ATSI will be offering a series of webinars and virtual drop-in help to help support faculty ramping up for a Hyflex Fall. Get the details on our announcement over on the UpBeat blog: https://sites.up.edu/upbeat/atsi-presents-webinar-wednesdays-moodle-mondays-this-summer/
It’s hard to find the silver lining in our “new normal” of COVID-19. Amongst so many other, more dire things, the epidemic has disrupted the normal summer opportunities for professional development for many of us at UP. So, I would like to share an online, completely free option with the campus:
Mountain Moodle Moot
This regional Moodle conference (or “moot”), held annually in Helena, MT, is regarded as one of the best and most entertaining in the U.S. This year is the 10th anniversary and the moot is online and free for the first time. This would be well worth registering for if you would like to go deeper into the world of Moodle with sessions from a colorful cast of characters who use Moodle in interesting and diverse ways. I went last year and had a great time networking and learning, so I was disappointed I would not be able to travel to Helena this year. I will be in attendance and hope to (virtually) see others from UP there!
Many of you may have noticed that there have been changes to your course navigation options. Namely, that the Custom Course Menu section which summarized your courses, has been discontinued by the developer and is no longer part of the default page layout.
Luckily, for those wanting to refine the course results shown on their dashboard, many of the functions previously offered by the Custom Course Menu are replicated front and center by other dashboard features. These features also make it easier to do some tasks, such as separating out frequently accessed courses you have marked as favorites (starred) or pulling up old courses that you have previously hidden.
For an overview of the dashboard features please see our Moodle Guide article About the New Dashboard in Moodle 3.6.
Included in this document you will find links to a number of more in-depth guides which you can explore depending on your needs. We particularly recommend the following, which address some of the most common tasks the Custom Course Menu was used for:
- Moodle 3.6 Dashboard Basics: Viewing Courses for Next Term
- Moodle 3.6 Dashboard Basics: Viewing Your Current Courses
- Moodle 3.6 Dashboard Basics: Viewing Past Courses
For now, the Custom Course Menu can be added back to the dashboard by individual users by adding a block to your dashboard, and we will keep the option to do so available as long as possible. It is important to note however, that with the block no longer being developed, future upgrades may cause the feature to stop working- so we encourage you to get to know the new dashboard navigation features now so that you feel confident with them if you need to use them in the future.
If you have any questions not covered in these guides, or encounter any issues while using the dashboard features, ATSI can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At this time when so many are having to transition their work and educational lives online, figuring out how to do activities you’ve previously done in person can be a considerable task. For those of you learning how to take your classes online, the UP Moodle Guides site is an excellent resource to explore!
UP Moodle Guides contains a knowledgebase of over 80 help articles with step by step instructions on how to do different tasks in Moodle. You are sure to find a wide variety of helpful articles whether you are completely new to the site or have been using the site for many years as part of your face-to-face instruction.
Some favorites if you are just getting familiar with Moodle:
- View Class Roster
- Drag and Drop Files into your Course
- Make Course Announcements
- Create an Assignment Activity
- Add Items to the Gradebook
Not able to find the guide you want? We are always happy to answer your questions or take suggestions of new topics to cover in our guides. You can reach our team at email@example.com and we look forward to hearing from you!
I recently completed my graduate studies, and after 3+ years of intensive study and a lot of writing, I have an ardent belief that scholarly writing is NOT a solitary activity. Good teachers show students to that writing is a process. Usually, this requires collecting drafts and creating opportunities for feedback and iterative improvement.
But, how to be paperless and also manage lots and lots of student drafts? I know that from an instructor’s standpoint, it’s not always apparent how to best set-up Moodle assignments to support drafts, feedback, and revisions. With that in mind, I wanted to write up a quick post on some of the possible workflow options for instructors to collect multiple drafts with Moodle Assignments. There is no perfect combination of settings, but these are some important settings to consider.
There are a few powerful settings under the Submission types heading in the Assignment settings.
Files: One or Many?
The question here is: when collecting work at various stages, do you want students to upload a new file each time that sits alongside the previous draft, or replace the previous draft with a new one? If you expect multiple versions to be uploaded at once, ensure that the Maximum number of uploaded files is set to a number that will allow for this. Conversely, if you’d rather just deal with a single file from each student, make sure to set this to 1. As they move through different drafts, students will be able to replace their previous drafts with a new version of their document.
The other settings are less crucial for drafts but may still be on interest. For instance, if you depend on using Track Changes in Microsoft Word, you can use the Accepted file types option to prevent students from submitting PDFs or Apple Pages files.
If you are adventurous, you can skip students uploading files altogether. Instead, ask them to upload a file to a cloud service (at UP we have Microsoft OneDrive) and share a link to an online document with you. This allows a more involved and collaborative feedback process. To try this out, disable the File submissions option under Submission types and enable Online text that students can paste a sharing link to. Note that students may need an extra bit of support if they have not shared writing in this way before.
You’ll want to attend carefully to these settings as they determine how Moodle treats submissions.
Use the Submit Button?
One approach is to let students decide when to share a work-in-progress and when to ask you to consider a submission as final. Moodle assignments can allow for this if you enable the optional Submit button. This works with multiple file or single file submissions.
When the Submit button is on, students can upload files to an assignment, but they will be considered a draft until the student clicks the Submit button. You can provide feedback or grades for a student to review and they can choose what (if any) changes to make to their submission before hitting the Submit button.
One other possible benefit of this approach is that students can no longer make changes to their submissions after clicking the Submit button. When a file is submitted automatically upon upload, their file is considered submitted, but they can still make changes to it unless you manually lock submissions.
You can find this option under Submission settings by clicking Show more… to reveal the Require student to click the submit button selection field.
Note: because our default setting for Assignments is for the Submit button to be off, you should proactively remind students that they will need to click the submit button for your assignment.
If you want to allow students to optionally resubmit to work towards a higher grade, you can set the Maximum number of allowed attempts option to a specific number, or to unlimited attempts. You can then set the Attempts reopened setting to Manually if you want to reopen attempts yourself, or Automatically until pass if you set a Passing grade for the assignment.
If you feel it would be helpful to get email notices when a student submits, look under the Notifications options and set Notify graders about submissions to Yes.
One Assignment, or Many?
A final piece to consider is if you might want to use separate assignment activities for each draft. In the end this might be the simplest approach, especially if the drafts have different due dates or if you would like to grade each one separately. Another option that I have enjoyed as a student is to use an ungraded activity, like a forum, for learners to post early drafts. This allows the instructor and peers to give constructive feedback that the whole class might benefit from. Longer drafts and the final submission would then be uploaded to a separate Moodle Assignment for grading.
Moodle assignments offer a lot of choices to customize how you want to collect drafts. It can be a bit complex, but hopefully you see how these options can be combined to create a workflow that supports an effective digital writing, feedback and revision process.
Reblogged from my personal blog @hirebenjam.in