Archive for the ‘TLTC helpdesk’ Category

How does my Moodle course look to my students?

September 7th, 2010 Comments off

To view your Moodle course the way students see it, click on the “Switch role to…” pull-down menu at the upper right side of your Moodle course page and select “Student” from list.
(view screen cap image)

This is useful if you decide to set up resources and activities ahead of time that you’d like to hide and then make available later on in the semester. By switching your role to Student, you will be viewing the course from a student’s perspective but still logged in as the instructor of the course. You will not see any hidden resources or activities when you’re viewing the course as a student.

Simply click on the “Return to my normal role” button to view the course as the instructor.
(view screen cap image)

Marie Sciangula

Moodle Import Function

August 18th, 2010 3 comments

Directions regarding the Moodle Import function to re-use content from Moodle courses from previous semesters.

Note: If you need access to your previous semester’s Moodle course, please email

Watch the screencast tutorial

To move content (resources and activities) from your previous Moodle courses into your FA10 Moodle shells, you can use the Import link located within the Administration block of the course to which you’d like to add content:

  1. Navigate to the FA10 version of your course; which you can find in your ‘My Courses’ block on the Moodle main page or on your Moodle profile (click on your name at the upper right side of Moodle)
  2. Click on ‘Import’, located in the Administration block, usually on the left side of the page
  3. Under “Import activities from another course,” locate your previously taught course in the pull-down menu and click the “Use this course” button
  4. On the next screen, choose the activities and resources you’d like to import into the new version of the course. If you’d like all of the content, leave all boxes checked and click ‘Continue
  5. On the next screen, review the items being imported, and click ‘Continue’ at the bottom of the page
  6. Moodle will copy the activities and resources you’ve chosen, export that content, and import it into the new course once you click ‘Continue’ > Import Course Data, click ‘Continue’ again > Continue again > Import Complete! Continue to your course

You can now make your edits and updates to the FA10 version of your course using the content you’ve imported into the new shell.

Marie Sciangula

Managing your Moodle Course Participants List

May 10th, 2010 Comments off

Enrolling Students and Managing Your Moodle Course Participants List

To enroll/manage/remove participants (students, other faculty members, learning assistants, etc.) into and from your Moodle courses:

  • click on the ‘Assign Roles’ link within the course’s Administration block
  • click on the link for the role that you’d like to manage (i.e. student, non-editing teacher, librarian, learning assistant, etc.)
  • search by last name for whomever you’d like to add in the list of potential users and then select the name and click on the “<–Add” arrow to move the user into the course participants list at the left
  • If you click the check box above the Add button (with the eye next to it, it you’re using the default Moodle theme), then people will be added to your course as a ‘hidden assignment’ – students will not see anyone with a hidden assignment when they look in the class participants list, which may cut down on any confusion on their part.
  • To unenroll/remove users from your course, select the name(s) under the “existing users” column on the left and click the “Remove –>” arrow between the two columns to remove/unenroll them from your course. They will be brought back into the “potential users” pool in the right column.

Marie Sciangula

Reserves Network Share

January 22nd, 2010 Comments off

All faculty members now have access to the Reserves Network Share (where we save all content scanned by the Library). Here, you can browse your own materials as well as other faculty members’ scanned files.

The Reserves Network Share is now available to all faculty on and off-campus:

If you are using Internet Explorer:
Your username is: your Purchase College email address
Your password is your Purchase College email password

If you are using Firefox:
Your username is: firstname.lastname (do not include
Your password is your Purchase College email password

Directions for making Reserves Network Share content available to your students through Moodle.

Using file upload Assignments in Moodle

October 2nd, 2009 Comments off

I received the following question from a faculty member: My students tell me that there is a way for them to post their assignments on Moodle as an alternative to emailing them to me. How is that accomplished? It would be much more efficient.

What you want to use is an Assignment activity, specifically the ‘Upload a single file’ assignment type.

  • Go to the ‘Add an activity…’ pull-down menu in whichever weekly/topics section of your Moodle course is most appropriate; select ‘Upload a single file’ from under the Assignments activity group.
  • Enter information into the Name and Description fields to define the assignment; you can paste in a copy of the directions you’ve provided to your students about the assignment.
  • You can specify the maximum points for the assignment, which would allow you to report scores on the assignment back to students through Moodle, or set the Grade setting to ‘No grade’
  • You can set the due dates and when the assignment becomes available to students using the date and time menus.  Time is in 24 hour format, so 5pm would be 17:00.  The default is to allow late submissions, which is a good choice.  All submissions will have a date and time stamp so you know when they came in.  Late submissions will have a red date/time stamp and will tell you how late they were.  If you disallow late submissions, students would have to make arrangements to turn in the assignments to you outside of Moodle, if you are willing to accept them.
  • You should set the maximum size to a value large enough for the files you expect students to turn in.  The default is 5 MB, which should be sufficiently large for the typical paper assignment.
  • The default is not to allow students to resubmit files.  Students sometimes upload the wrong file though and then you have to deal with how to have them turn in the right file.  If you set file resubmission to yes, then students can upload a second file to replace the first file they uploaded.

Once the assignment is set up and open, students will see a button for selecting their file (they can browse to find it on their computer) and a button to upload the file.  Once the file is uploaded, they will get a message that the file was uploaded successfully and see a link to the file that they uploaded.  So there should be no confusion as to whether or not their file has been turned in (which was sometimes the case with Blackboard).

When you view the assignment as course instructor, you will see a link in the upper right corner of the assignment description that reads ‘View [x] submitted assignments’.  Or if you click on the Assignments link in your course Activities block on the course front page, you will see all of the course assignments, including a link to view the submitted assignments for any assignment activity.  Clicking on either link to view the submitted assignments will take you to the ‘back end’ for that assignment.  You’ll see a list of your students.  Papers submitted by each student will be available as a link to the file under the ‘Last modified (Student)’ column.  Click on the file link to view the paper for a given student.  There will be a Grade link for each student under the status column, which will give you access to a detailed screen for providing overall comments on the student’s assignment and to assign a grade.  Once you’ve save comments and/or a grade for a given student, that link will change from Grade to Update.  If you turn Quick Grading on by selecting the ‘Allow quick grading’ checkbox at the lower right of your assignment grading screen, you’ll see a simple comment box and grade pulldown menu for each student in your list.  You can enter comments and grades for multiple students then, just be sure to click the ‘Save all my feedback’ button before you leave the backend page for your assignment.

Categories: TLTC helpdesk Tags: ,

Using discussion forums in Moodle

September 23rd, 2009 Comments off

There are 4 types of discussion forums in Moodle.  Which one you use depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.

To add a discussion forum, turn editing on and select Forum from the appropriate ‘Add an activity…’ menu, depending on which section of your course you want the forum to show up in.

Some basic info about the discussion forum types

  • The simplest is the ‘single simple discussion’ forum, which you can select from the Forum Type pulldown menu.  For this forum, you enter a forum name and the forum introduction is where you describe the question/topic you want your students to discuss.  Students will be able to read your forum introduction, and click on a Reply link to add their response to your initial description or to anyone else’s replies.  There is no button for starting new forum topics/threads.
  • The ‘Standard forum for general use’ is the default, and differs from the single simple discussion in that one forum can have many topics/threads.  You would provide a forum name and in this case use the forum introduction to provide general instructions about how you want the forum used by the class.  In this forum type, there is a new button that allow you or any of your students to add a new topic (ie, start a new thread).  Each new topic can have a question/topic description comparable to what you would set up in the forum introduction in the single simple discussion forum.  Topics/threads would be listed on the initial page of the forum.  You or your students can click on the topic/thread of interest, and you’ll be taken to a page where you can view the topic, and click reply to post responses (or responses to responses, etc).
  • The Q&A discussion forum type is best used for situations such as reading response activities.  This forum type acts like the standard forum for general use, with one exception.  When students click on any of the individual topics/threads in the forum, they’ll be taken to a page where they can see the specific question posed in that topic/thread.  They won’t be able to see what responses other students have posted, however, until they have posted their own response.  So all students get a clean slate for entering their initial response, after which they can reply to other student responses just as with the default standard forum.
  • There is also an ‘Each person posts one discussion’ forum type.  In this forum, you set up the basic framework for the forum, and each student gets to start their own topic/thread within the forum.  One situation where I could think about using this forum type would be if I had all of my students out doing coop experiences with separate firms/organizations/clients.  Each student could start a thread discussing their coop situation and experiences, and students would be able to reply to each others’ postings.

You can leave the rest of the discussion forum settings at their default values, generally.  Subscription to a forum causes Moodle to email notices whenever anyone posts anything to the forum.  Generally students will not want to be subscribed and receive tons of email from each of their forums, so I would caution against forcing everyone to be subscribed, unless there’s a specific strong reason to do so.  You can ignore blocking; it’s meant to keep individual students from posting too much, which I’ve never found to be a problem.  You can turn on grading for the discussion forum, but you’ll need to decide how you would want Moodle to process the grades that you put on individual posts.

There is more information about using Moodle Forums at

Reserves Network Share

September 10th, 2009 Comments off

All faculty members now have access to the Reserves Network Share (where we save all scanned content that comes through the Library). Here, you can browse your own materials as well as other faculty members’ scanned files. The Reserves Network Share is available here:

updated post:

The best way to direct students to your Moodle course

August 31st, 2009 Comments off

We’ve had some discussion during the Moodle workshops this past week about the best way to get students into your Moodle course.  With Moodle, you can email your students a direct link to your course or students can go to the Library’s homepage ( and click on Moodle under “Services” on the left.

If you look at the front page of your course, the web address will look like:

where the XXX is replaced with the number of your course.

You can send out an email to your class using the class email lists set up by CTS, telling your students that you will be using Moodle to support your course, that they can access your course directly at the following address (and give the address for your course), and that the first time they access your course they will need to give the enrollment key for your course.

To find your course’s enrollment key, click on the Settings link in your course Administration block, and look for the enrollment key in the Availability section toward the bottom of the settings page.  Click the Unmask box to see the actual key.  You can change the key to something else if you prefer, leave it as is, or delete it entirely.

Also, make sure your course is available to students.  In the same Availability section, you have a pulldown menu to control whether or not you want your course available.

keith landa

Availability of Library Subscription Resources (EZProxy)

August 11th, 2009 Comments off

As a faculty member, you are encouraged to link directly to the Library’s subscription databases and online journals, just as you would link to any website or resource on the internet, from within your Moodle course pages.

In order to make resources from the Library’s subscription databases and online journals available to students who may be accessing Moodle from off-campus (remote user access), you must include the EZProxy prefix code in the item’s URL.

The EZProxy prefix code is:

This bit of code must be placed before the rest of the article’s URL in order to make it available from off-campus.

This can be done by following a few simple steps:

  • locate the desired article in our online databases / journals
  • look for the document’s persistent or durable URL, within the context of the item, not in your browsers address bar
  • When using ProQuest, for example, click on “Copy Link” to copy the article’s durable URL and then add the EZProxy prefix code before the rest of the URL
  • Copy and paste the EZProxy code into the URL field when adding a new resource “link to a file or website” in Moodle
  • Copy and past the article’s URL so that it appears after the EZProxy code


To Display a document link on the front page of your Moodle course:

  • From your Administration block, click on “Turn editing on.”
  • In the section where you want the file to show up, click on the Resources pull-down menu and select the ‘Link to a file or web site’ option.
  • Enter into the Name field the text you want to use to describe the link on the front page of your course.
  • You can enter a description of the link if you want into the Summary field. This is optional.
  • Under the “Link to a file or web site” heading, paste in the item’s URL. Remember to include the EZProxy prefix code if the item is from the Library’s subscription resources.
  • Then click the ‘Save and return to course’

Marie Sciangula

Making your Moodle Course Available

July 15th, 2009 Comments off

Moodle courses that have been created by the TLTC this summer are intentionally set as ‘unavailable’ to students, so as to reduce confusion. As the start of the Fall semester approaches, faculty can make their Moodle course pages ‘available’ to students by following the steps below.

To make your Moodle Course Available to Students:

  • Login to Moodle and navigate to your course
  • From your Administration block, click on ‘Settings
  • Under the ‘Availability’ section, click on the pull-down menu and select “This course is available to students
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and click ‘Save changes

Your course is now available to students.

To view your course the way students see it, click on the “Switch role to…” pull-down menu at the upper right side of your Moodle course page and select “Student” from list. (view screen cap image).

Marie Sciangula