Some teachers, when trying to check the enrolment key in their course, or to set a new key, discover to their dismay that the box of the enrolment key displays their Moodle password!
This effect is caused by the autofill or autocomplete function of the browser that they are using. Autofill is a functionality in modern browsers that allows users to store their log in information in the browser. It makes it easy to log in to sites, because you do not have to remember your username or password, the browser fills them in automatically. However, this poses a security risk and Moodle users, especially teachers, should never allow their browser to remember their username and password, especially those who log in with their school network account that also gives access to all other school services!
Here are instructions on how to turn off autocomplete in the recommended browsers Firefox and Chrome.
It will not have escaped anyone’s notice that Lapinkampus Moodle was upgraded last year to a new version of Moodle 3 and that this has had consequences for the look of the courses. AO Lappia and Lapland UAS have had to abandon the old look of their courses for something more modern. The look of a course is largely determined by the so-called course theme, which can be set in the Course settings by any teacher in the course.
The default theme for a course is detemined by the theme set for the category in which the course is located. Thus, the default theme for all AO Lappia courses is Academi, which is set on the Lappia category. If a course in the Lappia category does not force another course theme, the course will display the Academi theme. Likewise, the theme set for the LapinAMK category is the new LapinAMK theme, a neutral blue theme that works well with the popular collapsed topics course format. The temporary blue Roshnilite theme will revert to LapinAMK Orange (a colour which better fits this theme).
It is understandable that Moodle users are surprised by these ”sudden” changes, but should rest assured that the eLearning services have carried out these interventions in the interest of safeguarding the (new) functionality of Moodle. Nonetheless, as implied above, teachers are not bound by the default theme for their category. They are free to choose another theme that better fits the their topic and teaching plan, just as teachers can choose a course format that supports their teaching, such as the above-mentioned colapsed topics (tiivistetty aiheet), or the grid (ruudukko) format, for example. The eLearning Services will happily advise you in this matter. Below you will find screenshots of a few Moodle 3 themes that were recently added, so as to give you an idea of the choice you have.
The Adaptable theme is a green/grey theme which has as its defining characteristic that it uses all screenspace that it can get and it has a button to hide side blocks so as to get the full width of the page at the teacher’s disposal. This is helpful on small screens and on pages with wide tables.
The Cerulean theme is a light blue/grey/white theme that saves screen space by using small blocks and small fonts.
The Elegance theme is a grey/white theme that looks appealing, but it is rather wasteful of screen real estate, as it creates big margins on the course page. This is not so useful in large courses.
Flexibase is a dark blue/white theme that has a lot going on. It was designed for courses that use the more advanced functions of Course Completion.
Snap was added already last year, but needs a bit of exposure. It is definitely out there as the most drastic departure from the default Moodle course look. You will hardly recognise your course after you have set Snap as your course theme and the same may go for your students. Therefore, if you intend to apply this theme, make a plan and perhaps enlist the help of the eLearning Services.
In a Moodle course there are diverse import possibilities, such as for quiz questions, but this e-Vinkki deals with the course Import (Tuo) function that is visible in the Administration (Asetukset) block on the course page. A number of teachers have learnt to use this function to move course materials between their courses, which is good and useful. However, some of them go about it in a rather sloppy way ;-), so here is how it is properly done:
First you take look at the original course from which you want to import material and decide what it is that you want/need from that course. In particular, you should check in which topic sections of the course the material is located, for the import tool will import those in the same topic section (osio) in your new course. This means that if in the original course the material is in section 3 and in the new course you want it to go in section 4, you should either temporarily move section three to position four in the original course, or move section 4 in the new course temporarily to position three. Also, if the material in the original course is in section 6 and your new course has only 5 sections, it will not show up after import, until you add a section 6 to the course. Doing this before importing will save you a lot of moving stuff around later.
Then, when you are ready, you go to the Adminstration (Asetukset) block in the new course and click the Import (Tuo) link.
The first step is to select the original course from which you want to import. You can only import from courses in which you are a teacher.
The next step is important. You do not want to import more than you strictly need. Blocks, filters and calendar events can generally be skipped. (For example, if you inlcude blocks, you may import multiple eOppimispalvelut blocks that you do not want in your new course and would have to delete afterwards.) For the question bank, groups and competences, only include those if you are actually going to use those in your new course, otherwise, skip them too. The option to jump to the end saves a few steps, but it implies that you want to import the whole kitchen sink to your new course. With an eye to reducing clutter, it is usually better to select what exactly you need.
When you click the Import button, the selected materials will be imported to your target course (after one more Continue/Jatka button). You can then commence to manage the imported materials in your new course as need be.
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. In the meantime, teachers who wish to use the annotation pane can require of their students that they submit their work as PDF files. The teacher can also 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 mobile 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.
Note that older browsers like Internet Explorer cannot handle HTML5 properly. The recommended browser for Poodll is the latest version of Mozilla Firefox!
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 the new LapinAMK theme (so not with the old LapinAMK themes).