After the first full week of classes, let’s look at some of the most frequently asked Moodle questions:
1. Where are my Moodle sites?
This question pops up every year from students and faculty alike. Students frequently look to Moodle to get a jump on their assignments or to get a preview of the syllabus before the class meets. Oftentimes, a student will log in and find that one or more of their courses are not listed and be concerned that something is wrong with their course registration. Most often, though, the course Moodle site just hasn’t been made visible to students yet by the faculty member. Students can contact the IT Service Desk for confirmation as to whether a site should be visible, or look to their instructor for guidance.
When the same question comes from a faculty member, the most common reason for the problem is an outdated browser bookmark. Each academic year, Information Services installs a new, updated version of Moodle, which is located at a slightly different URL. Using http://moodle.conncoll.edu will always get you to the current year, but if you’ve bookmarked Moodle, you may be looking at a previous year.
2. How do I add someone to my course site?
All students will automatically have access to any Moodle site for the courses in which they are registered. However, faculty often need Moodle access for other students who are not registered for the course, either because those students are serving as teaching assistants or tutors, or because the student is taking an Independent Study and is using much of the same material. Anyone with a Connecticut College username can be added to a Moodle site, using the instructions here. Depending on the role selected, users can be given student-level or teacher-level access to any site.
3. How do I email all my students through Moodle?
Moodle has a couple of different ways of sending email messages to students, each with their own advantages. One way is to post a message to the Announcements forum that is located at the top of the page on all Moodle sites. Anything posted to the Announcements forum will be emailed to all the currently-listed participants in a course. One advantage to this method is that all posts remain in the forum for the duration of the course. This allows any students who may add the class later, after a message was posted, to be able to go back and review earlier messages. Any student can look back at the Announcements forum to see any post, even if they have deleted the email from their inbox.
Another method of emailing students is to add the Quickmail block to a course site. Look here for instructions on setting up and using the Quickmail block. The benefit of the Quickmail block is that it allows flexibility in who an email goes to – instructors can select all members of the class, individual students, or groups of students.