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Asking for help on moodle dot org


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The forums are a great source of help but they can be frightening and scary especially if you are not technical. The presentation will cover:

An overview of the different forums so that you're in the best place to ask for help.
Where to find details of forum rules and etiquette.
What sort of default information you should give and where on your system you can find it.
How to perform typical actions like 'Purge all caches'.
Other places of information.

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Asking for help on moodle dot org

  1. 1. Welcome
  2. 2. Agenda 1. Trademarks. 2.Introduction. 3.Ask a moderator / developer questions? 4.Forums overview. 5.Forum rules and etiquette. 6. The role of the 'Moderator'. 7. Post default information. 8. How to perform typical actions like 'Purge all caches'. 9. How to deal with that 'Scary' response. 10.Testing the reply. 11. Other places of information. 12. The flip side. 13. References. 14. Summary and homework. 15. 'Ask a moderator / developer'.
  3. 3. Trademarks Bitnami – Firefox® is a registered trademark of the Mozilla Foundation. Ubuntu® is a registered trademark of Canonical Ltd - Windows® is registered trademark of the Microsoft Corporation. Oracle® is a registered trademark of Oracle® and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners. MoodleTM is a registered trademark of 'Martin Dougiamas' – I am independent from the organisations listed above and am in no way speaking for or endorced by them.
  4. 4. Introduction Introduction: The forums are a great source of help but they can be frightening and scary especially if you are not technical. Me: Gareth J Barnard – Course formats and themes developer, 'Themes' and 'Courses and course formats' forums moderator, small scale core developer, software engineer and educator.
  5. 5. Ask a moderator / developer questions? Is there a question that you would like me to answer? If so, please note it down and be ready to ask later....
  6. 6. Forums overview More than 'General' and 'Installing and upgrading help'. There are 'lots' more. Finding the right forum will mean that your question gets seen by the people who know the area and are more likely to be able to answer it. If your post fits in more than one forum, post in one then post in the other with a link to the first post indicating to reply there. Other languages can be found here:
  7. 7. Forum rules and etiquette Go to: =7080 and you will find the 'Forums code of conduct'. By logging on to you agree to adhere to the code. Ultimately it is common sense. The forums are a community to get and give support. It is about belonging not 'abuse' and 'spam'. Do not 'Cross-post'.
  8. 8. The role of the 'Moderator' Moderators exist to: Help you move / amend posts when you don't have the capability to do so. Enforce the 'forum code of conduct'. This is via this guidance: guidelines
  9. 9. Post default information Provide Moodle / Plugin versions. Description with 'screen shots'. Lots of information on: ums_help Where to find the information: Site administration Plugins Plugins overview:→ →
  10. 10. How to perform typical actions like 'Purge all caches' Often a response will ask you to perform an action like: 1. Purge all caches. 2. Turn on developer level debugging. 3. Look for errors on the browser console. 4. Print screen the issue. These are all a part of the process of helping you rectify the problem. Ref:
  11. 11. Purge all caches 1. Clears the 'cache' of saved generated results like theme CSS and language strings. 2.Can indicate to a developer that they should do this in code for you when you perform a given action. 3.Use 'command line' if user interface not working. Site administration Development Purge all→ → caches:
  12. 12. Developer level debugging 1. Only turn on briefly if asked. 2.Safe on a test server. 3.Read the warnings. 4.Can really help a developer understand the problem. Site administration Development Debugging:→ →
  13. 13. Browser console 1.Press 'F12'. 2.Most effective when 'Developer' level debugging is turned on. 3.Provides useful information to the developer.
  14. 14. Print screen 1.Use a tool like 'Greenshot'. 2.Annotate to explain things. 3.Forums have file size limits, so be prepared to shrink the resolution / quality.
  15. 15. How to deal with that 'Scary' response 1.Don't panic. 2.Don't panic. 3.If it makes sense – great :). 4.If it does not, then ask for more information advice. 5.Be happy that the reply and person has credibility. 6.Others may clarify for you if you’re uncertain.
  16. 16. Testing the reply 1.Run your own test server. 2.Only change production after you are 100% confident that either it will work or if it does not that you can get back to where you were.
  17. 17. Setting up your own test server. 1.Easiest is to use Bitnami Moodle stack. 2.See my 'My Own Moodle' presentation from iMoot 2014 – see references. 3.Not as scary as you think. 4.If it goes wrong then just uninstall. 5.Great for practice.
  18. 18. Other places of information Facebook groups: LinkedIn: Moodle:
  19. 19. The flip side How will you now respond on Imagine you are responding to questions on your own Moodle site: 1.What guidance will you provide / update? 2.You now understand the experience of a poster, so how will you respond? 3.Will your attitude change? 4.Will you provide more training? 5.Do the questions point to a deficiency elsewhere?
  20. 20. References Forums: Forums: Other languages: Rules: Help: Greenshot: My Own Moodle Presentation: Files: weUZCUFk Screencast:
  21. 21. Summary and homework Summary We have learnt about: ● Forum overview and etiquette. ● Information you need in a post. ● How to get that information. ● How to understand and test the reply. ● Where to find other sources of help. ● The flip side. Homework Use what you have learnt to: ● Discover the different forums available. ● Install / use a test installation to find the information you need. ● Discover the other sources of information.
  22. 22. 'Ask a moderator / developer' 1. Q & A. 2. Thank you for attending and participating. Feedback always appreciated. 3. What does this button do?