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  • 1. © The University of the Belize, 2008<br />This publication may only be produced, stored or transmitted, in any form by any means, with the prior permission in writing from the University of Belize. Enquiries concerning reproduction or licensing should be forwarded to the following address:<br />Director’s office<br />Open Distance Learning <br />The University of Belize, Central Campus<br />P.O. Box 64<br />Belmopan, Belize, C. A.<br />_________________________________________________<br />_________________________________________________<br />UB Course Team<br />Writers:Mr. A. Crespo<br /> Mr. C. McSweeny<br />Web Developers:Mr. A. Crespo<br />Mr. C. McSweeny<br />Mr. Steve Castillo<br />Production Assistant: Mr. Shawn Mejia<br />Table of Contents<br /> TOC o " 1-3" h z u Introduction to the course PAGEREF _Toc237842321 h 6<br />Preparing for e-Learning PAGEREF _Toc237842322 h 7<br />Session 1 PAGEREF _Toc237842323 h 8<br />Introduction to e-Learning at UB PAGEREF _Toc237842324 h 8<br />Introduction PAGEREF _Toc237842325 h 8<br />Learning Objectives PAGEREF _Toc237842326 h 8<br />Course pre-test and ice-breaker PAGEREF _Toc237842327 h 9<br />What is e-Learning? PAGEREF _Toc237842328 h 10<br />E-Learning and blended learning PAGEREF _Toc237842329 h 10<br />Online learning versus face-to-face PAGEREF _Toc237842330 h 11<br />What do I need for e-Learning? PAGEREF _Toc237842331 h 11<br />Skills required for e-Learning PAGEREF _Toc237842332 h 11<br />Basic computer skills: how to get started PAGEREF _Toc237842333 h 12<br />Getting to know your hardware: parts of the computer PAGEREF _Toc237842334 h 12<br />Using the computer PAGEREF _Toc237842335 h 14<br />1. Turn it on! PAGEREF _Toc237842336 h 14<br />2. Start/Run a Program PAGEREF _Toc237842337 h 14<br />3. File Names PAGEREF _Toc237842338 h 15<br />4. Save a File PAGEREF _Toc237842339 h 15<br />5. Steps to Save PAGEREF _Toc237842340 h 15<br />6. Print PAGEREF _Toc237842341 h 18<br />7. Close / Exit a Windows program PAGEREF _Toc237842342 h 18<br />8. Exit Windows PAGEREF _Toc237842343 h 18<br />What is the Internet? PAGEREF _Toc237842344 h 20<br />Brief history of the Internet PAGEREF _Toc237842345 h 20<br />Getting started PAGEREF _Toc237842346 h 21<br />E-mail PAGEREF _Toc237842347 h 21<br />Using the World Wide Web (WWW) PAGEREF _Toc237842348 h 22<br />Bookmarking your resources PAGEREF _Toc237842349 h 22<br />Looking for resources PAGEREF _Toc237842350 h 23<br />Searching the Internet PAGEREF _Toc237842351 h 23<br />Setting up an E–mail account PAGEREF _Toc237842352 h 24<br />Summary PAGEREF _Toc237842353 h 27<br />Session 2 PAGEREF _Toc237842354 h 28<br />Self-study in the Online Environment PAGEREF _Toc237842355 h 28<br />Introduction PAGEREF _Toc237842356 h 28<br />Learning Objectives PAGEREF _Toc237842357 h 28<br />Using the Internet to find academic resources PAGEREF _Toc237842358 h 28<br />Exploring a Subject Directory PAGEREF _Toc237842359 h 29<br />Introduction to Computer Studies – CMPS 140 PAGEREF _Toc237842360 h 29<br />REMINDERS! PAGEREF _Toc237842361 h 42<br />Student FAQ PAGEREF _Toc237842362 h 43<br />Access and Navigation PAGEREF _Toc237842363 h 43<br />Course Content PAGEREF _Toc237842364 h 43<br />Emails and Forums PAGEREF _Toc237842365 h 44<br />Assignments and Grades PAGEREF _Toc237842366 h 44<br />Quizzes PAGEREF _Toc237842367 h 45<br />Getting help PAGEREF _Toc237842368 h 45<br />Introduction to the course<br />Orientation to Online Learning is intended to prepare you for the University of Belize, UB courses with an online component. As you may be aware, UB courses have traditionally been offered using a mixed mode of delivery featuring online, printed materials and face-to-face lectures. The University of Belize, like many other distance education institutions has recognized the potential of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to enhance distance education course delivery. To this end, from August 2005, UB started incorporating the use of ICTs in the delivery of our courses, taking a ‘blended approach’, which means that we are now using a combination of media, including web-based or online technology to deliver a number of courses. Since then, every semester the number of courses with an online component increases and more students are benefited from this new approach. Very likely some of you may never have done any studies in an online environment. This course is intended to help you familiarize yourselves with studying in the online environment, using an application called Moodle. <br />Preparing for e-Learning<br />Overview<br />Many persons associate distance education with e-Learning however, persons tend to have only a vague notion of what e-Learning involves and how this mode of teaching and learning differs from more traditional approaches. This module is intended to provide participants with an understanding of e-Learning, highlighting its value for flexible learning and self-study. Participants will be exposed to basic computer literacy, as well as the skills required for e-Learning, which will enable the completion of online courses offered by UB.<br />Learning Objectives<br />After completing this unit, you should be able to:<br />• define e-Learning and other terms associated with computer-based teaching and learning<br />• assess the value of e-Learning for the persons studying at a distance<br />• demonstrate the skills required for e-Learning<br />• conduct online research<br />In the following pages you will find two sessions.<br />Session 1: Introduction to e-Learning at UB<br />Session 2: Self-Study in the Online Learning Environment<br />Session 1<br />Introduction to e-Learning at UB<br />Introduction<br />As you get to know your fellow students during your orientation session, you may find that you have many things in common. Perhaps you share the fact that you are UB students pursuing the same degree option. You will find out more about these shared factors after you complete the short pre-test that signals the start of this course.<br />Many of you were attracted to this course because it introduces you to e-Learning. Perhaps you have already worked out in your mind what that means for you as am working adult and student. In this session we examine the definition of the term e-Learning and the skills required to pursue courses offered using this mode of delivery.<br />Learning Objectives<br />After studying this session you will be able to:<br />1. Reassess your level of computer literacy.<br />2. Define e-Learning, blended learning and other terms associated with computer-based learning.<br />3. Differentiate between e-Learning and traditional face-to-face teaching and learning.<br />4. Identify the skills required for e-Learning.<br />5. Demonstrate basic computer and Internet skills.<br />Course pre-test and ice-breaker<br />Before we begin it is a good idea for you to find out a bit about someone else in the course and share information about yourself. Complete the pre-test and share your responses with someone sitting next to you.<br />Name ________________________________________________<br />Status at UB New student 􀀀 Returning student 􀀀<br />Would you describe yourself as computer literate? Yes 􀀀 No 􀀀<br />1. Where do you have access to a computer?<br />Home 􀀀 Work 􀀀 UB 􀀀 Internet Café 􀀀 Other 􀀀 _________________________________<br />2. What do you understand by the term e-Learning?<br />__________________________________________________________________<br />__________________________________________________________________<br />__________________________________________________________________<br />3. Identify what you see as two main differences between e-Learning and traditional face-to-face learning.<br />i. ____________________________________________________________<br />ii. ____________________________________________________________<br />4. Identify the skills you feel are needed for e-Learning.<br />__________________________________________________________________<br />__________________________________________________________________<br />__________________________________________________________________<br />5. E-mail is instantaneous. True 􀀀 False 􀀀<br />6. An e-mail address is also called a URL. True 􀀀 False 􀀀<br />What is e-Learning?<br />E-Learning, which is sometimes also referred to as online learning or web-based learning, involves the use of the Internet to deliver teaching and learning. Sarah Horton (2000) defines online learning as “making connections: connecting students to one another and to resources around the world, combining different materials-music, movies, text, narrative-into one presentation…” The main point to note is that e-Learning is a mode of delivering teaching and learning, which utilizes the technology of the Internet to facilitate the process. E-Learning can be differentiated from conventional “classroom” type education because it affords students the opportunity to participate in education regardless of restrictions of time and place. To facilitate open, flexible delivery of teaching and learning, e-Learning involves the use of various internet-based “tools”. These include discussion boards, e-mail and chat rooms, and online quizzes for example:<br />Discussion Boards: Forums also known as list serves on the Internet where users can post messages for others to read.<br />E-mail (electronic mail): Using a computer to send digital messages to a virtual mailbox.<br />E-mail list: A form of one-to-many communication using E-mail.<br />Chat rooms: A virtual meeting space on the Internet used for real-time text discussions. Unlike one-to-one instant messenger applications, chat rooms enable conversations among multiple people at once.<br />Online Quizzes: A facility which allows individuals to complete quizzes, questionnaires, or surveys online and obtain immediate feedback and grading.<br />E-Learning and blended learning<br />As students of UB you will hear the term “blended learning” being used. UB has traditionally offered its programmes using a mix of print and face-to-face tutorials with minimum use being made of asynchronous, computer-based technologies. Asynchronous technologies include e-mail and discussion forums, for example, which do not require tutor and student to be in the same place at the same time. In 2004 UB began incorporating asynchronous computer-based technologies into the traditional mix. This new mix is what UB refers to as “blended learning”. In other words, e-Learning is part of UB’s blended approach to delivering teaching. The other aspects of our blended approach are print materials, face-to-face tutorials (when necessary) and CDs.<br />Online learning versus face-to-face<br />As indicated earlier, e-Learning can facilitate interaction between students, and between students and facilitators, at different times and in different locations and also at the same time (via chat for example). In the traditional classroom setting, however, students and teachers are generally in the same place at the same time when teaching and learning is taking place.<br />What do I need for e-Learning?<br />E-Learning requires you to have access to a computer with Internet capabilities. The institution delivering the training/education will generally use a Learning Management System (LMS) to facilitate delivery. A LMS is software that automates the administration of training. The LMS registers students and other users, tracks courses in a catalog, records data from learners, and provides reports to management. An LMS is typically designed to handle courses by multiple course developers. Examples of Learning Management Systems include Blackboard.com, WebCT and Moodle. At UB the LMS in use is Moodle. We will be discussing Moodle again in Unit 2.<br />Skills required for e-Learning<br />To participate in online courses, you need basic computer skills as well as skills in using the Internet. Following is a list of the skills required:<br />1. Basic computer skills<br /> Turn computer on/off<br />Use mouse<br />Identify relevant software applications<br />Open and use software applications e.g. Microsoft office package<br />Save files<br />Exit files<br />Print documents<br />2. Internet skills<br />Connect to the internet<br />Search/browse the internet<br />Open a URL/link<br />Create an e-mail account<br />Send e-mail<br />Send e-mail attachments<br />Post a discussion<br />Basic computer skills: how to get started<br />Many of you are already computer literate while others may be a bit cautious when faced with new technologies. Here we will briefly review some of the basic computer skills that you should possess.<br />Getting to know your hardware: parts of the computer<br />Source: Computing and Information Skills Fundamentals by O.T. Eyitayo, University of Botswana 2002<br />System Unit: The system unit comprises the processor, memory and the disk drives. All processing takes place within the system unit. The floppy disk drive (in older computers), and CD-ROM drive are also part of the system unit.<br />Keyboard: The most common input device is the keyboard. A computer keyboard is usually similar to a typewriter, with the traditional typewriter layout (known as QWERTY) and additional keys which are used to control and edit the display. The keyboard contains: alphabetic keys (alphabets) numeric keys (numbers)<br />special character keys, such as *, +, _, !, ^, /, ), (control keys, labeled shift key, return key, etc. function keys, labeled F1 through F12.<br />Mouse: The mouse is designed to make moving around on screen more natural. You slide the mouse on the mouse pad (a tablemat made for the mouse) in the direction you want to move the mouse pointer (this is an arrow on the screen).<br />Printer: This is the most common output device, which produces a permanent record in print. There are various types of printers available and they vary considerably in the quality of production. Dot matrix printers form characters from patterns of dots. They are inexpensive, but the output can be difficult to read. Ink jet printers literally spit dots of ink onto paper to form images. Laser printers use laser technology and are more expensive, but they produce high quality output. <br />Technology changes so rapidly that you may be using a computer that looks slightly different to what is depicted here. Bear in mind however that most of the basic features will remain the same although they may have a different appearance.<br />Monitor: Also called screen or video display units (VDUs), provide the same information as a printer, but in temporary form. They can output either text or pictures. Some monitors show white characters against a black background, whereas some display colored text and pictures.<br />Speaker: The most common multimedia output is sound, including music. The audio output device on a computer is a speaker.<br />The following section was Adapted with permission from Jan Smith < jegworks.com/lessons/index.html > All Rights Reserved Copyright © 1997-2004.<br />Using the computer<br />Now that you've reviewed the parts of the computer, you are ready to actually start using one! If everything is plugged in properly, what do you do to start the computer?<br />1. Turn it on!<br />Turn on the computer's main power using the power button or switch.<br />2. Start/Run a Program<br />At the end of the boot process the operating system is in place and ready for work. So how do you start a program? That depends on your particular operating system. We'll just look at how to run a program under Windows, since this is the most common system used. You may realize that there are various versions of Windows such as Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows XP Professional. Do not concern yourself with the various versions of Windows at this time. They all share some basic similarities.<br />Click on the Start Menu button at the bottom left (Figure 1). Let the mouse hover over the Programs item to expand the cascading list of program shortcuts. (A shortcut is a file that points to the actual executable file that starts the program.) Move the mouse without getting off the list to highlight the program you want and click on MS Word. If you slip off the list, the list may vanish. You might have to work down through several levels of the cascade to find your program.<br />Run in Win95/98/XP<br />Figure 1: Windows Desktop<br />Once you've gotten your program open and have done some work, you'll no doubt be interested in saving the results! The work that you want to keep must be saved as a file. This work might be a picture that you drew with a graphics program or it could be a letter or memo. It could be a calendar or spreadsheet or database. The way you save and organize what you've created is called File Management.<br />3. File Names<br />How do you choose a name for your file? A file name has two parts: FILENAME and EXTENSION in the format: “filename.ext”. Most programs have a default extension which they will assign to files that they save unless you specifically type in something different.<br />4. Save a File<br />Now that we've identified how to name a file, it's high time we talked about how to save it. If you are working in a classroom lab or other shared computer, you'll need to save your files to a floppy or other storage device such as a CD or memory stick every time. If you save to the class computer's hard drive, another student or the teacher might erase it before you get to use that computer again. Saving to the hard drive is the same as to a floppy or other storage device except for inserting and removing the floppy diskette.<br />5. Steps to Save<br />5.1 Insert a formatted floppy disk (Figure 2) or other storage device (Figures 3 & 4.) A floppy disk must have been formatted before it can be used. New disks come formatted from the factory.<br />Figure 2: Floppy Disk<br />Sometimes the computer will tell you that the disk has not been formatted and ask " Do you want to format it now?” Be careful! If the disk is blank, go ahead and try to format it. If the disk has data, do not reformat the floppy disk unless you are sure you won't lose anything important. Computers are sometimes picky about reading disks formatted in a different computer. Note that different operating systems use different formatting schemes. A disk formatted for a Macintosh will not look formatted to a PC, for example. Don't forget that reformatting will erase all the data. <br />In addition to floppy disks you can also save on CDs (Figure 3) or Memory Sticks (Figure 4). Once you understand the basic steps in saving a document however, you will be able to use any storage device available.<br />Figure 3: CD<br />Figure 4: Memory Stick <br />Figure 5: Save As dialog box<br />5.2 Select Save button or File / Save or File / Save As command from the program's menu.<br />5.3 Name the file. If the file is new or you choose Save As, you'll see a dialog box where you enter the file's name (Figure 5).<br />5.4 Choose a directory/folder.<br />5.5 Choose a file type. For example, in Win95's WordPad, as pictured here, you can save a file as a Word 6.0 document (extension = doc), in Rich Text Format (extension = rtf), as a plain text document (extension = txt), and as a MS-DOS text document (extension = txt). A graphics program like PaintShopPro may offer over 30 different file formats.<br />5.6 Remove the disk. But wait for the drive light to go out first! The computer is not through writing until the light goes out. When you modify a file and save it, you are overwriting the previous version. If you want to keep the old version too, save the file with a new name or in a different folder. However, having different documents around with the same name, even if they are in different folders, can be quite confusing.<br />If you try to save a file to a folder that already has a file with that name, most programs will ask if that is what you really want to do. Read the message carefully to be sure that you are overwriting the correct file. Test your software to make sure that you will get a warning! Some programs allow you to turn off this feature, and a few just assume you know what you are doing!<br />6. Print<br />After saving files, probably the most common task is to print out what you've done. Assuming you have created or edited some document, how do you get it to print? Simple answer: Click on the Print button on the toolbar or use the File | Print command from the menu.<br />7. Close / Exit a Windows program<br />Exit Program - To close a Windows program, you can use the Exit or Close command at the bottom on the File menu. Notice that the letter " x" in Exit is underscored. That means that the keystroke combo Alt + x will also exit the program (Figure 6.)<br />Figure 6: To close / exit a program<br />The Windows program usually gives you a number of ways to accomplish a task. Most folks have a preference either for using mouse clicks or for keystroke combos. You'll soon find out what works best for you.<br />8. Exit Windows<br />Exit Windows - Once all open programs are closed, you shut down Windows by clicking on the Start Menu / Shut Down (Figure 7). You will be shown a dialog box where you can choose shut down, restart, restart in MS-DOS mode, and Logoff and then logon as a different user (Figure 8).<br />Figure 7: To Exit / Shut Down Windows<br />Figure 8: Exit / Shut down Windows<br />Shut Down (Refer to Figure 8)<br />Closes up all the background programs and then shows a screen that tells you that it is OK to turn off the computer.<br />Restart<br />This does a Warm Boot by closing everything down but immediately starting the computer up again. This method avoids the wait for the hard drive to stop spinning before you could reboot manually.<br />Shut Down to DOS mode<br />Closes the Win95/98 graphical interface and goes to the DOS prompt. Some DOS programs have to be fooled in order to run on a Win95/98 machine. They just won't run while the graphical interface is active. Sometimes drivers are needed that conflict with Win95/98 settings, so the computer has to change modes. You can return to Win95/98 by typing EXIT on the command line.<br />Logoff and then Logon as a different user<br />If you are using a computer which is on a network and you have special access, you will need to login as yourself. This choice works faster than closing everything down and physically restarting the computer.<br />Power Switch - Once Windows completes shutting itself down, you may now turn off the computer with the power switch.<br />Adapted with permission from Jan Smith <jegsworks.com/lessons/inex.html > <br />All Rights Reserved Copyright © 1997-2004.<br />The following information was adapted from the website<br />http://www.northernwebs.com/bc/bc10.html<br />© Northern Webs 1999<br />What is the Internet?<br />The Internet is a global system of interconnecting computers that make possible applications such as the World Wide Web, e-mail, discussion forums/newsgroups, file sharing and electronic commerce (e commerce). The Internet is transitory, ever changing, reshaping and remolding itself.<br />Brief history of the Internet<br />In response to a need for secure computer to computer communications, DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration in the United States of America, commissioned a study in computer to computer technologies back in the early 1970's. During the next 20 years the Internet was used solely as a combination of military and academic network, linking computers first nationwide in the USA, then ultimately world wide. As the 1980's progressed, the face of computing changed significantly, and with it, the Internet. More and more commercial and personal computers were going online, until they exceeded the number of the original users. The 1990's signaled the start of the " connected" era, with the end of the Cold war, and improvements in military communications, the original Military users of the Internet left for other communications systems. The Internet was left much as it is today, a collection of internationally based users and computers.<br />Getting started<br />Getting connected to the Internet is fairly simple, but there are a number of steps you need to take before hand. The first requirement will be to locate an Internet Service Provider (ISP) in your area. This is a company through which you can access the Internet. Prices and features will vary, so calling around, shopping for the best price is recommended. Typically, your local ISP will offer you a monthly package which will include E-mail and web access, download/upload capabilities, and newsgroups. Once you have found an ISP and signed their service agreement, next you will need to install some software on your computer. In many cases your ISP will help you with that installation. The most basic software you would need are a World Wide Web Browser such as Explorer or Netscape, and an e-mail program such as Outlook Express. With your software installed, you will be ready to access the Internet. Once you are ready, it's now time to connect to the Internet. How is this accomplished? Well it's simple really. Your computer will dial a local number, which is provided by your ISP. Once you have logged into your ISP, you are connected to the Internet.<br />There are two classes of computers on the Internet, Hosts and Clients. Unless you have a permanent link to the Internet and your machine is always connected and online, then you are probably a client and not a host. As a client to the Internet, you should have the following abilities:<br />• Send E-mail<br />• Upload/Download Files<br />• Access the World Wide Web.<br />E-mail <br />Is the ability to write a message to someone, using a mail program, and use the Internet as a means of delivering that message. E-mail is not generally a free service. The cost of your E-mail is covered in your service charge to your provider. There are free e-mail accounts however such as hotmail and Yahoo!! Later in this section we will describe how to set up a free e-mail account which you can access anywhere in the world. Contrary to popular opinion, e-mail is NOT instantaneous. When you send a message to someone it leaves your computer and travels first to your Service Provider, from there your E-mail may travel through several other HOST computers until it reaches its final destination. The time it takes to transit from one host to another varies depending upon how busy the network is at the time you sent it.<br />Upload/Download Files. Upload/Download are two different faces on the same coin. Basically it refers to moving a file, from one computer to another. As a student using online learning you will be required to upload and download files.<br />Access the World Wide Web. The World Wide Web (WWW) blends the best and not-so-best of the textual information with the graphical capabilities of today's desktop systems. On the Web you will find information relating to almost any conceivable topic.<br />Using the World Wide Web (WWW)<br />You've made your first connection to your Internet Service Provider, and now you are ready to begin exploring the World Wide Web. The question is where do you start? Most web browsers, when you open them, will open up to a default webpage. When you are surfing the web, you can choose from millions of websites to visit. Your browser has several ways of allowing you to do this, for example, if you know the web address or URL (Universal Resource Locator) of the website: You enter the address of the location you wish to visit and the browser will take you there. There is the File / Open Location option from the main menu and there is the location window on the menu bar. All you need to do in either spot is enter the URL you require and away you go. Explorer has an address window, and the File|Open menu option to perform the same functions.<br />Activity 1.1<br />Use the following URL to visit the UB online website: http://online.ub.edu.bz<br />Bookmarking your resources<br />Nearly all of the Internet web browsers available today have a feature which is like an automated address book. Some call it " Hot Listing" , others call it “Book Marking”. In any case, the effect is the same. Bookmarking allows you to grab a copy of a URL/web address and store it so that you can easily go back to the site at a future time. Below we have provided instructions for bookmarking using two popular Internet web browsers:<br />Navigator<br />• Go to the First Page of the Site.<br />• Click on the Menu Option labeled “BookMarks”<br />• Move the mouse pointer down to the option labeled " Add a Bookmark" and click on it.<br />Explorer<br />• Go to the First Page of the Site<br />• Click on " Favorites" in the button bar, then select “Add to Favorites”.<br />Looking for resources<br />There are numerous resources on the net which everybody needs from time to time. There are two issues related to this, however. Firstly, you need to decide which resource you need and secondly, you need to decide which is reliable. This said, if you decide you want to search the Internet, there are a number of resources which enable these activities. Here we will focus on search engines and web directories. (In Session 2, we will return to the issue of searching the Internet).<br />Search engines are websites that enable users to search for information on the Internet using specific key words or phrases. Examples of general search engines include: Ask, Google, Hotbot, Lycos, MSN Search, Yahoo!, and Netcraft. Some search engines enable a user to conduct a search across two or more search engines and directories at a time. These are called Meta Search Engines. Examples of Meta Search Engines include: Dogpile, Excite, Metacrawler and Webcrawler.<br />Web Directories act as portals or doors to the World Wide Web. Web Directories provide links to websites within specific categories or areas. Wikipedia.org, an online, free encyclopedia provides a list of web directories such as:<br />• VFunk - Online directory that specializes in listing and categorizing global dance music & urban lifestyles<br />• Web-beacon - A family-friendly directory of websites<br />• World Wide Web Virtual Library (VLIB) – The oldest directory of the Web<br />Searching the Internet<br />What can you search the Internet for? Nearly everything! It would be improper to state that the Internet contains the sum total of all human knowledge; however it is getting there very quickly.<br />Use one of your new BookMarks and surf over to one of the search engines. Here you will be presented with a webpage, which has a field in which you can enter terms to look for. All of these systems have a help section or FAQ clearly marked, so if you get into trouble, you can either hit your " back" button or try the site help file.<br />You begin your search by entering some sort of search criteria into an editable field on your screen, then pressing the search button.<br />Searching the Internet for some particular information can be both a frustrating experience and a rewarding one. It’s best to start with a particular search engine or directory, looking for what you need. Remember that there is a considerable overlap between the contents of one engine and another, so you will find similar references among them.<br />Let's say we are looking for information on a 1977 Jeep CJ-5, perhaps a supplier of parts for that automobile. Going to a search engine like Yahoo!, you can search their database, but the real question becomes what keyword do you use?<br />Start by looking for " CJ-5" , but in all likelihood, you won't find it. It's way too specific. You need to exercise care in picking search terms. For example, looking for items that weigh a " ton" will also return references to " Badminton" , " Alexander Hamilton" etc.<br />Having not found anything listed under CJ-5, or perhaps finding listings, but of the wrong type, widen your search by looking for " Jeep" . Here you may find several dealers of Jeeps, perhaps even the parts supplier you need. You may also find someone's Home page where they write about owning a jeep. As you can see, the steps to finding your desired information are:<br />Start Specific (i.e. Search for " CJ-5" .)<br />Broaden your search if you don't find any reference (i.e. Search for " Jeep" )<br />Broaden further if you still don't find anything. (i.e. Search for " Automotive" )<br />Setting up an E–mail account<br />If you do not have an E-mail account or you wish to have another to communicate with your tutors for this course, then you may use the following steps to create a Yahoo! account. You will then have an E-mail account that you can check on any browser on any machine at home, work or at an Internet café.<br />1. The first step, in setting up your Yahoo!! Account, is to type in www.Yahoo.com into the browser window. When the page loads click on the Mail icon (Figure 9) to access the e-mail options of Yahoo!!<br />Figure 9<br />2. You will be taken to the Yahoo! Mail web page. On the left hand side you will see the “New to Yahoo!?” notice (Figure 10) which is for those without a Yahoo! Mail account. Read the information then click on the Sign Up Now button (Figure 10).<br />Figure 10<br />3. The Sign Up Now button links to a new page that has 3 options for signing up. We advise the path of least expense, the Free account (Figure 11). This no expense E-mail account from Yahoo! will suffice while you are a student and even beyond.<br />4. Click on the Sign Up for Yahoo! E-mail button, which will take you to the registration page. Carefully read and fill out the online form. (Figure 12) and click the I Agree button at the bottom of the page. This completes the registration and your new E-mail account will be formed. You can receive and send E-mail messages from this account.<br />Figure 11<br />Note<br />Zip Code – The form presumes all users are American! As such a Zip Code must be entered; this is part of every American address. We do not have Zip Codes in the Caribbean so we advise you work around this by putting the digits 10014 into the Zip Code field (Figure 12).<br />Check ID – (Figure 13) ID is often but not necessarily the same as username. For example an E-mail address takes the form of seechrns@Yahoo!.com. seechrns is the ID.<br />Figure 12<br />Figure 13<br />Activity 1.2<br />1. Shut down your computer.<br />2. Turn on your computer, Connect to the Internet and do a search to find the web page of the University Belize, Belmopan Central Campus<br />3. Use a web crawler or directory and search for a definition of the term Learning Management System (LMS).<br />Summary<br />This session sought to prepare you for the online environment by introducing you to the common terms used as well as basic skills required. The parts of the computer and related devices were identified. We also introduced you to the Internet and the skills required searching the Internet as well as the steps involved in creating a free e-mail account.<br />Session 2<br />Self-study in the Online Environment<br />Introduction<br />As online course developers, we try to provide a range of resources for you within the course environment. However, as university students, you will also be expected to find your own resources, to enhance what is provided for you. The World Wide Web contains a wealth of academic resources for the enterprising student. The opportunities for finding rich sources of data are limitless and the student with the know-how to seek out and capitalize on these resources will always have an advantage, particularly in situations where physical access to a library is difficult. In this session we will examine some of the techniques for gaining access to resources on the World Wide Web and online databases available through the main library of the Belmopan campus.<br />Learning Objectives<br />After completing this session students will be able to:<br />1. Conduct efficient web searches for academic resources<br />2. Use online resources including those which are part of “UBs’ Online Campus” to access academic materials, complete activities, submit assignments and other deliverables for their online courses.<br />Using the Internet to find academic resources<br />In Session 1 we introduced you to the Internet and some basic techniques for doing general web searches. Here we will be furthering our web searching techniques to focus on academic information.<br />Laura Cohen (2004) identifies six basic ways to access information on the internet:<br />1. Putting your URL or web address directly into your address bar<br />2. Browsing the Internet<br />3. Exploring a subject directory<br />4. Conducting a search using a web search engine such as Google, Yahoo! or MSN search<br />5. Exploring the “Deep web”<br />6. Joining an e-mail or discussion group.<br />In Session 1 we discussed techniques 1, 2, and 4 above. Here we will focus on techniques 3 and 5 and you will also learn more about 6, e-mail and discussion groups.<br />Exploring a Subject Directory<br />An increasing number of universities, libraries, and private companies are creating subject directories to catalog specific information on the Internet. These directories are organized by subject and consist of links to Internet resources relating to these subjects. Most directories provide a search capability that allows you to query the database on your topic of interest. Directories are useful for general topics, for topics that need exploring, and for browsing. There are two basic types of directories:<br />• Academic and professional directories often created and maintained by subject experts to support the needs of researchers,<br />• Directories contained on commercial portals that cater to the general public and are competing for traffic. Yahoo! is the most famous example of a commercial portal.<br />The following is an example of how everything is set up and how to gain access to the subject directories.<br />Introduction to Computer Studies – CMPS 140<br />Student Guide<br />Welcome to Introduction to Computer Studies - CMPS 140, an online Distance Learning course offered by the University of Belize through its Department of Information Technology. This course assumes that you have at least a basic knowledge of how to use a computer, including using a mouse and the keyboard. In addition, it is assumed that you are familiar with your web browser and navigating between pages on the Internet. Even if you are a computer whiz, please go through these instructions on how this course works.<br />You will undoubtedly pick up tips that will make navigating and participating in this course easier and more meaningful. It will be best if you use these printed instructions while you sit at the computer and familiarize yourself with the course.<br />The actual appearance on screen is governed by settings on your own computer and as a result what you see may be slightly different from that shown in the examples.<br />If you have accessed this document online, it is suggested that you print it so that you can have an easy reference should you have login problems in a location where you do not have access to the Course Coordinator assigned by the University of Belize. This guide is intended to introduce you to the Introduction to Computer Studies – CMPS 140 course site, give instructions for your specific course activities, discussions and assignments, where applicable, and to provide some general reminders about navigating through Moodle.<br />Hardware and Software Requirements<br />To complete this course, you'll need regular access to a computer that is connected to the Internet. If you travel frequently, or don't have a home computer, neighbors, friends, and internet cafes are other possibilities not to be overlooked. Dial-up access should be adequate, although images take longer to download, and there are a fair number of them throughout the course resources. If you have access to a high-speed Internet connection, it is so much the better. The computer should have a Web browser such as Netscape, Mozilla Fire Fox , or Internet Explorer, and you will need an email account to which we can send course-related information. Be advised that you check in several times a week, or once a week for several hours, so be sure the computer(s) you plan to use is easily accessible to you.<br />Be aware that some computers have sophisticated 'firewall' software installed which deters hackers and viruses, but can also make our password-protected site impossible to access. If you have difficulty logging on from a particular computer, consider whether this might be the problem and ask the administrator or the On-line Campus Coordinator for assistance.<br />Course Expectations:<br />This course is designed for adults. It is run and moderated by an instructor, who will be encouraging participation and answering questions. For all activities which have a due date, such as quizzes or other assignments, the due date is indicated at the top of the page. Be sure to make note of this. Since we do not meet face to face, it can be easy to lose track of course dates.<br />Each week we will cover a certain amount of content, which includes several activities, such as: reading notes, a quiz, participation in a forum or in chat sessions, which everyone is expected to participate in. These forums are the primary interactive component of the course, and are essential to creating the “community of learners” that we and other experienced online educators have found to enhance the learning experience for all. It is up to everyone to make the forums welcoming, interesting spaces in which we all learn from each other.<br />This course is built with web-based distance-learning software called Moodle. It works just like a regular website. For example, words of a different color from the regular text are links; you can click on to go to another part of the course, or to an external website. Most assignments and quizzes are done through the course website. However, some assignments are specific activities that you have to complete and have a file as a result. You can post them to the course website as attachments to forum postings.<br />We have found that some students prefer to read course material on paper instead of from a computer monitor. If you prefer, you can print any part of the course, but don't forget that you will have to come back to your computer in order to click on links, found throughout the text, to other course resources (e.g. forums entries) or to external websites. So if you prefer to print course materials make sure to print important links or your information will be incomplete! If you find that the right side of a printed page is cut off, you will need to go to Page Setup (under the File menu at the top of your Web browser, or word processor) and change the page orientation from Portrait to Landscape.<br />Entering the course site<br />From your web browser, go to the course website:<br />http://online.ub.edu.bz<br />You will need to have a valid username and a password to enter the web site. The Online Course<br />Coordinator should have sent that and other information to the e-mail address you provided when registering to the course.<br />This course also requires a once-only " enrolment key” that ensures that only registered students can enter the website. The following are the steps you must take to access the course:<br />Enter the username and the password you received by email from the Online Course Coordinator and click<br />on the button.<br />You will be requested to change your password to access the course web site. Make sure that the password you choose is a hard to guess for others, but easy to remember for you.<br />You will be requested to change your password to access the course web site. Make sure that the password you choose is a hard to guess for others, but easy to remember for you.<br />Once the password is changed click on the <br />A window with your profile will be displayed.<br />Click on the UBOnline link at the top left of your browser. Now you are logged in!!!<br />Click on “Information Technology”, under Course categories. The following window will be displayed:<br />Now, click on " Introduction to Computer Studies" . You are in the course webpage!!<br />Enrolment Key<br />When you attempt to enroll in the course for the first time you will be prompted for the enrolment key which you will need to enter before you can proceed. This ensures that only legitimate students can access the course. If you are asked by the systems, please ask your Tutor for the enrollment key for this semester. You will only be asked this the first time you enter the course website.<br />In the course<br />In this section we will take a quick tour of the course environment. Some of the items will be described in more detail later. In the top right hand corner of your screen you will see something like the following:<br />You will see your name instead of “Demo User”. Click on your user name to display your user profile where you can enter information about yourself so others in the course will know you better. At the top right of the screen, the word “Logout” is displayed; if you click on this you will exit both, the course and the site.<br />Basic navigation<br />There are a number of ways to move around the course and to know where you are within the course.<br />“Breadcrumbs” – this is a menu positioned below the course title which shows your position in the course.<br />For example: <br />• UB: Clicking on this would take you to the screen which displays all of the courses on the site.<br />• CMPS140: Will take you to the main course index page of Introduction to Computer Studies (CMPS 140).<br />• Resources: Clicking on this would display a list of all of the resources (readings) in this course.<br />• Course Outline: Because this is in a different color it indicates that is your current location within the course.<br />Notice that the breadcrumbs menu changes to reflect your current position. Also note that at the bottom of any screen, there is a blue “CMPS140” link, which will take you back to the main course page. While in a course activity you can move to another activity or resource in the course by means of the following:<br />The Previous and Next buttons will take you back and forth between the activities and resources in the order in which they appear in the course topics, while clicking the drop down list will allow you to select from the complete list, in topic order, and navigate directly to your selection.<br />Finally, it is possible to navigate between pages by using the “Back” and “Forward” navigation buttons on your web browser. This is not recommended; you will obtain more consistent results by using the navigation options within the website and course pages.<br />Note that if you navigate to another area of the course while writing forum entry, your input may not be saved. To avoid this always ensure that you complete what you are doing within the activity first, e.g. post to a forum, save changes. Or, you can open a new window as described below, so you can look at another part of the course (or an external website) while you continue to work on your posting to the forum, or some other activity.<br />Tip on opening multiple windows:<br />You can have two web browser windows open at the same time in the course website, or the course website and any other web site. For example, if you are posting a comment about something you saw in the text, if you leave the page you're writing in to go review another part of the course, when you come back what you had written will be gone. To avoid this, open another window (go to File-New-Window , at the top of your browser page in the upper left corner of the screen, and another, identical window will open (or, depending on the configuration of your browser, it may open to the home page, or another web page instead. From there you can go to the course website in your usual way). Then, you can have one window open to write in, and with the other you can go to another part of the course or another web site, to recheck on some detail of what you are writing about, for example.<br />The main course web page is divided into a number of specific areas which you will encounter often. An overview of these is given in the following sections.<br />The Course Website<br />The main areas for this course are: Information Center, Course Units, Forums/Discussions and Quizzes.<br />The Information Center<br />The information Center provides access to this guide as well as the News Forum, the General Chat Room, and the General Students Queries and Concerns. The News Forum will be used for course announcements. The General Chat Room will be used for general interaction between students and teacher. The General Students Queries and Concerns will be used to ask general questions not related to the course content. To open any of the links, simply click on the relevant link and click the “post to forum” button to reply.<br />The Information Center will also be used to post PDF versions of additional readings and links for the course.<br />Course Units<br />In the area below the Information Center we have provided an overview of each of the units in the course. Here you also have access to the discussions and readings that are related to each unit. The “Units” area includes a Table of Contents, which lists links to the various sections of this on-line course.<br />It is possible to focus on one unit only and to access the other units by selecting from a drop down list. This can make navigation more convenient where there are many units in a course. To achieve this, click on the squares at the right edge of the unit area you want displayed, see below.<br />Forums/discussion topics<br />There will be discussions related to each Unit. Unit I also contain a " introducing ourselves" forum, which is a forum for students to share information about themselves and to communicate with one another. The Unit Forums are intended for you to share information or ask questions related to the content of each unit. The Forums are the interactive part of the course; it's what makes this a real course, not just an online book. Participation is key. Here's how: Enter a forum by clicking on one in the index page. On the white background is the forum introduction, to focus the discussion. In blue text (or in a box) below that, it says “Add a new discussion topic”. Click there to add your own posting, to respond to the introductory question. You can also reply to others' postings, by reading their posting, and clicking Reply in the right hand side of their message.<br />There is a text editor for you to customize your posting: you can add color, change fonts and styles, attach images, etc…Play around to get a feel for it. Below, you can see a wide range of small icons; these are tools to edit your text with (font, bold, italics, indent, etc.).<br />Search block<br />If you want to find a particular posting or conversation, the search block can help find it for you. This block can search for text amongst the forum entries in the course (but not other parts of the website such as chapter text). To search simply enter the text sought in the field and click the “Search forums” button. Forums refer to the interactive discussion course activity which we will look at in more detail below.<br />Calendar block<br />As the name suggests this block provides a calendar function for the course. Course start and end dates, and due dates for assignments will be posted here. Each of the events has a color code to help identification.<br />Recent activity block<br />As you can see, there are many different activities going on in this course. Each day (or several times a week), when you log on, you may not wish to go through each different part of the course to see what is new. The Recent Activity block is the easiest way to check what new forum postings have been made, without checking each forum individually. The Recent Activity block displays a synopsis of recent activity within the course together with links to the activities themselves, as well as a more detailed full report of recent happenings.<br />Latest news block<br />This block displays brief details of news added to the Course News Forum including who posted the news, the title of the news item and the date and time. Clicking on the word “more…” will take you directly to the full news item. This News Forum is our general information source and meeting place, aside from the weekly topic-related forums.<br />Administration block<br />This block contains a link to the Grade book where you can monitor your achievement against each graded activity. Click on the “Change password…” link to be taken to another screen where you can amend your password details.<br />The “Unenroll me from CMPS140 …” (not displayed in the graphic) link will allow you to un-enroll from the current course.<br />Groups and E-Mail<br />You can “see” the members of your group, including your course teacher and access their e-mail be clicking on the link “participants”.<br />This will allow you to see a list of all the members of your group, with the name of your tutor at the top and the details for each member. You can access their e-mail be simply clicking on the e-mail address there.<br />Assignments<br />This course has 8 Assignments. For each of the assignments you will find the instructions directly in the course web site or you will have to download a file that contains the instructions of your assignment. Detailed instructions on the Assignment are provided in the Assignments section. Especial attention is to be given to the deadlines because even though you will be able to submit any of your assignments after the deadline, there is a penalty of 5 points deduction per day. You are also allowed to submit the same assignment more than once, in which case, the previous submissions will be automatically discarded and the last one will be used for grading purposes.<br />Log Out<br />After you finish working in your online environment you should always log out. You do this by clicking on the log out link at the top right hand corner of the browser page.<br />REMINDERS!<br />Reminder 1: In order to Log in to your account and gain access to Introduction to Computer Studies.<br />1. Type in your User Name and your Password.<br />2. Click the Login Button and your browser will refresh to display your own course web page.<br />3. On the Left Hand Column you will see a block entitled ‘courses’. Your course will be listed in this block.<br />If you forget your password then it’s painless to have it sent to you by email… Simply click on the login button on the homepage. Click the “send my details via e-mail” button and then check your e-mail for the password.<br />Reminder 2: To post a discussion- first, click the reply link to open the reply screen and type in your text and click ‘Post to Forum’ button at the end of the screen. Your contribution will be posted to the class website and a copy of it will be sent to all class participants.<br />Reminder 3: You must ensure that the e-mail account given when you enrolled in Moodle is active. Now that you've made your way through this guide, you should have good sense of how to get around our courses. If there are useful tips you discover that you think belong in this guide, please let us know. We are always improving it. This guide can be found as an online resource in the Information Center of the course main page. Good luck, and enjoy the course!<br />Student FAQ<br />This part is intended to answer the kinds of questions students may ask about their Moodle courses.<br />Access and Navigation<br />Why can't I log in?<br />There could be many reasons but the most probably is you have simply forgotten your password, are trying the wrong one or are entering it incorrectly. Some other things to think about include:<br />•Does you username or password contain a mixture of upper and lower case letter? It should be entered exactly<br />•Are cookies enabled on your browser?<br />How do I jump between my courses?<br />•Course block if it has been added<br />•Go back to the homepage and then use the main course block (if it has been added!)<br />How do I get back to the homepage?<br />Use the navigation trail at the top left of the page or the button at the very bottom of the course<br />How do I find course X?<br />If you are not already enrolled in a course you can search for it by name and description.<br />Course Content<br />Where have all of the weeks / topics gone?<br />You have probably clicked on the icon. To reveal all of the other weeks / topics you need to click on the icon which you will see in the right margin of the week / topic. You can also use the dropdown box underneath the displayed week / topic to jump to a hidden section.<br />Emails and Forums<br />Why am I not getting any e-mails and others are?<br />Chances are your email address in your profile is either wrong or disabled. It could also be that you are not subscribed to the forums that are generating emails. AOL users may also not receive e-mails if the administrator has banned the use of AOL email addresses.<br />How can I stop all of these e-mails?<br />E-mails are an essential part of the way Moodle works. They are used to keep you up to date with what is going on. If you wish to reduce the amount of emails you get you could:<br />•Edit your profile and change your e-mail settings to digest<br />•Unsubscribe from non-essential forums (although they are there for a reason!)<br />•Disable your e-mail address in your profile although this is not recommended and may go against in house rules.<br />Assignments and Grades<br />Why is there no upload box?<br />This is either because:<br />•The assignment has now closed<br />•The assignment is not yet open<br />•You already uploaded something and the settings prevent resubmissions<br />How can I see my recent assignment feedback?<br />There are many ways you can access their feedback. The most common method is by simply going to the same place where you uploaded the work. Another common method is to follow the link in the recent activity block (if the teacher has included it on the course). Another method would be to access the grade book and then follow the link for the required assignment. Depending upon how the assignment was set up, you may receive an email when it has been marked with a direct link to the feedback.<br />Why is my course average so low?<br />Don't panic! The Moodle grade-book takes into account unmarked and un-submitted work. In other words you start with zero and as you progress through the course and complete graded activities the percentage will steadily rise<br />Quizzes<br />Which button do I press when I have finished a quiz?<br />It depends upon what you want to do....<br />Compiled by Antonio Crespo Castillo and Shawn Mejia; adapted from MoodleDocs and documents by Marguerite Wells and by Ray Lawrence.<br />Getting help<br />Here are some guidelines about getting help for some typical problems that may arise.<br />Type of problemWho to approachHowDifficulty in understanding coursematerialsTutorPosting in relevant Unit discussion forum.Unclear about requirements for SAE (Self Assessment Evaluations(Quizzes)), learning activity, assignment or midsemester examTutorPosting in relevant Unit discussionforumQuery about grade received and/orcomment given on learning activityTutorVia e-mailDifficulty in keeping up with the work and falling behindTutor and/or site coordinatorTutor via e-mail; site coordinatorpreferably in personClarification about dates for submission of learning activity/assignment; midsemesterexam datesTutorPosting in General Queries andConcernsClarification about the format forsubmitting learning activity orassignmentTutorPosting in General Queries andConcernsClarification of weighting of different forms of assessmentTutorPosting in General Queries andConcernsNon-receipt of grades for activitysubmitted by pre-determined date and timeTutorPosting in General Queries andConcernsInformation about availability oftimetable for final examinationSite coordinatorVia e-mail, telephone or in personNeed for general assistance and support to develop confidence to participate fully in online learningSite coordinatorVia e-mail, telephone, but preferably in personIssues related to your registration for a particular courseSite coordinatorVia e-mail, telephone, or in personTechnical problems re- logging on, navigating through the online siteSite technicianVia e-mail, telephone or in personTechnical problems re- emailSite technicianTelephone or in personInability to organize reliable access to computer servicesSite coordinator and/or site technicianVia e-mail, telephone, or in personSchedule for use of the site’s computer facilitiesSite technicianVia e-mail, telephone or in personAdvice re- use of specific computer applications (word processing; spreadsheet; graphics; specific symbols etc)Site technicianVia e-mail, telephone or in personGuidance re- the purchase of a computerSite technicianVia e-mail, telephone or in personAdvice re- problems with personalcomputer and/or connectivitySite technicianVia e-mail, telephone or in personAssistance in uploading an assignmentSite technicianVia e-mail, telephone or in person<br />For any problem not listed above, and related to your participation in the online learning environment, please send an e-mail message to onlineinfo@ub.edu.bz or acrespo@ub.edu.bz or king_shawn2012@yahoo.com.<br />