Moodle 2.6 Guide - Spearfish School District

Student Guide to Moodle 2.6
Moodle is an Open Source software package for producing internet-based educational and training
courses within the web environment. It is designed to support a social constructionist framework
for education. It was developed originally as part of the PhD project by Martin Dougiamas in Perth,
so Moodle is actually an Australian organisation which has spread worldwide and is now used
worldwide, in schools, higher education and enterprise and workplace training environments.
An active community has been built around Moodle users, and many of the add-ons now available to
Moodle have been contributed by other Open Source developers.
Moodle is currently had a major upgrade to version 2 in 2011, and we are currently using version
2.26 as our ACSEducation platform.
For this interested in the history and community development of Moodle, visit .
The quote from the developer, Martin Dougiamis at
provides some background to Moodle’s early development
The introductory video is useful as an insight into the way in which Moodle has developed.
Getting Started with Moodle
You would have been provided with your login details for accessing the ACSEducation Moodle site.
The first time you access the ACSEducation Moodle site, you will be asked to change your password.
You should click on your name on the ACSEducation header:
This will then open your Profile page and allow you to change some of your personal Settings.
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From here you can change your password. Moodle mandates that you create a strong password
with a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters.
If you forget your password, you can request that your administrator re-send this to you through the
“forgotten password” link on the login page.
Editing Your Profile
One of the first tasks that you will asked to do is the update your Profile. Again you will find this on
the Settings Block which you used to change your Password.
Your profile is an introduction to yourself to your tutor and fellow students, and should be rather
like a short business profile rather than a very personal one.
The following short video may help you here. Remember, a photo provides a good human interface
to you, and provides for more personal interaction in the ongoing discussions and activities as you
progress through your learning.
NOTE: if you change your email address during your course, you should remember to update this in
your profile, as this is the address to which copies of discussion forums, SMS messages and
gradebook updates are posted.
Using the Tools in Moodle
Your ACSEducation Course is entirely online and delivered using the Moodle Learning Management
platform. It makes use of the following Moodle tools:
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Web pages of content
Web content delivered in the form of online Books
Links to online resources and different files of information
Your weekly seminars may be a mix of these type of online resources for reading and reflection.
Communication and Collaboration
Communication tools used by your tutor and between you and your fellow students may include the
following Moodle tools:
Discussion forums
Chat rooms
Wiki spaces
Online Messaging
Assessment and online examinations
You will be assessed on an ongoing basis through
Online and offline assignments
Collaborative activities which may make use of some of the interactive communication tools.
The Gradebook
The Moodle Gradebook allows the tutor/teacher to record a student’s results for online activities,
some of which, such as quizzes, may be able to be automatically graded. A student can only view
their own results in the Gradebook . Your weekly work and results is recorded here, together with
feedback provided by your tutor/teacher.
Activity Log
Your tutor/teacher can view any activity that you undertake in Moodle as an Activity Log is available
for each student. For example, the log will show that a student accessed a particular file or page and
viewed it x times and this is data-stamped. Assignment and activities can be time-stamped and only
available over a certain period. Some activities can all be conditionally set, and only become
available after a pre-determined activity has been completed.
Some discussion and information related to the tools which you will be using in your ACSEducation
Course is contained in the following pages.
Discussion Forum
The discussion forum is an asynchronous communication tool – ie it is not interactive in real time.
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Generally there will be a Discussion Forum for each week of your course, with a set of questions for
you to answer, and some interactive requirements for you to undertake with your fellow students.
Generally, you will be asked to post responses to the set questions during the first half of the week.
You will not be able to see any responses of your colleagues until after you have posted to the
forum. Once you have posted your response to the set question, you will see any postings of your
colleagues to this question, and then you will often be asked to respond or offer reflective and
critical feedback to postings of your colleagues.
To open the discussion for any week, click on the Discussion Forum link in the current week.
You will be taken to the Discussion Forum for the week, where the summary information will be
displayed and the questions set up for you to reply to.
Click on the selected question or thread as it may be called.
By clicking on the ‘Reply’ link, you will then be able to respond to the question. Your
response screen will allow for uploads of files which you may have prepared in support or
response to the question.
Once you have responded to the question, you will be able to see any other responses that have
been made to this question, and by clicking on the appropriate ‘Reply’ link, you can respond to any
of these.
You can prepare your responses offline in Word or another editor, and simply copy and paste your
responses into the forum. Don’t forget to save any work as you go, as computer systems and online
systems do have a habit of sometimes closing or shutting down without notice - and we have all had
experiences of having to re-do work as a result. 
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Do read any of the information contained in your orientation and course notes on referencing and
correctly acknowledging information and websites that you have used to support your discussion.
You will note that each course also will have a Student Meeting Place Forum available. This is an
informal meeting place where students can communicate with each other and pose questions as
NOTE: Copies of postings to the discussion forums in which you are involved may be posted to your
email address. You can turn this option off, but then you will not be reminded of any responses that
you may need to actually reply to. If the number of emails from your course is a problem, I suggest
that you set up a filter in your email application and redirect these emails to a dedicated folder or
mailbox, which you check regularly.
Online Chat
Some courses will have an online Chat Room available for students to use. A Chat Room allows
users to communicate synchronously (ie in real time) although the Moodle Chat Room only allows to
text chat. (If you wish to have an audio chat with others, I suggest that you look at Skype).
The Student Chat Room link is located in the initial block of your course:
If you wish to ‘meet’ another student or a group in the Student Chat Room, you should communicate
a time for this with your group and then meet them there. Do be aware, that if your fellow students
live in different states, there may be time differences. Remember, that like all Moodle activities,
chat room activities are recorded and these recordings available to your tutor/teacher.
Online Messaging – SMS
Moodle has an online messaging system, which allows you to send messages directly to your
tutor/teacher and others in your course. Any current messages display when you log into Moodle
and copies are also sent to your email address.
To send a message to your tutor/teacher or one or more of your fellow students
Click on the ‘Participants’ link in the People Navigation Block
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This will open a list of student in your course.
Click on the person to whom you wish to send a message
This will bring up that person’s profile
Click on the ‘Send a message’ link
This will open up an editing window where you can type your message.
If you receive a message from someone, you will usually have the option of replying directly to that
The Journal tool is used in some courses as a reflective journal where a student can write about
workplace and learning activities and communicate in a one-to-one means with his/her
tutor/teacher .
The journal is a private area, and is only available to the student and their assigned tutor/teacher.
The tutor/teacher can provide feedback directly to the student within the journal.
To access the Journal
 Click on the Journal link in your course
 Write or paste in your journal posting
 Save your posting
The Journal, like other Moodle activities may have a time limit placed on this – especially if it is an
ongoing weekly activity.
If you are writing a reflective journal as part of your course, you should read some of the documents
on the keeping of a professional journal which are available to you.
Quizzes and Online Assessments
Quizzes are set for many courses on a weekly basis as a means of formative assessment. You will
generally have a time limit imposed on each quiz, and only be able to attempt the quiz either once
or twice. Many of the quizzes will generate random questions, so that you will not necessarily have
the same questions as your colleagues or on any consequent attempt. The quizzes have conditional
access associated with them, and will only become visible once the requisite activities have been
Your current quiz can be accessed by clicking on the appropriate link once it becomes visible.
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Online quizzes are generally marked automatically, so you should be able to see your results once
you complete each.
Offline Assignment
Some of your assignment work will be in the form of prepared assignments and projects. These
completed assignments can then be uploaded to your Moodle Course via an Assignment Drop Box.
Your Assignment Task will generally be presented as a downloadable document which will have the
instructions for you to complete offline.
You will then be able to upload your Assignment file(s).
NOTE: There may be a time constraint on when you can present your assignments and you should
be aware of this.
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Each of your Assignments should have its own Cover Sheet. Generally the required Cover Sheet will
be found in the documents which form part of your assignment brief.
Checking your Grades
Your current grades can be accessed at any time. As assignments and discussions are marked, you
will generally receive an email to advise you of this. You can also check your grades by clicking on
the Grade button.
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