Moodle Setup

Overview

Before beginning to design your Moodle courses, think about requesting a metacourse or special shell.  Review the options for both requests below.  After determining your need, you can begin to customize the interface of your courses to suit your needs. Add or update your profile, insert blocks to add additional functionality, and keep up with your students when they have questions.

Requesting a Metacourse in Moodle

Metacourses, or “courses within a course,” join two or more courses. A Metacourse is used for 2 reasons:

  1. To join two or more courses that are cross listed in GET (e.g. one course is listed across two departments)
  2. To combine multiple sections of the same course

NOTE: If you are requesting a Metacourse to combine multiple sections of the same course, you will want the due dates to be the same for all sections.

The benefit of using a Metacourse is that it will merge your course rosters and allow you to manage your students through a single Moodle course.

NOTE: We recommend that you submit this request before the beginning of the semester during which your cross-listed course will take place so the course will be ready for you and your students’ use at the beginning of the course.

Please follow the link below to fill out the online METACOURSE request form:

(Please allow 2 working days for your request to be completed.)

http://www.calstatela.edu/cetl/moodle-metacourse-request-form

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Requesting a Moodle Special Shell

A Moodle Shell can be requested by University staff and faculty. Requested shells can be used for Advisement, University Programs, exploring Moodle, building course shells for future courses, or other non-academic University projects.

(Please allow 2 working days for your request to be completed.)

www.calstatela.edu/cetl/moodle-special-shell-request- form

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Customizing Your "Dashboard" Page

You may notice that your course homepage contains many of the Moodle Courses you teach. On this page you can choose to view all your registered Moodle courses, rearrange your course list, or limit the number of courses you see when you log in. This support page will teach you how to place all your active courses at the TOP of the "Dashboard" page.

Follow the instructions below to show and rearrange your listed courses:

  1. Log into Moodle.
  2. Click Dashboard in the menu on the left side of your screen.
  3. Locate and click the Customize this page button at the top right of the "Dashboard" page.
  4. Locate the Number of courses to display: dropdown menu under "Course Overview"
  5. Click the Always show all option.
  6. Locate the Move button (Cross shaped with arrows) to the left of each listed course.
  7. Click and hold the Move button for the course you want to move.
  8. Place each of your active courses at the top of your course list.
  9. Locate and click the Stop customizing this page button at the top right of the "Dashboard" page.

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Editing Your Profile

It is important for instructors to update their biographical statement and photograph to promote teaching presence. A profile provides a personal approach to a fully online or hybrid learning experience.

Follow the instructions below to edit your profile:

  1. Find the User Menu on the top-right hand side of the screen.
  2. Click Profile.
  3. On the center of the page locate the section labeled User Details.
  4. Click on Edit Profile.
  5. In the Description text field, add a biographical statement.
  6. Find the User picture section.
  7. Click Add to upload a current picture. 
  8. Find the Picture description.
  9. Enter a description.
  10. Add optional contact information, as necessary.
  11. Scroll to the bottom of the page.
  12. Click Update profile.

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Hiding navigation drawer

Course navigation drawer, located on the right side of your course, can be hidden through the use of the Collapsable menu (hamburger icon)!  This will allow you to unclutter your page, and increasing screen space.

Follow the instructions below to hide navigation drawer:

  1. Find and click on the Collapsable menu (hamburger icon) on the top left side.

  2. Click the hamburger icon again to show the navigation drawer.

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Sending Messages Through Moodle

Moodle allows you to send group and individual messages. The best way to send messages to your entire class is through the Announcements Forum. This way, students will receive your message through their email, on their Moodle home page, and through the Moodle course.

NOTE: Students cannot reply to the Announcements Forum.

Follow the instructions below to send a group message through the Announcements Forum:

  1. Log in to your course.
  2. Find the Annoucements at the top of your course page.
  3. Click Announcements Forum.
  4. Click the Add a new topic button.
  5. Enter a Subject and Message in the text fields.
  6. Click Add… to add any attachments (e.g. files, images, etc.) to your message.
  7. Select the Mail now check box to send your message immediately.
  8. Click Post to forum when finished.

Follow the instructions below to send an individual message:

  1. Click Participants in the course navigation drawer.
  2. Find the student’s name.
  3. Select the check box next to the student’s name.
  4. At the bottom of the page, click the With selected users… drop-down menu.
  5. Click Send a message.
  6. Enter a message in the Message body text box.
  7. When finished, click Preview.
  8. Click Send a message.

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Reading Messages Through Moodle

Moodle allows you to send messages to your students. You should receive a notification of this message in your CSULA email. However, if the student has sent the message to you through Moodle, you will also receive a notification in Moodle that will remind you each time you log in (until you check the message).

Follow the instructions below to read recent messages:

  1. Find and click the Messages menu on the top right side of the screen, next to your name.
  2. Click on recent messages to read it or click on the See all link at the bottom of the window to view all messages received.

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Enabling and Disabling Auto-link

Moodle allows you to link a phrase to activities in your class using a feature called Auto-linking. With Auto-link enabled any word you type that matches an activity name will link that word to the activity in your course. These activities include items such as Glossary entries, Database entries, hyperlinked Files, Assignments, and Quizzes. By default this option is ENABLED.

Follow the instructions below to enable or disable Auto-link:

  1. Click on the Gear menu on the top right of your course.
  2. Click on Filters, located in the dropdown menu.
  3. Locate Activity names auto-linking.
  4. Using the drop-down menu select On or Off.
  5. Click Save Changes.

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