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Teacher Faq - course editing

Frequently asked questions by course editors and quick videos about common administrative functions of Moodle

-: Moodle 3.2.3+
Course: Moodle 3.2.3+
Book (Text): Teacher Faq - course editing
Printed by: Guest user
Date: Friday, 24 November 2017, 2:52 AM

Course management

How to create a course?


Please log in and check if you have your course created already at http://ceulearning.ceu.hu/my/

Important: 
We can copy in the contents (or just some sections) from previous courses into the new one so you do not need to create a course again from scratch. 

If you do not see the course in the list, or would like previous contents copied, please write a request with the most important details and it will be created shortly. We will need the following:

  • course name
  • department
  • do you need some content copied into the course?
  • do you have a TA or co-teacher?

How to copy contents from a previous course? (Import)

1. Go to the new, empty course (the "Target"), where you would like to copy previous contents in.
2. Select "Import from other course" from the administration menu.
3. Select the "source" course (if there are too many, search for it first). 
NEW: The system will try to offer the previous versions of this course. You can check them in a new tab as well before importing.

4. You need to copy only the "activities/resources". You can deselect the other options.
5. Deselect the contents you do not want to copy (deselect "News forum" all the time, as we do not need duplicates in courses).

Do not copy old Turnitin assignments!


The summaries (text at the top of the topics) will be always copied if the summaries of the target course are empty, and omitted if the target course has some content in the summary area.
Note: The contents will be always copied to the same topic, the location can be changed after the import process.
6. For all other steps, just select "continue" and "Perform Import". 

Course accessibility


1. Is the course visible for students?



If the course name is displayed with gray color, or the "course status" is set to "Unpublished" at the course header, then students can not see it (it will not appear for them on their course lists and folders regardless of their rights.)

You can easily change this setting if you change the "Course status" to "Published". Alternatively you can edit the "course settings" at the administration block, and select "publish" for visibility.

Infosys connection:
 If the course is synchronized to Infosys, then students will be automatically enrolled on this course when they log in to Moodle if they are registered in Infosys, but they will not be able to access the course if it is not visible. It the course is not synchronized, but it should be, ask for support (acsg@ceu.edu) 



2. Can students enrol on the course?






The default option is NO, students automatically appear on the courses if they register in Infosys if Infosys sync is enabled.

If you would like to enable students to enrol on the course without Infosys enrolment (for example, they need to check the contents before the registration, or they are on the waiting list, you can enable OPEN for CEU Students  (with or without a key) in the Add/manage users menu.

In case you will need to close the course after the registration period (so only students registered in Infosys will remain), it is possible to delete the additional students with the "X" next to their names in the Add/manage users menu.

 



 Infosys sync: If the course is synchronized to Infosys, then students will be automatically enrolled on this course when they log in to Moodle if they are registered in Infosys, but they will not be able to access the course if it is not visible. It the course is not synchronized, but it should be, ask for support (acsg@ceu.edu) 

Open for CEU students: enables students to enrol on courses themselves (no need to be registered in Infosys). If Infosys sync is not enabled for any reason, you should enable this, otherwise this is not necessary.If an enrolment key is specified, any CEU user attempting to enrol on the course will be required to supply the key. This key has nothing to do with the official enrolment to a course (done in Infosys).





How to assign a co-teacher or TA?

Please check the instructions below, or you can also watch a screencast here.

List of roles:

Teacher, Teacher (admin), Teacher assistant:
These course editor roles have almost the same rights, most of the time you will assign Teacher. Teacher admin has additional rights to advanced functions (copy contents between courses, like restore, import, etc.), teacher assistant can not assign other course editors to the course.

Student: The basic "viewer" role, hidden content is not visible for him, can take part in activities.

Visitor: A special "viewer" role. They can view all hidden contents, but can not view or take part in activities. This is the best role for managers of a program, or collegues who are not teaching in the class, just would like to view the contents.

Guest (special): These users does not have an account, if you enable "Guest access" in a course, anyone can access it without an account and login. 


Important Note: Assigned teachers will be able to edit the courses immediately, but they will appear on the course listing as "teacher" only with a delay.





Open the course and

Click "Add / manage" in the Administration block > Click on the "Enrol users manually by search button" > Select the appropriate role > Search for the name > Click on "enrol" next to the result



 

How to open the course for non-CEU users (Guests)


You need to use "Guest access"

You should be really careful with this setting, especially if you have uploaded copyrighted materials for your students’ use. If you allow Guests (outside the CEU community) to access your course without a password, you will make the course public, and anyone will be able to access it.

You can still protect the course with a guest password (this key is necessary only for guests, not for CEU students!). Guests will be able to log in and see all the materials in your course (but they will not be able to access activities like assignments or forums).  

 

You just need to change the "Open for external Guests" setting to "Yes".

If you do not want to make the course public, set a Guest key. 
You will need to provide this password to the Guests.

Guests will be able to visit the site, "log in as a guest" then provide this password to reach your course.


Basic Course Editing


Always start with
TURN EDITING ON (top right corner) You can use the appearing Icons and menus to add, change, move, edit content. 

How to upload readings/materials?



1. The most convenient way to upload files is the drag and drop method.

-  Open the folder on your computers’ desktop (containing the files).
-   Select the files with your mouse. (You can select more than one file if you hold the CTRL key during the process).
-   Click on that selection, but HOLD your finger on the left mouse button and start to move the cursor towards your course.
-    (Optional: If you can`t see the browser window at the moment, move the cursor above the browser on the TRAY – and the window will open up.)
-     Move the cursor to the appropriate section of the course and RELEASE the left mouse button.
You will see that the files are uploading to the course.

You can watch a video about this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfNiKsz_n9k

If you experience any problems:

-   Make sure that you are using an up-to-date browser: Chrome 11, Firefox 4, Safari 5, IE 10
-   The max. file size of any file uploaded is 50 Mb by default (you can change this at the "course settings".
-    Make sure that the Editing is enabled (Turn editing on)
-    Check if your internet access is stable. Uploading large files can be really slow compared to browsing pages, so Wifi access can cause problems here.


2.  Alternatively you can use the menu to upload a file (but it takes more time)

Select the "Add an activity or resource" link at the appropriate section.
Select " Single File" (you may have to scroll down).
Fill in the "name" field, then select the upload icon   > Choose a file > Select the file on your computer and click the “Upload this file” button and save. 


3. Folders

A folder allows a teacher to display several readings together. With the drag and drop method, you have to Zip the files on your computer, and drag the Zip files in or use the Add an activity or resource menu, select "multiple files", fill in the name field, and drag or add the files one by one before you save. (Add an activity or resource > folder)

How should I add text to the Course?


You can do this multiple ways. (do not forget to "Turn editing on" at the top right)


1.  Drag and Drop

You can use the same Drag and Drop method, as with the file upload. Select the text, hold the left mouse button, and move the cursor to the appropriate section of your course. You will see a box with the “add text here” appear. Release, and select “Insert as a label” and the text will appear on the page.


2. Use the menu/icons in Moodle

a) Summaries

The very top of your course (the General section) and every topic or week contains a summary. This is a default label which allows you to place brief information about the specific topic or week. It can be an introduction to the unit of study or a short summary of the weekly plan. Activities and resources are listed below this section. More information

You can start editing with the "Edit section summary" link. It is always located at the top of the section.

b) Label

Labels serve as "spacers" between resources and activities, for example you can use a label to add the Text "Required readings" before a set of PDF files. More information

c) Page

The major difference between this resource and the label is that labels are always created on the main page of the course but web pages will appear as a link on the main page (and will be opened in a new window as a subpage). 


3. Important note about MS Word

Most of the time when you will copy / paste some text from a MS Word document to Moodle it will be done without any problems (label or page, etc.), as the editor try to clean the text.

But it is recommended to be cautious as sometimes a few formatting problems can happen as these documents have "hidden" formatting (and you copy this as well without knowing it). 

What can you do to prevent any possible problems?

a) Paste the text to Wordpad or Notepad first, and copy to Moodle from these editors

b) Use the other editor of Moodle, which has a different cleaning method.

1. Edit your profile : http://ceulearning.ceu.hu/user/edit.php

2. Open "preferences" and change the default TEXT editor to "Tiny MCE editor".

3. Use the "Paste from Word" icon before pasting to clean the contents. 

Note: Some browsers does not allow you to use the "Paste" command with your mouse. Use the CTRL+V key combination instead.

 

Visibility of Course Contents (readings, sections)



1. Basic Hide / Show

You can hide entire topics or just single resources from the students. As with the course links, the gray color always means hidden content.

a) To hide a topic, click on edit section > unpublish section next to the topic title. The background of the topic become gray, and NO content will be visible for students regardless of the individual settings of the resources in the Topic.
Clicking on Edit section > publish section makes the topic visible.

b) You can hide just the individual activities with Edit > Unpublish and Edit > Publish to reverse the effect.

c) The hierarchy is really important, as long as a topic is hidden changing the individual settings take no effect. So it is advisable, to show the topic first, refresh the page (F5 key) and change the visibility of the individual resources only after this.



d) If you are uncertain about students view, you can always check if you click on "switch role to > student" in the administration block.   


2. Advanced restrictions

You can restrict resources with "Restriction" options or with group settings. These options make it possible to hide the contents from only a selected group of students or to make certain resources appear or disappear at a certain time.
These settings are more complicated to master, if you never used these, ask for assistance.

How to communicate with students?


There are multiple ways for communication in a Moodle Course.


1.    If you post a discussion to a Main Course forum - send message to class (the former News forum), all participants of the course will receive the message in email.  This forum is automatically created for each course. By default, it is placed in the top of the middle section and NEW* all course participants can add posts or reply to posts.  Students and professors receive an email automatically with the message.     


2.    You can contact with one other user (student) with messaging - like an sms. (Participants link in the People block - Send message button on each user's page). It is not that convenient to find archive messages, so this method is not recommended for important messages.


1. Open the Participants link in the top left section of the navigation drawer

2. Tick the boxes next to the users you would like to send a message to

3. Choose "Send a message"

4. Write your message, preview and send it.

Message history: http://ceulearning.ceu.hu/message/index.php?viewing=recentconversations

         


How to Rearrange (change the order of) whole sections?

You can use the cross icon on the left side of the section titles to change the order of sections in a course with the drag and drop method.


If the sections are full of materials already, this may be tricky, so we developed an additional function for this, you can find the icon "rearrange sections" next to the Turn editing on icon if you are in editing mode.





The icon will hide the contents from the sections so you can easily change the order for them.

If you are ready, refresh the page with the F5 key, or click on the "back to editing" button.

Important Note: If you did not change the default section names (section 1,2,3, etc.), then when you swap the topics, the section names will change as well (as it represents their position in the course). Do not be confused by this, the contents also travelled with the title.

Create Activities (give tasks to students)


If you would like to give tasks for students, you can use the Activities in Moodle.

You can open the activity chooser with the menu and select activity you would like to add.
The most basic activities are really easy to create (you just need to fill in a Title, and a description, and for assignments a due date) and Save - but if you would like to use other options it is recommended to read the details.

The activity chooser provides details about these possibilities, you can check this chart to help you determine which activity is needed for the task at hand but the easiest method is to ask for a training at (acsg@ceu.hu).

  • With assignments, you do not have to search for submitted essays scattered in your mailbox. Students can upload them to Moodle and you can check, grade and comment on them in one place (submitted papers are not visible for other students). If you enable Turnitin, an originality report will be created for all upload submissions as well.
    Details :  Moodle Assignments (PDF) 

  • The forum activity provides a place for asynchronous discussions for students and give the ability to share files with others in the course. The groups feature allows you to easily separate students in your course, allowing them to work together closely. Details:  Forums and Groups (PDF) 

  • The choice and feedback activity allow to create quick polls and to gather (anonym) information from students.
    Details: Choices and Feedback (PDF)

Assignments with Turnitin

1.  Turnitin

You can “Enable Turnitin” in the “Turnitin plagiarism plugin settings” when you create a new "Assignment" activity. 

If Turnitin is enabled, all student papers will be automatically submitted to Turnitin, and you will be able to check the reports and give feedback with Grademark at the Grading Screen. 



 Note: If you change this setting after the students submitted their papers the reports will NOT be created automatically. Students need to resubmit them (just open and save if enough) or ask for assistance to “force” the papers to Turnitin.

Important options:
 -Student Originality Reports: This option of assignment creation provides instructors with the ability to control whether students are allowed to view the Originality Report of their own paper or not. Change the setting to yes to allow students to see the Originality Report for the assignment. The default setting is no. 

The Store Student Papers setting has three options: in the Standard Repository, the institution’s repository, or to not store the papers. If the paper is stored in the “repository” it will be part of the Turnitin database so if anyone use parts of this paper in the future, Turnitin will be able to find this paper as the source.



You can check if Turnitin is enabled below the assignment on the course page or not at the Grading Summary table, if you open an assignment:

                   




On the Grading Screen,
  you will see the Turnitin icons below the submissions if Turnitin is enabled. 
If you see a percentage, you can click on it to open the “Originality Report”.  The apple icon opens Grademark, the feedback facility of Turnitin.


Turnitin changed the design of their reports, the new integrated view is called "Feedback studio".

Quick help for feedback studio : https://guides.turnitin.com/01_Manuals_and_Guides/Instructor_Guides/Feedback_Studio/01_Quick_Tips_for_Mastering_Feedback_Studio

Video about feedback studio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIKjBzJIe2g

Typical plagiarism cases:  http://turnitin.com/assets/en_us/media/plagiarism_spectrum.php

2. Students would like to check the Originality Report

Students can't see their originality report and score by default. You can allow this if you decide so (edit settings > Student Originality Reports > Yes).

If you allow this, students will see the % value in the similarity column after they go to the Turnitin assignment.

They need to click on the percentile, a new window will open and it will load the originality report.



3. Problems with Turnitin (when enabled)

It may happen that the report does not appear, or the status is “pending”. This may be caused by the following reasons:
- It may take 24 hours for Turnitin to create the report. If a student modifies his submission, Turnitin will always wait 24 hours before the report is done.
- Turnitin can work with most editable file types, but will not work with images, excel or powerpoint files, or low quality scanned PDF files.
-  The student has to accept the terms and conditions of Turnitin before she submits her first paper. If it is not done yet (or she selected “not agree”) the report will not be created. The only solution to this if the student accepts the terms and resubmit his paper (the filename needs to be changed).
- The student submitted his paper before the “Enable Turnitin” setting were set to yes. Students need to resubmit them (just open and save if enough) or ask for assistance to “force” the papers to Turnitin.


Originality Reports

 1. How can I Analyze the Originality Report (Turnitin assignment)?

Turnitin changed the design of their reports, the new integrated view is called "Feedback studio".

Quick help for feedback studio : https://guides.turnitin.com/01_Manuals_and_Guides/Instructor_Guides/Feedback_Studio/01_Quick_Tips_for_Mastering_Feedback_Studio

Video about feedback studio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIKjBzJIe2g

A short blog post which shows the most common cases of plagiarism detectable with this tool:

Typical plagiarism cases:  http://turnitin.com/assets/en_us/media/plagiarism_spectrum.php


2. What is detectable?

Many resources are not in the Turnitin database so using your own knowledge to detect a suspected case of plagiarism is required. The database to which papers are compared consists of three primary sources:

  • Both a current and an archived copy of the publicly accessible Internet
  • Commercial pages from books, newspapers, and journals
  • Student papers already submitted to Turnitin

Please note, that in extreme cases it may even be questionable what has been created first - the uploaded paper, or the matching text Turnitin is working with.

3. The report shows 100% or 0%/ pending. What does it mean?

100% almost always means that the exact same file were uploaded to Turnitin multiple times (100% means that all text is the same, name of the author, class, etc.). You can filter this source out to recalculate.

If a paper does not contain any matches this could indicate that:

  • The paper is completely original OR
  • Turnitin does not found the source (s) (Yet?)

 

Wait for at least 24 hours, then if it is important, you can try to resubmit. If there is still no report, contact me and we can file request to Turnitin about this particular paper.


Student problems with Assignments (upload, modify)

1. Students can not find the assignment in the course

a) Check if the assignment or topic is hidden. Details

b) Did you change any settings of the assignment? Edit settings
(Turn editing on > Edit> Edit settings) and check if:

  •  Restrict access is enabled
  •  Available for Group members only is enabled by accident in "common module settings"

2. Students can not upload their papers to the assignment

By default, students can upload one file to the assignment, can upload after the due date (but the system will store the submission time) but they CAN NOT change/modify their submission after the due date. 

If they have problems with this, Open Edit settings (Turn editing on > Edit> Edit settings) and check if:

  •  The Due Date is correct
  •  The "cut of date" is enabled by accident (the cut of date prevents students to work with the assignment any further)

If you would like to allow students to modify their submissions after the due date, either modify the due date in Moodle or change the "maximum number of files".

How to use and modify weights in the gradebook?

The Gradebook in Moodle can help you organize and manage grades in your course.

  • Students can view their own grades at one place.
  • When grades are awarded from within a Moodle activity (assignment), scores are automatically added to the gradebook.
  • Scores can also be manually added or edited (Overridden) in the gradebook.
  • Scores in the gradebook can be imported and exported (download scores to calculate grades in external software tools such as Excel).

In order for Moodle to easily aggregate scores automatically, entries in the gradebook are numeric by default. The default score for each activity is 100. You can then control the weights of individual activities to aggregate a final score for the class. If you prefer to grade only with letters no numeric scores are involved and Moodle cannot aggregate a final grade for the course.

Default calculation of the final grade in Moodle - Simple weighted mean

The weight of each item is simply the difference between its Maximum and Minimum grade.

Example:

A1 70/100, A2 20/80, A3 10/10, category max 100:
(0.7*100 + 0.25*80 + 1.0*10)/(100 + 80 + 10) = 0.526 --> 52.6/100
If you would like to adjust the weights of individual assignments, you need to change gradebook calculation method to "weighted mean of grades"


1. Go to the Gradebook, and select the "Gradebook setup" menu.
2. Edit > edit setting next to the course name and change the "simple weighted mean" to weighted mean of grades"
3. Adjust the weights next to individual assignments accordingly.


So it will work like this:

Each grade item can be given a weight to influence its importance in the overall mean. In simple terms, the "total" will be equal to the sum of the scores in each grade item, these scores being multiplied by the grade items' weights, and that sum being finally divided by the sum of the weights, as shown in this example.

Example:
A1 70/100 weight 10, A2 20/80 weight 5, A3 10/10 weight 3, category max 100: (0.7*10 + 0.25*5 + 1.0*3)/(10 + 5 + 3) = 0.625 --> 62.5/100


Important Forum settings (post, emails)

1. Who will receive email messages about posts?

a) You need to check the "subscription" (email notifications about posts) option of the forum 
When a person is subscribed to a forum it means that they will be sent email copies of every post in that forum.  (emails are sent about 2 or 30 minutes after the post was first written depending on the editing delay).

Open the forum, then check the " Subscription mode" in the Forum administration block

People can usually choose whether or not they want to be subscribed to each forum. However, if you choose to force subscription on a particular forum then all course users will be subscribed automatically, even those that enroll at a later time. This is especially useful in forums towards the beginning of the course (before everyone has worked out that they can subscribe to these emails themselves).

If you choose the option "
Auto Subscription" then all future course users will be subscribed initially but they can unsubscribe themselves at any time.
The default option for created forums is "Optional Subscription" -  users will not be subscribed by default but will be able to subscribe themselves.

The default is “forced subscription" for all
“Main course forums”.



Important note about changing the subscription
: This setting will not unsubscribe existing participants

Changing from "Auto Subscription " to "Subscription disabled" will not unsubscribe existing users, it will only affect future course users.

Changing to "Auto Subscription" WILL subscribe existing course users however.  You can alsosubscribe/unsubscribe existing users manually..
Step 1.  Go to the forum.

Step 2. Show/Edit current subscribers (bottom at forum administration)

Step 3. Turn editing on (this button only affects this page)
Step 4. Select the users and use the add/ remove buttons to subscribe/unsubscribe them.

b) Students can change their priorities about emails at their own profiles. Details

c) It is also possible to subscribe just to selected topics of a forum.  

By default, if  any particular student starts a discussion, they subscribe on that discussion by default so they will receive an email message if anyone responds to that topic – but no one else.

 


2. Students can not find the forum

a) Check if the forum or topic is hidden. Details

b) Did you change any settings of the forum? Edit settings (Turn editing on > Edit> Edit settings) and check if:

  •  Restrict access is enabled
  •  Available for Group members only is enabled by accident in "common module settings"

3. Students can not post to the forum

Did you change any settings of the forum? Edit settings (Turn editing on > Edit> Edit settings) and check if:

  •  You changed the forum type to Q and A forum (For this type, teachers have to start the discussion with a question)
  •  Changed the "post threshold for blocking" option