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Using Moodle

This page has been designed to provide guidance for moving commonly-used teaching and learning activities online using Moodle, KPU's learning management system.
Please Note:
  • You may wish to consider redesigning some of your course activities or assessments to accommodate the rapid shift to remote delivery.
  • The guidance on this page is designed to support emergency teaching scenarios and does not equal guidance for designing effective blended or online courses.
  • For more advanced functions, such as, narrating a screencast, marking a submitted assignment, or creating a rubric in Moodle, please log a ticket via IT Service Desk.
  • Click on the Help icon (bottom right corner) to access our knowledge base. (Use it like a Google search.)

I want to...

Communicate

Communicate with my students

There are several communication tools within Moodle.  You must decide if the communication is going to be one-way, or if you want your students to be able to respond to you, or each other. Here are the main communication methods within Moodle: 

  1. The Announcements Forum 
    The announcement forum appears by default in the top section of your course homepage. By default, only faculty can post to announcements. This tool acts like a megaphone and provides a method to send a message or announcement to your students, but the students cannot reply.

    The announcements forum is the ideal method to use if you are trying to communicate a message to all students at once. Notification emails are sent to inform users of activities such as a new post on the Announcements forum. 

  2. Quickmail (email function)

    The Quickmail block is available in all Moodle courses. It allows faculty to send emails to students enrolled in the Moodle course.  Learn more about how to setup quickmail.

    Moodle will also send notification emails to inform users of activities such as a new post on the Announcements forum. 

    Moodle can send email messages in a few different ways. Automated email notifications can be sent from certain activities such as Forums. The Quickmail block can be used by instructors (and if instructors allow, by students) to send email to course members. 

    Note: Moodle sends emails, but does not have an inbox where you can receive email.

Host virtual office hours

Hosting virtual office hours using one of KPU’s conferencing tools is a method for meeting with students individually, or in groups, by appointment or drop-in, from a remote location.

Virtual office hours can provide flexibility for instructors and students, as hours can be held later in the evening (or even on weekends) when many students are working on course assignments. Virtual office hours provide an opportunity for students to think about their questions before posting and can benefit in the moment from the real-time conversation. Instructors hosting virtual office hours can benefit from avoiding the need to reply to multiple emails from students asking the same questions.  

About the tool:

BigBlueButton is an educational conferencing tool that supports online learning. It provides real-time sharing of audio, video, slides, chat, and screen. Students are engaged through sharing of emoji icons, polling, and breakout rooms. 

Watch this self-guided webinar explaining how to use BigBlueButton. Then follow step-by-step instruction on how to setup your Big Blue Button activity in Moodle.

Create Media

Create an audio file

Audio recordings are great for providing audio feedback. My Media (Kaltura) is a feature that allows you to create, edit, and share audio files directly in your Moodle site. 

From the My Media page, you can use your microphone to create audio recordings using Kaltura Capture. Follow step-by-step instructions on how to create an audio recording using Kaltura Capture.

Additional resource:

Record a lecture or video

Video is a very powerful tool to use in a Moodle course, allowing students, for example to catch up on lectures they missed, learn from a "how to" screencast, or improve their language skills by watching native speakers interact. 

My Media (in Kaltura) is a feature that allows you to create, edit, upload and share video and audio files directly in your Moodle site. 

From the My Media page, you can use your webcam to create screencasts, videos, audio recordings, and presentations. These can be further enhanced in My Media with the ability to add titles, credits, and even questions to create a video quiz. Learn how to use Kaltura Capture to create engaging videos with these tutorials below.

Upload video/media from my computer

This tutorial will show you how to upload video/media you have on your computer to Kaltura in Moodle. All videos uploaded to My Media is private and only visible to you until shared.

There is no size limit or formats for videos that you can upload to Kaltura. Videos are automatically converted into an MP4 format that is displayable on all modern devices.

Please Note: We do not recommend  uploading your videos directly to Moodle because Moodle is restricted to a file size limit of up to 100MB and does not support all video formats.

Upload video/media from my smartphone new icon

This tutorial will show you how to upload recorded video/media from your smartphone (iPhone/Android) device to Kaltura. All videos uploaded to My Media is private and only visible to you until shared.

There is no size limit or formats for videos that you can upload to Kaltura. Videos are automatically converted into an MP4 format that is displayable on all modern devices. However, we recommend not uploading huge files from your phone and to ensure you are on a stable WiFi network before uploading because this may eat up your data if you are on a mobile network.

Edit a video (with Kaltura video editor)

Kaltura Video built-in editing tools allow users to edit the media they have created and allows users to trim and split recordings. Instructions for editing your media with Kaltura video editor. This is excellent for trimming out the beginning and ends of your recorded video (if you used Kaltura Capture to record) to make your videos look more professional. You probably don't need to show the first few seconds of when you are getting ready before recording.

Deliver Content

Conference and host synchronous sessions

BigBlueButton is an educational conferencing tool that supports online learning. It provides real-time sharing of audio, video, slides, chat, and screen. Students are engaged through sharing of emoji icons, polling, and breakout rooms. 

Watch this self-guided webinar explaining how to use BigBlueButton. Then follow step-by-step instruction on how to setup your Big Blue Button activity in Moodle.

Great news! BigBlueButton (BBB) has moved to its new server. Video and audio are back, and we anticipate smooth sailing from here on out. 

Some important things to note for using this great tool and optimizing functionality:

  • Rooms created prior to the server switchover will need to be removed from Moodle sites, and a new BBB room created. Old BBB sessions will not have full functionality.
  • Synchronous sessions should be limited to sixty minutes or less – this not only helps with increased bandwidth worldwide, but is also good pedagogical practice.
  • Recording is enabled, nevertheless; faculty are asked to use Kaltura for recording lectures and screen capturing BBB sessions.  
  • Chrome continues to be the recommended browser

Need help with BigBlueButton? 

Assistance from the T&L Commons: If you need support with learning technologies, educational media, or redesigning learning activities or assessments, please complete this survey. This will enable us to determine your needs and assign the appropriate team member to assist you. 

Please note: In order to optimize the usage of Big Blue Button, we recommend that you please be judicious of what you are recording. Do not record non-essential sessions. This will ensure that resources on the Big Blue Button servers are allocated appropriately and will help Big Blue Button run more efficiently. If you have recorded a session you no longer need, please delete it at your earliest convenience. In addition, please note that sound delays, speed of uploading etc are impacted by the quality, RAM and processing ability of your device and those of your students in addition to internet speed. We cannot fix all of these, be patient and do synchronous learning only when necessary. If you need assistance planning alternate activities please complete the survey and a member of our team will get back to you.

bandwidth
From blog: Videoconferencing Alternatives: How Low-Bandwidth Teaching Will Save Us All

Additional Resources:

Share a video

Videos uploaded to Kaltura (via Moodle) can be added to your Moodle site in multiple ways: (1) embed using the text editor; (2) added as a Kaltura video resource, or (3) added to the Course Media Gallery. Once video is shared via one of the methods, the video will be visible to participants in your Moodle site.

  1. Embed using the text editor
    This method allows your video to be embedded directly into anywhere that has the ATTO text editor, meaning you can embed videos within forum discussions, announcements, quizzes, assignments, or simply directly on your Moodle site.
  2. Added as a Kaltura video resource
    This method is similar to the first, but instead of embedding the video directly it is added as a resource. Much like your other Moodle activities and resources, it will display as a link to the video resource, making your Moodle site a little cleaner.
  3. Added to the Course Media Gallery
    This method is different from the first two, in which your video displays in a collection (gallery). This one is not very apparent, and your students will not know there are videos in the gallery unless you have pointed them there. However, it is very useful if you have many videos to share. You could also have your students share their videos with the class here (all student videos are moderated by default). There are many other use cases for the Course Media Gallery, reach out to the Teaching & Learning Commons team if you would like to learn more about this method of sharing your videos.

Assess Learning

Set up an assignment

Assignments can be easily and securely facilitated in Moodle. Learn how to set up an individual assignment or set up a group assignment.  

Set up a quiz or exam

Quizzes and exams can be easily and securely facilitated in Moodle. Learn how to set up a quiz or exam. If you need additional help, please reach out to the Teaching & Learning Commons.

Set up a Moodle gradebook

Watch this video tutorial on how to set up your Moodle gradebook. If you need additional help, please reach out to the Teaching & Learning Commons.

Facilitate Activities

Set up a group

There are quick ways to support students that need to collaborate or interact in smaller groups. The easiest way to organize student group work, discussions, projects, and assignments is to use groups in Moodle. Learn how to create student groups.  

Hold online discussions

Online discussions can support students in learning communication skills, writing skills, and foster reflection and discourse. There are several platforms KPU supports that can assist in the facilitation of a variety of discussion types.  

  1. Synchronous Discussions

    BigBlueButton (BBB) is an educational conferencing tool that can be used to lecture, have face-to-face meetings with students, groups, colleagues, and to host virtual office hours. BBB has a chat space with emoji options so students can share in the moment what they think and how they feel (confused for example). The polling option allows faculty to conduct formative assessments and check for understanding of course concepts. Discussions can be held as large groups or students can be placed in break-out groups for small group discussions.  

    Watch this self-guided webinar explaining how to use BigBlueButton. For additional resources, please see "Conference and host synchronous sessions" below.

  2. Breakout Groups

    BigBlueButton allows for large or small group discussions by using break-out groups.  

    Watch this self-guided webinar explaining how to use BigBlueButton.

  3. Forums, Discussions, Debates
    Instructors and students can communicate and collaborate in Moodle using Forums, sometimes called "discussions". Instructors can create topics or, depending on the forum type, allow students to create topics to which course members can post a reply. Learn more on how to use forums. Check out this resource our friends at TRU put together to help foster good discussions online.

    There are multiple forum types in Moodle. Some forum types allow only the instructor to start a new topic, and others allow students to start new topics. Choose the type of forum that makes sense for the activity you are asking your students to do:

    Single simple discussion
    - Only one topic, started by the instructor, is allowed. This is best suited for short-term, focused conversations. 
    Each person posts one discussion 
    - Each student may start one new topic. Students are not limited in the number of replies they can post within those topics. 
    Q and A forum 
    - An instructor posts one topic, for example, posing a question to students. Students must post their response before they can view other students’ responses. 
    Standard forum for general use 
    - Allow multiple topics arranged in a threaded conversation. Students may start new topics in this format.