Posting Announcements & Events in Moodle

For the Fall 2012 term, we’ve given a larger group of CW faculty and staff users the ability to add announcements and post events to the front page of Moodle. In addition, all instructors can add announcements and events to their own Moodle courses. If you have never used the News Forum or calendar before, here’s how, whether you are on the main Moodle page or in your own course:

Best Practices

  1. Get it on the calendar! Each time you create an announcement about an event, also include a calendar event. This means that the calendar event will appear on each page of the course (or the site, if you post it on the Moodle home page).
  2. Changes to an event? Don’t delete the old announcment! Instead, edit the old announcement to say that the information is changing and a new announcement is being posted, then post a whole new announcement. This is the best way to ensure that everyone will get the updated information.
  3. An event is over? Don’t delete the old announcement or event! Instead, post a new announcement saying that the deadline is over or that the event has passed. You can leave the old information on the calendar without needing to change anything.
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Using Turnitin

The website Turnitin.com is a plagiarism tracker – it checks your students’ work against Internet and archived sources.

Moodle has a built-in assignment creator designed to work with Turnitin. Here’s how to create one:

First, log in to your course on Moodle, and click the “Turn editing on” button.

Scroll down to the Week/Topic where you would like to add the assignment and click the “Add an activity” drop-down menu. Select Turnitin Assignment. (Please note: you may have to scroll down to the bottom of the drop-down menu to see “Turnitin Assignment”).

This will take you to the “Adding a Turnitin Assignment for Week X” page. Type a name for the Assignment in the “Name” box (for instance, “Submit your Final Paper”), then type instructions for your students in the “Summary” box.

Warning: the Summary box can only contain 1,000 characters. No, that is not very many. Yes, it is very annoying.

Here is the work-around that I usually use:

Create a Web page resource item titled “Instructions for Final Paper” (or whatever your Turnitin assignment is). On that page, type all of your directions for students, including the topic of the paper, how long it should be, etc.

Place the “Instructions” web page immediately before the Turnitin Assignment on the course’s home page.

In the Turnitin Assignment, keep the instructions very short. For instance: “Upload your Final Paper as a Word Document, using the submission field below.”

The basic setting you generally want to leave at their default settings. However, if you want the student to submit several documents, you should increase the “Number of Parts” drop-down menu to match the number of documents.

Scroll down to Advanced Options, and set the following options:

  • Set Allow Late Submission to “Yes.” (papers will still be flagged in red if they are late).
  • Change Report Generation Speed to “Generate reports immediately, reports can be overwritten until due date”
  • Change Exclude Bibliography to “Yes”
  • Change Exclude Quoted Material to “Yes”
  • Everything else, please leave on its default setting.

Now scroll to the bottom of the page and click the button labeled Save and display.

After a “Synchronizing” page, you’ll come to a page that looks like this:

Click the Pen icon on the right side. Now set the Start date (the date students can begin submitting papers, the Due date (naturally, the date the assignment is due), and the Post Date (the day that students receive their grades – for now, just set this date far in the future, then switch it when you know a specific date that you’ll be finished).  Then click the Submit button.

Congratulations, you’ve created a Turnitin assignment!

One more thing to keep in mind: You will have to create your Turnitin Assignment new each semester – they don’t work when copied from previous classes.

This guide was created with reference to the UCL Turnitin Moodle tutorial.

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November, 2011

Plans are well underway for our second group of online students on November 30.  Cohort one is receiving lots of TLC from their instructors, coaches, advisors, and many others, helping students to set aside encumbrances so learning outcomes can be met. Continue reading

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October, 2011

Online the CW Way

As many of you know, our first group of fully online students began classes on September 21, and are thriving and interacting.  Success coaches, instructors, academic advisors and admissions are all helping to keep in touch with students to assist and support them to make a smooth transition into college life at CW Online. Continue reading

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Posting Quizzes from Respondus

So you’ve got a quiz in Respondus format, and you want to move it onto Moodle…

First, open up Respondus (version 4.0) and set the “Current Personality” to “IMS QTI.1.1+”

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Accessing FAFSA on a Mac (Even if FAFSA.gov says “Incompatible Browser”)

If you are a Mac user, a programming error in the Department of Education site may have prevented you from accessing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), stating that you have an Incompatible Browser.

The problem first started popping up on Macintosh, Firefox, Yahoo! Answers, and other forums recently. Here’s the best solution we could discover. Since we do not control the FAFSA site, we cannot guarantee what will work, but these steps worked for us. Continue reading

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ExamView Questions in Moodle (With Images!)

With the assistance of Prof. Grace Bonanno, we have discovered a better way to import  questions from ExamView, and we were able to write a script to allow you to fix image links so that all of your images would import correctly.

First, export your ExamView quiz into Blackboard format and upload the whole zip file to your site:

  1. Using your course’s Administration menu (usually on the left or right sidebar), click “Files.” If your Administration menu is missing, contact Moodle support using the toll-free number.
  2. Once in the files area create a new folder for your quiz or test materials by clicking the “Make a Folder” button. Give the new folder an easy name to remember. (Remember, students cannot access your course files area, so it’s safe to upload materials here.)
  3. Navigate to the new folder, clicking the folder name.
  4. Once there, click the “Upload a File” button.
  5. Select the zip file you exported from Examview and upload that.
  6. Once this is uploaded, look for the “Unzip” link to the right of the file name.
  7. When the files are unzipped, look for a file with a name such as res000000.dat or res000002.dat or a similar name and click “Edit” to the right of the file name.
  8. If you have images that need to be fixed to work in Moodle, a red box will appear around your files’s contents on the screen and a button asking you to “Fix Blackboard Markup” will appear. Click that button,
  9. Once the red box disappears, click the “Save” button.

You now have a file you can import into your quiz with images. To import it, set up your quiz as normal and when previewing the list of questions, click “Import.” Then do the following:

  1. For the type of questions you’ll be importing, select “Blackboard.”
  2. Skip “Import from File” and go to “Import from file already in course files” and click “Choose File.”
  3. Navigate to the file and select the “Choose” link to the right of the file name.
  4. Click “Import from this file.”
  5. On the next page, you will see the questions imported with the images in place.

Keep in mind that the questions are now in the question bank, but will still need to be placed into the quiz and may need to be arranged. See the existing tutorials on how to do this in the Instructor Resource Area.

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