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This page provides general information on the following topics:
New Moodle courses are "delivered" in a standard configuration. For most courses, the course format ("Topics") is appropriate, as is the pre-configured forum "Announcements", but other formats are possible. Depending on what you and the students do or plan to do during a semester or block course, you can configure and design your Moodle course.
Here you will find the most important first steps:
You can request a new Moodle course on this page. Fill out the form, including important information about the semester, course area, course title and description, etc. You will receive an email from ZIM when the course is available.
In the course settings, usually on the right in the "Settings" block under "Course administration > Edit settings" you will find central configuration options. These are the most important ones:
Particular importance needs to be put on the visibility of your course: By default, courses are not visible to other users and have to be set to "Show" in order to allow students to register.
Select course format: The format determines the overall presentation of your course. Topic or week formats are the most commonly used. The format "Compressed sections" (dropdown sections) avoids the inconvenience of scrolling to content further down. Follow this link for a look on standard formats [available in German only].
Activate self-enrollment and assigning course passwords: In order for students to enroll in a course themselves, self-enrollment must be defined as a method (as an alternative, you may want to add students manually). This is also done in the "Settings" block under "Course administration > Users > Enrollment methods". If you add self-enrollment as a method there, please set a course key immediately. This is mandatory if you want to make copyrighted material available.
The first block visibly serves as the flagship of your course. It should contain the most important information. A fitting yet appropriate picture makes it even more inviting for your students to scroll further down. Important elements in the first block are above all:
Moodle courses that are rich in materials and activities can become very extensive and at times overwhelming in the course of the semester. Help students to always find their way around the course and stay up to date. From our experience, the following options were of good help in previous classes:
The “New Activities" block: this block gives all course participants an immediate overview of what has happened in terms of new materials and activities in the course since their last login. A prominent position at the top right of the course is therefore useful.
Activating activity completion: You may want to activate this function in the "Edit course settings". In this case all course elements (materials, activities) will be followed by small boxes and for each material or activity you can individually determine when editing is considered completed. Students will then receive a tick in that box.
Adding a block "Processing status": An activated activity completion is a prerequisite for working with the "Editing status" block. This block can also be added prominently and easily accessible in the course and shows students at a glance which materials and activities they have already completed and which are still pending. This enables them to assess the current status in extensive and complex courses.
Course format "Compressed sections": This course format allows you to fold and unfold blocks, which makes it easier to quickly navigate to a specific topic block in very large courses.
Course enrollment starts on 20 April 2020 and is done by the students via PULS, as usual. The Moodle course link and registration key can then be sent to the participants via PULS. Further information onPULS can be found here: PULS video tutorial (in German).
Well functioning communication between all participants, but especially between teachers and students, is crucial for the successful progress and outcome of (partially) virtualized teaching. The lack of personal proximity and interaction, and the higher proportion of self-study phases or self-organized project work in groups require stronger (communicative) support and guidance of students in online-based learning processes. In addition, the everyday and skilled use of the internet and social media is not a sufficient conditon for a proficient use of digital learning tools. Probably very few teachers and students have experience with pure online courses. This makes it all the more important to consider communication about joint activities and course progress as a central element and core task.
The use of communication tools is necessary not only for the transfer of organisational information but also for tips and questions about the course agenda, feedback rounds on presentations, the submission of tasks, individual meetings as well as for methodically led technical discussions and the organisation of project work.
This page provides information on central tools in Moodle.
The (enriching) use of Moodle parallel to classroom teaching, primarily as a storage location for learning materials, is common practice. For online teaching, however, courses on learning platforms are the central places for providing "material" that is not just an addition to teaching but the main source for transfer and acquisition of information and knowledge. Furthermore, Moodle corses allow for inspiring communicative exchange and individual as well as cooperative learning by means of various "activities".
Texts, slides and scripts are the basis for the transfer or acquisition of specialist knowledge, the preparation and/or follow-up of topics or the basis of discursive activities, especially in asynchronous teaching-learning scenarios. As essential components of online-based teaching, they are made available in the form of individual files, or are collected in directories within Moodle courses.
Audio/video recordings are media formats that show their strengths especially where processes, theories and models or other complex issues such as formula derivations need more than purely text-based teaching and learning materials. Audio/video recordings can be conveyed better through explanations in combination with visualizations. They also increase media diversity within materials and can at best also reduce the feeling of lacking personal connection through voice and image of the lecturer - aspects that should not be underestimated in predominantly or purely virtualized courses. In addition to audio recordings of slides or lectures, short video messages at the beginning of the course, or audio comments on tasks or specialist topics are also conceivable.
Audio or video recordings that you create yourself or that are available as a file can be uploaded to Moodle using the "MEDIAL" activity. Once the recorings have been uploaded to your course, students can watch them directly in their browsers. This way, the video can also be viewed in lower quality,for example in case of heavy use of the UP online services (men link below the video).
CURRENT RECOMMENDATION: Do not upload audio and/or video files directly into your Moodle courses, as performance problems can arise if many participants access the course at the same time. The Media.UP servers are explicitly designed for streaming.
By setting links/URLs all resources available on the internet can be integrated into Moodle courses.
Embedding: External videos or audio content can be embedded in Moodle in a variety of ways.
Moodle.UP offers more than 25 different activities which can be used for communicative and cooperative scenarios but also for individual self-learning phases. A quick overview can be found in the Moodle Tool-Guide [in German].
For more detailed descriptions of how to use the tools and examples, please see the Moodle demonstration course [in German].
In asynchronous teaching and learning scenarios, tasks and the submission of work results are important elements of online teaching. Students work on assignments and make the results available to the course leaders or their fellow students for review or mutual comment in the Moodle course.
Tasks, especially in online scenarios, should consider some important aspects and at best stimulate interaction between students. For the latter point, so-called e-tivities ( as defined by G. Salmon) are helpful, which not only include a task for an individual student but also a response to the submissions of other students.
In classroom teaching, too, it is helpful if tasks are not only communicated verbally at the end of a seminar session, but also documented in writing on the learning platform. This avoids misunderstandings with regard to the task itself, but also with regard to any requirements regarding the scope of results to be submitted or regarding time limits.
Label/Page: The concrete tasks and/or work assignments can be saved in the respective topic block using a label or (in the case of a more extensive task text) page.
Description in activities: If the task is related to an activity (forum, wiki, glossary, etc.), the task instructions should also be included in the "description" of the activity concerned. This description is visible when the activity is accessed or can also be displayed in the topic block directly below the activity. In addition, most activities can be set up with a time frame for completion if required.
Announcement in Forum: Furthermore, the Announcement area on the course site is available for you to communicate tasks and work assignments with the exact requirements to all course participants.
Submitting tasks using the activity “Assignment”
Mit dieser einfach anzulegenden Aktivität können Studierende eine oder mehrere Dateien in den Kurs laden (empfohlen) oder online Text eingeben. Dabei ist das Hochladen verschiedener Dateiformate erlaubt, so dass die Nutzung nicht vorrangig auf die Einreichung von Texten beschränkt ist. Die Kursleitung hat einen Überblick über den Stand der Abgaben und verschiedene Feedbackmöglichkeiten. PDF-Dateien können auch direkt in Moodle kommentiert und mit Feedback versehen werden.
This easy-to-create activity allows students to upload one or more files to the course (recommended) or enter text online. Uploading different file formats is allowed, so that the use is not primarily limited to the submission of texts. The course administration has an overview of the status of submissions and various feedback options. PDF files can be directly commented on and provided with feedback in Moodle.
Submitting tasks using the activity “Student Folder”
Im Studierendenordner können Teilnehmer*innen Dokumente hochladen, welche sofort nachdem Sie diese überprüft und freigegeben haben für die anderen Teilnehmer*innen sichtbar werden. Eine Aufgabe kann als Grundlage für einen Studierendenordner genutzt werden. Die Kursleitung kann entscheiden, welche Dokumente der Aufgabe für alle Teilnehmer*innen sichtbar sein sollen. Kursleitende können auch die Teilnehmer*innen selbst entscheiden lassen, ob ihre Dateien für andere sichtbar sein sollen.
In the Student Folder, participants can upload documents that will be visible to the other participants immediately after having checked and shared them. A task can be used as a basis for a student folder. The course administration can decide which documents of the task should be visible for all participants. Course instructors can also let students decide whether their files should be visible to others.
Submitting tasks using the activity “Forum” und “Database”
Die Zurverfügungstellung von Dateien (Arbeitsergebnissen) von Studierenden kann auch durch Einträge in ein Forum oder eine Datenbank erfolgen, an die Dateien angehängt werden können. Dies eignet sich insb. für gemeinsame Recherchearbeiten, die kooperative Erstellung von kommentierten Literaturlisten, die Sammlung von Referaten (Folien, Handouts) oder bspw. die Erstellung von Bilddatenbanken unter Angabe weiterer Informationen.
Files (work results) of students can also be made available through entries in a Forum or Database that allows files to be attached. This is particularly suitable for joint research work, the cooperative creation of annotated bibliographies, the collection of papers (slides, handouts) or, for example, the creation of image databases with further information.
Folder: The resource "Folder" enables students to share files of different formats. To do so, however, the course administration must grant access rights to the directory created. Alternatively, the course administration can set the role of the students to "Participant with editing rights" if they feel that they are able to contribute to a Moodle course in a responsible way.
An alternative to the Folder is the activity "Student Folder", where participants can upload documents that will be visible to the other participants immediately after the course administration has checked and approved them. Teachers can also let students decide for themselves whether their files should be visible to others and thus create a place for exchanging material corresponding to the folder.
Collaborative writing (Wiki, Etherpad) - synchronously and asynchronously
Etherpad Lite is a synchronous texteditor that allows multiple users to write in the pad at the same time. Different colours show who wrote what. The names of the users working together on the pad are visible. The Etherpad has basic text formatting functions as well as an integrated chat, which can be used to communicate synchronously. However, images, tables or other media content cannot be integrated into the pad. Selecting a group mode (see above) is not possible either.
SUITABILE FOR: e.g. group reflections, simple quick text work, notes, lists, meeting minutes, idea collections or brainstorming activities.
A wiki is a collaborative text editor with functions that enable the collaborative work on more extensive texts or structured collections of text/materials.
The OU-Wiki in Moodle does not differ from the standard wiki in the above mentioned functions, but it does bring some simplifications and additional features.
SUITABLE FOR: e.g. encyclopedic collections, transcripts of presentations, collaborative essays or translations, organisation and documentation of project work, (group) portfolios.
With the Glossary activity students can cooperatively create and maintain a list of definitions, FAQs or other content. It can be determined individually whether entries must first be authorized by an editor (course leader or students) or whether entries should be immediately visible to everyone. Entries can also be created and commented on several times. The glossary can be searched with a full-text search and added terms can be linked automatically to other parts of the course.
SUITABLE FOR: Collections of technical terms, register of persons, historical events with year specifications, simple peer assessments.
The database activity module allows the teacher and/or students to build, display and search a bank of record entries about any conceivable topic. The format and structure of these entries can be almost unlimited, including images, files, URLs, numbers and text amongst other things.
SUITABLE FOR: Annotated literature collections, photo/image collections, register of persons, internet resources, file upload area.
The Mindmap activity helps to collect and organize ideas, to expand topics and to gradually incorporate them into a structure. The Moodle mindmap can only be edited by one person at a time and must be saved at the end of editing.
SUITABLE FOR: Structuring topics, brainstorming, securing results.
Group formation, assigning presentations to groups, etc. can be supported in Moodle through three activities. The Choice activity enables students to vote on different options that were determined by the course leader (e.g. the topic for a presentation). An upper limit of votes can be set. However, the result of the vote is not yet a group in the technical sense. The group itself needs be created in Moodle (see below). This activity is suitable if fixed topics or groups are planned by the course leader or if an assignment is allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
Free grouping, on the other hand, allows students to join existing groups or to form their own groups and create them technically. This is especially helpful for finding learning and project groups freely or for the interest-based choice of topics or when there are many participants in a course.
Fair distribution allows course participants to balande personal preferences such as presentation topics and dates, tutorials and the group they belong to. The system analyses all information and priorities and distributes the students as fairly as possible with the aim of achieving a satisfactory distribution for all participants.
Creating groups within a course
If you want to provide different activities to enable group work (e.g. separate group forums or group wikis or similar) and you have not used the activity Free grouping, the groups must be created in the course technically. This can be done without much effort if the number of participants is relatively small.
You can create and manage groups in the Settings block under Users. Groups can be created manually or automatically.
Creating activities in group mode
A group mode can be selected in the basic settings of the course. As a result, all activities will automatically be created in group mode. In most cases, however, it is advisable to choose a group mode only in those activities that are needed for group work and individually created .
If, for example, you create a forum, the three available modes mean the following:
The same applies to group wikis or other activities that can be created in group mode.