Moodle Recipes

Moodle for Course Creators
by Paul Zarucki, Electronic Equipments Ltd., 2006.

You are here: Home => Tutorials => Moodle Recipes

Here is a collection of "how to" recipes for course creators using Moodle, the on-line learning system.

Remember the Help Buttons!
Many of the items on Moodle pages have help buttons (marked "?") which provide useful explanations. It is easy to forget they are there but they often tell you what you need to know when you are stuck or can't remember something.

Logging in
These recipes will only work if your Moodle account provides the necessary teacher or administrator privileges.
Moodle Version
These recipes are written for Moodle 1.5. If you are using another version of Moodle then some details might differ but the general principles will remain the same.


Updates
Updates and additions to these recipes will be made from time to time. Last updated 2006.05.29


Contents



Getting to the Home Page

For simplicity, some recipes start from the Moodle home page. There is a quick and easy way to go back to the home page after you have moved on to other pages in Moodle. Most pages have a series of links near the top left, on a line below the title. Click the first (left-most) link to return to the home page.

As you get to know your way around Moodle you will discover more direct routes from one place to another.

>>> Back to Top

Getting to a Course

Every course has its own page, like a home page for the course, which we call the course page. It shows the topics covered and has links to other pages and resources used in the course.
  1. Go to the Moodle home page (see above) and log in if you have not already done so.
  2. Select the required course category under the Courses heading on the left side of the home page. The next page lists the courses within that category.
  3. Click the course name. The course page should then be displayed.

>>> Back to Top

Adding a New Course Category

  1. Go to the Moodle home page and log in if you have not already done so.
  2. Select Courses under Administration on the left side of the home page. The Course categories page will be displayed.
  3. Type the name of the new category in the box then click the Add new category button to the right.

>>> Back to Top

Deleting a Course Category

  1. Go to the Moodle home page and log in if you have not already done so.
  2. Select Courses under Administration on the left side of the home page. The Course categories page will be displayed with a list of categories.
  3. Click the cross to the right of the category name (if there is no cross then click the Turn editing on button). The deleted category disappears from the list. Any courses that were in the deleted category are moved into the Miscellaneous category.

>>> Back to Top

Creating a Course

  1. Go to the Moodle home page and log in if you have not already done so.
  2. Select Courses under Administration on the left side of the home page.
  3. Click the Add a new course button. The Edit course settings page will be displayed.
  4. Enter your choices for the course settings. Many of the items on this page have a query button next to them. Click an item's query button to see an explanation of that item. Items which you don't understand or don't care about can usually be left as they are. When choosing the Format of the course, the Topics format is usually the appropriate choice for a course that is not tied to a weekly cycle.
  5. Click the Save changes button when you have finished entering the course settings. The next page lets you choose one or more teachers for this course.
  6. A list of potential teachers is shown with Add teacher to the right of each entry. To add a person to the list of teachers for this course, click Add teacher.
  7. Click the Save changes button when you have finished assigning teachers to the course.
  8. You can now view your newly created course by clicking the link to the course page. This is on the line below the title, near the top left of the page, and is the same as the short name for the course.

>>> Back to Top

Deleting a Course

  1. Go to the Moodle home page and log in if you have not already done so.
  2. Select Courses under Administration on the left side of the home page. The next page shows a list of course categories.
  3. Click the category for the course you want to delete. The next page lists the courses within that category.
  4. Click the cross to the right of the course name. The next page asks for confirmation.
  5. Click Yes if you are sure you want to delete this course. The next page lists the components of the deleted course and indicates whether or not they were successfully deleted.
  6. Click Continue (at the bottom of the list).

>>> Back to Top

Moving a Course to another Category

  1. Go to the Moodle home page and log in if you have not already done so.
  2. Select Courses under Administration on the left side of the home page. The next page shows a list of course categories.
  3. Click the category containing the course you want to move. The next page lists the courses within that category.
  4. Click the box in the Select column to the right of the course name.
  5. Click "Move selected courses to..." and select the destination category.

>>> Back to Top

Saving a backup copy of a course

This recipe assumes you are on the course page for the course you wish to back up (see Getting to a Course).
  1. Select Backup under Administration on the left side of the course page. The next page, titled Course Backup, shows the course name and a list of elements of the course which you can choose to back up. Alter the choices if you wish or just leave them as they are if you are unsure.
  2. Click the Continue button at the bottom of the page. The next page shows the name of the backup file and details of the items that will be saved in the backup. Alter the file name if you wish or just leave it as it is.
  3. Click the Continue button at the bottom of the page. The next page shows the progress of the backup. When the page has finished loading, scroll to the end and check that it says "Backup completed successfully".
  4. Click the Continue button at the bottom of the page. The next page shows the files area for the course. This is where the backup files are stored on the server. It shows a list of files, including the backup file that you just created.
  5. The following steps explain how to download a copy of the backup to your computer (it is a good idea to have two backups in different locations). You can also transfer the course to another server by uploading the backup from your computer to the new server (see the recipe Restoring a course from a backup).
  6. Click the backup file name. A pop-up window should appear and, on most computers, you will be asked whether to open or save the file.
  7. Click the Save button (in Mozilla, click Save and then click the OK button). A File Save window should appear showing the folders on your computer and the name of the backup file.
  8. Select the folder in which you want to save the file and click the Save button (or OK).
  9. Once the File Save window has disappeared and the file is saved on your computer, close the pop-up window if it is still on the screen.

>>> Back to Top

Restoring a course from a backup

  1. Go to the Moodle home page and log in if you have not already done so.
  2. Select Restore under Administration on the left side of the home page. The next page, titled Site files >> backup data, shows a list of files (if any) in the backup files area of the server.
  3. If the backup file for the course is not yet on the server but is on your computer then you must first upload it to the server:
    1. Click the Upload a file button. The next page warns you that the files can be accessed by anyone (actually this area can only be accessed by users that have the necessary privileges) and has a Browse button.
    2. Click the Browse button. A Choose file or File Upload window appears showing the folders and files on your computer.
    3. Select the appropriate folder and file then click the Open button. The box to the left of the Browse button should now show the folder and file name of the backup file.
    4. Click the Upload this file button. You will be returned to the Site files >> backup data page. The message File uploaded successfully should appear below the main heading and the uploaded file should now appear in the list of files.
  4. Click the Restore entry in the Action column on the same line as the backup file you wish to restore. The next page tells you which backup file you are about to restore.
  5. Click the Yes button. The next page, titled Course restore, shows the details of the course to be restored.
  6. Click the Continue button at the end of the page. The next page lets you choose which elements of the course to restore and whether to create a new course or import the material into an existing course. Alter the choices if you wish or leave them as they are if you are unsure.
  7. Click the Continue button at the end of the page. The next page has a button labeled Restore this course now.
  8. Click the Restore this course now button. The next page lists the course elements that have been restored and should say "Restore completed successfully" near the end of the page.
  9. Click the Continue button at the end of the page. You will now be taken to the course page for the course that you have restored.
If you restored the course as a New Course (the default choice) then it will have been added to the Miscellaneous course category. See the recipe Moving a course to another category if you want to place the course into a different category.

>>> Back to Top

Downloading Files from a Course

  1. Go to the course that contains the files you want.
  2. Select Files under Administration on the left side of the course page. The next page shows the files and/or folders associated with this course.
  3. Click the box next to each file and/or folder you want.
  4. Click With chosen files... below the list of files and select Create zip archive. The next page shows a list of the chosen files and, below the list, a box in which you can type a name for the zip archive file.
  5. Type a name ending in ".zip" (e.g. "myfiles.zip") then click the button Create zip archive. The next page returns you to the list of course files. The zip archive now appears in the list.
  6. You have just created a zip archive containing the files you want. Next you can download the zip archive to your computer.
  7. Click the zip archive file name. A pop-up window should appear and, on most computers, you will be asked whether to open or save the file.
  8. Click the Save button (in Mozilla, click Save and then click the OK button). A File Save window should appear showing the folders on your computer and the name of the backup file.
  9. Select the folder in which you want to save the file and click the Save button (or OK).
  10. Once the File Save window has disappeared and the file is saved on your computer, close the pop-up window if it is still on the screen.

>>> Back to Top

Uploading Files to a Course

  1. Go to the course to which you want to upload files.
  2. Select Files under Administration on the left side of the course page. The next page shows the files and/or folders associated with this course.
  3. Click the Upload a file button. The next page has a Browse button.
  4. Click the Browse button. A Choose file or File Upload window appears showing the folders and files on your computer.
  5. Select the appropriate folder and file then click the Open button. The box to the left of the Browse button should now show the folder and file name of the file to be uploaded.
  6. Click the Upload this file button. You will be returned to the list of course files. The message File uploaded successfully should appear above the list of files and the uploaded file should now appear in the list.
  7. If the file you uploaded was a zip archive containing files you wish to use in the course then continue as follows.
  8. Look in the list of course files at the line containing the zip archive file which you uploaded. You should see the words Unzip List Restore Rename near the end of the line.
  9. Click Unzip. A list showing the files contained in the zip archive is displayed.
  10. Click the OK button below the list of files. The next page returns you to the list of course files. The files extracted from the zip archive now appear in the list.

>>> Back to Top

Copying Files from one Course to Another

  1. Download the files from the first course (see Downloading Files from a Course).
  2. Upload them to the second course (see Uploading Files to a Course).

>>> Back to Top

Creating a Quiz

This recipe assumes you are on a course page (see Getting to a Course).
  1. If the button near the top right of the page reads Turn editing on then click it.
  2. Go to the relevant topic, click Add an activity and choose Quiz from the drop-down list. A page titled "Adding a new Quiz..." is displayed.
  3. Enter a name for the quiz.
  4. In the Introduction panel, type a short description of the quiz or describe the scenario to which it applies. You can leave this blank if you don't need it.
  5. Set the closing date for the quiz (the boxes labeled Close the quiz).
  6. Adjust the remaining settings as required then click the Continue button at the bottom of the page. This takes you to the Editing quiz page which lets you select questions from a database of questions available for use in quizzes. The questions in the database are grouped into categories.
  7. If you are going to enter new questions then you will usually want to create a new category for them. See the recipes Adding a new Question Category and Adding new Questions. Return here when you have finished entering the questions.
  8. Click the Category box and choose the category for the questions which are to be used in the quiz. A list of questions in the current category appears in the lower right of the Editing quiz page.
  9. Select the questions to be used in the quiz. There are three selection methods:
    1. Manually click in the Select column for each question to be used then click the Add selected to quiz button.
    2. Click the Select all button then click the Add selected to quiz button. This will use all of the questions.
    3. Click the Add several random... button. This will choose questions at random each time the quiz is run. The next page presents several options, including:
      1. The Category from which the questions will be drawn.
      2. The Number of questions to be drawn.
      3. Whether or not to Add these questions to the current quiz (normally "Yes").
  10. The selected questions will then be listed in the upper left of the page. To remove a question from the list click the delete icon (X) to the right.
  11. If you used the random selection method then the specified number of "random questions" will also appear in the list at the lower right. These are not real questions but "dummy" questions. Like real questions, they may be selected for use in the quiz and will appear in the list at upper left. When the quiz is run, they will be replaced by real questions, chosen at random from the category you specified.
  12. Click the Save this whole quiz button when you have finished setting up the quiz.
  13. You can return to the course by clicking the link to the course page. This is on the line below the title, near the top left of the page, and is the same as the short name for the course.

>>> Back to Top

Adding a new Question Category

This recipe assumes that you are on the Editing quiz page.
  1. Click the Edit categories button. The next page shows a list of question categories.
  2. Complete the blank Category and Category info boxes at the end of the list of categories.
  3. If the questions are also to be used in other quizzes then change No to Yes in the Publish column.
  4. Click the Save changes button.
  5. Click the Back to quiz editing button. This will return you to the Editing quiz page.
Once you have added a new question category, you can enter questions for that category by following the Adding new Questions... recipes.

>>> Back to Top

Adding new Questions - Multi-Choice

This recipe assumes that you are on the Editing quiz page.
  1. Click the Category box and choose the category for the questions.
  2. Click in the Create new question box and choose the format for the question (multiple choice, true/false, etc.). The next page lets you enter the question.
  3. Enter the Question name. This name identifies the question when choosing it from a list of questions in the same category. Choose a name which lets you distinguish this question from other, possibly similar, ones.
  4. Enter the text of the Question. The built-in editor is like a mini word processor. You can use text formatting, colours, tables, lists, and so on. You can also insert pictures that you have previously uploaded and links to other web pages.
  5. An Image to display that has been uploaded to the course can be associated with the question and will be presented with it. If you have such images, you may select one to use (this is in addition to any images you inserted in the previous step).
  6. Select the type of answer required (one answer or multiple answers).
  7. Enter the choices (possible answers) in the numbered Choice boxes.
  8. Each choice has an associated Grade. Where only one answer is allowed, set the grade to 100% for the correct choice and 0% for the others. Where multiple choices are allowed different schemes are possible. For example, if there are an equal number of correct and incorrect choices, you can set the grades for the correct choices to add up to 100% and the incorrect ones to add up to -100% with the result that random choices will score 0%. Instead of choices which are wholly right or wrong, choices could be graded according to the degree of correctness or how far they are from being correct.
  9. Each choice has Feedback associated with it. When the feedback feature is enabled, the feedback is presented to the student at the end of the quiz based on the choices made.
  10. Click the Save changes button. This will return you to the Editing quiz page.
Repeat for each new question to be added.

A list of questions in the current category appears in the lower right of the Editing quiz page. The list is automatically updated as new questions are added. The icons to the right of each question let you Delete, Preview (dry run) or Edit the question.

>>> Back to Top

Editing a Question

This recipe assumes that you are on the Editing quiz page. To alter an existing question:
  1. Click the Category box and choose the category for the question. A list of questions in the selected category appears in the lower right of the page.
  2. Locate the question to be edited and click the Edit icon (like a hand holding a pen) to the right.
  3. Make the required changes to the question.
  4. Click the Save changes button. This will return you to the Editing quiz page.

>>> Back to Top

Quiz Results and Statistics

This recipe assumes you are on a course page (see Getting to a Course).
  1. Activities => Quizzes. The next page shows a list of the quizzes in this course.
  2. You can view a list of attempts for a quiz, with dates, times and grades achieved:
  3. Alternatively, you can see detailed statistics on the attempts, responses, grades and item analysis:

>>> Back to Top

Making the results of a quiz visible

This recipe assumes you are on a course page (see Getting to a Course).
  1. Administration => Settings.
  2. Ensure that Show grades is set to Yes.
  3. Click the the Save changes button. This will return you to the course page.
  4. If the button near the top right of the page reads Turn editing on then click it.
  5. Click the Update icon (hand holding a pen) next to the quiz.
  6. Ensure that Maximum grade is set to an appropriate value (e.g. "100" if the quiz is worth 100 marks in total).
  7. Click the Continue button. You should now see a page listing the questions in the quiz.
  8. Click the Save this whole quiz button.
  9. You can return to the course by clicking the link to the course page. This is on the line below the title, near the top left of the page, and is the same as the short name for the course.
Students should now see the grade achieved when they complete the quiz.

>>> Back to Top

Change log


>>> Back to Top

Feedback and comments to paul atelectronic-equipments.co.uk are welcome.

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation.