Of the new functionality in Moodle 3.1, the most notable is perhaps the new view of the assignment grading page. The ambition with this new layout is that a teacher can do all grading activities in one view, including annotating submitted texts, as shown on the picture below (click to enlarge):
Note that you can filter in order to see only submission, or only ungraded submissions and then move from student to student. The default view shows the annotation pane on the left and the traditional grading options on the right. Unfortunately, the annotation does not work properly for files other than PDF at the moment of writing this blog, but that will be fixed as soon as possible. The teacher can elect to hide the annotation pane and work only with the traditional grading options using the buttons at the bottom right of the page.
What with the upgrade of Lapikampus Moodle to version 3.1, the Poodle recording plugins have been upgraded too. Poodll 3 offers recording via HTML5, which is more suitable for modbile devices. As a result the look of the recorders in Moodle has changed. The picture below shows the MP3 recorder (the Finnish version) as it now looks in the HTML editors in Moodle. This example is from a discussion forum (click on the pic for a bigger version):
HTML5 has been described as the future of the Web (That is probably why it does not work in Internet Explorer!). The Poodll HTML5 MP3 recorder uses recording via the cloud. As a result the recording must be uploaded and converted, which may cause a slight delay before it becomes available. Recording via the cloud has the added advantage that the Poodll video recorder (which uses a very similar pop-up window to the one above) that until now could only record short clips (due to the file size limit in the Moodle server) will now allow recordings of over 5 minutes in length. The exact limit may depend on the device and connection used.
The eLearning Services wish you
Hyvää Joulua ja Onnellista Uutta Vuotta!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New year!
Moodle-oppimisalusta lähettää ilmoituksia ja erilaisia viestejä käyttäjien sähköpostiin, esim. tehtäväilmoituksia ja kopioita keskusteluviesteistä (sillä edellytyksellä että olet tilannut keskusteluviestit). Ongelmana on se, että kaikki sähköpostijärjestelmät eivät käsittele Moodle-viestejä samalla tavalla. Jotta Moodlen lähettämät viestit kulkisivat paremmin, eOppimispalveluissa on päätetty asettaa kaikkien LUC- ja Lappia– käyttäjien sähköpostiosoitteeksi oppilaitoksen sähköposti (käyttäjät voivat asettaa vaihtoehtoisen, henkilökohtaisemman sähköpostiosoitteen Viestit-asetuksissa. Ohjevideo: https://youtu.be/g8atSwecIEQ). Lisäksi 29. marraskuuta kaikki Moodlen lähettämät sähköpostit tulevat osoitteesta email@example.com. Tämän pitäisi parantaa Moodle-viestien vastaanottamista ulkoisiin sähköpostijärjestelmiin, mutta se tekee mahdottomaksi Moodle-viesteihin vastaamisen oman sähköpostin kautta. Jos sinulla on halua/tarvetta vastata Moodle-viestiin, sinun täytyy tehdä se Moodlen kautta. Noreply-muutos on auttomaattisesti, et tarvitse tehdä mitään
The Moodle learning environment sends out notifications and diverse messages to the email of the users, examples are assignment notifications and copies of forum messages (provided you are subscribed to the discussion forum or thread in question). The problem is that not all email inboxes in use will treat the messages from Moodle equally. To improve the proper delivery of messages sent out by Moodle, the eLearning Services have decided to set the email of all LUC and Lappia-authenticated users to their school email (although users can opt to set an alternative email address in their Messaging settings. Instruction video: https://youtu.be/g8atSwecIEQ). Furthermore, as of 29 November, all outgoing email from Moodle will have firstname.lastname@example.org as sender. This should improve acceptance of Moodle messages by external email inboxes, but it will make it impossible to reply to Moodle messages via your email, i.e. if you want/need to reply to a message from Moodle, you will have to go to Moodle to do so. The noreply change will be automatic, so you do not have to do anything.
Lapinkampus Moodle already featured the Group Choice module, which allowed teachers to present students with a set of pre-determined groups (gathered in a grouping), among which the students could choose. This was quite useful as it liberated the teachers from the time consuming task of group member division. The set up could be effectively used to make access to group tasks dependent on a group choice. However, it was not possible to allow students to create their own groups and limit membership to peers that they have selected themselves.
This is where the new Group Self-selection plugin comes in. All the teacher needs to to for this activity module is to create and select a grouping for the groups created by the students. The teacher can furthemore determine how many students must be in a group (minimum) and how many can be in a group (maximum) and set opening and closing dates for group creation. Finally there are settings specifying what students are allowed to do in the module.
The additional functionality of the Group Self-selection module makes it a candidate to replace the Group Choice module in the long run.
Lapinkampus blog was upgraded to Moodle version 3.0+ during the summer. As demonstrated in previous blog articles, this has opened up opportunities to adopt new plugins that employ the options offered by the new version. Moodle 3 aims to exploit the bootstrap technology to the fullest. This will entail newer, highly modifiable course themes and course plugins based on them.
At the request of a teacher, the eLearning services recently introduced a new course theme in Lapinkampus Moodle. It is called the Onetopic format and it will create a course in which each course section, including the general section (or topic ”0”), is represented by a tab that will open the section on its own page. Like the other course formats, it can be selected in the course settings.
It was already possible to use the Collapsed topics format or the Grid format to create a course in which sections have their own page, but these still depart from a somewhat traditional page view, on which the general section is displayed in full and the other course sections are listed below. The Onetopic format offers another, cleaner course view in which the general section is not visible when another section is opened. The section tabs will wrap when the screen is small, but long section names should nonetheless be avoided when using this format.
The only issue to keep in mind, is that this Moodle 3 course format only works properly with Moodle 3 themes, like Klass (so not with the present LapinAMK themes).
Lapland University of Applied Sciences has rolled out Google Apps for Education (GAFE) to all students and staff. GAFE offers great opportunities for joint creation of material and for video discussion via Google Hangouts. While it may seem GAFE is a stand alone service, it can serve as an on-line repository in our Moodle virtual learning environment. Here are a few ways in which to draw Google drive files into a Moodle course (It depends on your role in the Moodle course which ones of these options you can apply).
Linked from an HTML editor
You can link to any file in your GAFE drive from any HTML editor in your Moodle course, e.g. a forum message, the description of an activity, a wiki page, or a Page resource. The process starts with writing some text that your file is linked to and then execute the following steps (you can click the pictures to see them at true size):
When the link is added to the text, you can complete your text, but don’t forget to submit your text /save changes / post your message. The text will display with an active link. Clicking the link will download the file from your GAFE drive to the user’s computer that will try to open it with a suitable Office application.
As a File resource
Instead of adding a file from your GAFE drive as a link to a piece to text, you can also add a GAFE drive file to the course page. To do that you turn editing on on the course page and click the Add an activity or resource link at the bottom of a course section. In the resulting pop up window, scroll down and under RESOURCES, select File. The following settings page will open:
Note that the Select files dropbox in the image above also appears in other places, like the attachment box to forum message or the submission box in an assignment. You can, of course, insert GAFE Drive files in those as well!
As a URL resource
The above two options download a copy of the file from GAFE Drive to the user’s computer. Any edits the user makes in the file will not appear in the original file in GAFE Drive, since that file is only editable in GAFE Drive. To have users edit a file in your GAFE Drive, you can share the file via a link as shown below (Click the pic for a better view):
Next you can add that copied Share link either to an HTML editor as described above (except that in Step 1, you do not click Browse, but paste the share link in the link URL box and then jump to Step 4), OR you can add it as a resource on the course page. To do that you turn editing on on the course page and click the Add an activity or resource link at the bottom of a course section. In the resulting pop up window, scroll down and under RESOURCES, select URL. The following settings page will open:
Embedded in an HTML editor
Finally, it is possible to post an editable Google drive document inside an HTML editor in Moodle. This allows users to navigate and edit the document from the Moodle page. This is a bit more complex and involves some codes that not everyone has rights to use in Moodle on account of possible security issues. Therefore, if you want to achieve this, contact us at the eLearning Centre for assistance.
As YouTube is presently a Google service, it is often seen as part of GAFE. Needless to say, Moodle offers an option to link to YouTube videos too via the File picker as you could already see in Step 3 above. You can embed the videos in any HTML editor:
As you can see, there are multiple options to connect your GAFE files to your Moodle courses (and we have not even mentioned Mahara ;-)).
Our virtual learning environment Moodle gathers quite a bit of data from its users. This data can be navigated by teachers on, for instance, the log page of an activity, or the outline page of a student, to obtain an impression of the access levels to the activity or the activity level of the student. However, it was not always easy to get a good overview and spot students with low commitment to the on-line course work.
Hence, Marcelo Schmitt, a Moodle developer from Brazil, designed a plugin that compiles data from a course and presents it in interactive charts that are easy to overview. It can be added as a side block in a Moodle course. This block is called Analytic Graphs and it is only visible to teachers. It offers a better way to keep track of the on-line activity of their students and the results scored in graded activities
We are in contact with the developer about some teething problems that the plugin still has. Once these are overcome, and we have created a Finnish translation for the block, we will introduce this new block in Lapinkampus Moodle as an extension to the functionality that is already available. Check out the screenshots below to get an impression of the functionality offered by the Analytics Graphs plugin (you can click on the pictures to get a larger version).
The Content access chart
The Hits distribution table
The Student information charts
These are not all the charts the plugin has to offer, so do check it out once it becomes available.
In Moodle 2 the user menu could be accessd via the Administration block under the link ”My profile settings”. In Moodle 3 the user menu has moved to the navigation bar, from where it can be opened and used as shown in the image below with instructions for changing the password (NB: Only users with manual accounts can change their password, if you use your school network account, the password can only be changed in the school network!).
HOWEVER, this functionality is only available in themes that have been upgraded for Moodle 3. Unfortunately, some of our present themes (like the LapinAMK theme) are still Moodle 2 themes. If you need to access the user menu in one of these themes, the work around is to click your name (This opens your profile), click Edit profile and then in the breadcrumb trail click Preferences (or, in Finnish, Asetukset):
It may take a while before we can update our LapinAMK theme to a Moodle 3 version. Until that time teachers might choose to replace this theme with a Moodle 3 theme like Klass, a theme with blue colours. Changing a course theme is done in the course settings: