Moodle FAQS for teachers

This article goes over many teacher's frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Moodle. You will also find another article on this site that systematically goes through Moodle from the teacher's point of view. Those instructions and these frequently asked questions complement each other.

How do I request a new Moodle space for my new course?

You can request a new Moodle space by filling out the form at: bit.ly/uusimoodletila. After 2-3 working days, you will receive a link to your course and some instructions to get started. Be sure to provide all the information needed in the form.

How can I make an "old" course view where courses I can customize the course list according to my own needs?

Moodle's older method of listing courses has been pleasing to many users. It is possible to enable old style listing on your dashboard.

First you need to enable the dashboard editing mode. Then add the Course Summary (Tradition) section. You can then remove the newer course listing if you do not want to see it. See the picture below or video on Youtube for more directions.

How do I add a video or some other embeddable object?

Adding a video, Thinglink image or other embeddable object to your Moodle is possible. You can even embed a Google Form into Moodle.

To embed, you need the embed code and the skill to use the HTML editor of the text editor. In practice, copy the embed code, open the text editor where you want to add embedding, press the <> HTML button, add the embed code to the text editor and save it. See this video for an example.

Who can I ask for help when planning my course?

In Omnia, you can ask for a help from (helpdesk@omnia.fi) for the pedagogical design of your Moodle space.

Frequently, colleagues also have Moodle experience and you could ask them. Some pedagogical teachers are also interested in digital development.

There are also many websites on the web that deal with online pedagogy. You can get to know at least these best practices. Use Google to find more examples.

Who can I contact to help me solve a Moodle problem?

You can contact support IT help (helpdesk@omnia.fi).

How do resources differ from activities?

Moodle has two types of course contents: activities and resources.

An activity is something you ask the student to do. Often the activity is something to be practiced or tested.

Resources are different materials that you distribute to Moodle students. The materials may be a document for downloading, links that lead to relevant information or a link to the PowerPoint file that was presented in the classroom.

What kind of activities are available and what can they do?

Omnia Moodle has a wealth of activities. Some of the activities have multiple uses, so you can do accomplish different tasks with the same activity.

Assignment

You give the student an assignment, they complete it by writing or submitting a file and afterwards you evaluate the assignment.

Chat

According to its name, Chat is an activity where you can write to each other in real time. You could use a chat activity to complete foreign language conversations, or feedback. You could also save a chat conversation, and then it could be used training purposes. If you want to make an oral conversation, you should use the Collaborate add-on.

Forum

The forum can be used for news delivery, Q & A sessions or a place to discuss activities on your course. Students can also provide peer feedback.

The Forum can also be used to return smaller assignments. In this case, students can return the assignment independently and comment on each other's work constructively. The discussion platform can also be made available to only some of the students, enabling work in small groups.

Lesson

A lesson is a much larger entity witch combines pages and exercises together. From a teacher's perspective, building a lesson requires a plan and time. The teacher can organise questions and resources alternately. Lessons can be evaluated as whole entities.

Feedback

The feedback function allows you to collect feedback at the end or during the course.

Glossary

The glossary works conveniently for example in learning a foreign language or enabling community building of the course vocabulary.

The task may be to add three new words to the vocabulary during each week. The glossary can also collect, for example, links or quiz questions.

Quiz

According to its name, the quiz is not always a test or exam. With the help of the quiz, you can make a question bank, which means that you can make a multiple quizzes with randomly picked questions.

Database

The database stores various records. A record refers to a cluster of different data.

A database is a communal activity where everyone can see others' submissions. Using a database, you could make book reviews (picture + text, submitter's information) or return visual media (image of your work, description written, what I did and how). The database enables peer feedback.

Workshop

The workshop is a little more complicated than other Moodle activity types. But by following very good instructions, you can succeed – and you would be rewarded with learning experience.

In the workshop, the teacher defines the task (eg a description of a job related to a subject, how it should be done, how I did it, etc.). Next, the teacher defines the criteria for how to achieve a good grade.

After that, the workshop would be activated, the students would complete their tasks, return and wait.

In the second phase, the students give feedback for themselves and for the other work, and evaluates the work according to the teacher's criteria.

At the end, the teacher is able to determine the value of a student's evaluation. At the end of the workshop, two grades are given – the teacher's evaluation and a peer evaluation grade.

Choice

With the choice activity, the teacher can arrange eg a vote (whether they are going to play floorball or football in the final lesson), inquire about options that influence the course (whether they are interested in sports, animals, fashion and then choose example companies depending on what business students are interested in), or even vote what date is most suitable for a class trip.

Wiki

Wikis can be used to create communal or personal information, a wiki can be used to record notes or enable collaborative writing.

Collaborate

Omnia's Moodle also has a Collaborate add-on that provides a real-time online chatroom. For example,  the online room can allow students to go to the room whenever they see fit for the whole duration of the course. Collaborate sessions can also be specifically timed, so the teacher can create a room for each meeting.

Sessions (eg lessons, webinars) can also be recorded. The link to the recording automatically appears under the link to the room around 10-30 minutes afterwards.

H5P

H5P is an add-on that can be used to create interactive tasks. Omnia's Moodle contains plenty of H5p examples.

Learning diary

A learning diary is a platform for students to reflect on their skills. Before you begin creating a learning diary activity, read the tutorials carefully so that you can support students in completing the learning diary. The learning diary can also be used to make course notes.

How do I create a Quiz?

Building a quiz can be very rewarding. As the course progresses, you can have students perform tasks that evaluate their learning progress.

There is a tutorial on how to build a quiz here, you can get familiar with the question types and also read about building a question bank.

The question bank is useful if you intend to run the same course and test student's skills through automated testing. In this case, a question bank may issue 10 random questions out of 100 automatically. The student cannot rehearse the same questions each time they attempt the quiz.

How do I make Moodle more visually appealing?

You can make Moodle more visually appealing by adding pictures, videos, and a structure. You should try the Grid layout.

You can add pictures and videos to a text area or by adding images as separate files. You can also embed Youtube videos, a Padlet wall or interactive Thinglink image into Moodle.

Here you will find more information from Matleena Laakso – "Activate your lecture" – tips on how to use it (in Finnish). You can find many tips in English by using Google.

How does self-enrolment work in a Moodle space?

You have the rights to determine how the student can get access to your Moodle space. You can do it in Enrolment Methods settings.

The alternatives are:

Manual enrolment (you search for students from a list and add one at a time)

Self enrolment, (you send students a link to the course and the enrolment key (password).

What is the course key?

The course key is a password that allows safer self enrolment to a  Moodle space.

With the password, not just anyone can enrol to your Moodle space, only those with the course key. Remember to share the course key with students you invite to your Moodle space!

How can I get students' answers as a video or audio clip?

You can ask students to complete assignments as a video or audio clip by using PoodLL.

PoodLL is an add-on to Moodle, which allows you to create assignments where the student must create a video, drawing, photo or audio file directly in their internet browser.

PoodLL can be enabled in the assignment settings. There are many guidelines for using PoodLL.

How can I choose that only some of the students can see an activity?

Any activity, or material can be displayed only for selected students or a selected student group. This is set up with the Restrict Access settings.

Restricting access could be used in order to create personal learning paths (eg when a student already knows the general topic and you want them to see the advanced topics only).

What are the boxes on the right and left in my Moodle space?

As a teacher, you can determine what information is displayed on the left and right sides of your course. These sections are called blocks.

The default blocks are Navigation, Administration, Latest News, Upcoming Events, and Completion Progress.

You can add or subtract blocks as you wish. Turn Editing on and look for the "Add Block" block at either side and select the blocks you would like to add.

You can drag these blocks to either side as well as up and down using the mouse. If you want to get rid of the blocks, turn editing on and click the block's cog wheel. You can remove the block with the "Delete … block" option.

How do I send a welcome message and how do I specify who the message is from?

When self-enrolment is enabled for the course, the student will receive an automatic welcome course for the course.

The welcome message will be sent from the first teacher fo the course (first surname alphabetically).

If the course has a "Pääopettaja" (main teacher), the message will be sent from them.

You can edit the message under the Users > Enrolment methods > Self-Registration – and at the end, set a welcome message.

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