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Rewards New Features of Moodle 2.2 June 2012

Introduction Rewards Moodle started serving Rewards in the summer of 2008. Since that time, continued improvements have made Moodle more robust and productive for both staff and students. ICT Department of the Rewards is pleased to announce a software upgrade for Moodle that will make it the most advanced Moodle yet. Moodle 2.2 is set to replace Moodle 1.9. It contains a refurbished interface, new modules for tracking completion, advanced grading, course notes, and conditional activities to name a few. The following manual is designed to give staff an overview of some of the major changes with Moodle 2.2. Watch for more in-depth manuals, training sessions and videos as we progress. Nigel Irwin ICT & Process Co-ordinator Moodle Administrator


Rewards – New Features of Moodle 2.2 Index

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Interface, 4 Navigation Block, 5 Settings Block, 5 Comments Block, 7 Managing Content, 7 Html Text Editor, 11 Quiz Changes, 15 Conditional Activities, 16

9. Completion Tracking, 18 10. Blogs, 19 11. Wikis, 21 12. Forums, 22 13. Workshop, 23 14. Rubrics, 24 15. MyMobile, 26

Look in these blue boxes for additional tips!

This manual assumes the instructor has some knowledge of the basic functions of Moodle. It is not meant to be an introduction to Moodle.


1. Interface The Moodle 2.2 interface is more versatile than earlier versions with updated themes and Blocks that dock to the side. Docking Blocks Need more space on your course page? Want to focus more on the content of the page? Moodle allows you to dock course blocks to the left side and then return them back to their original position one at a time or with a single click. To dock course blocks: 1. Locate the block you would like to dock and click on the right-most rectangular icon.

2. The dock disappears to the left and is replaced with a tab. 3. To see the content of the block, hover your mouse over the tab. 4. To return the block to its original place, hover your mouse over the tab and click on the blue shaded dock icon.

5. If you have many blocks docked to the side, you can return them all by clicking on the blue shaded box at the bottom left of your main course page. 4

2. Navigation Block The new Navigation block provides easy access to various sections of the Moodle site and includes: • •

• •

Home – Quick access to the Rewards OLE homepage My home - a personalized home page displaying links to the courses a user is associated with and activity information (such as unread forum posts and upcoming assignments). Site pages - links to site pages and resources from the front page of Moodle. My profile - quick links allowing a user to view their profile, forums posts, blogs and messages as well as manage their private files. My courses - Links (by course short name) to courses the user is associated with. Click the course's short name to view the front page of the course or use the arrows to navigate quickly to a specific section, resource or activity.

It is recommended that you do not use the Back and Forward buttons on your web browser when using Moodle. Using the Navigation links provided will ensure you always see the latest version of a page (ie: a forum with all posts). Be careful to update, save or post any changes you make before moving on to another page to avoid losing your work.

3. Settings Block The settings block is new to Moodle 2.2 and is divided into 3 main sections:

1. Course administration 2. Switch role to… 3. My profile settings.


Course administration The Course administration area allows you to adjust course features, enrol students, backup, restore and access the course quiz bank, grade book and repositories. New Course administration settings in Moodle 2.2 include the addition of completion tracking, filter settings, and access to your repositories.

Completion tracking allows the instructor to designate that a previous course be completed or grade achieved before enrolment is enabled in the new course.

Switch Role to‌ Switch Role to‌ allows instructors to see Moodle in different roles such as a student, non-editing teacher or even a guest. The roles you are allowed depends on your access to Moodle.

Profile Settings My profile settings allows you to work with your own personal profile. You can also configure your messages and add/configure blogs.


4. Comments Block It is now much easier to “have your say” in Moodle. The Comments block can be added to any page to allow users to add comments. Comments placed in this block can be seen by all within the course. Some ideas for using the new Comments block: • • • • •

a comments block on the main course page so students can give feedback to the tutor a comments block on an individual resource or activity a comments block on a teacher-only page (the assignment marking screen) so teachers can moderate work together privately adding a blog post to a specific course commenting on a blog entry importing an external blog into your Moodle blog (from:

5. Managing Content The way Moodle 2.2 handles/stores files works a lot more like Web 2.0 systems, such as Facebook and Google Docs. Each activity and each text has its own file area, and files are associated directly with the place it is used. For example, a file attached to a forum post is stored "with" the forum post, and becomes subject to exactly the same access restrictions. The Files system is closely connected with the Repository system, and a file picker which makes it easy to browse external and internal repositories for files, and then copy them into Moodle. Certain repositories also allow you to link directly to their media files. Repositories in general are the way of the future for content - most Web 2.0 systems are really repositories of data with various management interfaces. A private files area is provided for each user to store a collection of files for their own use. This is useful for students as well as teachers, and makes it easy to re-use media across the Moodle site. Only you can access your own private files. Why is it better? IntegrityIf a forum post with attached files (such as images) is imported into another course, then the files move with it. Anyone in the new course will also see the files. This makes activities more portable and re-usable.


SecurityAccess to files is governed the same way as the items that they attached to, which is what people expect. All files are now controlled by the settings in the Moodle interface, including roles and permissions. Re-usabilityIt is now fast and easy to re-use files across Moodle. Using the file picker, a recentlyused file may easily be chosen, or a file from any course a user has access to. BackupsBackups of activities are small and accurate, because Moodle knows exactly what files to include. InternationalizationThere is no restriction on file names - even files with names in Japanese may be used. RepositoriesThe world is turning towards better management of files and less "dumping" of files into disks. There are many repository solutions out there (such as the one we will use called Alfresco) that focus on better management of files, with versioning, workflow, metadata and other features.

Workflow Example:

Let’s add a syllabus for an English 101 course. 1. In the course, with our editing turned on, we access the Add a resource drop-down list and choose File. 2. In the Adding a new File page, we can give the resource a name and a description. 3. On the same page, under Content, you can choose to Add…(file) or create a Folder for files. We’ll create a Folder.


4. Give the Folder a name and Click OK.

5. You now see the folder listed.

6. Click on the Syllabus Folder (notice the file path changes so you are now working in the Syllabus Folder). 7. Click Add‌ 8. The File Picker window appears (new in Moodle 2) and you can now find and upload your file by clicking on Upload a file on the left side of the screen.


9. Click on Browse next to the Attachment field and find/open your file. Give the file a different name if you wish in the Save as field. Browse the rest of the options and click Upload this file.

10. You now see the file listed.

11. Browse the options and at the bottom of the page, click on Save and return to course. You will now see the file listed in your course. 10

Now, where can you find the file and folder? 1. You can find the file on the server by turning your course editing on, and in the resource dropdown list, choose to add a file or folder. 2. Under the content section, click Add… and the File picker appears. 3. Click on Server files (Note: In the picture below, the view is set to View as list) 4. In the list, you can now follow the path to your uploaded item.

Note the file path lets you know exactly where you are at.

6. Html Text Editor Moodle 2 has a new text editor called “TinyMCE“. This new editor has a few more functions than the older version including a new feature that allows you to cut and paste from a MS Word file without losing your format. Some of the usual places you will find the text editor include Editing Section headings, description of an activity, writing an answer to a quiz question or editing the content of many blocks. You will find that Moodle 2 offers the text editor in more places than it did in older versions. The text editor divides functions into groups lightly shaded in the background. Here is a list of those groups: Row 1- Font, size and heading group

• •

- Undo and Redo group 11

- Find and Replace group

|Full screen toggle

Row 2- Text effect group

- Line format group

• •

- Formatting group (cleanup messy code, remove formatting, paste as plain text, paste form Word)

- Colour group

- Paragraph group

Row 3- Number and Bullets and indents

- Link group

• •

- Insert group (images, emoticons, media, non-breaking space characters, custom characters, tables)

- HTML source toggle & spellchecker

The colour picker now gives many more options than before for getting the exact colour you need! Just click on „More colours‟ at the bottom and select the best tab for your needs: Picker, Palette, or Named.

A quick pick 5x8 matrix of colours

A rainbow colour picker tab

A Named tab with A Pallet tab with an 18x12 matrix of colours custom pallets



7. Quiz Changes The quiz activity in Moodle 2 has been given a fresh look and some added features. Here are some of the biggest changes you will find. • Improved aesthetics of main quiz features and layouts

• Progress notification system available to students as they work their way through the quiz.

A built in option for marking specific questions for later, before or after a quiz is finished. Students may want to mark a question and come back to it before submitting their quiz, or to let the teacher know they had a question or concern that needed to be addressed. •

Clearer quiz submission options, including a quiz attempt summary on the last page of a quiz that shows students stats on their progress (and shows any unanswered questions).

Reorganization of quiz configuration and setting options with more options for html editing of feedback and more review options. •

The quiz building page has been reorganized, including: o faster building options o clearer quiz organization and page breaks


• • •

In the Navigation block, instructors can find detailed response reports. Individual overrides for specific students or groups of students Manually graded quiz questions.

8. Conditional Activities Conditional activities are one of the most anticipated features of Moodle 2. This new feature enables teachers to restrict the availability of any activity according to certain conditions such as dates, grade obtained, or activity completion. This gives flexibility in how your course appears, when items are available and even allows you to send students down different learning paths within the same course. You will find the Conditional activities in the Restrict access area of the settings page for any activity in Moodle.


Grade condition For an activity to appear, you can specify a condition on any grade in the course: the full course grade, the grade for any activity, or a custom grade that you create manually. 1. Under Grade condition, find the activity for which the specific condition must be met. 2. Enter a minimum value (at least percentage), a maximum value (less than percentage), both, or neither. The activity will only appear if the student has a value for the specified grade, and if it falls within any specified number range. The range numbers can be fractional (with up to five decimal places) if necessary. •


Be careful with the maximum value; if the maximum is 7, a student who scores exactly 7 will not see the activity. You could set it to 7.01 if you really wanted to include 7. If creating several different activities that appear according to grade ranges, use the same number for the maximum of one activity, and the minimum of the next. For example, you might create one activity with a maximum of 7 and another with a minimum of 7. The first would appear to everyone scoring between 0 and 6.99999, and the second would appear to everyone scoring 7.00000 to 10. This guarantees that everyone with a grade will see one or other.

When adding more than one condition, the conditions must be met in order for the activity to appear.

3. Choose to hide or grey out the activity before conditions are met. Click Save at the bottom of the page after all the settings have been entered.


9. Completion Tracking Activity Completion Activity completion allows the teacher to set completion criteria in a specific activity's settings. A check (tick) appears against the activity when the student meets the criteria. The criterion might be viewing, receiving a certain score or a student marking it as complete.

You can turn on and off the activity completion in the Settings block/Course administration/Edit Settings/ under the Student progress section. You can set the activity completion requirements in the settings page of each activity under the section called Activity completion (Usually found at the bottom of the activity s settings page). The picture to the right shows the Activity completion for a Forum.


If you require your student to achieve a specific grade before an activity is complete, then you must set a grade for the activity through the Gradebook. Here’s how: 1. Go to the course homepage and click Grades in the Settings block. 2. In the Gradebook, click on the Categories and items tab. 3. In Categories and items, find the activity and under the Actions column, click on the hand with pencil. 4. In the new page, click on the Show advanced button in the upper right corner. 5. Fill in the Grade to pass field and click Save changes at the bottom of the page.


Course Completion status block Once the Course Completion block has been enabled, set, and added to the course, the course completion status block shows what has been done towards completing the course. The student and teacher will both see this block. The More details link will lead to a more detailed report. This report can have some interactive elements in the form of check boxes for the student and teacher including the ability to download to a spreadsheet.

Course completion can also be set to allow for self-completion by students or teachers. In this case, another block, the Self completion block, must also be added.

10. Blogs Blogs in Moodle 2 are user based, meaning each user has their own blog. Users can also register their external blogs, such as Blogger or Wordpress, so that entries are automatically included in their Moodle blog. Adding a blog entry 1. From the Navigation block, click on Blogs>Add a new entry - Alternatively, if the Blog menu block is enabled in the course, click Add a new entry there. 2. Write your entry and give it a title. 3. If you want to attach a file, click the Add button to access the File picker to locate a file. Be sure your document is smaller than the maximum attachment size.


4. Choose who you wish to publish the entry to. There are three options: o o o

Yourself (your blog entry is a draft) Anyone on your site Anyone in the world

5. Select appropriate official tags for your entry and/or add one or more user defined tags. If you add more than one, they should be comma separated. 6. Click on the "Save changes" button.

Course blogs •

If you click "Add an entry about this course" in the Blog menu block then you will have the option to associate your blog entry with your current course. (Note -your blogs can still be seen elsewhere in Moodle, but this is a way to filter entries about a particular course within the course) Permalink, located at the bottom of the blog, gives you a direct link to that particular blog posting (in the address bar). This is so you can send a link to this specific post to someone else. Courses upgrading to 2.x which previously had blog visibility set to "Users can only see blogs for people who share a course" or "Users can only see blogs for people who share a group" will have blogs converted into blog-like format forums.


External blogs •

If enabled by an administrator, you can register external blogs, such as Blogger or Wordpress so that entries are automatically included in your Moodle blog. Go to Settings/My profile settings/Blogs/Register an external blog. In the URL box, add the RSS feed of the blog you wish to register. (from:

11. Wikis A new Wiki module in Moodle 2 makes it easier to create and delete pages. Pages can also be added through a link in the Navigation block. New links in the Navigation block allow immediate access to view, edit, comment, history, map, and Wiki files.

When creating a new page with the Navigation block’s new option under your Wiki, you will still need to copy and paste the name of the new page onto the immediate parent page and surround it with double brackets. This creates a link to your new page and makes it accessible from the main Wiki page. Otherwise nobody will find the so called lost new page. 21

12. Forums The Moodle Forum module now offers a new choice called Standard forum displayed in blog-like format.

Standard forum displayed in blog-like format This forum behaves in the same way as the default standard forum for general use, allowing users to start their own discussions. However, it displays differently in that the first post of each discussion is displayed (as in a blog) so that users can read it and then choose to respond by clicking the "Discuss this topic" button bottom right from the the post.



13. Workshop The Workshop Activity is brand new to Moodle 2 and allows for peer assessment of assignments. Students submit their work via an on line text tool and attachments. There are two grades for a student: their own work and their peer assessments of other students' work. There are five phases of workflow in a typical workshop: 1. Setup phase: In this initial phase, Workshop participants cannot do anything (neither modify their submissions nor their assessments). Course facilitators use this phase to change workshop settings, modify the grading strategy of tweak assessment forms. You can switch to this phase any time you need to change the Workshop setting and prevent users from modifying their work. 2. Submission phase In the submission phase, Workshop participants submit their work. Access control dates can be set so that even if the Workshop is in this phase, submitting can be allowed in the given time frame only. Submission start date (and time), submission end date (and time) or both can be specified.

3. Assessment phase If the Workshop uses peer assessment feature, this is the phase when Workshop participants assess the submissions allocated to them for the review. As in the submission phase, access can be controlled by specified date and time since when and/or until when the assessment is allowed.


4. Grading evaluation phase The major task during this phase is to calculate the final grades for submissions and for assessments and provide feedback for authors and reviewers. Workshop participants cannot modify their submissions or their assessments in this phase any more. Course facilitators can manually override the calculated grades. Also, selected submissions can be set as published so they become available to all Workshop participants in the next phase. 5. Closed Whenever the Workshop is being switched into this phase, the final grades calculated in the previous phase are pushed into the course Gradebook. This will result in the Workshop grades appearing in the Gradebook. Participants may view their submissions, their submission assessments and eventually other published submissions in this phase.

14. Rubrics Rubrics have been a long-requested feature in Moodle and is finally achieved in Moodle 2.2. Rubrics is the first plugin of what will eventually be a list of new Advanced grading methods. Currently, Rubrics is currently only supported for the Assignment activity, but work is on its way by Moodle to extend it across all modules. By default, numerical grades in Moodle are selected by the teacher from a range like 0100. When advanced grading methods are enabled, the grade selection element is replaced with a more complex assessment form provided by the Rubric plugin. The plugin contains the logic how to calculate the grade. Such a calculated grade is then passed back to the activity module as if the teacher used the standard grade value selector. To set your assignment to grade by rubric:


1. Select an assignment activity in your course. 2. In the settings of that activity under the Grade section, give the activity a grade. By default it is set to 100.

3. In the Grade section, under the Grading method dropdown list, choose Rubric. 4. Finish with the settings for your activity and click Save and display at the bottom. 5. Next, In the Settings block on the left or right side of your screen, click on Advanced grading. 6. A new page appears allowing you to create a new rubric grading form from scratch, or you can select a template that has been pre-made, saved and shared.

For a video tutorial on using Rubric advanced grading method, go to:


15. MyMobile In Moodle 2.2 there is a standard theme customdesigned for smartphone browser screens. This means that when users visit any Rewards Moodle site on a small screen they'll see a completely different layout that is suitable for small touchscreens.


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