer to the page for your chosen database server:
PostgreSQL (recommended)
MariaDB (recommended)
MySQL
MS SQL
On your server, create a directory to hold the Moodle data. This can be a
directory outside of the Moodle directory or a subdirectory.

Installation step 5 – Creating the
(moodledata) data directory
While the Moodle data directory stores files uploaded by students and some larger files, the
Moodle database stores most of the information in your Moodle site. By default, the
installer uses the moodle database name and the moodleuser username. Using these
default settings gives any hacker a head start on breaking into your site. When creating
your database, change these to something less common. At least make the hackers guess
the name of your database and the database username.

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You should also choose a strong password for the Moodle database user. The following are
some recommendations for strong passwords:
Include at least one number, one symbol, one uppercase letter, and one lowercase
letter
Make the password at least 12 characters long
Avoid repetition, dictionary words, letter or number sequences, and anything
based on biographical information about yourself
You will need to create the Moodle database and the database user before you run Moodle's
installation routine; otherwise, the installation process will stop until you create the
required database.

Creating the database
Moodle can use several types of databases. The recommended type is MySQL. There are
many ways to create a database. If you are using a shared hosting service, you may have
access to phpMyAdmin. You can use this to create the Moodle database and the database
user.
For detailed instructions, refer to https:/​/​docs.​moodle.​org/​34/​en/​Installing_
Moodle#Requirements.

Installation step 6 – Installing Moodle
Configuration settings and variables tell Moodle where the database is located, what the
database is called, the database user and password, the web address of the Moodle system,
and other necessary information. All of these configuration settings must be correct for
Moodle to run. They are stored in a file called config.php in Moodle's home directory.
The next step is to run the installer to create the database tables and configure your new
site.
Moodle recommends using the command-line installer. If this does not work and you need
another way (for example, on a Windows server), you can use the web-based installer.

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To run the command-line installer, start by running the command line. It should be as your
system's web user. Ensure that you know what it is—refer to your system's documentation
(for example, Ubuntu/Debian is www-data and Centos is apache)
Here's an example of using the command line as root—substitute www-data for your web
user:
# chown www-data /path/to/moodle
# cd /path/to/moodle/admin/cli
# sudo -u www-data /usr/bin/php install.php
# chown -R root /path/to/moodle

The chown commands allow the script to write a new config.php file. More information
about the options can be found using this:
# php install.php --help

You will be asked for other settings, but all you have to do is to accept the defaults.
For a full discussion, check out Administration via command line at https:/​/​docs.
moodle.​org/​34/​en/​Installing_​Moodle#Requirements.

Web-based installer
For ease of use, you can install Moodle via the web. Configure your web server so that the
page cannot be accessible to the public until the installation is complete.
To run the web installer script, just go to your Moodle's main URL using a web browser.
The installation process will take you through a number of pages. Along the way, you
should be asked to confirm the copyright, observe the database tables as they are
generated, supply administrator account details, and supply the site details. The database
creation can take some time—prepare to be patient. You should eventually end up at the
Moodle front page with an invitation to create a new course.
You should prepare to download the new config.php file and upload it to your Moodle
installation—just follow the onscreen instructions.

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Installation step 7 – Final configuration
Take a look at the settings within Moodle and review the options within the Moodle Site
administration screens (accessible from the Site administration tab in the Administration
block).
You will be able to include plugins and set up email and authentication:
Administration | Site administration | Plugins | Message outputs | Email: Set
your SMTP server and authentication if required (so that your Moodle site can
send emails). The support contact for your site is also set on this page.
Administration | Site administration | Server | System paths: Set the paths to
du, dot, and aspell binaries.
Administration | Site administration | Server | HTTP: If you are behind a
firewall, you may need to set your proxy credentials in the Web proxy section.
Administration | Site administration | Location | Update timezones: Run this
to ensure that your time zone information is up to date.
If you have any problems along the way, it's a good idea to visit Moodle's Installation FAQ.
It is quite complete, and it is maintained so that it responds to users' commonly
encountered issues. You can find it at https:/​/​docs.​moodle.​org/​34/​en/​Installation_
FAQ.
This is for version 3.4.
It is important to keep in mind that Moodle updates are accompanied by updated Moodle
doc pages.

MoodleCloud basics
MoodleCloud is a cloud-based solution that allows you to create your own account and
start building courses and working with students for free (for upto 50 users). MoodleCloud
allows you to develop an unlimited number of courses and activities, so it makes a very
nice sandbox. It's important to keep in mind that there are several companies that offer
hosting for Moodle. What makes MoodleCloud different is the fact that it was developed by
the makers of Moodle and always has the latest, most stable version.

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Getting started with MoodleCloud
The first step is to create a new account. Go to the https:/​/​moodlecloud.​com/​en/​signup/
chooseuser?​plan=​free and click on Create new account. Refer to the following screenshot:

After you've created an account, you can choose a plan with MoodleCloud that
accommodates the number of users you plan to have and how you'll need to organize your
content. Keep in mind that with MoodleCloud, you have no limits with the number of
courses you can develop.

MoodleCloud options
After you've set up your account, you'll have a number of options as you think of the
universal settings you'll need for your courses.
There are several different plans, each of which gives you more users, access to plug-in
packages, and the ability to automatically generate customizable certificates.

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Chapter 2

There are a number of things to consider:
Storage is limited (200 MB to 1 GB), which means that you will need to host your
media in the cloud and link or embed a player
Certificates are only available with the paid plans
Plugin options are limited with the free plan
Users are limited with the free plan
Following is an image showing the various plans offered:

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MoodleCloud can be an excellent solution if you're trying out Moodle for the first time or
you need to experiment. It's also ideal for organizations that are using Moodle in
innovative ways, such as event planning and project management.

Summary
From here, you can create user accounts, configure your site, add content to your site's front
page and create courses.
You can do these in any order, but I usually use the order presented in this chapter. Also,
don't be intimidated into thinking that they must be perfect the first time. They can be
changed and edited at any time. So, start with whatever you're most comfortable with,
develop some momentum, and build your learning site.
In the next chapter, we'll cover how to configure your site to create the kind of environment
and experience that you want.

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3
Configuring Your Site
Many settings that are made after the installation process affect the student and teacher
experience in Moodle when they use the site. The focus of this chapter is on helping you
create the user experience that you want by choosing the right settings. By configuring your
site to enhance the user experience, you'll enhance their learning experience as well. In this
chapter, you will learn how to configure your Moodle site. Specifically, we will learn how
to set permissions, select default options, enable site administration, configure permissions,
and enroll students.
Note that in this book I will be using the MoodleCloud clean theme, although I will
demonstrate other themes as well, particularly boost, since it is a default. The right column
can be configured to add a block, such as a calendar.

Configuring Your Site

Chapter 3

Here's a screenshot using the MoodleCloud clean theme showing the front page, with the
navigation bar on the left and available courses in the center:

Being mindful of user experience
As you prepare to consider your user experience, take a moment to reflect on how the user
experience affects the student's ability to learn. You'll want to keep the learning objectives
and outcomes first and foremost in the learner's mind. Then, you'll want to ensure that you
clearly map the learning objectives to the course content, activities, and assessment. They
need to make sense, and your learner should have an idea of how the activity or content
will lead to the ability to perform the task and demonstrate skill or mastery.
An easy way to maintain mindfulness of the user experience is to think of the
mnemonic CORN:
C Clear: Your outcomes should be clear, as should the process of working through the
course. Think of a map and how it guides one to a final destination. A clear map contains
just the right amount of information, is not superfluous, and provides help when needed.

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O Outcome-focused: Ensure that you're always tied to the learning outcomes, which are
clearly stated at the outset. Then, ensure that each unit or module also contains objectives.
Also ensure that you organize your course in a way that provides sufficient scaffolding so
that the sequence makes sense.
R Relevant: Although it can be interesting to include materials or activities that are not
totally related to the course as enrichment, keep in mind that you could confuse or derail the
student. The material should tie directly to the learning outcomes and should help students
successfully complete the assessments. Likewise, the assessments need to be relevant and
meaningful.
N Needs-based: Provide the tools your students need to be able to perform their tasks.
Also, ensure that their learning preferences are acknowledged and you're focused on
meeting their needs. A prime determinant of user satisfaction is the degree to which the
student feels in charge of their own destiny, something that requires one to develop a high
degree of self-efficacy and an "I can do it!" attitude. Further, to motivate your students,
you'll need to satisfy their needs. They may need a sense of recognition, and so building in
rewards and recognition will be part of the way you configure your site.
In this chapter, we're focusing on the settings. Later, we'll go into more depth about how to
design and arrange the content, activities, and assessments.
In all of these, you have choices.
Many of the choices in settings that you make will be easy to decide. For example, will you
allow your users to select their own time zone? Other choices are not so obvious. You can
spend a lot of time trying different settings to see how they affect the user experience. These
are the settings that we will focus on in this chapter. The goal is to save you time by
showing you the effects that key settings will have on your site.
If your system administrator or webmaster has installed Moodle for you,
you may be tempted to just accept the default configuration and skip this
chapter. Don't do that!
Even if you did not install Moodle or are using MoodleCloud instead of Moodle onpremise, we encourage you to read the configuration sections in this chapter. If you want,
work with your system administrator to select the settings that you want. Your
administrator can create a site administrator account that you can use for configuring
Moodle, or they can make these configuration settings for you.

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On-premise versus MoodleCloud
This chapter primarily focuses on an on-premise installation that is fully customizable.
However, what if you're using MoodleCloud, Moodle's cloud-based solution? The good
news is that MoodleCloud is extremely customizable, and you will have a great deal of
flexibility in the site administration area of the course.
MoodleCloud (http:/​/​www.​moodlecloud.​com) is very economical and is a perfect site for
teachers, instructional designers, and instructional technologists to develop templates, try
out new designs, and pilot an entirely new curriculum or approach. In MoodleCloud, there
is no limit to the number of courses you can set up. Your only limitation is the number of
active users. Moodle is free for up to 50 users. After that, the pricing increases based on the
number of users. For the free version, you will need to allow ads to appear.
MoodleCloud is cloud-based, as the name indicates, and so you do not have to install
anything on your computer or on a server. You will need the latest versions of your
browser (Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari). Ensure that cookies are enabled
for your site. MoodleCloud has been designed to be very efficient, and it is also responsive.
One advantage of MoodleCloud is that you always have the latest version of Moodle, and
when new capabilities emerge, you will be able to use them. For example, you are now able
to configure your courses to be compatible with smartphones as well as with tablets,
laptops, and computers, for a truly mobile solution.
A potential disadvantage of MoodleCloud is that you do not have the same number of
design options because there is a limited number of built-in themes, as opposed to an onpremise solution.
Even though there are a few limitations, MoodleCloud includes features that are valuable
to all designers, and you can add a wide array of multimedia resources and activities that
include assessment and automatic badge and certificate generation.

Preparing to experiment
While this chapter describes the effects of different configuration choices, there is no
substitute for experiencing them yourself. Don't be afraid to experiment with different
settings.

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You can try the following method:
1. While installing Moodle, you created an account for the site administrator. Now,
create test accounts for at least one teacher and three students.
2. Install three different browsers in your computer; for example, Firefox, Chrome,
and Internet Explorer.
3. In the first browser, log in as an administrator. Use this account to experiment
with the settings that you read about here.
4. In the second browser, go to your site as a teacher. Each time you change a
configuration setting, refresh the teacher's browser and observe the change to see
how the teacher version of it works.
5. In the third browser, go to your site as a student. Each time you change a
configuration setting, refresh the student's browser and observe how it changes
the student's experience.
Instructions for each of these tasks are discussed in detail in the following sections.

Creating test accounts
These instructions begin where the installation ended—with you at the home page of your
new site, logged in as the administrative user.
To create test accounts for your site, do the following:
1. Before you go into Moodle, launch your note pad or a blank email. You'll use this
to take notes.
2. If you're not logged in as the administrative user, log in now. Use the Login link
in the upper-right corner of the page.
3. You should be looking at the home page of your new Moodle site now.
4. In the Administration menu on the left of the page, click on Site administration.
This expands the Site administration menu.
5. Click on Users and then on Accounts.
6. Click on Add a new user. Moodle displays the Add a new user page.

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7. The following table gives information to help you decide how to fill out each
field on this page. Some fields are required. Moodle indicates those fields with a
red asterisk:
Field
Username

Notes
For the username, you may find it easiest to use the role that you are
testing, so create usernames such as teacher1, teacher2,
student1,...student4, and such.

Choose an
authentication
method

For your test accounts, this should be set to Manual accounts.

New password

Use your institution's password policy. To ensure that you type the
password correctly, click on the Unmask checkbox. This enables you
to see the password as you type it. In MoodleCloud, it is automatically
unmasked.

Force password
change

For your test accounts, leave this blank.

First name and
Surname

Email address

Email display

Email activated
Email format

By default, when Moodle lists users, it sorts them by name. Often, it is
convenient to have your test accounts appear next to each other in the
list of users. Also, if they are at the top of the list, you don't need to
scroll or search to find them. For your test users, consider using a last
name like AATest, which will put them at the top of the list with just
one click.
The email address of every user in Moodle must be unique, so if you
are creating six test accounts, you will need six different email
addresses.
Do you want other users on your site to see the email address for this
test account? For a test account, set this to Hide my email address
from everyone, unless you have a good reason for your students to
know the email address of your test accounts. Also, you don't want a
real student to get confused and email a test teacher account instead
of their real teacher.
You want your test account to receive emails while you are
developing courses, so set this to This email address is enabled.
To test how your site sends emails, you can set your odd-numbered
users to pretty HTML format and your even-numbered users to plain
text format.

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Field

Notes
When a user is subscribed to a forum, Moodle usually sends that user
emails about new forum postings. This setting determines how often
those emails are sent and what they contain. For testing, leave this to
Email

Vous pouvez aussi composer votre propre programme d’affiliation sur vos différents produits et services dans l’hypothèse ou vous le souhaitez.
Et autrement encore !!!


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