Moodle is Swarthmore's Learning Management System and provides an easy way to share course materials and activities with students.
For more information about Moodle, please contact Andrew Ruether (aruethe2, x8254), Doug Willen (willen, x7787), or Eric Behrens (behrens, x7839) from Academic Technology.
All courses and enrollments have been entered into Moodle, so instructors can log in and get started on their courses right away.
- Go to moodle.swarthmore.edu
- Click on Login and log in with your Swarthmore username and password
- If you have courses available, they will be shown in the middle of the screen. Click on a course to enter it.
- Inside a course, click on "Turn Editing On" in the top right corner of the page to begin adding content.
- See below for more Moodle resources.
Moodle Docs - the main Moodle help site for instructors
Moodle at Wesleyan - includes "Moodle in 15 Minutes" - 15 one-minute videos on Moodle
You can also contact the Swarthmore Help Desk (firstname.lastname@example.org, x4357).
Moodle automatically synchronizes course enrollments to Banner. To see a list of students in the class, click on the "Participants" link on the top left of the course page. If you would like to add a student or colleague to the course, go to the "Administration" area and click on "Assign Roles". Click on the appropriate role and search for the person in the right hand box. Click on the "Add" button. You can remove people you have added using the "Remove" button.
- You cannot remove students enrolled via Banner. The student must be removed via the Registrar's Office.
- To modify enrollments for a merged (or meta) course, change the enrollments on the individual sections comprising the merged course. It isn't possible to edit enrollments on the merged course itself.
You can e-mail the entire class or selected students using the "QuickMail" feature. Navigate to your course and look for the QuickMail section near the top right of the screen. Click on "Compose Email" and select the recipients. There is a button to "Add All" or you can select individual people to e-mail. Compose your e-mail and click on the "Send E-Mail" button at the bottom of the screen. QuickMail keeps a history of all e-mails you have sent which is available right under the "Compose Email" link on the course page.
All cross-listed courses are automatically merged. To merge other courses, submit a helpdesk request by e-mailing email@example.com with the course numbers to be merged. Unlike Blackboard, Moodle does not delete material in the original courses after a merge, so courses can be merged at any time during the semester without losing the information you have added.
In the future, we will work to automate this process.
Courses default to being unavailable to students. Courses that are available to students are listed in red and courses that are unavailable to students are listed in grey in your course listing. To make a course available, go to the "Administration" area and click on "Settings". Look for the "Availability" section and set "Availability" to "This course is available to students"
If you would like to make your course available to guests, you can enable guest access under the "Availability" section. You can select to to make the course totally open or require a password (called an "Enrollment key"). The Enrollment key is the same for all guests and is a good way to allow prospective students to see your course materials without making them publicly available. If you do not require an enrollment key, anyone in the world can access your Moodle page. If you chose to require an enrollment key, select a password to put in the enrollment key section and provide this key to anyone who needs to access the course. You will also need to set the "Course enrollable" setting to "Yes" under the "Enrollments" section of the settings screen. Your guests will not actually be enrolling in your course, but this setting needs to be switch to allow the use of the enrollment key.
To upload multiple files or an entire folder you can create a zip file and upload the zip file to your Moodle course files area. Once in the files area, you can unzip the file and all your files will be in the files area. You can then delete the zip file.
To create a zip file:
On a Mac: select the folder or set of files you would like to upload, go to the File menu and select "Compress Items". Note: Macs may include a set of extra files titled .DS_Store and __MACOSX. These files don't contain any needed information and may safely be deleted.
On a PC: select folder or set of files you would like to upload, right click, and select "Send to Compressed (zipped) folder"
Navigate to the new course. Click on the "Import" link under the Administration area. You can select to import all or any parts of a course on the Moodle site for which you are a teacher.
Tips: Make sure your new course has at least as many topics or weeks as the course you are importing from. Otherwise the material from the extra sections will all appear in the first topic/week. Generally you don't want to import the News Forum, so uncheck this item during the import process (otherwise you will end up with two News Forums).
Moodle can be used to give anonymous course evaluations for classes. To set up your own course evaluation, go to your course in Moodle and turn editing on. Pick the location where you want to add the evaluation, then click on the “Add an activity . . .” pull-down menu and select “Questionnaire”. Fill out the options as follows:
General: give the questionnaire and name and provide some summary information (e.g. “Please complete the course evaluation”)
Timing: you can optionally specify dates and times that the course evaluation will be available to students.
- Type: Respond once
- Respondent Type: Anonymous
- Students can view ALL responses: Never
- Save/Resume answers: Either choice is fine. We suggest you select “Yes” if your evaluation is long and/or involved so that students can complete part of the evaluation, save their work, and finish the evaluation at a later time.
- Submission grade: If you would like to see who has and hasn’t completed the evaluation (while maintaining the anonymity of the answers), select a grade here. A corresponding entry will be made in the grade area when the student submits a completed course evaluation. For example, if you select “100″, a grade of 100 will show up in the gradebook for that student for the course evaluation. Note: if you are using the gradebook for your course grades but don’t want it to count as a participation grade, then go into the gradebook and make sure to give it zero weight.
- Content Options: Generally you will be creating a new survey. It is possible to create a course evaluation template and then use a copy for multiple classes or an entire department. To create a course evaluation template, complete the questionnaire setup, then enter the questionnaire, select the “Advanced Settings” tab and set the “Questionnaire Type” to “Template”. You can then create another survey and make a copy of the original template questionnaire.
Use the gradebook export feature to export a class roster with student name, ID number, and e-mail. You can download the list in Excel format.
- Click on the "Grades" link in the Administration block.
- Click "Choose an action . . ." and select "Excel Spreadsheet" under the Export heading.
You will be able to see a preview of the exported information and save the data to an Excel spreadsheet. In Excel, you can remove any extraneous columns.
Bryn Mawr and Haverford students and employees do not automatically have accounts created on the Swarthmore Moodle site, but it is easy for them to get accounts. Have the person log into their home Moodle site (moodle.haverford.edu or moodle.brynmawr.edu) and then click on the "Swarthmore College Moodle" link in the "Network Servers" block. Clicking on the link automatically creates an account for them on the Swarthmore Moodle site. They can now be enrolled in a course or organization the same way a Swarthmore person can be enrolled (see instructions above for enrollment). To access their course or organization, people from Bryn Mawr or Haverford should always log into their home Moodle site and then click to enter Swarthmore's site.
Because of the difference in structure between Blackboard and Moodle, there isn't a simple way to convert a course from Blackboard to Moodle. The best way is usually to copy all the files from Blackboard to Moodle and re-create the links to the files in Moodle.
To transfer course files:
- Export the Blackboard course to a zip file
- Extract the course materials to your computer using a free program called bFree
- Organize the files, removing any extraneous files and adding any additional files
- Zip the course materials into a single file
- Upload the zip file to the files area in Moodle
- Unzip the file
- Link to the individual files or directories from the Moodle course page
ITS and the Library staff can assist you with this process.
Full Length Videos: To stream full length files, please contact the Digital Initiatives Librarian in McCabe or the Director of the Language Resource Lab (for Modern Langauges). They can secure rights to screen feature films (if required) and set up the video for streaming via Moodle.
Video Clips: Go to the topic/week in Moodle where you would like to add a video. Select "Add a Resource . . ." -> "Video" and upload your video to the video server. Depending on the size of the video, it may take a while to convert (up to 1 hour). You can save the video while it is converting. After the conversion is done, your students will be able to watch the video right in Moodle.
ITS works continuously to make Moodle easier to use and more functional. Here are some of the issues we know about and are working to fix.
- Swarthmore users that do not have an account in the Moodle system may be able to log in and will immediately be asked to change their password, but not be able to make the change. These users submit a help desk ticket to create an account in Moodle.
- The list of courses displayed in the center of the screen is limited to 21 courses and there isn't an option to display additional courses. Users enrolled in many courses must use the "Course Categories" block to navigate to their other courses.
- Moving a file in the files area will break any existing links to that file from the front page of the course. The file must either be returned to its original location or the link on the front page must be updated to the new location of the file.