Hints, Tips and Tricks of Moodle Administration Jonathon Sweetin, Applications IntegratorNorth Carolina Community College System Office
GoalsThe goals of this presentation are: Inform Moodle administrators about changes in configuration settings that will be useful to them. Answer current Admin’s questions about Moodle functionality. Provide a resource for Moodle admins to refer to when a need arises.
Audience This presentation will be most beneficial to the experienced Moodle administrator who is comfortable making configuration changes to the application. Some of the tips in this presentation will require the Moodle admin to have access to the server back- end such as FTP rights.
OverviewWhat does a Moodle admin do?Tips on the customization• Changing the front page settings.• How to load Moodle themes.*Tips on User Management• How to add and/or lock fields on user profiles.• How to add custom fields to the students profiles.• How to batch create users and enroll them into courses from a txt file.• How to review student pictures in bulk.
Overview Continued Tips on Course Management • How to use meta-courses. • Moving/Restoring large courses backups Tips on Reporting • How to use Moodle reports. • How to set up Google Analytics to track your Moodle server.* Tips for Blackboard to Moodle course migration • Ways to convert courses • Using Course Conversion Tools • Using the Cut & Paste Method
Moodle System Admins In general Moodle Admins are the everyday administrators of the learning management system. Their duties may include: making course shells, uploading users, reporting, faculty training…etc. Their main way of using the learning management system (LMS) is through the Moodle admin interface. They may or may not have access to the server directly.
Customizations Changing the site front pageNavigation: Admin Block> Front Page >Front Page settings There are many important setting on this screen but the one that is a little confusing is the list of courses option. The List of Courses option should be thought of as “My Courses” because it shows the student only the courses which they have been enrolled.
Loading Theme Customizations Templates* (Advanced Users Only)To load a new theme template to your Moodle server, you need: FTP Access to your Moodle server Basic understanding HTML Ability to alter images used in a theme (FTP view of Moodle server) 1. Go to Moodle.org > Downloads >Themes and download a zip file of a theme you like. 2. Upload the theme files to your Moodle site’s theme folder. 3. In an images or pics folder you should find a header image and other images that you can brand with your institution’s logo. 4. Go to Admin Block>Appearance>Themes>Theme Selector to preview your new customized theme.
User Locking User Fields Management on ProfilesNavigation: Admin Block> Users>Authentication>Manual accountsThis tip is very helpfulwhen a institutionsupplies the studentswith an email addressthat should not bechanged. This will lockthe field so students willnot be able to change it.
User Adding Custom Fields to Management Profiles Navigation: Admin Block> Users >Accounts> User profile fieldsThis tip is very helpfulwhen you need togather info aboutstudents and the fieldis not already suppliedby Moodle.Example: Student ID#, Student Type(ConEd, Cur, Duelenrollment..etc)
User Batch Adding Users by Management Flat File Navigation: Admin Block> Users >Accounts> Upload UsersExample of a valid CSV import file:username, password, firstname, lastname, email, lang, idnumber, maildisplay, course1, group1, type1jonest, verysecret, Tom, Jones, firstname.lastname@example.org, en, 3663737, 1, Intro101, Section 1, 1When you upload aformatted csv file, youcan automatically enrollusers into existingcourses.
User Reviewing User Management PicturesIf you suspect that your learners are likely to misuse the user picturesfeature by uploading unsuitable pictures, you can review all uploaded userpicture by go to your Moodle url>/userpix/ (a login is required).You can also disallow thisfunctionality by going to the AdminBlock>Security > Site policies andtick the Disable User ProfileImages option.Warning: Once this feature isdisabled, pictures cannot beassigned to any user (except theadministrator) until turn back on.
Course Using Meta-courses Management A meta-course is a course that is "with" or linked to one or more courses for its student enrolment. I think is should be called meta enrollment and it does not share content between course. One way to use meta courses is in a many to one format. Hint: This set-up works well if your want students to access a resource course or orientation course.
Course Using Meta-courses Management Another way to use meta courses is in a one to many format. One parent course that auto-populates students in many child courses. Hint: This set-up works will in setting up cohort groups where all students have the same course list. (i.e. Dental Schools, Nursing Schools, Learning Communities..etc)
Course Moving/Restoring Large Management Courses On most Moodle servers, there is an overall upload size limit on files loaded through the Moodle interface. (64 MB..most of the time) The course backups may be larger than the upload limit. You don’t want to raise the limit too high because it will effect server performance. (Interface File Upload Tool)
Course Moving/Restoring Large Management Courses The answer is to move the backup files using server FTP and not with the file upload button. Note: If you don’t have access to your Moodle server through FTP you can always open a helpdesk ticket with your hosting vendor to have them do it for you.
Reporting Using Moodle Reports Navigation: Admin Block> Reports>LogsReporting logs will let you view all of the user activity of your Moodle instance bydate. There is also a customized 10% attendance report for reporting of DLstudents available.Tip: You are trying to promoteinteractivity in your distancelearning courses, you canuse the reports area to giverecognition to the facultymembers who have the moststudent activity in theircourses.
Reporting Setting up Google Analytics* (Advanced Users Only) What is Google Analytics? It is a web analytics solution that gives you rich insights into your website traffic. You can setup Google Analytics to monitor your Moodle instance by following these simple steps:1. Create an account at http://www.Google.com/analytics/sign_up.ht ml (Note: you must have a gmail account to use analytics.)
Reporting Setting up Google Analytics* (Advanced Users Only)2. Next, you should add a new profile (domain name) on your account to your Moodle server.You should choose the “Add aProfile for a new domain” option inthe Profile Type area.You should paste the URL to yourMoodle site in the field and selectthe correct time zone.
Reporting Setting up Google Analytics* (Advanced Users Only)3. Next, you should cut and paste the code that Google analytics supplies into the footer.html page of the theme used by your Moodle site. Google Tracking Code Page (FTP view of Moodle server)
Reporting Setting up Google Analytics* (Advanced Users Only)3. Lastly, you should be able to view data coming from your Moodle server the day after you install the tracking code. You will be able to review info from your site in the following data set areas: •Visitors •Traffic Source •Content You can also run customized reports for cross-indexing of data.
Converting Bb Ways of Converting courses Courses There are basically two ways to convert courses from Blackboard to Moodle.1. Using a conversion tool. (i.e. LSU)2. Moving course files and content by hand. (cut & paste method) It is not fun either way but the method you use depends on the structure and content type in the course you wish to convert.
Converting Bb Using course conversion courses tools You can use the LSU course conversion tool at http://Moodleconverter.lsu.edu/ if:1. The Bb course has a very shallow folder structure.2. The Bb course is mostly text has few local files loaded into the course. (Word, PowerPoint, Images…etc.)3. Few quizzes or quiz pools. The LSU tool has some problems with files, quizzes, quiz pools but will re-structure a Bb course into sections well.
Converting Bb Using the Cut & Paste courses MethodYou should use the cut and paste method if:1. The Bb course has a very deep folder structure.2. The Bb course is mostly files loaded into the course. (Word, PowerPoint, Images…etc.)3. Has many quizzes or quiz pools.Tip: Each Moodle coursehas a Files area that holdsthe files used in the course.You can load zip files directlyto this area, unzip the fileand the folder structure ofthe zip is reproduced in thecourse files folder.
Converting Bb Other Useful Conversion courses Tools UNC created a tool call bFree. It is a Blackboard course archive extractor that will make a website of your blackboard course. This application helps when looking for files to load into your Moodle course files. The output of the extractor will duplicate the folder structure in your Bb course thereby adding in the file moving process.
More Resources Moodle.org Community docs.moodle.org moodle.nccomunitycolleges.edu >Moodle Users Group www.explorethelor.org North Carolina Learning Object Repository Jonathon Sweetin: Applications Integrator NCCCS System Office, 252-737-2766 email@example.com