Course Basics

Overview

One of the best things to do at the beginning of every quarter is to set up your course. Moodle features a wide variety of activities and blocks that allow you to customize your course to look the way you want.

For example, do you want your course to be arranged by weeks or by topics? What are the various editing tools? How do I import a course from a previous quarter? These are all important to take into account.

In addition, it is important to know how to set up the basics of your course.

Accessing Your Moodle Course

There are two ways you can access your Moodle course, through the MyCalStateLA Portal and through Moodle directly.

Please follow the instructions below to learn how to access Moodle through the MyCalStateLA Portal:

  1. Go to the following address: my.calstatela.edu.
  2. Log in with your Username and Password.
  3. Click on the icon that has an M with an orange background that says 2017-2018.

To access Moodle directly, please follow the link below:

moodle.calstatela.edu

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Turning Editing On

To make changes to your Moodle course you must Turn Editing On. This will reveal the functions you need to make any adjustments. This can be done at the top right side of the page by clicking on the Gear menu.

Follow the instructions below to turn editing on through the top of the page:

  1. Login to your course.
  2. Click on the Gear menu on the top right of your course.
  3. Click Turn editing on, located in the dropdown menu.

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Setting up Activity Completion Tracking for Students and Generating Reports

Activity Completion can be enabled for individual activities and resources. This is a great tool for students to keep track of their assignments, as well as the faculty to keep track of completion rates for assignments.

Activity completion needs to be turned on for your overall course.

Please follow the instructions below to enable activity completion for your course:

  1. Log in to your course.
  2. Click on the Gear menu on the top right of your course.
  3. Click Edit settings, located in the dropdown menu.
  4. Scroll down to the Completion tracking section.
  5. Click the arrow to open the section.
  6. Click the drop down menu next to Enable completion tracking.
  7. Select Yes.
  8. Scroll to the bottom of the page.
  9. Click Save Changes.

Once you have enabled Activity Completion for your course, you can go to each assignment and choose which ones to include in activity completion.

Please follow the instructions below to enable activity completion for your activities:

  1. Log in to your course
  2. Click on the Gear menu on the top right of your course.
  3. Find the activity you wish to enable activity completion with.
  4. Click Edit on the right hand side.
  5. Click Edit settings.
  6. Scroll down to the Activity Completion section.
  7. Click the arrow to open the section.
  8. Select the Students can manually mark the activity as completed or Show activity as complete when conditions are met
  9. The following options can be enabled if the Show activity as complete when conditions are met has been selected:
  • Require view - Student must view this activity to complete it (Resource only)
  • Require grade - Student must receive a grade to complete this activity (Activity and Resource)
  • A checkmark will appear in the box when the conditions specified in the settings are met
  1. Click Save and return to course 

If you would like to know how many students are completing each activity, you can generate an Activity completion report.

Please follow the instructions below to generate an activity completion report:

  1. Log in to your course
  2. Click on the Gear menu on the top right of your course.
  3. Click More, located on the dropdown menu. 
  4. Click Activity completion link in the Reports section
  5. The Activity completion report options will be displayed on the following screen.

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Understanding the Editing Tools

One of the key features of Moodle is the ability to edit your assignments. In order to do so, it is important to understand the different tools available to Moodle users and how to access them.

All new Moodle courses start as a blank shell. You have the ability to edit and create your course as you wish. In order to do so, you will need to turn editing on for your course. There are two locations to do so.

Please follow the instructions below to learn how to Turn editing on:

  1. Log in to your course
  2. Click on the Gear menu on the top right of your course.
  3. Click Turn editing on, located in the dropdown menu.

Once you turn editing on, you will be able to add and change your course. Icons should now appear in various places across your Moodle Course.

There are 6 main editing options:

  • Edit Settings – allows you to adjust your assignment and change titles, due dates, descriptions, etc.
  • Move Right/Left – allows you to change the indent on the page of an item.
  • Hide – If you would like to hide an assignment from your students.
  • Duplicate – If you would like to create an additional label or item.
  • Assign Roles – If you would like the activity to manageable by persons other than the teacher.
  • Delete – If you no longer want the item.

Please follow the instructions below to see the editing options:

  1. Click on the Gear menu on the top right of your course.
  2. Click Turn editing on, located in the dropdown menu.
  3. Find the activity you wish to edit.
  4. Click on Edit on the right hand side.
  5. Select the action you wish to do.

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Adding Content to Your Moodle Course

Material can be added to your course through 1) drag and drop 2) manually adding. The simplest method is called Drag and Drop. This is where you click and move the content from your computer onto the Moodle course. If you want to customize the title and add a description then manually adding the content would be the best method.

NOTE:  Drag and Drop does not work on IE 9 and below. We recommend using Google Chrome or Firefox.

Follow the instructions below to add content through drag and drop:

  1. Log in to your course
  2. Click on the Gear menu on the top right of your course.
  3. Click Turn editing on, located in the dropdown menu.
  4. Minimize your browser window.
    • For Windows, click the square symbol in the upper right-hand corner.
    • For Mac, if your window is full screen, click the double arrow button in the upper right-hand corner.
  5. Find the folder that contains the file(s) that you wish to drag and drop.
  6. Minimize the folder window, if it is not already minimized.
  7. Select the file(s) and drag and drop them into the desired week or topic.

Follow the instructions below to add content manually:

  1. Log in to your course
  2. Click on the Gear menu on the top right of your course.
  3. Click Turn editing on, located in the dropdown menu.
  4. Click Add an activity or resource on the section where the file will be displayed.
  5. Scroll down on the Add an activity or resource window to find File
  6. Click on the radio button next to the File resource.
  7. Click on the Add button at the bottom of the Add an activity or resource window.
  8. Type the Name (required) and Description.
  9. Scroll down to the Content section.
  10. Click on the Add... Files link to access the File Picker window.
  11. Click on Upload a file link to the left, under the navigation links.
  12. Click on the Browse button to locate your file.
  13. Click on the Upload this file button once the file has been located.
  14. Click on the Save and Return to Course button at the bottom of the Add a new file screen.

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Making Your Course Visible

Every Moodle course is hidden from students by default until it is made available by the professor. Once you are ready for students to view your course, you will need to make the course available. You will need to do this every quarter for each of your Moodle courses.

Please follow the following instructions to make your course visible:

  1. Log in to your course
  2. Click on the Gear menu on the top right of your course.
  3. Click Edit settings, located in the dropdown menu.
  4. Find the General section.
  5. Click the Visible drop-down menu.
  6. Select Show.
  7. Click Save Changes. 

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Adding a Teaching Assistant or Graduate Assistant to your Moodle Course

Faculty often hire Teaching Assistants or Graduate Assistants to help with the coursework or to teach one of their classes. However, those assistants do not enroll in the course through GET and thus are not enrolled into the course on Moodle. Faculty need to manually add their assistants to each course on Moodle.

NOTE: The role of TA will only have permissions to grade assignments. They will not be able to upload assignments or create new ones. In order for a TA to upload assignments/course materials they will need to have the role of Teacher. This will give them full access to the course and all its material.

Please follow the instructions below to add a TA or GA to your course:

  1. Log in to your course
  2. Click on the Gear menu on the top right of your course.
  3. Click More, located in the dropdown menu.
  4. Click on the Users tab on the following screen
  5. Click on Enrolled users
  6. Click on the button labeled Enroll users located on the upper right-hand side of the screen. An Enroll users window will appear.
  7. Click on the Assigned roles drop-down menu.
  8. Select Teaching Assistant.
  9. Find the search field at the bottom of the window.
  10. Search for the user by typing the first and last name or User ID.
  11. Click on the Enroll button to the right of their name.
  12. Click Finish enrolling users.  

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How to view course as a student

After creating assignments and quizzes it can be helpful to view the content as a student to ensure that your settings are correct for that content. Moodle allows you to view your course as a student to make sure everything is functioning as intended.

Please follow the following instructions to view your course as a student:

  1. Log in to your course
  2. Click on User menu on the top right of your course.
  3. Click Switch role to.
  4. Select Student.
    • On the top right side of the page, in the User Menu, you will notice the role Student under your name.

Follow these instructions to switch your role back to Teacher:

  1. Click on User menu and click on Return to my normal Role.

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