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Moodle for Mobile Learning
Connect, communicate, and promote collaboration
with your coursework using Moodle
Mark Aberdour
BIRMINGHAM - MUMBAI
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Moodle for Mobile Learning
Copyright © 2013 Packt Publishing
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval
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Every effort has been made in the preparation of this book to ensure the accuracy
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However, Packt Publishing cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information.
First published: September 2013
Production Reference: 1190913
Published by Packt Publishing Ltd.
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Birmingham B3 2PB, UK.
ISBN 978-1-78216-438-8
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Cover Image by Suresh Mogre ([email protected])
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Credits
Author
Project Coordinator
Mark Aberdour
Navu Dhillon
Reviewers
Proofreader
Anthony Borrow, S.J.
Dirk Manuel
Silvina Paola Hillar
Indexer
Ben Reynolds
Tejal R. Soni
Acquisition Editors
Production Coordinator
Vinay Argekar
Aparna Bhagat
Kunal Parikh
Lead Technical Editor
Neeshma Ramakrishnan
Cover Work
Aparna Bhagat
Technical Editors
Krutika Parab
Hardik B. Soni
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About the Author
Mark Aberdour is Head of Learning Platforms at UK learning technologies
company, Epic. He has over 15 years of experience in software engineering, with
professional roles in software testing, learning platforms development, and open
source services delivery.
Mark has worked on over one hundred Moodle LMS and other learning technology
implementation projects across a wide range of sectors, including healthcare,
defense, retail, finance, engineering, automotive, higher and further education, and
local and central government. Most of this has been with Epic, an industry leader
in e-learning content, mobile learning solutions, and learning management systems
implementation. Epic has led the way on mobile learning in workplace learning and
development, hence Mark's focus on bringing mobile and Moodle together.
Mark was an early contributor to the original Bootstrap theme for Moodle and is
credited as one of the founding team that built the Clean theme in Moodle 2.5, which
is based on Bootstrap. Mark is a regular speaker at UK learning and development
conferences, and presented at the UK and Ireland MoodleMoots in 2012 and 2013. He
is also one of the founders of the MoodleBrighton user group, which meets monthly
in Brighton, UK.
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Acknowledgments
A huge debt of gratitude is owed to all of my colleagues at Epic. When I came back
to the company in 2011, I had zero previous exposure to mobile learning, and the
teams at Epic supported me on a huge learning curve with regards to what mobile
learning is all about. With particular regards to this book, I would like to thank
Imogen Casebourne and Ishmael Burdeau for initial ideas for content, and the wider
Platforms and Mobile teams for their constant stream of inspiration and new ideas
for what we can do with Moodle and mobile learning. I would also like to thank the
project managers and sales and marketing team for chasing down permissions for
the case studies.
I also owe thanks to a number of people for their assistance in writing this book:
Gavin Henrick for his sound advice on publishing a Moodle book based on the times
he has done this himself.
Stuart Lamour, Carol Shergold, and Paulo Oprandi from the University of Sussex
e-learning team for their fascinating insights and passion for improving Moodle's
user experience and responsive design, much of which has improved my thinking
and helped shape this book.
Bas Brands, Stuart Lamour, and David Scotson for their amazing work on the initial
Bootstrap theme for Moodle, a project to which I am immensely proud to have
contributed and to have seen make it into Moodle Core.
For general advice and conversations about mobile learning and Moodle during the
writing of this book: Craig Taylor, Lesley Price, Nitin Parmar, Ross McKenzie, John
Foord, Dan Jeffries, Lewis Carr, and Rob Englebright.
To my reviewers, whose valuable feedback and supportive comments lifted my
spirits at the end of the laborious writing process.
And finally to my wife Rachel for putting up with my long nights while I was
writing this book. And to my children Molly, George, and Cooper for sleeping
soundly throughout. Love to you all.
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About the Reviewers
Anthony Borrow, S.J. is a Jesuit of the New Orleans Province who has been active
in the Moodle community since 2005. Anthony has an MA in Counseling from Saint
Louis University and a Masters of Divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology of
Santa Clara University. Anthony has worked on the design and implementation of
various database systems since 1992.
Anthony serves the Moodle community as plugins facilitator. In that role, Anthony
has presented at various MoodleMoots across the United States, in Australia, and at
the iMoot. Anthony has taught at Dallas Jesuit College Preparatory and Cristo Rey
Jesuit in Houston, Texas. He provides technical advice to the Jesuit Virtual Learning
Academy (http://jvla.org/). Anthony is currently serving as Associate Pastor
of Immaculate Conception Church (http://iccabq.org/) in Albuquerque,
New Mexico.
Anthony wrote a series of spiritual reflections based on the spiritual exercises of
Saint Ignatius entitled Toward Greater Freedom. These reflections are available
at http://towardgreaterfreedom.com/index.html. Anthony co-authored the
chapter on Honduras in the book Teen Gangs: A Global View. Anthony has also
served as the technical reviewer of various other books on Moodle.
Anthony is passionate about Moodle and the use of open source educational tools to
help make education available to all. He finds inspiration in the Moodle community
and enjoys working with others to help them share their creativity and expertise
with the larger Moodle community. Anthony greatly enjoys being part of the Moodle
community where every voice contributes to advancing the use of Moodle in a
variety of settings around the world.
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Silvina P. Hillar is an Italian who has been teaching English since 1993. She has
always had a great interest in teaching, writing, and composing techniques, and has
made a lot of research on this subject. She has been investigating and using mind
mapping for more than 10 years in order to embed it into teaching.
She is an English teacher, a Certified Legal Translator (English/Spanish), and has a
Post Degree in Education (graduated with Honors).
She has been working in several schools and institutes with native English speaking
students, and as an independent consultant for many international companies as an
interpreter, translator, and VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) course designer.
She has always had a passion for technological devices and their potential
application to education. Videos and cassettes were a requirement in her teaching
lessons; computer use was—and still is—present. Her brother, Gastón C. Hillar,
designed some programs and games for her teaching. Currently, she is teaching
using Moodle and Web 2.0. She believes that one of the most amazing challenges in
education is bridging the gap between classic education and modern technologies.
She has been doing a lot of research on multimedia assets that enhance teaching and
learning through VLE platforms. She tries to embed students' learning through new
resources that are appealing and innovative for them. Thus, multimedia stimulates
different thinking skills as well as multiple intelligences.
She has authored three books by Packt Publishing, which are Moodle 1.9: The English
Teacher's Cookbook, Moodle 2 Multimedia Cookbook, and MindMapping with FreeMind.
I would like to dedicate this book to my wonderful son, Nico.
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Ben Reynolds is a Senior Program Manager of CTYOnline at The Johns Hopkins
University's Center for Talented Youth (CTY, http://cty.jhu.edu). An awardwinning fictionist, he began CTY's face-to-face writing program in 1978 and launched
CTYOnline's writing program in 1983. He began administrating CTYOnline's writing
and language arts division in 1985. CTYOnline serves over 13,000 students a year in
writing/language arts, math, science, computer science, Advanced Placement, and
foreign languages.
In the 1990s, Ben left the classroom for full-time administration both of CTY's
writing/language arts program and of a residential site for CTY Summer Programs.
Ben has also taught writing and the teaching of writing for the Johns Hopkins School
of Continuing Studies. He holds a BA from Duke University, where he part-timed
in the computer center, trading print out for punched cards, and an MA from Johns
Hopkins in Fiction Writing. He is an active member of the Using Moodle community.
Ben has also had his hands in the hardware. With his second son, he built his own
PCs between the mid 90s and last year, when he settled on a plain vanilla laptop. He
has been technical reviewer of two books by Packt Publishing: Moodle 2 for Teaching
7-14 Year Olds Beginner's Guide and Moodle 1.9 Top Extensions Cookbook. He believes
that spending 99 percent of the time uninstalling and reinstalling is just wrong.
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Table of Contents
Preface1
Chapter 1: Developing Your Mobile Learning Strategy
7
What is mobile learning?
The capabilities of mobile devices
Warning – it's not about delivering courses
Your mobile learning strategy
Who are your learners?
How do your learners use their devices?
Mobile usage in your organization
Mobile usage in school
Mobile usage in further and higher education
Mobile usage in apprenticeships
Mobile usage in the workplace
Mobile usage in distance learning
Case studies
University of Sussex Open University Summary
Chapter 2: Setting Up Moodle for Mobile Learning
Introducing the Bootstrap and Clean themes
Introducing Moodle's Mobile apps
Setting up the Clean theme
Exploring the Clean theme
Setting up the Bootstrap theme
Setting up the Moodle Mobile app
Exploring the Moodle Mobile app
Third-party Moodle apps
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7
8
9
10
10
11
13
13
14
17
18
18
19
20
23
24
25
25
26
27
29
32
37
39
41
Table of Contents
Add help and support guides by using the Book module
Add a link to help and support from the header bar
Summary
Chapter 3: Delivering Static Content to Mobiles
Setting up file downloads
Learner view of file downloads
Setting up an eBook or App library
Learner view of a library
Using QR codes in courses
Building a multidevice SCORM resource
Adding a multidevice SCORM resource into Moodle
Case study – using a multidevice SCORM resource for
information security awareness training
Using cohorts to deliver performance-support resources
Using a glossary for staff induction
Using a glossary for best practice resource collection
Using levels to engage new starters
Summary
Chapter 4: Delivering Multimedia Content to Mobiles
Setting up a podcast
Learner view of podcasts
Audio add-on
Providing audio instructions
Providing an audio feedback file
Delivering Lecturecasts to mobiles
Creating a video lesson
Summary
43
47
49
51
51
54
56
58
59
61
62
68
69
74
80
81
86
87
87
90
91
91
92
97
99
108
Chapter 5: Submitting Audio, Video, and Image Assignments
109
Chapter 6: Using Mobiles for Capturing Reflective Logs
and Journals
131
Creating an assignment brief for offline viewing
Setting up an assignment for file submission
Submitting a file assignment
Setting up a Database assignment
Learner submission of a Database assignment
Summary
Setting up a reflective log using assignment
Submitting a reflective log using assignment
Grading a reflective log using assignment
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110
110
112
122
126
130
131
134
136
Table of Contents
Setting up a reflective log using individual forums
Submitting a reflective log using individual forums
Reviewing a reflective log using individual forums
Setting up Moodle for course blogs
Submitting a course blog post
Adding a Blogs link to the site header
Enabling portfolio export
Exporting your work to a portfolio
Summary
139
140
142
143
145
146
148
149
151
Chapter 7: Performing Assessments Using Mobiles
153
Chapter 8: Communicating with Mobile Users
181
Creating a quiz for formative assessment
Setting up the quiz
Building a question bank
Building your quiz
Accessing your quiz
Performing a skills gap analysis
Creating a quiz for summative assessment
Setting up the quiz
Accessing your quiz
Checking grades
Summary
Setting up a group discussion
Learner view of group discussion
Communicating through social networks
Adding a Google+ contact badge
Twitter hashtag feeds
Setting up a Twitter hashtag feed
Managing the backchannel
Using Twitter backchannels
Using Moodle chat backchannels
Using Moodle messaging
Sending a message via the Moodle Mobile app
Adding a messaging link to the site header
Sending SMS notifications
Setting up a real-time chat session
Participating in a chat session
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153
154
158
160
162
166
173
174
175
178
180
181
185
186
187
188
188
192
192
193
194
195
196
197
198
199
Table of Contents
Setting up a virtual classroom plugin
Setting up a virtual classroom session
Joining a web conference
Summary
Appendix
Index
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201
202
205
207
209
211
Preface
Mobile devices have become ubiquitous, and both smartphones and tablets offer
so many new possibilities for learning. Moodle is gradually becoming more
mobile-friendly, with the inclusion of a mobile theme in Moodle 2, the availability
of responsive third-party themes, and the launch of an official Moodle app. Moodle
and mobile are coming together and this opens up a new world of possibilities for
teachers, instructors, and training professionals.
This book is a hands-on guide that provides you with practical ideas and step-by-step
exercises that will help you to take advantage of mobile devices in your Moodle course
designs, as well as providing you with an understanding of mobile learning theory so
that you can create your own effective mobile learning interactions.
You will learn how to develop your mobile learning strategy and decide whether to
use a mobile-friendly Moodle theme or a Moodle Mobile app to deliver this strategy.
There are some types of learning activities that are perfectly suited to mobile
delivery. We will look at delivering podcasts, engaging with social media, setting up
photo, video, and audio assignments, setting up e-book and app libraries, uploading
audio assignment feedback, submitting reflective logs, using chat and messaging
tools, using web conferencing, and much more.
Mobile devices already form the backbone of learners' daily lives. If you want to use
Moodle to bring those devices into the learning process, then this book is for you.
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Preface
What this book covers
Chapter 1, Developing Your Mobile Learning Strategy, will aim to give you an
understanding of the key concepts in mobile learning so that you can apply these
to enhance your own Moodle courses . It also provides you with a vision of how
Moodle for mobile learning can be put to use in your own organization.
Chapter 2, Setting Up Moodle for Mobile Learning, will help you to get your Moodle
site set up so that it can be used for mobile learning, introduces the mobile-friendly
themes that ship with Moodle, and explores the official Moodle Mobile app.
Chapter 3, Delivering Static Content to Mobiles, will look at how to deliver static content
(that does not involve the use of multimedia) from Moodle to mobile devices.
Chapter 4, Delivering Multimedia Content to Mobiles, will cover how to deliver
multimedia content from Moodle to mobile devices.
Chapter 5, Submitting Audio, Video, and Image Assignments, will explore an important
element of mobile learning: using the built-in audio recording and camera capabilities
of the mobile devices in students' pockets to allow them to capture audio, photos, or
videos and upload these into Moodle for sharing or grading.
Chapter 6, Using Mobiles for Capturing Reflective Logs and Journals, will look at the use
of reflective logs and journals for knowledge capture on mobile devices, the shorter
nature of these activities lending themselves well to production on a tablet or even
a smartphone.
Chapter 7, Performing Assessments Using Mobiles, will explain how a number of
different types of assessment tools can built in Moodle by using the quiz activity,
and how these can be optimized for mobile learning.
Chapter 8, Communicating with Mobile Users, will cover the wide range of
communication tools that come with Moodle, and explores how these can
be used in a mobile learning context.
Appendix, has a list of reference links that will help you to dig deeper into
merging Moodle with your mobile device.
What you need for this book
Mobile support in Moodle depends on the version of Moodle you are using.
At a minimum you will require Moodle 2.2, which was the first version to
officially have any level of mobile support.
[2]
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Preface
Who this book is for
This book is primarily aimed at Moodle course practitioners—teachers, tutors,
instructors, and learning and development professionals. The book concentrates
on understanding how the features and capabilities of mobile devices can be taken
advantage of in your Moodle course design. There is just a single section on setting
up Moodle for mobile delivery, which is aimed more at Moodle administrators.
However, this book will also be useful for course practitioners who need to influence
their IT team to make any required system changes. The book does not require any
prior knowledge of mobile technology or the capabilities of the latest smartphones.
Indeed, by the end of the book you will realize that anyone can deliver great courses
that allow their learners to interact with their courses using the mobile devices in
their pockets.
Conventions
In this book, you will find a number of styles of text that distinguish between
different kinds of information. Here are some examples of these styles, and an
explanation of their meaning.
Code words in text, database table names, folder names, filenames, file extensions,
pathnames, dummy URLs, user input, and Twitter handles are shown as follows:
"Copy the bootstrap folder into your <moodle site>/theme folder."
New terms and important words are shown in bold. Words that you see on the
screen, in menus or dialog boxes for example, appear in the text like this: "On the
ADMINISTRATION block, navigate to Site administration | Appearance |
Themes | Theme selector."
Warnings or important notes appear in a box like this.
Tips and tricks appear like this.
[3]
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Preface
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To send us general feedback, simply send an e-mail to [email protected],
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Preface
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Questions
You can contact us at [email protected] if you are having a problem with
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Developing Your Mobile
Learning Strategy
This chapter aims to provide you with a vision of how Moodle for mobile learning
can be put to use in your own organization. It will give you an understanding of the
foundations of mobile learning, some insights into how important mobile learning
is becoming, and how it is gaining momentum in different sectors. At the end of the
chapter, you should have an understanding of the key concepts of mobile learning
so that you can apply these concepts in order to enhance your own Moodle courses.
We want to set you off on a mobile learning path that will allow you to better
meet the needs and expectations of your learners who, as we will see, already use
mobile devices as the backbone of their daily online interactions, and expect mobile
compatibility to be the norm.
In this chapter, we will look at the following:
• Background to mobile learning
• Background to mobile devices
• The 4 Cs of mobile learning
• Your mobile learning strategy
• Understanding your learners and how they use their devices
• Mobile usage in industry
What is mobile learning?
There have been many attempts at defining mobile learning. Is it learning done
on the move, such as on a laptop while we sit in a train? Or is it learning done
on a personal mobile device, such as a smartphone or a tablet?
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Developing Your Mobile Learning Strategy
While there are a number of definitions available, for this book we are taking our cue
from the eLearning Guild's 2007 definition, which seems the most sensible:
"Any activity that allows individuals to be more productive when consuming,
interacting with, or creating information, mediated through a compact digital
portable device that the individual carries on a regular basis, has reliable
connectivity, and fits in a pocket or purse."
This covers a range of device types, including feature phones, smartphones, portable
gaming devices, media players, e-readers, and tablets. What it does not cover though,
are netbooks and laptops which, although they can clearly be used while the user is
mobile, offer a more traditional desktop-based computing experience.
The capabilities of mobile devices
Anyone can develop mobile learning. You don't need to be a gadget geek or have
the latest smartphone or tablet. You certainly don't need to know anything about
the make and models of devices on the market. The only thing the learning
practitioner really needs is an understanding of the capabilities of the mobile devices
that your learners have. This will inform the types of mobile learning interventions
that will be best suited to your audience. The following table shows an overview of
what a mobile learner might be able to do with each of the device types. The Device
uses column on the left should already be setting off lots of great learning ideas in
your head!
Device uses
Feature
phone
Smartphone
Tablet
Gaming
device
Media
player
Send texts
Yes
Yes
Make calls
Yes
Yes
Take photos
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Listen to music
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Social networking
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Take high res photos
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Web searches
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Web browsing
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Watch online videos
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Video calls
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Edit photos
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Shoot videos
Yes
Yes
Yes
Take audio recordings
Yes
Yes
Yes
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Chapter 1
Device uses
Feature
phone
Smartphone
Tablet
Gaming
device
Install apps
Yes
Yes
Yes
Edit documents
Yes
Yes
Yes
Use maps
Yes
Yes
Yes
Send MMS
Yes
Yes
View catch-up TV
Yes
Yes
Better quality web
browsing
Yes
Yes
Shopping online
Yes
Trip planning
Yes
Media
player
Bear in mind that screen size will also impact the type of learning activity that can be
undertaken. For example:
• Feature phone displays are very small, so learning activities for this device
type should center on text messaging with a tutor or capturing photos for
an assignment.
• Smartphones are significantly larger so there is a much wider range of
learning activities available, especially around the creation of material such
as photo and video for assignment or portfolio purposes, and a certain
amount of web searching and browsing.
• Tablets are more akin to the desktop computing environment, although some
tasks such as typing are harder and taking photos is bit clumsier due to the
larger size of the device. They are great for short learning tasks, assessments,
video watching, and much more.
Warning – it's not about delivering
courses
Mobile learning can be many things. What it is not is simply the delivery of
e-learning courses, which is traditionally the domain of the desktop computer, on a
smaller device. Of course it can be used to deliver educational materials, but what
is more important is that it can also be used to foster collaboration, to facilitate
communication, to access performance support, and to capture evidence. But if you
try to deliver an entire course purely on a mobile, then the likelihood is that no one
will use it.
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Developing Your Mobile Learning Strategy
Your mobile learning strategy
Finding a starting point for your mobile learning design is easier said than done. It
is often useful when designing any type of online interaction to think through a few
typical user types and build up a picture of who they are and what they want to use
the system for. This helps you to visualize who you are designing for. In addition
to this, in order to understand how best to utilize mobile devices for learning, you
also need to understand how people actually use their mobile devices. For example,
learners are highly unlikely to sit at a smartphone and complete a 60 minutes
e-learning course or type out an essay. But they are very likely to read an article,
do some last minute test preparation or communicate with other learners.
Who are your learners?
Understanding your users is an important part of designing online experiences. You
should take time to understand the types of learners within your own organization
and what their mobile usage looks like, as a first step in delivering mobile learning
on Moodle. With this in mind, let's look at a handful of typical mobile learners from
around the world who could reasonably be expected to be using an educational or
workplace learning platform such as Moodle:
• Maria is an office manager in Madrid, Spain. She doesn't leave home
without her smartphone and uses it wherever she is, whether for e-mail, web
searching and browsing, reading the news, or social networking. She lives
in a country where smartphone penetration has reached almost half of the
population, of whom two-third access the internet every day on their mobile.
The company she works for has a small learning platform for delivery of
work-based learning activities and performance support resources.
• Fourteen year old Jennifer attends school in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Like many
of her peers, she carries a smartphone with her and it's a key part of her life.
The Brazilian population is one of the most connected in the developing
world with nearly half of the population using the Internet, and its mobile
phone subscriptions accounting for one-third of the entire subscriptions
across Latin America and the Caribbean. Her elementary school uses a
learning platform for the delivery of course resources, formative assessments,
and submission of student assignments.
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Chapter 1
• Nineteen year old Mike works as an apprentice at a large car maker in
Sunderland, UK. He spends about one-third of his time in formal education,
and his remaining days each week are spent on the production line, getting a
thorough grounding in every element of the car manufacturing process. He
owns a smartphone and uses it heavily, in a country where nearly half of the
population accesses the Internet at least monthly on their smartphone. His
employer has a learning platform for delivery of work-based learning and
his college also has their own platform where he keeps a training diary and
uploads evidence of skills acquisition for later submission and marking.
• Josh is a twenty year old university student in the United States. In his
country, nearly 90 percent of adults now own a mobile phone and half of
all adults use their phone to access the Internet, although in his age group
this increases to three quarters. Among his student peers across the U.S., 40
percent are already doing test preparation on their mobiles, whether their
institution provides the means or not. His university uses a learning platform
for delivery of course resources, submission of student assignments, and
student collaborative activities.
These four particular learners were not chosen at random—there is one important
thing that connects them all. The four countries they are from represent not just
important mobile markets but, according to the statistics page on Moodle.org, also
represent the four largest Moodle territories, together making up over a third of all
registered Moodle sites in the world.
When you combine those Moodle market statistics with the level of mobile internet
usage in each country, you can immediately see why support for mobile learning is
so important for Moodle sites.
How do your learners use their devices?
In 2012, Google published the findings of a research survey which investigated how
users behave across computer, tablet, smartphone, and TV screens. Their researchers
found that users make decisions about what device to use for a given task depending
on four elements that together make up the user's context: location, goal, available
time, and attitude. Each of these is important to take into account when thinking
about what sort of learning interactions your users could engage in when using
their mobile devices, and you should be aiming to offer a range of mobile learning
interactions that can lend themselves to different contexts, for example, offering
tasks ranging in length from 2 to 20 minutes, and tasks suited to different locations,
such as home, work, college, or out in the field. The attitude element is an interesting
one, and it's important to allow learners to choose tasks that are appropriate to their
mood at the time.
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Google also found that users either move between screens to perform a single
task (sequential screening) or use multiple screens at the same time (simultaneous
screening). In the case of simultaneous screening, they are likely to be performing
complementary tasks relating to the same activity on each screen. From a learning
point of view, you can design for multi-screen tasks. For example, you may find
learners use their computer to perform some complex research and then collect
evidence in the field using their smartphone—these would be sequential screening
tasks. A media studies student could be watching a rolling news channel on the
television while taking photos, video, and notes for an assignment on his tablet or
smartphone—these would be simultaneous screening tasks.
Understanding the different scenarios in which learners can use multiple
screens will open up new opportunities for mobile learning.
A key statement from the Google research states that "Smartphones are the backbone
of our daily media interactions". However, despite occupying such a dominant
position in our lives, the smartphone also accounts for the lowest time per user
interaction at an average of 17 minutes, as opposed to 30 minutes for tablet, 39
minutes for computer, and 43 minutes for TV. This is an important point to bear in
mind when designing mobile learning: as a rule of thumb you can expect a learner
to engage with a tablet-based task for half an hour, and a smartphone-based task for
just a quarter of an hour.
Google helpfully outlines some important multi-screen lessons. While these are
aimed at identifying consumer behavior and in particular online shopping habits,
we can interpret them for use in mobile learning as follows:
• Understand how people consume digital media and tailor your learning
strategies to each channel
• Learning goals should be adjusted to account for the inherent differences in
each device
• Learners must be able to save their progress between devices
• Learners must be able to easily find the learning platform (Moodle) on
each device
• Once in the learning platform, it must be easy for learners to find what
they are looking for quickly
• Smartphones are the backbone of your learners' daily media use, so design
your learning to be started on smartphone and continued on a tablet or
desktop computer
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Having an understanding of how modern-day learners use their different screens
and devices will have a real impact on your learning design.
Mobile usage in your organization
In 2011, the world reached a technology watershed when it was estimated that one
third of the world's seven billion people were online. The growth in online users
is dominated by the developing world and is fuelled by mobile devices. There are
now a staggering six billion mobile phone subscriptions globally. Mobile technology
has quite simply become ubiquitous. And as Google showed us, people use mobile
devices as the backbone of their daily media consumption, and most people already
use them for school, college, or work regardless of whether they are allowed to.
In this section, we will look at how mobiles are used in some of the key sectors in
which Moodle is used: in schools, further and higher education, and in the workplace.
Mobile usage in school
Moodle is widely used throughout primary and secondary education, and mobile
usage among school pupils is widespread. The two are natural bedfellows in this
sector. For example, in the UK half of all 12 to 15 year olds own a smartphone while
70 percent of 8 to 15 year olds have a games console such as a Nintendo DS or
PlayStation in their bedroom.
Mobile device use is quite simply rampant among school children. Many primary
schools now have policies which allow children to bring mobile phones into school,
recognizing that such devices have a role to play in helping pupils feel safe and
secure, particularly on the journey to and from school. However, it is a fairly normal
practice among this age group for mobiles to be handed in at the start of the school
day and collected at the end of the day. For primary pupils, therefore, the use of
mobile devices for education will be largely for homework.
In secondary schools, the picture is very different. There is not likely to be a device
hand-in policy during school hours and a variety of acceptable use policies will be
in use. An acceptable use policy may include a provision for using mobiles in lesson
time, with a teacher's agreement, for the purposes of supporting learning. This, of
course, opens up valuable learning opportunities.
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Mobile learning in education has been the subject of a number of initiatives and
research studies which are all excellent sources of information. These include:
• Learning2Go, who were pioneers in mobile learning for schools in the UK,
distributing hundreds of Windows Mobile devices to Wolverhampton
schools between 2003 and 2007, introducing smartphones in 2008 under
the Computers for Pupils initiative and the national MoLeNET scheme.
• Learning Untethered, which was not a formal research project but an
exploration that gave Android tablets to a class of fifth graders. It was noted
that the overall ''feel'' of the classroom shifted as students took a more active
role in discovery, exploration and active learning.
• The Dudley Handhelds initiative, which provided 300 devices to learners in
grade five to ten across six primary schools, one secondary special school,
and one mainstream secondary school.
These are just a few of the many research studies available, and they are well worth
a read to understand how schools have been implementing mobile learning for
different age groups.
Mobile usage in further and higher education
College students are heavy users of mobiles, and there is a roughly half and half
split between smartphones and feature phones among the student community. Of
the smartphone users, over 80 percent use them for college-related tasks. As we
saw from Google's research, smartphones are the backbone of your learners' daily
media use for those who have them. So if you don't already provide mobile learning
opportunities on your Moodle site, then it is likely that your users are already
helping themselves to the vast array of mobile learning sites and apps that have
sprung up in recent years to meet the high demand for such services.
If you don't provide your students with mobile learning opportunities,
you can bet your bottom dollar that someone else is, and it could be of
dubious quality or out of date.
Despite the ubiquity of the mobile, many schools and colleges continue to ban them,
viewing mobiles as a distraction or a means of bullying. They are fighting a rising
tide, however.
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Students are living their lives through their mobile devices, and these devices have
become their primary means of communication. A study in late 2012 of nearly
295,000 students found that despite e-mail, IM, and text messaging being the
dominant peer-communication tools for students, less than half of 14 to 18 year
olds and only a quarter of 11 to 14 year olds used them to communicate with their
teachers. Over half of high school students said they would use their smartphone to
communicate with their teacher if it was allowed.
Unfortunately it rarely is, but this will change. Students want to be able to
communicate electronically with their teachers; they want online textbooks with
classmate collaboration tools; they want to go online on their mobile to get information.
Go to where your students are and communicate with them in their
native environment, which is via their mobile. Be there for them, engage
them, and inspire them.
In the years approaching 2010, some higher education institutions started engaging
in headline-grabbing "iPad for every student" initiatives. Many institutions adopted
a quick-win strategy of making mobile-friendly websites with access to campus
information, directories, news and events. It is estimated that in the USA over 90
percent of higher education institutions have mobile-friendly websites. Some of the
headline-grabbing initiatives include the following:
• Seton Hill University was the first to roll out iPads to all full-time students in
2010 and have continued to do so every year since. They are at the forefront
of mobile learning in the US University sector and use Moodle as their virtual
learning environment (VLE).
• Abilene Christian University was the first university in the U.S. to provide
iPhones or iPod Touches to all new full-time students in 2008, and are
regarded as one of the most mobile-friendly campuses in the U.S.
• The University of Western Sydney in Australia will roll out 11,000 iPads to
all faculty and newly-enrolled students in 2013, as well as creating their own
mobile apps.
• Coventry University in the UK is creating a smart campus in which the
geographical location of students triggers access to content and experiences
through their mobile devices.
• MoLeNET in the UK was one of the world's largest mobile learning
implementations, comprising 115 colleges, 29 schools, 50,000 students, and
4,000 staff from 2007 to 2010. This was a research-led initiative although
unfortunately the original website has now been taken down.
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While some of these examples are about providing mobile devices to new students,
the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend is strong in further and higher education.
We know that mobile devices form the backbone of students' media consumption
and in the U.S. alone, 75 percent of students use their phone to access the Internet.
Additionally, 40 percent have signed up to online test preparation sites on their
mobiles, heavily suggesting that if an institution doesn't provide mobile learning
services, students will go and get it elsewhere anyway.
Instead of the glamorous offer of iPads for all, some institutions have chosen
to invest heavily in their wireless network infrastructure in support of a BYOD
approach. This is a very heavy investment and can be far more expensive than
a few thousand iPads. Some BYOD implementations include:
• King's College London in the UK, which supports 6,000 staff and 23,500
students
• The University of Tennessee at Knoxville in the U.S., which hosts more than
26,000 students and 5,000 faculty and staff members, with nearly 75,000
smartphones, tablets, and laptops
• The University of South Florida in the U.S., which supports 40,000 users
• Sau Paolo State University in Brazil, which has 45,000 students and noted
that despite providing desktop machines in the computer labs, half of all
students opted to use their own devices instead
There are many challenges to BYOD which are not within the scope of this book, but
there are also many resources on how to implement a BYOD policy that minimizes
such risks. Use the Internet to seek these out.
Providing campus information websites on mobiles obviously was not the key
rationale behind such technology investments. The real interest is in delivering
mobile learning, and this remains an area full of experimentation and research.
Google Scholar can be used to chart the rise of mobile learning research and it
becomes evident how this really takes off in the second half of the decade, when the
first major institutions started investing in mobile technology. It indexes scholarly
literature, including journal and conference papers, theses and dissertations,
academic books, pre-prints, abstracts, and technical reports. A year-by-year search
reveals the rise of mobile learning research from just over 100 articles in 2000 to over
6,000 in 2012.
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The following chart depicts the rise of mobile learning in academic research:
Mobile usage in apprenticeships
A typical apprenticeship will include a significant amount of college-based learning
towards a qualification, alongside a major component based in the workplace under
the supervision of an employer while the apprentice learns a particular trade. Due
to the movement of the student from college to workplace, and the fact that the
apprentice usually has to keep a reflective log and capture evidence of their skills
acquisition, mobile devices can play a really useful role in apprenticeships.
Traditionally, the age group for apprenticeships is 16 to 24 year olds. This is an age
group that has never known a world without mobiles and their mobile devices are
integrated into the fabric of their daily lives and media consumption. They use social
networks, SMS, and instant messaging rather than e-mail, and are more likely to
use the mobile internet than any other age group. Statistics from the U.S. reveal that
75 percent of students use their phone to access the Internet.
Reflective logs are an important part of any apprenticeship. There are a number
of activities in Moodle that can be used for keeping reflective logs, and these are
ideal for mobile learning. Reflective log entries tend to be shorter than traditional
assignments and lend themselves well to production on a tablet or even a
smartphone. Consumption of reflective logs is perfect for both smartphone and
tablet devices, as posts tend to be readable in less than 5 minutes.
Many institutions use Moodle coupled with an ePortfolio tool such as Mahara or
Onefile to manage apprenticeship programs. There are additional Packt Publishing
books on ePortfolio tools such as Mahara, should you wish to investigate a third-party,
open source ePortfolio solution.
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Mobile usage in the workplace
BYOD in the workplace is also becoming increasingly common, and, appears to
be an unstoppable trend. It may also be discouraged or banned on security, data
protection, or distraction grounds, but it is happening regardless. There is an
increasing amount of research available on this topic, and some key findings
from various studies reveal the scale of the trend:
• A survey of 600 IT and business leaders revealed that 90 percent of survey
respondents had employees using their own devices at work
• 65 to 75 percent of companies allow some sort of BYOD usage
• 80 to 90 percent of employees use a personal mobile device for business use
If you are a workplace learning practitioner then you need to sit up and take note
of these numbers if you haven't done so already. Even if your organization doesn't
officially have a BYOD policy, it is most likely that your employees are already using
their own mobile devices for business purposes. It's up to your IT department to
manage this safely, and again there are many resources and case studies available
online to help with this. But as a learning practitioner, whether it's officially
supported or not, it's worth asking yourself whether you should embrace it
anyway, and provide learning activities to these users and their devices.
Mobile usage in distance learning
Online distance learning is principally used in higher education (HE), and many
institutions have taken to it either as a new stream of revenue or as a way of building
their brand globally. Enrolments have rocketed over recent years; the number of
U.S. students enrolled in an online course has increased from one to six million in
a decade. Online enrolments have also been the greatest source of new enrolments
in HE in that time, outperforming general student enrolment dramatically. Indeed,
the year 2011 in the US saw a 10 percent growth rate in distance learning enrolment
against 2 percent in the overall HE student population. In the 2010 to 2011 academic
years, online enrolments accounted for 31 percent of all U.S. HE enrolments.
Against this backdrop of phenomenal growth in HE distance learning courses,
we also have a new trend of Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) which aim
to extend enrolment past traditional student populations to the vast numbers of
potential students for whom a formal HE program of study may not be an option.
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The convenience and flexibility of distance learning appeal to certain groups of the
population. Distance learners are likely to be older students, with more than 30 years
of age being the dominant age group. They are also more likely to be in full-time
employment and taking the course to help advance their careers, and are highly
likely to be married and juggling home and family commitments with their jobs
and coursework.
We know that among the 30 to 40 age group mobile device use is very high,
particularly among working professionals, who are a major proportion of HE
distance learners. However, the MOOC audience is of real interest here as this
audience is much more diverse. As many MOOC users find traditional HE programs
out of their reach, many of these will be in developing countries, where we already
know that users are leapfrogging desktop computing and going straight to mobile
devices and wireless connectivity. For these types of courses, mobile support is
absolutely crucial.
A wide variety of tools exist to support online distance learning, and these are split
between synchronous and asynchronous tools, although typically a blend of the
two is used. In synchronous learning, all participants are present at the same time.
Courses will therefore be organized to a timetable, and will involve tools such as
webinars, video conferences, and real-time chat. In asynchronous learning, courses
are self-directed and students work to their own schedules, and tools include e-mail,
discussion forums, audio recording, video recordings, and printed material.
Connecting distance learning from traditional institutions to MOOCs is a recognized
need to improve course quality and design, faculty training, course assessment, and
student retention. There are known barriers, including motivation, feedback, teacher
contact, and student isolation. These are major challenges to the effectiveness of
distance learning, and later in this book we will demonstrate how mobile devices
can be used to address some of these areas.
Case studies
The following case studies illustrate two approaches to how an HE institution and a
distance learning institution have adopted Moodle to deliver mobile learning. Both
institutions were very early movers in making Moodle mobile-friendly, and can be
seen as torch bearers for the rest of us. Fortunately, both institutions have also been
influential in the approach that Moodle HQ have taken to mobile compatibility, so
in using the new mobile features in recent versions of Moodle, we are all able to take
advantage of the substantial amount of work that went into these two sites.
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University of Sussex
The University of Sussex is a research-led HE institution on the south coast of
England. They use a customized Moodle 1.9 installation called Study Direct, which
plays host to 1,500 editing tutors and 15,000 students across 2,100 courses per year,
and receives 13,500 unique hits per day.
The e-learning team at the University of Sussex contains five staff (one manager,
two developers, one user support, and one tutor support) whose remit covers a
much wider range of learning technologies beyond the VLE. However, the team
has achieved a great deal with limited resources. It has been working towards
a responsive design for some years and has helped to influence the direction
of Moodle with regards to designing for mobile devices and usability, through
speaking at UK Moodle and HE conferences and providing passionate inputs into
debates on the Moodle forums on the subject of interface design. Further to this,
team member Stuart Lamour is one of the three original developers of the Bootstrap
theme for Moodle, which is used throughout this book.
The Study Direct site shows what is possible in Moodle, given the time and resources
for its development and a focus on user-centered design. The approach has been to
avoid going down the native application route for mobile access like many institutions
have done, and to instead focus on a responsive, browser-based user experience.
The login page is simple and clean. One of the nice things that the University of
Sussex has done is to think through the user interactions on its site and clearly
identify calls to action, typically with a green button, as shown by the sign in
button on the login page in the following screenshot:
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The team has built its own responsive theme for Moodle. While the team has taken
a leading role on development of the Moodle 2 Bootstrap theme, the University
of Sussex site is still on Moodle 1.9 so this implementation uses its own custom
theme. This theme is fully responsive and looks good when viewed on a tablet or
a smartphone, reordering screen elements as necessary for each screen resolution.
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The course page, shown in the following screenshot, is similarly clear and
uncluttered. The editing interface has been customized quite heavily to give tutors a
clear and easy way to edit their courses without running the risk of messing up the
user interface. The team maintains a useful and informative blog explaining what
they have done to improve the user experience, and which is well worth a read.
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Open University
The Open University (OU) in the UK runs one the largest Moodle sites in the world.
It is currently using Moodle 2 for the OU's main VLE as well as for its OpenLearn
and Qualifications online platforms. Its Moodle implementation regularly sees days
with well over one million transactions and over 60,000 unique users, and has seen
peak times of 5,000 simultaneous online users.
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The OU's focus on mobile Moodle goes back to about 2010, so it was an early
mover in this area. This means that the OU did not have the benefit of all the
mobile-friendly features that now come with Moodle, but had to largely create
its own mobile interface from scratch.
Anthony Forth gave a presentation at the UK Moodle Moot in 2011 on the OU's
approach to mobile interface design for Moodle. He identified that at the time the
Open University migrated to Moodle 2 in 2011 it had over 13,000 mobile users
per month.
The OU chose to survey a group of 558 of these users in detail to investigate their
needs more closely. It transpired that the most popular uses of Moodle on mobile
devices was for forums, news, resources and study planners, while areas such as
wikis and blogs were very low down the list of users' priorities. So the OU's mobile
design focused on these particular areas as well as looking at usability in general.
The preceding screenshot shows the OU course page with tabbed access to the
popular areas such as Planner, News, Forums, and Resources, and then the main
content area providing space for latest news, unread forum posts, and activities
taking place this week.
The site uses a nice, clean, and easy to understand user interface in which a lot of
thought has gone into the needs of the student.
Summary
In this chapter, we have provided you with a vision of how mobile learning could
be put to use on your own organization's Moodle platform. We gave you an
understanding of some of the foundation concepts of mobile learning, some insights
into how important mobile learning is becoming, and how it is gaining momentum
in different sectors.
Your learners are already using mobile devices whether in educational institutions
or in the workplace, and they use mobile devices as the backbone of their daily
online interactions. They want to also use them for learning. Hopefully, we have
started you off on a mobile learning path that will allow you to make this happen.
Mobile devices are where the future of Moodle is going to be played out, so it makes
complete sense to be designing for mobile access right now. Fortunately, Moodle
already provides the means for this to happen and provides tools that allow you to
set it up for mobile delivery.
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Mobile Learning
We now know why mobile learning is so important, and hopefully you are starting
to have some thoughts about particular mobile learning activities that may be
suitable for your organization. The next step is to get your Moodle site setup so
that it can be used for mobile learning.
Mobile support in Moodle depends upon the version of Moodle you are using. At a
minimum you will require Moodle 2.2, which was the first version to officially have
any level of mobile support.
You may know that Moodle uses what is called themes to control page layouts and
styles. Moodle comes with a handful of built-in themes, and you can use these on
your site to achieve the look and feel that is right for you. You can even build your
own themes if you have the development expertise.
Introducing the Bootstrap and
Clean themes
In recent years, a mobile-friendly theme called Bootstrap was developed in the
Moodle community and released as an open source theme on https://moodle.org/.
Bootstrap is a responsive theme. If you haven't come across the idea of responsive web
design before, it is actually very simple. It allows the developer to use the browser's
built-in ability to detect the screen width and deliver different layouts for different
screen widths. For example, a 1,000 pixel wide screen can support a three-column
layout but this can be automatically changed to a two-column layout if the screen is
under 600 pixels wide, and when it reaches the smaller smartphone width of 300 pixels
then the content can be reworked into a single-column layout.
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The Bootstrap theme does exactly this, and will adjust your layouts depending on the
user's screen width. If you are using Moodle 2.2 through to 2.4, you can download
and use the Bootstrap theme (available on https://moodle.org/); this chapter will
show you how to do that.
The Bootstrap theme proved so popular within the Moodle community that it was
actually included with Moodle 2.5, in the form of a theme called Clean. If you have
Moodle 2.5, you simply need to enable this theme. This chapter will also show you
how to do that.
A little bit of mobile Moodle history
The Bootstrap and Clean themes superseded an earlier attempt at a
Moodle mobile theme, which was called MyMobile, and which shipped
with Moodle 2.2.
MyMobile used the browser's device detection feature and passed this
information to Moodle. Moodle could then be configured to deliver
different themes depending on the device type. However, this became
slightly problematic over time because of the mobile device convergence
issue we mentioned in Chapter 1, Developing Your Mobile Learning Strategy.
For example, there are now large and small tablets, and large and small
smartphones, and the largest smartphones are pretty similar to the
smallest tablets. Delivering a theme using device detection forces the
same theme to a particular type of device, regardless of whether it has a
large or small screen.
The mobile hardware landscape is changing so fast that it is no longer
realistic to expect Moodle developers to keep changing their code to
keep up with the device proliferation. Responsive themes are a far more
elegant solution. Developers cannot plan for new device types that may
appear in future, but they can plan for different screen resolutions.
For this reason, we excluded MyMobile from this book. It was a great first
attempt at mobile support in Moodle, but has now been superseded.
Introducing Moodle's Mobile apps
Themes are good, but they don't allow you to load the site for offline use, or take
advantage of smartphone features like the camera. For this you need an app. Moodle
does have an official Moodle Mobile app. This is a HTML5 app that works on both
Android and Apple devices. The developers of the app have purposely not chosen to
simply recreate Moodle for a mobile device, but have selected a number of specific
tasks that the learners are mostly likely to do on their mobile devices.
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The Moodle Mobile app allows learners to capture and upload images, audio,
and video; view course participants; and use Moodle messaging and enable push
notifications. This chapter will show you how to download and set up the official
Moodle app.
There are also a number of unofficial apps available in the Android and Apple app
stores that could work with your Moodle site, including one that works with Moodle
1.9. We will wrap up this chapter with an overview of the alternative apps available.
A little bit more mobile Moodle history…
There is a previous version of the official Moodle app hanging around in
the Apple app store. This was the first attempt at creating a native app for
Moodle and was released in late 2011. It targeted Apple devices only, and
there was scheduled to be another version released for Android in 2012.
However, the mobile landscape changes fast and it became apparent
during 2012 that a different version for each platform was not an
efficient way to develop for mobile, so a decision was taken to embark
on a developing a HTML5 app that worked with all devices. So in July
2012, Moodle HQ changed direction and started work on a HTML5 app
instead.
The HTML5 app is a continuation of the work by Moodle developer Juan
Leyva on his Unofficial Moodle Mobile app, or umm for short (refer to
the Third-party Moodle apps section).
Setting up the Clean theme
Role: Site Administrator
Version: 2.5
The Clean theme is already available on your Moodle site, and just needs to be
enabled. You just need to go into the Moodle Theme selector screen and set it
up as the default site theme.
Carry out the following steps in Moodle 2.5 for setting up the Clean theme:
1. On the ADMINISTRATION block, navigate to Site administration |
Appearance | Themes | Theme selector.
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2. This will open up the Theme Selector screen. There are four options listed
under Device type that you can select: Default, Legacy, Mobile, and Tablet.
3. Click on the Change theme button next to the Default device type. On the next
screen you are presented with a long list of themes, each with a screenshot.
Scroll down to theme called Clean and click on the Use theme button.
4. After clicking on the Use theme button, a confirmation screen is displayed.
This will show the Clean screenshot and some information about the theme.
Click on Continue.
5. After clicking on Continue you will be taken back to the Theme selector
screen, which will now display the newly selected Clean theme next to the
Default device type.
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Exploring the Clean theme
The first impressions of the Clean theme are excellent. It's not only responsive;
by using the styles inherited from the open source Twitter Bootstrap project
(http://twitter.github.com/bootstrap) the theme has a modern and fresh
design that blows a breath of fresh air into the Moodle interface.
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Let's take a more detailed look around the theme.
On the course pages, the breadcrumb trail looks a lot more elegant, in its own
colored block, neatly tucked under the main heading.
The side blocks all have a standard light gray background color with a dark gray
border, and the block headings are bold and capitalized. There is also improved
spacing between the menu items.
The main editing buttons are now standard colors throughout the site.
However, these are purely cosmetic changes. To see the really powerful use of
this important theme, you need to resize your browser. First, make sure that your
browser is not maximized, and then grab the edge of the browser with your mouse
and resize it to make it narrower. Then watch what happens to the Moodle page as
the browser window gets narrower and narrower.
There is a point at which the whole screen reverts to a single-column layout, and this
is at about 600 pixels, which is about the size of a small tablet.
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If you go right down to 300 pixels or so, to emulate a smart phone, you see
something like the example shown in following screenshot, in Moodle 2.5:
Several things have happened to the screen:
• The navigation tabs are hidden, and can be revealed by clicking on the gray
icon at the top-right corner.
• The title and login/logout link are at the top, as you would expect.
• The main content/menu area is below the title and login/logout link.
The menu items are no longer displayed with the title on the left and the
summary on the right as previously, but are arranged vertically.
• Any side blocks are displayed underneath this.
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Setting Up Moodle for Mobile Learning
It's a superb theme, and its beauty is in its simplicity. The intention is that it provides
a base on which you can build, so if you have development skills you should be
thinking about changing the color scheme at the very least, to match that of your
organization's branding.
In Moodle 2.5, the NAVIGATION and SETTINGS blocks automatically
move underneath the menu and content area so that the main content is
displayed first. In previous versions of Moodle using the Bootstrap theme,
they would be above the content area instead.
Setting up the Bootstrap theme
Role: Site Administrator
Version: 2.2 to 2.4
If you have Moodle 2.2, 2.3, or 2.4, you can still get all the benefits of the Clean theme
by downloading and installing the Bootstrap theme on which Clean is based.
Carry out the following steps in order to download and install the Bootstrap theme:
1. First you will need to download the theme from the Moodle Plugins
Directory page. Go to https://moodle.org/plugins/ and type Bootstrap
in the search box, then click on the Search plugins button.
2. This will bring back the result Themes: Bootstrap. It should look something
like the following screenshot:
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3. Click the Bootstrap link, and then on the next page select the Download
versions tab. Select the correct version for your Moodle and download it.
4. This will download a ZIP file. Extract the contents of this ZIP file to your
computer. It will contain a folder called bootstrap. This is your theme
folder. Copy the bootstrap folder into your <moodle site>/theme folder.
5. Next, open your browser and log in to your Moodle as a site administrator.
Moodle will detect the new theme and will immediately open the Plugins
check screen. Click on the Upgrade Moodle database now button.
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6. The theme will then be installed to Moodle and you will see a confirmation
message. Click on the Continue button.
7. The next screen that displays is the Bootstrap theme settings page. This
contains a number of fields as follows:
°°
Enable jquery: This field enables a third-party JavaScript library
called jQuery, and this checkbox should be selected unless you
have a known reason not to use it.
°°
Enable Glyphicons: This checkbox should be selected if you want to
use the theme's own icons instead of the Moodle standard icons. We
recommend that you leave this checkbox unselected for now, but come
back later and try selecting the checkbox and see which you prefer.
°°
Logo URL: This field should contain the full URL of your own site
logo if you want to display it.
°°
Custom CSS: This field is used add custom CSS to make minor
changes to the theme without amending the code files. We
recommend leaving this to proficient developers, and just
ignore this field.
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°°
Google analytics key: This field should contain your Google
Analytics key if you wish to set up your site with Google Analytics.
8. Click on Save changes at the bottom of the screen, and the theme setup is
then complete.
The Bootstrap theme is now available on your Moodle site. The next task is to go into
the Moodle Theme selector screen and set it up as the default site theme.
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Carry out the following steps in order to set this up:
1. On the ADMINISTRATION block, navigate to Site administration |
Appearance | Themes | Theme selector.
2. This will open up the Theme selector screen. There are four options listed
under Device type that you can select: Default, Legacy, Mobile, and Tablet.
3. Click on the Change theme button next to the Default device type. On
the next screen you are presented with a long list of themes, each with a
screenshot. Scroll down to theme called Bootstrap and click on the Use
theme button.
4. After clicking on the Use theme button, a confirmation screen is displayed.
This will show the Bootstrap screenshot and some information about the
theme. Click on Continue.
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5. After clicking on Continue you will be taken back to the Theme selector
screen, which will now display the newly selected Bootstrap theme next to
the Default device type.
Setting up the Moodle Mobile app
Role: Site Administrator
Version: 2.4 and above
The Moodle Mobile app allows learners to:
• Select or capture an image and record audio or video from your mobile
device and upload it into Moodle
• View their fellow course participants and associated contact information
• Use Moodle messaging if it is enabled
• Access to push notifications
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The app will continue to evolve over time so new features will continually be added.
Things to look out for include:
• Calendar sync
• Offline course browsing
• Offline posting in forums
• Offline grading
In order for the Moodle Mobile app to work there is one setup task that you must
perform as a system administrator. That is to enable web services for mobile
devices. Web services are simply a communication method that allows one software
application to talk to another using a standard language, and they need to be enabled
in the Moodle platform so that it can talk to the Moodle Mobile app.
Carry out the following steps in order to set up the Moodle Mobile app:
1. On the ADMINISTRATION block, navigate to Site administration |
Plugins | Web services | Mobile.
2. Select the checkbox labeled Enable web services for mobile devices, and
then click on Save changes.
3. You will see a Changes saved notification towards the top of the screen, and
you can then navigate away from this page.
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That's it. Your Moodle is now ready to work with mobile apps.
Is Moodle Mobile an HTML5 app or a native app?
This is a confusing point for a lot of people. Moodle Mobile is a HTML5
web app, not a native app. There is a difference between the two types of
app.
HTML5 web apps require an Internet connection, are hosted online
instead of on the device, have limited use of hardware features such as
the camera, and can cache data that can be useful for certain offline tasks
(for example, the Google Docs HTML5 app allows offline document
storage).
Native apps are fully accessible offline, can make full use of all hardware
features, and generally have better performance. However, this is
offset by the significant increase in development costs in maintaining
multiple versions for different device types, such as Apple, Android, and
BlackBerry.
Moodle Mobile is a HTML5 web app. It requires an Internet connection
to perform optimally, but it performs some offline tasks; for example, if
you upload a photo then this will be saved on the device cache and only
uploaded to Moodle once an Internet connection is established.
Exploring the Moodle Mobile app
The Moodle Mobile app is straightforward to use and easy to understand.
When you open the Moodle Mobile app for the first time it asks you to enter the site
URL, and your username and password. Once you have entered this information
and clicked on Add, the app will add this site to its list of allowed sites.
You can go into the Settings page within the app at any point to add additional sites
or to edit or remove existing sites.
Once you have added a site, you will enter the main menu page. This will contain a
list of the courses that you are enrolled onto, and will reflect the same course list as
on the menu page when you log in from a desktop computer.
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Above the course list you have an Upload button. This will allow you to either
upload image or audio files from your mobile device, or launch the mobile device's
built-in camera and save the photo directly to the app.
Below the course list you have links to the Website, Help, and Settings pages. The
Website link launches your standard Moodle site in the app's built-in browser, so
this will only work with an Internet connection. Likewise, the Help link launches
Moodle Docs online so also requires an Internet connection. Settings allows you to
add, edit, or remove sites, manage sync settings, enable development settings, and
report a bug.
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When you select a course from the menu page, you can either select Contents or
Participants. When clicking on Contents, the first view is of the list of topics for the
course. Clicking on a topic will reveal the activities and resources for that topic, or
clicking on Show all will reveal every resource and activity within the topic titles,
as shown in the following left-hand side screenshot.
Note that using this app requires some Internet connectivity. If you try viewing course
contents with no Internet connection, such as in airplane mode, a connectivity warning
message will be displayed and you will not be able to access the course contents.
Third-party Moodle apps
There are a number of third-party apps available in the Android and Apple app stores
that could work with your Moodle site, including one that works with Moodle 1.9:
• mTouch: This app is available for Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad only,
and supports iOS 4.3 and above. It is for students' use only. It costs a couple
of dollars to download and is under active development. It is available at
http://www.pragmasql.com/moodletouch/home.aspx.
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• MoodleEZ (MoodleEasy): This app is available for iPad only, and supports
iOS 4.3 and above. It is from the same makers as mTouch. It can be used
used by students, teachers, and administrators. It costs a couple of dollars
to download and is under active development. It is available at https://
itunes.apple.com/gb/app/moodlez/id449138373?mt=8.
• iActive (previously mPage): This app is available for iPhone, iPod Touch,
and iPad, and supports iOS 4.3 and above. It works with Moodle 1.9 and
above, and seems quite fully featured in its scope, supporting blocks, files,
assignments, forums, glossaries, quiz, SCORM, and more. It costs under
a dollar to download and is under active development. It is available at
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/iactive/id577359069?mt=8.
• Droodle: This app is is available for Android only and supports Android 2.2
and above. It is only for students, and centers around the ability of students
to view their assignments and set up calendar reminders for assignments.
It is free to download; however, it is not under active development. It is
available at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.
ivoid.droodle.
• mDroid: This app is available for Android only and supports Android 2.0.1
and above. It is only for students, and gives access to all of the student's
Moodle courses, files, and forums. It is free to download and is open source.
It is under active development. It is available at https://play.google.com/
store/apps/details?id=in.co.praveenkumar.
• Moodle for Android: This app is available for Android only, and supports
Android 2.2 and above. It requires Moodle 2.2 or above. It is free to download
and is open source. It is under active development. It is available at https://
play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=moodle.android.moodle.
• umm (Unofficial Moodle Mobile): This app is available via the Moodle
plugins database, and supports Apple, Android, and BlackBerry devices.
It is intended as a clone of the official but now unsupported Moodle Mobile
iOS-only app that was launched by Moodle HQ in 2011 and subsequently
pulled in 2012 before HQ embarked on a new HTML5 app direction. In fact,
Moodle HQ hired the developer of this app, Juan Leyva, to build upon umm
as the foundation of the next official Moodle Mobile app. It is available at
https://moodle.org/plugins/view.php?id=175.
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This list of apps above is current at the time of writing, but it is worth
noting that some may drop away while other new ones arrive, so it is
always worth going direct to your app store and searching on the term
Moodle to see what is there at any given point in time. However, if you
do this then please note that you will also see many results for Moodle
apps built by individual education institutions, which will, of course,
only be usable by students from that institution. These should be easy to
identify as most have the institution's name in the app title, but not all do,
so beware!
We are not going to cover the installation and set up of each of these, and the how-to
guides in this book cover the official Moodle app only.
Add help and support guides by using
the Book module
Role: Tutor
Time: 60 minutes and above
Device: Desktop
Success or failure in mobile learning can depend on strong use of the tools available
for students. Not all students will be familiar with the full range of tools available
in Moodle, so it is important to provide guidance for students on how to learn
effectively online. Usability is the key, and students should be able to find the course
easy to use. However, help also needs to be quick to find and easy to access.
A great way to distribute help and support materials is to set these up as a course page
that is either available to guest users or that all users are automatically enrolled in:
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The Book resource in Moodle is ideal for authoring the actual help and
support resources. To create your help and support book resource, perform
the following steps:
1. Click on the Turn editing on button, and then select Add an activity or
resource, choosing Book from the drop-down menu.
2. The book settings screen includes the following fields:
°°
Name: This field contains some descriptive but short and simple text,
such as Help and support
°°
Description: This field should contain some basic instructional
text that will be displayed on the course page, and should be as short
as possible
°°
Display description on course page: This checkbox should be
selected in order that the brief instruction text is displayed on the
course page itself
°°
Chapter formatting: This field will help you to select between
numbers, bullets, indented, or no formatting
°°
Custom titles: This checkbox, if selected, will allow you to add a
longer chapter title for display in the content area, while the default
chapter title is displayed in the table of contents
3. Then click on Save and return to course.
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4. Click on the book resource to enter it. The resource will be empty the first
time it is viewed, in which case you will be asked to edit the first chapter.
5. In the first chapter, add a chapter title and your content into the fields
provided, and then click on Save changes.
6. The next screen will display the chapter you just added. A TABLE OF
CONTENTS block shows the chapters, while arrow icons on the right-hand
side allow you to navigate through the book activity, or exit from it by using
the up arrow.
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7. On the ADMINISTRATION menu, navigate to Book administration | Turn
editing on, and use the icons on the TABLE OF CONTENTS block to edit
your book activity. From here you can perform any of the following tasks:
°°
°°
°°
°°
°°
°°
Move the chapter up
Move the chapter down
Edit the chapter
Delete the chapter
Hide the chapter
Add a new chapter
8. Continue adding new chapters until your help and support book activity is
complete. On tablet and smartphone, the students will see something similar
to the following screenshot. Note that on smartphone screens there is much
less space available, so more scrolling is required to get down to the content
area. On larger book resources the TABLE OF CONTENTS alone could
fill a screen.
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Add a link to help and support from the
header bar
Role: Site Administrator
Time: 15 minutes and above
Device: Desktop
This handy tip will give mobile users quick access to support resources without
having to scroll through the navigation block. Carry out the following steps:
1. Click on ADMINISTRATION | Site administration | Appearance |
Themes | Theme settings.
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2. Scroll down to the field Custom menu items. You can add menu items into
the empty text box. Each line consists of some menu text, a link URL, and a
tooltip title, separated by pipe characters.
3. So, to add a Help and support link you can add the text Help and
support|http://www.moodleformobiles.com/course/view.
php?id=11|Help and support, replacing the URL with that of
your own course.
This will display a header bar throughout the site like the one shown in the following
screenshot, which is shown using the Bootstrap theme.
The same view on a mobile device uses the native device menu, which is a small
square icon in the top-right corner of the device screen, which when clicked on
expands to show a collapsible menu, as shown in the following screenshots. This
makes great use of screen space on a mobile device, and is a useful way to navigate
to key sections of the site.
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Summary
In this chapter we have provided you an overview of mobile themes that are
available for you to use in your Moodle site, and looked at mobile apps that
your students can download to access your Moodle site.
We looked at the official Clean theme that comes with Moodle, which delivers a
layout that is appropriate to the screen resolution of the user's browser and offers
a graceful solution to handling the wide variety of devices and screen sizes in the
mobile device marketplace.
We also looked at the official Mobile Moodle HTML5 app, which is available for
Android and Apple devices. This does not simply recreate Moodle on a mobile
device, but concentrates on a number of specific tasks that learners are mostly
likely to do on their mobile devices, such as image, video, and audio uploads,
communicating with their fellow course attendees, and receiving notifications
from Moodle.
We then looked briefly at the variety of third-party apps available on the Apple
and Android app stores.
The instructions for the previous options should have got your Moodle into a
position where you can start to deliver mobile learning. So let's now move on to
next chapter where we will start our how-to guides for delivering specific mobile
learning interventions.
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Delivering Static Content
to Mobiles
In this chapter we look at how to deliver static content from Moodle to mobile
devices. By static content we mean content that does not involve the use of
multimedia. We will deal with multimedia content in depth in Chapter 4, Delivering
Multimedia Content to Mobiles.
Setting up file downloads
There are many different file types that you can make available in Moodle that are
suited to mobile delivery, such as documents, slide presentations, spreadsheets,
and images. The process for setting these up is essentially the same as for files
viewed from a desktop computer, so there is no need to make one file available for
desktop and another for mobile. Instead, there are some settings that you need to
configure within the resource settings page to ensure that the file will work well on
mobile devices.
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To make a file available for mobile delivery, perform the following steps:
1. On your course page, click on the Turn editing on button. The editing icons
are displayed:
2. Click on Add an activity or resource, and then select File from the
drop-down list.
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3. On the next screen there are a number of fields to complete. Enter a filename
and a description, and then click on Add to browse to your file and select it.
4. There are a number of display options to consider next, listed under
Appearance, and it pays to select the right one as mobile devices will
behave differently depending on what you select. Our recommendation is to
use the Open option. This behaves naturally on all devices; on your desktop
machine it will open in the browser and you can choose to save it if you
wish; on your mobile it will download it, which is normal to users of mobiles
devices. The added benefit for mobile users is that the document is then
available for viewing offline and at a time suiting the learner. The full list of
options is as follows:
°°
Automatic: On a mobile device Moodle tries to open this document
as an embedded file first, and then asks you to click on the filename
to download it, which adds an unnecessary click.
°°
Embed: Some mobile devices may not accept this method and will
instead open a new page and ask you to click on a link to start the
document download, again adding an unnecessary click.
°°
Force download: This will download the file immediately, which is
technically fine, but the same behavior will also be forced on your
desktop computer users, so this is not ideal.
°°
Open: This will download the file immediately for mobile users, and
will attempt to open the file in the browser for desktop users. As this
works well for all users, we recommend this method.
°°
In pop-up: Mobile devices cannot open multiple browser instances,
so instead a new browser tab will open and the document will
then automatically download, after which the tab will close, leaving
you back on the course page. This adds an unnecessary tab opening
and closing, which looks pretty awkward, so this option should
be avoided.
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5. Select the checkboxes Show size and Show type. This is important for
mobile device users, and will automatically add the file type and size to the
end of the filename so that users know what sort of file they are about to
open and what size it is. Depending on their available bandwidth they may
then make an informed choice about whether to open the file now or wait
until they are on a better connection at a later time. Note that file type is
also communicated via a small icon in front of the filename, but, this is not
obvious in every case, so the Show type checkbox should still be selected.
6. Once the file is set up you can click on Save and return to course.
Learner view of file downloads
The learner view of a file resource is shown in the following screenshot, which was
taken using a 7-inch Android tablet.
1. The learner clicks on a file such as a PDF file (the top-most link in this
example), which is underlined once it is selected. A Starting download
notification appears.
2. Once the download is complete, a small arrow appears in the top-left
corner of the status bar at the top of the screen to indicate that the download
is complete.
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3. If the learner swipes down from the status bar to show the notification
details, then the filename and time of download are displayed. Alternatively,
the user can navigate to their Downloads area at any time and launch it
from there.
4. The user can then click directly on the filename to open it. In this example the
file is a PDF document so opens in the device's PDF reader app.
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A note about file types
There are a few points to mention regarding file type support within
mobile devices. Typical file types you might want to include are PDF
documents, Office documents (such as Microsoft Word and OpenOffice
or LibreOffice Writer files), spreadsheets (such as Microsoft Excel and
OpenOffice or LibreOffice Calc files), and slide presentations (such as
Microsoft PowerPoint and OpenOffice or LibreOffice Impress files). You
will need the appropriate viewing software on the mobile devices to view
these, and not all devices may come bundled with them. If in any doubt,
advise your students to install the appropriate apps to read the files that
you are uploading, and only use common file formats. Examples include
rollApp for viewing and editing OpenOffice files.
Setting up an eBook or App library
It's really simple to generate a list of eBook links to items on mobile app stores that
your students can download.
1. On your course page, click on Turn editing on, and then in one of your topic
areas, select Add an activity or resource and click on Page.
2. This opens the update page editor, where you can enter the page title,
description, and content. The Content area is where you enter the details of
your eBook and apps library.
3. In the following example we have added the eBook title, author, and
description, and a link to the eBook in the main app stores for Android,
Apple, and Kindle devices.
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4. To find your own books, you will need to visit the app store that you wish to
use. For example, the popular Amazon Kindle store and Google Play store
can each be accessed via your web browser from a desktop computer. You
can also download and install iTunes to access the iTunes Store if you wish
to link to items from there. Performing this task from a desktop computer
means that you are not limited to the store you can access. However, if you
were to try accessing the iTunes catalogue from your Android device you
would find this is not possible! If you access the Kindle and Google stores
from your desktop computer's web browser, you can simply copy the
address of the book page from your browser's address bar. In iTunes you can
right-click on a book title and select Copy Link. In each case, the copied link
can be pasted as a link into Moodle.
5. To paste your link, select the words in the page, such as Android, and then
click on the Insert/edit link button on the bottom row of the toolbar. You
can roll your mouse cursor over the buttons to reveal a tooltip containing
the button name, if needed.
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6. In the Insert/edit link dialog box, you can then paste the URL into the
Link URL field. Set the Target and Title fields as needed, and click on
Update. There is no need to change any other fields unless you have
specific reason to.
7. Click on Update and then, on the settings screen, click on Save and display
to view your page.
Learner view of a library
The tablet view shown in the following screenshot displays most of the eBook library
page. Bear in mind the amount of scrolling that may be required on small device
browsers, so limit the amount of text to the minimum possible.
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Chapter 3
Using QR codes in courses
Role: Student
Time: 30 minutes and above
Device: Smartphone or Tablet
A QR code is an image that can be scanned by a QR code reader. This is conceptually
similar to a bar code but can be scanned in by smartphones, which will convert the
QR code to a URL and launch it in the phone's browser.
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The intention is to link physical objects to web pages, and despite being invented
for industrial use, they are now commonly seen in magazines and billboard
advertisements, and have many uses in education.
• QR codes are used for QR code treasure hunts that require students to locate
and scan QR codes. Each web page that the QR code links to will contain
one part of the answer to the exercise, and after collecting all the data the
students can complete a quiz.
• Printed materials can include QR codes for students to scan and download
the handout to their mobile devices.
• QR handouts can include links to further reading that will automatically
open on students' mobile devices.
• Printed materials and posters can include QR codes to subscribe to
department or lecturer blog RSS feeds, which can be quickly subscribed
to by using an RSS aggregator on a mobile phone.
• Specific activities within printed workbooks can include QR codes to link
directly to specific forums on the VLE.
• You can provide a QR code to link to extension activities on a class
assignment handout.
• You can attach QR codes to workstations and lab equipment with links
to usage instructions and supplemental information.
There are many online tools that will generate QR codes for you. http://www.
delivr.com/ comes highly recommended.
Quick case study – University of Bath
The e-learning team at University of Bath created a small customization
for their Moodle that automatically puts a QR code for the Moodle page
onto any page that was printed out from Moodle. This allowed students
to simply scan the QR code to link to the page, eliminating any URL
copying errors. Examples of scenarios where this might be used include
printing out quiz questions, database submissions, wiki pages, and more.
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Chapter 3
Building a multidevice SCORM resource
Role: Tutor
Time: 1 day and above
Device: Desktop
E-learning SCORM packages have been the dominant form of online learning in the
corporate world since the 1990s, although they are less widely used in the education
sector. SCORM stands for Sharable Content Object Reference Model and is a
standard that enables content developers to create a single e-learning course with the
confidence that it will work with all SCORM-compliant learning management systems.
At least that's the theory. In practice, there are hundreds of authoring tools
and learning management systems in the marketplace, and not all of them
have implemented SCORM in the same manner so it hasn't achieved the true
interoperability that was hoped for, but it has certainly gone a long way towards it.
There are many tools available for building SCORM resources, and these are known
as authoring tools. These come in the form of cloud-based tools (such as GoMo
Learning), desktop applications (such as Articulate and Captivate), and open source
tools (such as Xerte Online Toolkits).
There are many considerations to make when selecting a SCORM authoring tool for
mobile learning. For example, if you want to develop once and deliver to multiple
devices, you need a tool that can do this. If a vendor claims to deliver mobile output,
check that they are referring to smartphones as well as tablets and that they support
Android and BlackBerry as well as Apple devices.
You will also need to have peace of mind that the content displayed on smartphones
provides a comparable learning experience to the tablet or desktop versions, and that
it adapts the user interactions appropriately rather than simply scaling down the
tablet version for the smaller smartphone screen.
Multidevice SCORM authoring involves new ways of thinking about content
creation. Imogen Casebourne, Head of Learning Design at Epic advises:
"If you anticipate a 50/50 PC/smartphone split for a statutory and mandatory
e-learning course, go for bite-size topics and a flat navigation structure so the
course won't be too onerous for learners on phones. On the other hand, if the
majority of learners will take the course from a PC and only occasionally dip into it
via a smartphone, then this will be less of a consideration."
Do your research well and find out what has been done before, and learn lessons
from those who have already tried.
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Ultimately, you are looking to output something like the course shown in the
following screenshot, which was built in GoMo Learning. On the tablet version,
when the graphic is selected on the right-hand column, supporting information
slides in from the left. However, on the smartphone, not only does the product
perform in a responsive manner by scaling down to a single column, but the actual
user interactions change too so that when the user selects the same hot graphic, the
supporting information pops up over the text, instead of sliding in.
Adding a multidevice SCORM resource
into Moodle
Role: Tutor
Time: 15 minutes and above
Device: Desktop
So, you've built or purchased a multidevice SCORM resource. What do you do with
it now in order to get it working nicely in your multidevice Moodle?
Moodle's SCORM activity accepts SCORM 1.2 or AICC packages, and there is
also the IMS Content Package resource type, all of which can be added into
a Moodle course.
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IMS Content Package and SCORM are both e-learning packaging
standards. However, IMS is principally for presentational content
while SCORM allows question interactions with tracking of answers
and a grade at the end. For this reason, in Moodle you will find IMS
Content Package under Resources and SCORM under Activities. It
is worth noting that a Moodle Book activity can be exported as an
IMS Content Package and then reused in other systems.
To add a SCORM activity into Moodle, perform the following steps:
1. Click on Add an activity or resource and select SCORM package.
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2. On the Adding a new SCORM package screen there are a number of
important fields to complete in order to set the activity up for an optimal
mobile experience.
In the General and Package field groups we have some of the usual
fields, including:
°°
Name: The name value should be kept fairly short so that it displays
well on a small screen
°°
Description: The description entered will appear on the launch
page or on the course page if you select Display description on
course page
°°
Package file: This field will allow browse to your SCORM ZIP
package and upload it, or drag it in if your browser supports
dragging and dropping files
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In the Appearance group we have a number of important fields, including:
°°
The Display package drop-down list allows you to select New
window or Current window. New window will open a new browser
window to display the SCORM e-learning, which can be useful if
you want the e-learning to go full screen and provide a maximum
engagement to the learner, who is then less likely to be distracted by
events in other windows they may have open.
°°
Click on Show more… to reveal some more fields. The screen Width
and Height fields are only enabled if New window is selected in the
Display package drop-down list. Here you can specify the window
dimensions of the new window the e-learning will launch in, for
example, 1024 x 768. The Options values are only enabled if New
window is selected. This displays a list of checkboxes for controlling
the browser behavior, such as allowing the window to be resized
and scrolled, and showing various browser elements such as the
location bar, address bar, menu bar, toolbar, and status bar. Generally
speaking, the more browser elements you remove the more space
there is to display the e-learning content, and the fewer distractions
there are for the learner.
°°
The Student skip content structure page drop-down list should
be set to Always if the SCORM package only contains one learning
object. Sometimes SCORM packages are built containing multiple
learning objects, in which case the content structure page can be a
useful navigational aid. However, SCORMs with multiple learning
objects are fairly uncommon.
°°
The Disable preview mode drop-down list will hide the preview
button, which can be used by learners if they wish to browse an
activity before attempting it. This would normally be set to Yes as there
is very little need for this feature in workplace learning environments.
°°
The Display course structure on entry page drop-down list will
display a table of contents on the SCORM entry page. By way of some
background, the native behavior—when a learner clicks on a SCORM
link—is to first display an entry page that contains details about the
SCORM activity, the attempts taken so far, and a launch button to
actually open the SCORM activity. However, given that most SCORM
modules actually have their own internal navigation and start menu,
it is unnecessary to display a course structure on the entry page.
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°°
The Display course structure in player drop-down list provides
options for how the course structure can be displayed once the
SCORM activity has opened in Moodle's SCORM player, after the
user has clicked on the Enter button on the SCORM entry page. This
can be set to Disabled, In a dropdown menu, Hidden, or To the
side. As noted previously, most SCORM modules have their own
internal navigation and start menu, in which case we do not need to
have the course structure displayed in the player at all, so we would
select Disabled in this menu.
°°
The Display attempt status drop-down list will allow you to show
attempt statuses on either the SCORM entry page, and/or on the
COURSE OVERVIEW block in My home, or not at all.
In the Grade group we have fields including the following:
°°
The Grading method drop-down list defines how the grade for a
single attempt of the activity is determined. This could be one of the
following options: Learning objects (number of completed or passed
learning objects), Highest grade (highest score obtained from all of
the passed learning objects), Average grade (the mean of all scores
obtained), or Sum grade (the sum of all of the scores obtained). This
field assumes two things: that the SCORM module is graded and
that it contains multiple learning objects. However, SCORM modules
are often presentational in nature and do not have an assessment in
them, in which case they would pass no grade back to the system at
all, only a completion status. Also, as discussed earlier, most SCORM
modules only contain a single learning object, in which case they
would only pass a single grade and it does not matter which of these
options is selected.
In the Attempts management group we have fields including the following:
°°
The Number of attempts drop-down list allows you to control how
many times learners are able to access the SCORM activity (usually
this will be set to Unlimited).
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°°
°°
°°
The Attempts grading drop-down list controls how the score is
recorded in the gradebook when multiple attempts are allowed.
This can be set to:
• Highest attempt: This would allow the learner to keep improving
their grade over time
• Average attempts: This will calculate the average grade from
all attempts
• First attempt: This will only record the grade from the first
attempt and allow further ungraded attempts
• Last completed attempt: This will pass the grade from the most
recent attempt into the gradebook
The Force new attempt drop-down list will log a new attempt every
time the SCORM module is accessed. This would normally be set to
Yes so that each attempt is tracked properly.
The Lock after final attempt drop-down list can be used lock access
to the SCORM after the number of attempts has been met. This would
normally be set to No.
In the Compatibility settings group we have fields including:
°°
°°
The Force completed drop-down list should be set to Yes if there are
known issues with SCORM 1.2 packages not setting the completion
status correctly. This will force the status of the current attempt to
show Completed. This would normally be set to No.
The Auto-continue drop-down list will enable sequential learning
objects within a SCORM package to be launched automatically,
instead of requiring the user to click on a Continue button.
3. Click on Save and return to course at the bottom of the settings page.
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Case study – using a multidevice
SCORM resource for information security
awareness training
Information security training is a vital requirement for many organizations.
Delivering face-to-face training to staff presents considerable logistical challenges, as
well as being costly. In universities this is a particular concern because a great deal of
personal data is gathered and stored during academic research projects. To cater for
this important staff training need, a consortium of five universities—Leicester, Leeds,
Cranfield, Southampton, and Imperial College London—and multidevice e-learning
specialists Epic came together to develop an Information Security Awareness
Learning Suite, or "Infosec".
Narrative-based learning scenarios were developed using Epic's GoMo Learning
multidevice authoring tool. This cloud-based tool enabled each university to take
the template Infosec courses and customize them with local examples targeted to
their own audience. The modules are fully accessible and are deployed on all major
mobile platforms including Apple iPhones/iPads, Android smartphones and tablets,
and BlackBerry devices. This multidevice approach means that the modules can be
accessed by the widest possible audience.
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This SCORM resource was tested specifically with Moodle and Blackboard, and it
is now in use in many other further education institutions, including Exeter, Derby,
Sheffield, East Anglia, and New College Durham, for their own staff training. In
February 2012, the Information Security Awareness Learning Suite was awarded the
2011 UCISA-Eduserve Award for Excellence, which seeks to recognize and highlight
levels of excellence and best practice demonstrated by UCISA members within the
UK higher and further education sectors.
Using cohorts to deliver
performance-support resources
Role: Tutor
Time: 15 minutes and above
Device: Desktop
Mobile employees need quick access to performance-support resources, and the LMS
is the perfect place from which to deliver these. Increasingly, LMS administrators are
thinking beyond lengthy courses and more in terms of providing support materials
to employees at the point of need. This is often referred to as "just-in-time" learning,
or "performance support" and comes in many guises, although the principle is that
employees need quick access to materials relevant to their job, that they can consume
during their daily workflow, rather than having to be relocated to a training room
and away from their work, with all of the lost productivity that brings with it.
Helpfully, Moodle has a feature that enables us to deliver materials related to
employees' job roles. Cohorts are a course enrolment method for batch enrolling users
onto multiple courses, and they take a lot of the headache out of course enrolment.
An example scenario would be a multinational organization using cohorts for broad
job families, such as Finance, Finance-UK, and Finance-Germany. An employee
joining the Finance team in Germany would be added to the general Finance cohort
and therefore would automatically be enrolled on any courses assigned to that
cohort, but can also be added to Finance-Germany cohort and be enrolled to any
courses that are unique to that country, for example, there are often regulatory
law courses specific to individual countries. As we have seen, a Moodle course
can be made up purely of resources if we wish to set it up that way, so a page of
performance-support resources or "job aids" could easily be set up as a course,
and could provide a quick go-to resource for employees looking for resources and
document templates relevant to their job, for example, German financial regulations.
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To set up a cohort, perform the following steps:
1. Click on ADMINISTRATION | Site administration | Users |
Accounts | Cohorts.
2. On the System: available cohorts screen, click on Add.
3. On the Add new cohort screen there are just four fields to fill in: Name,
Context (which can be system-wide or within a named category), Cohort
ID (which can be used during bulk user imports from a CSV file), and
Description (which is just used for administrative purposes; the employee
will not see this).
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4. lick on Save changes.
5. On the System: available cohorts screen you will now see your updated list
of cohorts:
6. Before we add users, we need to assign courses to the cohorts. Enter a
course that you wish to assign to a particular cohort, and then in the
ADMINISTRATION block, choose Course administration | Users |
Enrolment methods.
7. This will launch the Enrolment methods page, where you need to tell
Moodle that you wish to allow cohorts to be assigned to this course. To do
this, in the Add method drop-down box, select Cohort sync.
8. The Cohort sync page will then open and you will see five fields, including:
°°
Cohort: This is the only required field, and is where you select from
the list of available cohorts.
°°
Assign role: This allows you to assign a role within the current
course for all users enrolled via this cohort.
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°°
Add to group: This allows you to assign users that are added to the
course from this cohort to a specific course group.
9. Click on Add method when you have specified all required information.
10. You will now be back at the Enrolment methods page, which has been
updated with the details of the new cohort sync method, as shown in the
following screenshot:
11. Currently there are no members of the cohorts, so the Cohort size value
is 0. To add users into your cohort, click on ADMINISTRATION | Site
administration | Users | Accounts | Cohorts.
12. On the System: available cohorts screen you can now enroll users into
your cohorts.
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13. In the Edit column you will see three icons, which represent Delete, Edit,
and Members.
14. Click on the Members icon and the Cohort 'Name' members page, where
'Name' is the name of the cohort you selected. On the right -hand side of this
screen are Potential users that you can add to the cohort. Select one or more
users, then click on the Add button to add them to the Current users box on
the left. Then click on the Back to cohorts button at the bottom of the screen.
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15. You will now see the Cohort size value has been incremented by the number
of users that you just added.
16. Continue setting up courses to job-related cohorts as you see fit. When one of
the users belonging to that cohort logs in to Moodle, they will see all of the
courses related to their job role on their course menu.
Naming your course something like "UK Finance job aids" will ensure
that employees can easily find this on their menu when they need it,
ensuring that important job-based resources are only one-click away.
Using a glossary for staff induction
Role: Tutor
Time: 30 minutes and above
Device: Desktop
One of the most common forms of online learning in the workplace is staff induction,
also often referred to as onboarding or orientation. This is often the first experience
that employees will have of online learning so it's important that they get a good
impression. For this reason many organizations will invest heavily in a flagship
e-learning course and still achieve good return on investment due to the money
saved on sending people for face-to-face induction days. It's not uncommon for
global enterprises to fly staff internationally to attend induction days, so the savings
from delivering this via e-learning can be quite staggering. An induction course
can be split across multiple activities, such as pre-induction content, quizzes,
and forums.
One useful activity type is Glossary, which enables participants to create and
maintain a list of definitions, or to collect and organize resources or information, as
we will do here. Files can be attached to glossary entries, and the attached images
are displayed in the entry. Entries can be searched or browsed alphabetically or
by category, date, or author. Entries can be automatically approved, or can require
approval by a teacher before they are viewable by everyone.
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One potential use of Glossary is for a staff directory. To set up a glossary, perform
the following steps:
1. Click on Add an activity or resource, and then select Glossary.
2. On the Adding a new Glossary screen there are a number of important fields
to complete. Under General you will find the following fields:
°°
The Is this glossary global? checkbox should be selected if you
want to link to the glossary throughout the site, which we would
not necessarily want to do for an induction course.
°°
The Glossary type drop-down list has two options: Main glossary
and Secondary glossary. A main glossary can import entries from
secondary glossaries, but there can only be one main glossary in a
course. If glossary entry import is not required, all glossaries in the
course can be secondary glossaries, so that this the option we shall
use in our example.
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Under Entries you will find the following fields:
°°
The Always allow editing field allows entries to be edited by the
author at any time. If set to No, users will have a configured editing
time (usually 30 minutes).
°°
The Duplicate entries allowed drop-down list, when enabled, will
allow duplicate entries of the same name.
°°
The Allow comments on entries drop-down list allows comments to
be added to glossary entries.
°°
The Automatically link glossary entries drop-down list allows the
entries to be linked whenever the concept words or phrases are used
throughout the course. If the global glossary setting is enabled, this
can be used site-wide.
°°
The Approved by default drop-down list can be set to Yes or
No depending on whether or not you want teachers to approve
submitted glossary entries.
Under Appearance you will find the following fields:
°°
The Display format drop-down list can be set to one of the following
seven formats:
• Simple, dictionary style: No authors are displayed, and
attachments are shown as links.
• Continuous without author: Entries are displayed one after
another without any separation, apart from the editing icons.
• Full with author: A forum-like display format showing the
author's data, and with attachments shown as links.
• Full without author: A forum-like display format without
authors, and with attachments shown as links. This is most
suitable for a staff directory as it does not include the author's
name on each entry, and allows the user to click on the image
attachment to view a photo.
• Encyclopedia: As for Full with author but attached images are
shown inline. This is suitable for a staff directory; however, it
includes the author's name on each entry.
• Entry list: Concepts are listed as links.
• FAQ: The words QUESTION and ANSWER are appended to the
concept and definition respectively.
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°°
The Approval display format drop-down list allows the format to be
changed once the entry is approved.
°°
The Show 'Special' link drop-down list allows users to browse the
glossary by using special characters such as @ and #.
°°
The Show alphabet drop-down list will display the letters of the
alphabet for users to browse the glossary by.
°°
The Show 'ALL' link drop-down list allows participants to display
all entries on a single page.
°°
The Allow print view drop-down list allows users to print out
glossary entries.
3. Click on Save and display to enter the new glossary activity.
4. This will display an empty glossary activity.
5. Click on Add a new entry to display the new entry form. There are just four
fields on this screen:
°°
Concept: This is the actual glossary term. In the case of a people
directory, we will add the person's name here.
°°
Definition: This goes with the concept name, so in our case we will
add the person's description.
°°
Keywords: This can be associated with an entry, and will be linked
from content pages if auto-linking is enabled.
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°°
Attachment: This allows you to add one of more files to an entry. In
the case of our people directory example, we shall add a photo of the
person here.
6. Click on Save changes.
This will be displayed on a mobile device as follows:
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In this example we have used the Full without author display format. This shows
the entries organized alphabetically, and has an ALL option to view them all on
one page. Any attachments are displayed as links to click on.
If we switch to the Encyclopedia view, the photo is displayed inline, which works
well for a People directory. However, this view also displays the author name and
photo, which is less useful for something like a People directory. However, this
could be hidden by a CSS developer if necessary, in which case it would be the
preferable view for People directory.
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Using a Glossary for best practice
resource collection
Role: Tutor
Time: 15 minutes and above
Device: Desktop
The other obvious use for the glossary module is a Frequently Asked Questions
area for new starters. As you may have noticed, the glossary activity has a number of
display formats, one of which is Frequently Asked Questions. This is exactly the sort
of thing that a new starter may need access to on a mobile device as they are finding
their way around a new building, or viewing on the bus on their journey to work.
To set up New Starters FAQ, add a Glossary activity in the same manner as
described previously, but this time select FAQ for Display Format. When you add
a new entry the form is identical to the one shown in the previous section; however,
when viewed by the user the entries are displayed in a Question and Answer
format, as shown in the previous screenshot.
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Using levels to engage new starters
Role: Tutor
Time: 15 minutes and above
Device: Desktop
There are many techniques for engaging learners during completion of a course, and
a very simple technique that can be used in Moodle is to use a course structure based
on games. This is useful for mobile learning as you only have short periods of your
user's time and need all of the engagement tools that you can think of to keep your
learners using the site.
This technique uses a standard Topics format course, but sets up each topic to
be revealed in turn based on some completion criteria, such as an end of topic
assessment. On first entry to the course Level 1 is revealed, and further levels are
only revealed as the user progresses.
To set up a course based on games using levels, perform the following steps:
1. Click on Course administration | Edit settings.
2. Under General, select Topics format as the value for Format.
3. Under formatting options for Topics format select the following:
°°
Number of sections: Here we select 3, as we are setting up three
levels, but you can choose whatever number you wish.
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°°
Hidden sections: Here we select Hidden sections are completely
invisible. This will allow levels to be automatically "revealed" when
the user "levels up".
°°
Course layout: Here we select Show one section per page. This
allows each level to have its own distinct identity and set of
resources.
4. Under Student progress, select Enabled, control via completion and activity
settings for Completion tracking.
This will set up your course settings correctly. You now need to set up the activities
in each section. On the first entry to the course, the Level 1 title and summary field
will be shown automatically (shown in the following left-hand side screenshot) and
the title can be clicked on to enter the actual level (shown in the following right-hand
side screenshot). In this example we have just added a single assessment to illustrate
the concept of leveling up; however, in this level, or section, you would add all of
your resources and activities as in any normal Moodle course. In this case, the user
has to complete an assessment in order to progress to Level 2.
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In order to reveal Level 2 automatically, click on Summary Settings of Level 2,
shown as a cog icon under the summary field.
In the summary settings page, under Restrict access | Grade condition, add
a minimum grade that will unlock Level 2. Also, under Before section can be
accessed, select Hide section entirely, bearing in mind that you could also select
to keep the section visible but grayed out if you wish by selecting the alternative
option in this field.
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Now when a user completes the assessment and scores over 50 percent, upon
going back to the course page, they will see Level 2 has been revealed, as shown
in the following left-hand side screenshot. It is worth noting that you could give a
congratulatory "leveling up" message in the quiz pass feedback too.
When the level title is clicked on, the user will enter the actual level (shown in the
following right-hand side screenshot).
In order to reveal Level 3 automatically, we are going to select a different
completion setting. Leveling up is one form of increasing user engagement, however
activity completion settings can also be used to encourage users to participate in
collaborative activities that themselves have the potential to engage the user in a
course more than a simple presentational piece of e-learning.
Therefore, in order to progress to Level 3, we are not going to put the user through
an assessment, but this time will request that the user creates a new forum post, and
replies to another forum post, in order to level up.
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Firstly we will need to set up the activity completion settings for the Forum activity.
To do this, enter the Forum settings page, and under Activity completion, select the
checkboxes next to Require discussions and Require replies, leaving the value of
each at 1.
Of course, you can amend these settings to force a different number of posts or
replies if you wish.
Next, click on Summary Settings of Level 3, which is shown as a cog icon under the
summary field.
In the summary settings page, under Restrict access | Activity completion
condition, select the Forum activity that you want users to participate in on the left,
and select must be marked complete on the right, which will unlock Level 3.
Also, under Before section can be accessed, select Hide section entirely, bearing in
mind that you could also select to keep the section visible but grayed out if you wish,
by selecting the alternative option in this field.
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Now when a user posts a forum post and replies to one post, when they return to the
course page, they will see that Level 3 has been revealed, as shown in the following
left-hand side screenshot. When the level title is clicked on, the user will enter the
actual level (shown in the following right-hand side screenshot).
Summary
In this chapter we have provided you with ideas for delivering content to mobile
devices from your Moodle site. We focused on file resources, links to eBook and
App libraries, using QR codes, SCORM resources, and the glossary activity. We also
looked at a use of the cohorts features for delivering performance-support resources
that are particularly relevant for mobile delivery, and the use of levels based on
games to engage your mobile learners.
In this chapter we only looked at what we call static content, such as files and web
pages. But there is, of course, a whole other world of content commonly termed
"multimedia" that may use audio, video, and animation. The next chapter looks
at multimedia content in more depth.
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Content to Mobiles
In this chapter, we look at how to deliver multimedia content from Moodle to
mobile devices.
Setting up a podcast
Audio can be a useful addition to your course, either to support students who are
poor readers, or to support a specific topic or subject, such as language learning,
telephone skills, and tone of voice topics, all of which are unlikely to be completely
effective without some audio.
Audio is also useful for the 5 to 10 percent of the population who have some form of
dyslexia. Although this may be mild in many cases, it's another barrier to learning
for those who may find it difficult to learn through text-heavy content.
Do use audio wisely, though. An abundance of audio can slow down an online
learning experience to an intolerable pace for fast readers who simply prefer text.
The trick is in achieving the right balance.
There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to podcasting. The following
list should help you decide if this is right for your course:
Advantages:
• Most learners can hear
• Many learners have problems with reading
• Good for learners with visual impairments
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• Good for learners with low levels of literacy or with dyslexia
• Good for learners for whom English is a second language
• Some content needs sound to be effective; for example, language learning
Disadvantages:
• Learners are not able to listen at their own pace
• Needs good skills and tools to produce and update
• Depending on production qualities, can be moderately expensive
• Requires specific plugins and hardware (for example, headphones)
• Localization is difficult and expensive
There are podcasting modules for Moodle, but first we shall set up a podcast using a
Moodle forum with an RSS feed that can be picked up in iTunes or other podcasting
tools. To do this perform the following steps:
1. Go to ADMINISTRATION | Site administration | Advanced features.
Scroll down to the Enable RSS feeds checkbox and select it, and then click
on Save changes at the bottom of the screen.
2. Go to ADMINISTRATION | Site administration | Plugins | Activity
modules | Forum. Scroll down to the Enable RSS feeds drop-down box
and select Yes, and then click on Save changes at the bottom of the screen.
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3. Then in your course page, click on Turn editing on and then click on Add an
activity or resource.
4. In the forum settings, there will now be an RSS section. Select Posts in the
RSS feed for this activity drop-down box, and select the number of recent
articles you want to display in the podcast feed, in the Number of RSS
recent articles drop-down box.
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5. In the forum settings, there will is also an Attachments and word count
section. In the Maximum attachment size field, select an appropriate value.
If in doubt, choose the highest attachment size allowed.
6. All other fields should be fine to leave with their default settings. Note that
there are a set of Ratings field, should you wish learners to be able to rate
your podcasts.
7. Click on Save and return to course at the bottom of the page.
8. Enter the forum and click on Add a new discussion topic.
9. Specify your subject, message (description of podcast), and attach the MP3
file for your podcast. Then click on Post to forum.
Learner view of podcasts
The learner view of a podcast resource is shown in the following screenshot
(taken using a 7-inch Android tablet):
1. On your course page, navigate to the podcast forum activity.
2. Expand the SETTINGS block if it is not already expanded.
3. Under Forum administration, click on the RSS feed of posts link.
4. This will open the RSS URL, which can be copied into iTunes or similar
software to subscribe to the podcast. Alternatively, it may open a podcasting
app on the mobile device automatically if such an app has been installed.
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Audio add-on
There are audio add-ons for Moodle that embed an audio recorder into Moodle.
Because these are submitted to the Moodle community by contributing developers,
they should always be thoroughly tested before using in a live environment.
Features typically offered by audio add-ons include:
• Online audio recording: This is an assignment type that allows students
to record an audio clip from their microphone and upload it into Moodle
as an MP3
• YouTube submission: This is an assignment type that allows students to
record video clips and upload them to YouTube, and make them accessible
from within the Moodle assignment activity
• Record audio: This allows teachers to record audio from their microphone
and upload this into Moodle as a file for playing back within a course
• Media capture: This adds a media file repository with audio recorder,
for teachers to record audio files for insertion into their courses
Providing audio instructions
Teachers can use a voice recorder on their mobile device to record audio instruction
briefs regarding forthcoming assignments. Students can then download the audio
file to their device and play it back in their own time. See the Setting up file downloads
section in Chapter 3, Delivering Static Content to Mobiles, for instructions on how to
upload a file to your course page for access by your students.
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Audio files can also be put into an RSS feed, in which case they will be
auto-downloaded to students' mobiles as a podcast. See the Setting up a podcast
section earlier in this chapter for instructions on how to upload an audio file as
part of an RSS feed.
Making the audio recording will vary from one device type to another due to the
different applications they are shipped with. There are many voice recording apps
available in the device app stores including free ones, such as Smart Voice Recorder
and Easy Voice Recorder for Android mobile devices. Usage of the actual recording
tools is outside the scope of this book, but look for one that allows you to vary
the output file type and quality, which will help you to keep the file size as low
as possible and optimize it for mobile delivery.
The priority for an audio instruction is accessibility rather than high quality, so you
can choose lower sample rates and bit depths than are normally needed, if your
recording app allows you alter these values. You also need files that can be read by
the majority of audio players on the market, and in particular by mobile devices.
You should therefore use a standard, compressed file format that is suited to web
delivery, such as MP3.
Providing an audio feedback file
Teachers can use the voice recorder on their mobile device to record audio feedback,
which can be more immediate and personal than written feedback. A JISC report
titled Effective Assessment in a Digital Age, reported that feedback is richer; tutors can
expand on salient points, vary the tone, pitch and pace of the voice, and add humor
to build rapport, opening the door to an ongoing dialogue between student and
tutor. Tutors have found the process convenient and efficient, and even pleasurable.
Once a lengthy, time-consuming process, giving detailed feedback now takes place
with less effort and in a shorter time.
Audio feedback can then be attached to the assignment feedback so that students can
download the audio file to their device and play back in their own time. To enable
audio feedback, you will need to adjust the assignment settings to allow feedback
files to be uploaded. To do this, perform the following steps:
1. Enter your assignment and then click on ADMINISTRATION |
Assignment administration | Edit settings.
2. Under Feedback types, select the Feedback files checkbox.
3. Click on Save and return to course or Save and display.
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The following tasks use screenshots taken from a 7-inch Android tablet:
1. In your course page, click on the assignment activity you wish to grade
and click on the View/grade all submissions link in the top-right corner.
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2. On the submitted assignments screen you can click on the link in the file
submission column to view it and on the Grade icon in order to provide your
feedback. This table has quite a lot of columns, so even on a desktop computer
you need to scroll right to view all the columns. On a mobile device you should
simply be able to swipe left and right to view all the columns. In the following
screenshot we have turned the mobile device to landscape view to see a wider
area and can see the Submission and Grade columns:
3. Clicking on the Grade icon takes you to the submission feedback screen.
Here, you can view the submission status, select a grade, provide written
feedback, and attach a feedback file. To select a response file, scroll down
to the Feedback files field and click on the Add... button.
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4. The File picker window opens. Click on Choose File.
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5. At this point, your device's built-in file picker takes over, and you need to
pick an action and browse to your feedback file.
6. Once the file has been selected, it will be listed in the File picker screen.
You can then click on the Upload this file button.
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7. The new audio file now appears in the blue box. Click on the Save
changes button.
Delivering Lecturecasts to mobiles
There are a range of Lecturecast products on the market. These typically consist
of hardware and software solutions that record the audio and video components
of a lecture. The main consideration of these products for the purposes of mobile
learning is in the playback of the lecture recordings through Moodle.
Popular Lecturecast products include:
• Capture Station from Accordent Solutions
• Matterhorn, an open source application from Opencast
• Echo360 from EchoSystems
• CourseCast from Panopto
• Mediasite
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At the time of writing, there are various advantages and
disadvantages to using some of these products for Moodle-based
institutions. For example, Matterhorn has Apple and Android
playback apps which is good, and Lecturecasts can be accessed
from Moodle, however, a lack of authentication means that links
are available to all students and not just those enrolled in the
course. Echo360 is Flash-based, while Coursecast and Mediasite
are both based on Silverlight, which limits their usage on mobile
devices. You will need to research thoroughly which is the right
tool for your own institution.
The Lecturecast products listed above have various mechanisms for playing back
lecture recordings through Moodle. For example, Panopto has a Moodle block which
displays an RSS feed that students can subscribe to, and displays a list of recordings
for playback. Panopto content can be displayed within Moodle by using the Learning
Tools Interoperability (LTI) standard, which both Moodle and Panopto support.
Such blocks will display fine in mobile devices, but you will need to think about
block placement, bearing in mind that left blocks appear above the content and
right blocks below the content in a single column view. Also remember the rules of
mobile device viewing; as a rule of thumb you can expect a learner to engage with a
tablet-based task for half an hour, and a smartphone-based task for just a quarter of
an hour. With that in mind, lecture playback on smartphones would not be a natural
priority, but on tablets it should be.
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Other considerations to take into account include:
• Be sure to test the quality of the streaming from different connections,
such as over 3G, and over institution wireless networks, to test the
quality of video streaming
• Check whether lecture playback requires any software plugins,
as some—such as Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight—are not
mobile friendly
• Does the lecture playback display appropriately on mobile browsers,
or alternatively is there an app for playback on mobile devices
Flipping the classroom
It has become increasingly popular in recent years to adopt a "flipped
classroom" approach, whereby instead of delivering a lecture to
students then asking them to go away and submit a piece of homework,
the students view the lecture as the homework before the classroom
event, and use the classroom time for discussion and analysis of the
lecture. Search online for "flipped classroom" for a wealth of resources
and research on this interesting subject.
Creating a video lesson
Role: Tutor
Time: 30 minutes and above
Device: Desktop
Many distance learning courses make use of recorded lectures played back as a
single recording; however, it is much better practice to split up online lectures into
smaller chunks in order to allow time for student reflection. Fortunately, Moodle has
an excellent tool for doing just this, called the Lesson activity. A Lesson is a collection
of pages incorporating text and media, question screens, and even branching pages
that can build up a personal learning path through the activity. Using the Lesson
activity for lecture playback allows us to intersperse recorded lecture components
with text summary screens and question screens, in order to test understanding
before moving on to the next lecture clip.
Remember that while you can upload video files if you wish, Moodle
is not a streaming media server and it is highly likely that the playback
of your video will be slow or stuttering if your site gets busy. For this
example, we are embedding video from the MediaCore streaming
service and have been provided with a code snippet to embed in the
Moodle page.
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To create a Lesson activity, perform the following steps:
1. Click on Add an activity or resource, and then select Lesson.
2. In the Add a new Lesson screen, there are a number of important fields
to complete in order to set the activity up for a lecture recording with
interspersed text and question screens. These are as follows:
°°
Under General, the Name field should contain short and concise
name for displaying on a mobile screen
°°
Under Grade, the Grade field should be set to No Grade, and all
Grade options set to No, as we are not scoring this activity
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°°
Under Flow control, the Allow student review field should should
be set to Yes so that students can navigate the lesson from the start
multiple times
°°
Under Appearance, the Progress bar field should be set to Yes which
shows the completion through the activity beneath the content
3. Click on Save and display once all fields are filled in.
4. You will then progress to an empty Lesson activity and need to start
populating it with your data. The empty lesson will prompt you to Import
questions, Add a content page, Add a cluster, or Add a question page.
5. We will start by clicking on Add a content page.
6. On the Add a content page screen, fill in the following fields:
°°
Page title: This should be the title of your page.
°°
Page contents: This provides a HTML editor for you to add your page
content. Here we have added an introduction page for the lecture.
°°
Arrange content buttons horizontally?: If selected, it displays the
navigation buttons horizontally.
°°
Display in left menu?: If selected, it displays the page on the content
menu on the left.
There are then four content field groups, each containing:
°°
Description: This is the text that will appear on the button.
°°
Jump: This is used when we select next page, as we are building
a linear path through the pages.
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An unlabelled drop-down list in which we select Moodle auto-format.
7. Note that as we are just adding a single path through the lesson, we only
populate the Content 1 field.
8. Click on the Save page button at the bottom of the form.
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9. The page will then be displayed with a number of options, above and below
the content item, which allow you to either Import questions, Add a content
page, Add a cluster, or Add a question page here.
10. We will now go on to add another content page, into which we will add our
first lecture clip. In this case we go through the same steps as for the previous
screen; however, when we get to the Page contents field we need to embed a
video clip.
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11. Add some introduction text in the HTML editor, and then click on the Edit
HTML Source button, which is simply labeled HTML. This will toggle the
view to the HTML source editor, where you can add your code snippet. If
this is the first time you have ever seen or used the HTML source editor,
then please do not fear. This tool is normally used by advanced Moodle
administrators to add custom code to their pages, but all we are doing in this
case is embedding a small code snippet that is provided by the MediaCore
streaming service. We do not need to understand what the code means or
does, but simply need to embed the snippet into the Moodle page. To do
this, we need to go into the HTML source editor as described.
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12. Click on the Update button, to toggle the view back to HTML Editor mode,
and you will see your inserted video clip.
Note that in this example we added some instruction text beneath the video
code snippet, which instructs the user to click on the button to continue.
It is a good practice to prompt the user like this, but it is your choice as
to whether you wish to include such text.
13. Click on Save page to continue.
14. We will now add a question screen, before adding our next video clip. First,
click on Add a Question page here, and then select a Question Type from
the list.
15. The Page title and Page contents fields are the same as we have just seen.
Enter your question into the Page contents field.
16. You can now add up to four answer and response pairs in the fields that
follow. Note also that you select the Multiple-answer box if you want
students to be able to select more than one answer.
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17. Below the Answer and Response fields, you can also select the Jump value,
which will be the target location of the button following the question. Using
the Jump button, you can now branch off to different pages depending on
the answer selected, or just point all buttons to Next page if you have a linear
Lesson, such as we are building here.
18. Click on Save page to continue.
19. Keep adding further pages until you have completed your Lesson activity.
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There is a Preview tab at the top of the screen, to allow you to see how your Lesson
activity will look to your students.
To the student on a mobile device, the Lesson activity will look like the following:
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Summary
In this chapter we took a closer look at using multimedia content in Moodle for
mobile learning. This focused on audio and video content. Firstly we looked at
setting up podcasts in Moodle by using the RSS feature, so that users can subscribe
to the Moodle podcast from podcast apps on their mobile devices. We also looked
at the use of audio for assignment instruction and feedback.
We then looked at two examples of how video can be used in Moodle for mobile
learning. The first was with video lecture casting, where students may wish to catch
up on lecture recordings from mobile devices. In the second example, we looked at
how video material can be presented to learners by chunking the video up into short
clips and adding these into a Lesson activity, with questions between video clips
to test knowledge retention. This is an approach that can be preferable to simply
uploading a 30 or 60 minute video that runs in full.
In the next chapter we look at assignments in detail, which are another major
feature of Moodle that can be tailored for effective mobile delivery.
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Image Assignments
An important element of mobile learning is using the built-in audio recording and
camera capabilities of the mobile devices in students' pockets, enabling them to
capture audio, photos, or videos, and upload these into Moodle.
It is important to understand how different file types behave on mobile devices,
and certain audio, video, and image file types will require software or apps to view
them that may need to be installed on the device.
The possibilities for audio, photo, and video assignments are almost endless. Here
are a few ideas to stimulate your thoughts:
Examples of audio assignments include:
• Music assignments
• Oral / language assignments
• Second language assignments
• Interview assignments
• Audio journals
• Presenting a persuasive argument
Examples of video assignments include:
• Taking video of animal movements for biology assignments
• Language assignments
• Role-play assignments
• Sociology assignments
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Examples of photo assignments include:
• Photography / art course assignments
• Taking pictures of animals or plants for biology assignments
• Neighborhood landmarks
• Weather and landscape photos for geography assignments
There are a number of options for submission. If all submissions are to be open
and public then the database activity is a good idea, and the forum activity is also a
possibility. If submissions should remain private, then assignment types requiring
the upload of a single file, or advanced uploading of files, would be appropriate.
Let's take a look at each of these in turn.
Creating an assignment brief for offline
viewing
For all mobile assignments, it makes sense to create an assignment briefing document
and upload this as a file into your course page. This will allow your students to
download the assignment brief to their mobiles for viewing when they are not
logged in, or have no internet connection. See the Setting up file downloads section
in Chapter 3, Delivering Static Content to Mobiles, for instructions on how to upload
a document to your course page for access by your students.
Setting up an assignment for file
submission
1. On your course page, click on Turn editing on, and in one of your topic
areas, go to Add an activity or resource and click on Assignment.
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2. On the Adding an Assignment page, fill in the following fields,
as appropriate:
°°
General | Assignment name: It is something descriptive, but short
and simple.
°°
General | Description: This should be recommended that you add
some basic instruction text that will be displayed on the course page,
rather than using this to add the full assignment brief. For example,
"Record your audio file on your mobile device and upload your file
here." Keep it short, and then create a separate assignment brief as
a document that can be downloaded to students' mobile devices for
offline viewing.
°°
General | Display description on course page: It is recommended
that you select this checkbox so that the brief instruction text is
displayed on the course page itself.
°°
Assignment settings: This contains a number of fields, such as dates
and notifications, which can be set according to your needs, and do
not impact mobile usage.
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°°
Submission settings | Online text: This should be set to No,
and File submissions should be set to Yes, as we wish to accept
audio file submissions in this case.
°°
Submission settings | Maximum number of uploaded files and
Maximum submission size: These can be set to whatever values
you wish. Maximum number of uploaded files allows you set
limits on how many files your students can upload, which can be
useful feature.
°°
Submission settings | Submission comments: This can be set to
Yes or No, depending on whether you want students to submit
comments alongside their files.
°°
Feedback settings: This contains a number of fields regarding
how you allow teachers to give feedback; these do not impact
on mobile usage.
°°
Grade | Grade: This allows you to select any grade from 1 to 100, no
grade at all, or scale grade.
°°
Grade | Grading method: This contains Simple direct grading,
along with two more advanced grading mechanisms, Marking
guide and Rubric, which provide more complex assessment forms
for criteria-based assessment.
°°
Grade | Grade category: This controls the category in which the
activity's grades appear in the grade book. By default, this field is
empty, and categories need to be added by a teacher.
For more details on all of these settings, check the following link:
http://docs.moodle.org/24/en/Assignment_settings
3. Once you have set all required fields, click on Save and return to course.
Submitting a file assignment
The tablet view (shown on the right) shows most of the course page, while the
smaller smartphone view (shown on the left) just fits the resource and activity on
one screen (the user here has scrolled down to this particular entry). Bear in mind,
that the amount of scrolling required by the users is dependent on their particular
smartphone, so again we have limited the instruction text to the minimum possible.
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In order to submit an assignment, the student should perform the following tasks
after clicking on the Assignment link on the course page
1. Click on the Add submission button below the Submission status table.
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2. There are no files attached yet, so you need to add a file. Do so by either
clicking on Add, or by dragging a file into the drag-and-drop area, if your
browser supports the drag-and-drop of files.
3. The File picker window will now open. To upload a file click on the Upload
a file link on the left and then click on the Choose File button.
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4. At this point, your device's built-in file picker takes over, and you need to
select an action and browse to your file.
5. Once the file has been selected, you can click on the Upload this file button
and then on the next screen click on the Save changes button. The assignment
has now been successfully submitted. If this assignment allows multiple
submissions then you can click on Add again, and select additional files to
upload, up to the maximum allowed number (if a limit was set).
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6. After clicking on Save changes, the Submission status page will display the
Submission status value as Submitted for grading and the File submissions
area will contain a link to the file(s) you have uploaded.
The same task can also performed by using the Moodle Mobile app, by following the
following steps:
1. Open the app on your mobile device, and enter your login details on the
login screen, as shown in the following (left-most) screenshot:
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2. Once logged in to the app, click on Upload, and then select either
Photo albums, Camera, or Audio, as shown in the following
(right-most) screenshot:
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3. Clicking on Audio will bring up the built-in voice recorder, and allow you to
capture a recording, as shown in the following (left-most) screenshot. There
are three buttons at the bottom of the recorder. The left (circle) icon is record,
the center (triangle) icon is play, and the right (square) icon is stop. Use the
buttons to make your recording, and when you click on stop you will be
asked whether to save or discard the recording, as shown in the following
(right-most) screenshot:
4. When you click on Done, the app will upload the recording to the Private
files area in Moodle and will notify you once the upload is complete, as
shown in the following screenshot:
5. The file is now stored in Moodle, but you still need to move it from the
Private files area in Moodle and submit it as an assignment.
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You will need to log in to Moodle directly in order to do this. The Moodle Mobile
app does allow you to browse your course and find your assignment, however, at
this point it links off to the live site, and will ask you to log in again and then display
the live site in the app's built-in browser. It's not a graceful user experience, so you
are much better off just opening the site in your standard browser to perform this
task. In the future, the mobile app should integrate much more deeply with activities
and resources in order to reduce the reliance on a link to the site itself.
To add a file in Private files into an Assignment in Moodle, perform the
following steps:
1. On the Assignment page, click on Add submission or Edit my submission.
In this case we are adding a file to an existing one, so will click on Edit
my submission.
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2. You will now see the files currently added to the assignment. To add a new
one, click on the Add... link on the top left of the window, as shown in the
following screenshot:
3. This launches the File picker pop-up window. On the left of File picker there
are a number of menu options, including Recent files, Upload a file, URL
downloader, Private files, and Wikimedia. If it is not already selected,
click on Private files, which is where the Moodle Mobile App has uploaded
your recording to.
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4. You can then select from the list of files that have been uploaded into the
Private files area of your Moodle profile.
5. When you select one of the files, a new window will display detailed
information about the file, and allow you to click on the Select this file
button to select it.
6. The file will then appear in the main assignment page, alongside the original
file, or on its own if was a first upload into a new assignment.
7. Click on Save changes to complete the task.
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Setting up a Database assignment
The database activity is an excellent choice for submitting the that are to be shared
among the class. It allows the students and teachers to build a collection of resources
that is fully searchable. It's a very flexible activity with a wide range of configuration
options to support almost every conceivable scenario in which you might want to
use it.
The large amount of flexibility the database activity affords you does mean that
the activity is sometimes perceived as being complicated or difficult to use.
It doesn't have to be, though. Perform the following simple steps to set up a
database assignment:
1. On your course page, click on Turn editing on, and in one of your topic
areas, click on Add an activity or resource, select Database, and then click
on the Add button.
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2. On the Updating database page, fill in the following fields, as appropriate:
°°
°°
°°
°°
°°
°°
°°
°°
°°
°°
General | Name: This should be something descriptive, but short
and simple.
General | Description: It is recommended that you add some basic
instruction text here that will be displayed on the course page,
rather than using this to add the actual student brief. For example,
"Record your audio file on your mobile device and upload your file
here." Create a separate assignment brief as a document that can be
downloaded to students' mobile devices for offline viewing.
General | Display description on course page: It is recommended
that you select this checkbox so that the brief instruction text is
displayed on the course page itself.
General | Available from and to dates: If your activity requires it,
then select dates as needed. You can also make your database readonly by selecting dates for Read-only from and Read-only to.
General | Required entries: This is used if you wish to set the
number of entries required of each student.
General | Entries required before viewing: This is useful if you
want to enforce uploading of a file by students before they can access
the other files.
General | Maximum entries: This is used if you want to set the
maximum number of uploads a student can submit.
General | Comments: This is used if you want students to be able to
comment on each other's uploads.
General | Require approval: If this option is selected, then a teacher
must approve each entry before it is displayed.
Ratings: This option allows certain users with appropriate
permissions to rate each entry.
3. Edit any other fields as you see fit, and then click on Save and display.
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You now need to set up how the records will be displayed. There are a number of
presets and options to choose from; however, for mobile device viewing we suggest
the following options are used:
• On the Fields tab, you should add the fields that will appear on the upload
page. Keep the number of fields low in order to make it easy to upload from
a mobile device. In our example, we just have three fields, for title, caption,
and the audio file itself. Go to the drop-down box under Create a new field,
select the field types shown, and fill in the name and click on Add for each
one. This will create your basic upload form.
• On the Templates tab, you need to at least define the list view, and single
entry view. For each view, you can select from a number of placeholder tags
that you add to a table in the HTML editor area. This is where it gets a little
complicated, but, remember that these are only tables you are setting up,
and if you can set up a table in a word document, for example, you can
set up a table here. Copy the one given next to try it out, and then make
edits from there.
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• The List template controls how the list of entries will look on the page.
Tables with lots of columns do not work well on mobile devices, particularly
on the narrow screen of a smartphone, so we suggest using a single column
view like the one shown in the following example:
• The Single template controls how the entry will look on its own page.
Again, we have gone with a single column format, as shown in the
following screenshot, which we suggest you copy:
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Learner submission of a Database
assignment
Perform the following steps to submit a Database assignment:
1. On the course page, click on the Assignment link. In this example, we will
click on the Audio Database activity link.
2. We can see that no files have yet been added, as it says No entries in
database. To add files, click on the Add entry link.
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3. You can now enter the Title and Caption values, and then click on Add... to
locate your audio file.
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4. The File picker window will now open. If the file is already in your Private
files area then you can just select it, otherwise click on the Upload a file link
on the left and click on the Choose File button to find your file and upload it.
5. At this point your device's built-in file picker takes over, and you need to
select an action and browse to your file.
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6. Once the file has been selected, you can click on the Upload this file button,
after which the new audio file appears in the File box. Next, click on the
Save and view button.
7. The file is now saved, and you are taken to the single entry view of your
new entry.
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The final result will look something like the following screenshots. The screenshot on
the left shows the smartphone view of database activity, while the screenshot on the
right shows the tablet view of the same activity:
Summary
Mobile devices have built-in functionality for capturing audio, video, and photos,
so assignments that allow users to upload files are an excellent way to build mobile
learning activities into your teaching. We focused on uploading audio files, but, any
of the examples in this chapter could be used for photo or video files too.
In the next chapter we look at another form of knowledge capture: that of reflective
logs and journals.
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Reflective Logs and Journals
In this chapter we will look at the other big use of mobile devices for knowledge
capture: reflective logs and journals. For example, this is a key use of Moodle in
apprenticeships and there are a number of activities in Moodle that can be used
for keeping reflective logs. These are ideal for mobile learning as reflective log
entries tend to be shorter than traditional assignments and lend themselves well
to production on a tablet or even a smartphone, especially as the apprentice is very
likely to be in a mobile environment in their workplace. Consumption of reflective
logs is also perfect for both smartphone and tablet devices as these shorter posts
tend to be readable in less than 5 minutes.
Many institutions use Moodle coupled with an ePortfolio tool, such as Mahara or
Onefile, to manage apprenticeship programs. There are also additional books on
ePortfolio tools like Mahara by Packt Publishing should you wish to investigate a
third-party, open source ePortfolio solution.
Setting up a reflective log using
assignment
Role: Tutor
Time: 15 minutes and above
Device: Smartphone or Tablet
Using Assignment as a reflective log is probably the best tool at our disposal within
standard Moodle features. It allows apprentices to repeatedly add reflective notes
over time, upload file attachments, and submit the reflective log for assessment. Its
only drawback is that the log is a single HTML text area, so the apprentice must
remember to date each entry themselves.
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To set up a reflective log, perform the following steps:
1. On your course page, click on Turn editing on and then, in one of your topic
areas, select Add an activity or resource and click on Assignment.
2. On the Adding a new Assignment page, fill in the fields as follows:
°°
Submission settings | Require students click submit button:
This can be set to Yes so that students can keep an ongoing draft in
the system and click on Submit only when they are happy that the
reflective log is complete and ready for marking.
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°°
Submission types | Online text (Ticked): This enables an online
text area as well as the uploading of files, allowing the student to
enter notes, which is essential for this particular scenario of work
placement note taking.
°°
Submission types | File submissions: This allows students to
upload files.
°°
Submission types | Submission comments: Setting this to Yes
allows students to add comments to their own submissions, which is
quite useful for reflective log purposes.
°°
Submission types | Maximum number of uploaded files: Up to 20
files can be allowed; it would be useful to select a maximum value
here. This could be photos or documents, for example.
°°
Submission types | Maximum submission size: Select a high
enough setting that reflects the types of uploads you students may
be making. For example, if they are uploading video or audio files,
select the largest setting.
°°
Grade | No grade: If you are not submitting your work, it does not
require grading.
3. Click on Save and return to course.
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Submitting a reflective log using
assignment
Role: Student
Time: 15 minutes and above
Device: Smartphone or Tablet
To submit a reflective log, perform the following steps:
1. On the course page click on the assignment link. In this example we will click
on the Reflective assignment activity link.
2. We can see that no files have been uploaded and no notes have been added
yet. Click on Add submission.
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3. The HTML editor now appears and you can start adding some notes, and
upload a file if you wish. Once you are done, click on Save changes.
4. The notes will then appear on the main page. Your Submission status
will show as Draft (not submitted) and Grading status will show as Not
graded. You can at this point choose to either Edit my submission or Submit
assignment. You can now add further notes and files in a similar manner
throughout your placement.
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5. Once you are satisfied that the reflective journal is complete, click on
Submit assignment.
6. You will then see a confirmation message, at which point you should click on
Continue to submit your assignment.
7. Your Submission status will show as Submitted for grading, and the
Grading status will be Not graded.
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Grading a reflective log using assignment
Role: Assessor
Time: 15 minutes and above
Device: Desktop or Tablet
To review and grade a reflective log, perform the following steps:
1. On the course page, click on the assignment link. In this example we
will click on the Reflective assignment activity link.
2. On the assignment page you will see the Grading summary block.
Click on View/grade all submissions.
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3. You will then see the grading screen, and can view all submitted
assignments, edit grades, and add feedback.
4. Click on the Grade icon next to the Submitted for grading entry. On the
Submission status screen you can view the assignment submission in full,
give it a grade, and add your feedback. Then click on Save changes.
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Setting up a reflective log using
individual forums
Role: Tutor
Time: 5 minutes
Device: Desktop
Forums are an excellent way of providing a more informal reflective log, and they
are arguably a more usable alternative to the Assignment activity because each entry
has its own timestamp, and it has support for file attachments. However, individual
forums cannot be formally submitted by the apprentice and cannot be closed once
complete. They instead provide a journal that is "always open".
To set up a reflective log using individual forums, perform the following steps:
1. On your course page, click on Course administration | Users | Groups, and
then click on the Auto-create groups button.
2. On the Auto-create groups page, set Specify to Members of Group and
then set Group/member count to 1. This will set up a group for every
individual apprentice, and we can then set up the Forum activity for
Separate groups so that each apprentice sees their own personal forum posts
and not anyone else's.
3. On your course page, click on Turn editing on, and in one of your topic
areas, select Add an activity or resource, and then click on Forum.
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4. On the Adding Forum page, fill in the fields as follows:
°°
°°
General | Forum type should be Standard forum displayed in a
blog-like format
Common module settings | Group mode should be Separate groups
5. Then click on Save and display.
Submitting a reflective log using
individual forums
Role: Student
Time: 15 minutes and above
Device: Smartphone or Tablet
To submit a reflective log, perform the following steps:
1. On the course page, click on the assignment link. In this example we will
click on the Reflective log activity link.
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2. On first entry, the forum will be empty, so click on the Add a new topic
button to start your journal.
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3. Add text and media using the HTML editor, add file attachments if you wish,
and then click on Post to forum.
Reviewing a reflective log using
individual forums
Role: Assessor
Time: 15 minutes and above
Device: Desktop or Tablet
To review and grade a reflective log, perform the following steps:
1. On your course page, click on the Forum activity.
2. By default you will see all forum entries, but if you select the Separate
Groups drop-down menu at the top of the page, you will be able to see
all of the groups in the course. Remember that each group is an
individual apprentice.
3. At this point you may wish to navigate to Course administration | Users |
Groups and change the names of the groups to the apprentices' names, as
the auto-create group feature gives the groups either letters or numbers as
names, not the apprentice name.
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4. Select the group and you will then be able to view only the posts for
that apprentice.
5. Click on Discuss this topic to add a comment to any specific post.
Setting up Moodle for course blogs
Role: Tutor
Time: 15 minutes and above
Device: Desktop
Course blogs are another way of providing a more informal reflective log. Like
the individual forum, each entry has its own timestamp and file attachments are
supported, which gives them an edge over assignments in terms of usability.
However, as with individual forums, course blogs cannot be formally submitted
by the apprentice and cannot be closed once complete. They instead provide a
journal that is "always open". Due to the open nature of blogs, they may contravene
local laws in some countries for users under a certain age, so check with your legal
counsel or manager if in doubt.
Blogs are enabled by default in Moodle. You can change the system-wide blog
settings as follows:
1. Click on ADMINISTRATION | Site administration | Appearance | Blog.
2. In the Blog visibility field there are three options:
°°
The world can read entries set to be world-accessible: This is useful
if you want to share blog posts with users outside of your site.
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°°
All site users can see all blog entries: This is the normal setting.
Note that you can amend blog accessibility settings by amending the
permissions for certain user roles in the Site administration settings.
°°
Users can only see their own blog: This will help you if you wish the
blog posts to remain private.
More advanced settings include the following fields:
°°
Enable blog associations: This enables the association of blog entries
with courses and course modules.
°°
Enable external blogs: This allows a student to import from their
external blog's RSS feed if they wish.
°°
Enable comments: This allows users to comment on blog posts.
°°
Show comments count: This displays the number of comments next
to each blog post.
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3. Click on the Save changes button.
4. Students will now be able to see the Blogs menu under NAVIGATION |
My profile, as follows:
5. Once blogs have been enabled in Moodle, you should add the Blog Menu
block to your course page by clicking on Turn editing on and then selecting
Blog Menu under the Add a block drop-down menu.
Submitting a course blog post
Role: Student
Time: 15 minutes and above
Device: Smartphone or Tablet
To add a new blog entry, perform the following steps:
1. Click on NAVIGATION | My profile | Blogs | Add a new entry.
2. Fill in the blog post with at least a title and body, which are the only two
required fields.
3. Add an attachment if you wish.
4. Use the Publish to drop-down field to select whether to keep the post as a
draft or publish it to anyone on the site.
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5. Add tags if you wish. These are useful for collecting together posts from
across the course, or even across disciplines on a single topic, for example
a particular academic figure, so are well worth using.
6. Click on Save changes.
Adding a Blogs link to the site header
Role: Site Administrator
Time: 15 minutes and above
Device: Desktop
This handy tip will give mobile users quick access to site blogs without having to
scroll through the navigation block.
1. Click on ADMINISTRATION | Site administration | Appearance |
Theme settings.
2. Scroll down to the field Custom menu items. You can add menu items into
the empty text box. Each line consists of some menu text, a link URL, and a
tooltip title, separated by pipe characters.
3. So to add a Blogs link you can add the text Blogs|http://www.
moodleformobiles.com/blog/index.php?courseid=0|Site blogs,
replacing www.moodleformobiles.com with your own site's homepage URL.
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This will display a header bar throughout the site, like the following, which is shown
using the Bootstrap theme.
The same view on a mobile device uses the device's menu icon, which is a small
square icon in the top-right corner of the device screen. This icon, when clicked on,
expands to show a collapsible menu, as shown in the following screenshots. This
makes great use of screen space on a mobile device and is a useful way to navigate
to key sections of the site.
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Enabling portfolio export
Role: Tutor
Time: 15 minutes and above
Device: Desktop
Students in Moodle are able to export their work to an external portfolio system if
they wish. To set up your Moodle for portfolio export there are some administrative
tasks that you will need to perform, as they are disabled by default in Moodle:
1. Click on ADMINISTRATION | Site administration | Advanced features.
2. Select the Enable Portfolios checkbox, and then click on Save changes.
This will enable support for Portfolios on your Moodle site. You now need to
configure the portfolio output settings as follows:
1. Click on ADMINISTRATION | Site administration | Plugins | Portfolios
| Manage portfolios.
2. On the Manage portfolios page, you have a number of options that you can
enable and make visible, enable and hide, or disable completely. Note that
Mahara ePortfolio is disabled by default until Networking is enabled in
ADMINISTRATION | Site administration | Advanced features.
3. When you select each portfolio plugin it will automatically launch a settings
page, which you need to fill in and then click on Save changes.
4. You can now set the Common portfolio settings by navigating to
ADMINISTRATION | Site administration | Plugins | Portfolios |
Common portfolio settings.
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5. This page allows you to control how the system behaves when large
portfolios are being exported. It is worth consulting with your IT team on the
settings to use for this page, as they may differ depending on your network
speed and bandwidth.
Exporting your work to a portfolio
Role: Student
Time: 5 minutes and above
Device: Desktop, Tablet, or Smartphone
When portfolios are enabled, forum posts and other exportable data have an Export
to portfolio link or icon beside them. Items that may be exported to a portfolio
include:
• Assignment submissions—single and multiple file uploads
• Chat sessions
• Database activity entries
• Entire database activities
• Forum posts
• Glossary entries
Any of these individual items can be exported in image, text, HTML, or LEAP2A
format. These individual files can then be imported into an ePortfolio tool, such as
Mahara, as a piece of evidence in their own right.
To export a forum post you will need to do the following tasks:
1. Each activity type that is capable of being exported to a portfolio will have
an Export to portfolio link, which the student can click on to initiate the
export process.
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2. Once clicked you can select the export format, for example, HTML
with attachments in this case, as we are exporting a forum post with
a file attachment.
3. The drop-down box may at this point be overridden by the mobile device's
own interface for selecting drop-down field values, such as the Android
interface shown here:
4. Once the format type is selected, you are asked to click on Continue in order
to confirm that you want to complete the export.
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5. There will now be a Downloading… message while the item is exported.
6. Check your device download status, for example, on Android you can swipe
down from the top edge of the screen to reveal the system notifications that
will include a "download complete" message, as shown here.
7. Once downloaded, the file can be imported into an external ePortfolio tool if
you wish.
Summary
In this chapter we looked using Moodle for reflective logs and journals. We saw that
there are a number of activities in Moodle that can be used for keeping reflective
logs and journals, and that these are ideal mobile learning tools for both production
by the learner and consumption by their peers or tutors. We looked at assignments,
individual forums, and course blogs as reflective log tools, and we also touched
on ePortfolio tools and how Moodle work can be exported to an ePortfolio.
In the next chapter we move on to using Moodle for delivering assessments within
mobile learning.
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Performing Assessments
Using Mobiles
In this chapter, we look at how a number of different types of assessment tools
can built in Moodle by using the quiz activity, and how this can be optimized for
mobile learning.
Creating a quiz for formative assessment
There are a range of definitions of formative assessment, but the general approach is
one of providing qualitative feedback rather than scores, with the aim of modifying
learning activities in order to improve student attainment.
Formative assessment will occur during the learning process rather than at the end
of it. In a traditional classroom environment, formative assessment will be used to
adjust the teaching to the whole group. However, with online learning we can use
the tools within Moodle to adjust teaching for each individual user, for example, by
adjusting the individual's learning process and ensuring that each student embarks
on a learning path that is uniquely tailored to their individual needs. The techniques
we can use in Moodle include:
• End of topic quizzes, to test understanding before moving onto the next topic
• Conditional activities, to lock progress to the next topic until understanding
has been demonstrated in the current topic
• Open quizzes, that allow the user to self-assess their understanding, and that
include detailed feedback at the question level
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Setting up the quiz
Role: Tutor
Time: 15 minutes
Device: Desktop
To build a formative assessment by using the quiz activity, perform the
following steps:
1. Click on the Turn editing on button, select Add an activity or resource,
choose Quiz from the drop-down menu, and then click on Add.
2. The Quiz settings screen includes the following fields:
°°
General | Name: Here we can add a descriptive name for the quiz,
but keep it short and simple, such as Unit 1 Self-Assessment.
°°
General | Description: Here we can add some basic instruction text
for the quiz that will be displayed on the course page, keeping it as
short as possible.
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°°
Timing: This section contains a group of fields that is more useful in
summative assessments, so we would usually leave these disabled
for a formative assessment.
°°
Grades: Similarly, this section also contains a group of fields that
is more useful in summative assessments, so we could leave these
disabled for a formative assessment. However, you could use the
Highest Grade (under Grading method) setting as an incentive for
students to keep trying.
°°
Layout | Question order: We would normally set this to Shuffled
randomly for a formative assessment, so that the student cannot
memorize the questions. This relies on using question banks of a
large enough size, of course. There may be occasions where you wish
to display questions in order, for example, if you are using questions
that are built upon one another.
°°
Layout | New page: This allows you to select how many questions
are displayed per page. Many questions per page is fine for a desktop
computer, but on a mobile device where screen space is limited and
connectivity is more prone to disruption, it is better to have only one
question on each page (using the Every question option) in order to
minimize page scrolling. This also forces the quiz to save after ever
question in case of lost connectivity midway through.
°°
Question behavior | Shuffle within questions: This will shuffle
options in multiple-choice questions or any other question type
with multiple parts, which helps to ensure that the students cannot
memorize the right answers. There may be times when you don't
want to do this though, for example, if you have answers which
include an "All of the above" option in which case this option should
always be last.
3. The Question behavior | How questions behave field includes a number
of options, all of which have distinct uses and are important to get right for
formative assessment. The best feedback type for formative assessment, in
which we are focused more on feedback than grading, would be Adaptive
mode (no penalties) which supports multiple tries at each question with
hints, or Immediate feedback which only allows one chance per question but
you can provide feedback after each one. The full list of options are as follows:
°°
Adaptive mode: This allows students to have multiple attempts at a
question before moving on to the next one, and provides hints before
the student is allowed to try again, with subsequent attempts at a
question being awarded fewer marks.
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°°
Adaptive mode (no penalties): This is the same as Adaptive
mode but does not apply the penalty of fewer marks for multiple
question attempts.
°°
Deferred feedback: This forces students to answer each question and
submit the entire quiz before they receive any feedback.
°°
Deferred feedback with CBM: This includes Certainty-Based
Marking (CBM), whereby the student indicates how certain they are
that they got the question right. This grading then takes the certainty
into account; so that students are penalized for guessing an answer
which turned out to be correct, or were very confident about their
answer, but subsequently got it wrong.
°°
Immediate feedback: This forces students to submit each question
as they go along to get immediate feedback, but they only get one
chance at each question.
°°
Immediate feedback with CBM: This again includes the CertaintyBased Marking concept for this particular feedback type.
°°
Interactive with multiple tries: This forces students to submit each
question as they go along to get immediate feedback, and if they do
not get it right then they can have another try for fewer marks.
4. The Quiz settings screen includes a number of field groups under Review
options. These allow you to set detailed feedback options at the following
four stages:
°°
During the attempt: This will only display the feedback if the
appropriate feedback types are selected under How questions behave.
°°
Immediately after the attempt: This will display the feedback for the
first two minutes after Submit all and finish is clicked.
°°
Later, while the quiz is still open: This will display the feedback
until the quiz close date.
°°
After the quiz is closed: This will display the feedback after the quiz
close date has passed. If the quiz does not have a close date, this state
is never reached.
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5. Each of the four groups mentioned in the above step contain the same set
of the following fields which can be ticked or unticked depending on your
preference as a teacher:
°°
Whether correct: This will display whether the answer to the
question was correct, partially correct, or incorrect
°°
Marks: This will display the marks awarded for the answer
°°
Specific feedback: This will display the feedback for the particular
answer that the student entered, for example, a multiple-choice
question with four possible answers
°°
General feedback: This will display the feedback for the whole
question and will be seen by all students irrespective of the marks
they got for that question, which is good for fully-worked answers
with links to further information
°°
Right answer: This will show the correct response, but can be turned
off if you wish to provide a full explanation of the correct answer in
the general feedback instead
°°
Overall feedback: The response will be displayed at the end of the
attempt and is tailored for specific grade ranges
6. Together, all of these feedback options provide a tremendous level of
flexibility and allow you to tailor your quiz to the circumstances in which
it is to be delivered. For a typical formative assessment, we would suggest
selecting the following set of options as a starting point for your quiz, and
then adjusting as you see fit for your own circumstances:
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7. The remaining field groups can be left with the default settings, although one
final important group remains: Overall feedback. This is where you can set
the feedback for the whole attempt, within certain grade boundaries, so that
students may receive overall quiz feedback that is appropriate to their level
of attainment.
8. Once you have filled in all of the fields, click on Save to submit the quiz
settings, and then you can start actually building the quiz itself.
Building a question bank
Role: Tutor
Time: 30 minutes and above
Device: Desktop
With a formative assessment, it is better to create a question bank from which
random questions can be drawn into the actual quiz. To create a question bank,
perform the following steps:
1. Navigate to ADMINISTRATION | Quiz administration | Question bank.
Select the question bank category from the drop-down list. You can select a
question bank just for this specific quiz, for the wider course, category, or full
system. For this self-assessment, we will build a question bank for just this
specific quiz. The remaining fields can all be left with their unselected default
states, unless you wish otherwise.
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2. Click on the Create a new question... button. You can now select the question
type from a list of 11 question types that come as standard with Moodle. We
will set up a simple question by selecting the Multiple choice question type
option, and then clicking on Next.
3. We can now populate our question with, among other fields, the
following information:
°°
Question name, which will be displayed in the question bank, so
make it easily identifiable
°°
Question text, which will be displayed to the student
°°
General feedback, which is mentioned previous section, and should
be applied to the whole question and it will be seen by all students
irrespective of the marks they got for that question, so use this for full
answers with links to further information
°°
For each choice, we can define an answer, grade, and specific feedback
4. Click on Save Changes to save the question into the question bank.
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5. Continue to add questions to your question bank until you have reached a
number from which a quiz can be constructed. There are a lot of question
types available in Moodle; however, there are additional question types and
behaviors available as Moodle plugins.
Building your quiz
Role: Tutor
Time: 15 minutes
Device: Desktop
The key concepts to remember when building a quiz are: a quiz contains a number of
questions split over one or more pages, and those questions can be added to a quiz
directly, or pulled in from a question bank either randomly or selectively. There are
a number of question types to choose from. Note that once your quiz is in operation,
you are not able to change how it is built, so ensure that you have set it up correctly
before releasing it to your students.
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To build your quiz, perform the following steps:
1. Navigate to ADMINISTRATION | Quiz administration | Edit quiz. This
will display the Editing quiz screen.
2. To add a random question from the question bank, click on the Add a
random question... button.
3. This will launch a modal window in which you can select the question bank
category and click on the Add random question button.
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4. The random question will then be added into the quiz. You can now add
further random questions or specific questions into the quiz as you see fit.
5. Questions are saved int.o the quiz automatically after each one is created,
so there is no save button on this screen. Navigate away from the screen, for
example, by clicking on your course name in the main navigation, in order
to get back to your course page.
Accessing your quiz
Role: Student
Time: 15 minutes and above
Device: Smartphone or Tablet
From the student perspective, to create a newly-constructed quiz, perform the
following steps:
1. Select the quiz activity on the Moodle course page. This will be preceded by
the check-mark icon as shown in the following screenshot, and possibly by
the quiz description if selected to display on the course page:
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2. Once in the activity, the quiz description is displayed and the student can
click on the Attempt quiz now button.
3. Each question appears in the format as shown in the following screenshot,
with the quiz questions spanning the top portion of the screen. Below this is
the question status data on the left, and the actual question on the right. As
we have built our quiz to get immediate feedback after each question, there is
a Check button after the question.
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4. Feedback that relates to the answer selected is then given, and beneath that
the general feedback for the entire question is displayed. The displaying of
specific and general feedback is due to the fact that we selected these options
on the Quiz settings screen.
5. Once all questions are completed, click on Submit all and finish.
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6. There is then a Confirmation message, at which point the user should click
once again on Submit all and finish.
7. Due to the options that we selected in the Quiz settings screen, we now see
the overall feedback as well as the individual question feedback again. At the
bottom of the screen, we can click on Finish review.
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8. We then go to the Quiz introduction page. This displays each attempt over
time and its associated grade and feedback, followed by the overall feedback
for the highest grade. The following screenshot shows how this quiz is set up:
Performing a skills gap analysis
Role: Tutor
Time: 30 minutes and above
Device: Desktop
Skills gap analysis is used to identify skills an employee should have but may not
adequately meet the required level in order to perform their job effectively. A series
of questions will be organized into topics, and tasks and the results will indicate
where the skills gaps are for an individual, department, or organization. Training
plans can then be put into place, ideally by automatically linking to resources
relating to the user's skills gaps, in order to build a personal learning path for each
user that adapts to the individual's own skills gaps.
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For organizations with a largely mobile workforce, such as sales staff or field
engineers, it is important that these staff can perform their skills gap analysis on
mobile devices. To perform skills gap analysis, follow the following steps:
1. Navigate to ADMINISTRATION | Course administration | Edit settings.
2. Under General, select Topics format as the value for Course format.
3. Under the formatting options, for Topics format select the following:
°°
Number of sections: Here we select 3 as we are setting up three
skills, but you can choose whatever number you wish here.
°°
Course layout: Here we select Show one section per page. This
allows each level to have its own distinct identity and set of
resources, if you wish.
4. Navigate to Completion tracking | Enable completion tracking, select Yes.
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This will set up your course settings correctly. There are no hidden topics on this
course, so we will have all competencies available on the course page, and the
competency title can be clicked on in order to enter the actual page, which is
a course section.
Within each competency section, you now need to set up the competency
description, diagnostic tool, and associated resources. To do this, perform
the following steps:
1. Click on Add an activity or resource and select Label.
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2. In the HTML editor, add your competency description text. This will likely
be a bulleted list of behaviors associated with that competency.
3. There are some additional settings on this page under Restrict access;
however, you should leave all these alone as we do not wish to restrict access
to this label. Under Activity completion, you should select Do not indicate
activity completion, as this label is really just supporting text and we do not
need to track a completion status for it.
4. Add a competency diagnostic tool. For this, we will use the quiz activity.
We have already seen elsewhere in the book how to set up a quiz activity
so there is no need to repeat the steps here. The important parts of the quiz
setup, however, are as follows:
°°
Grade | Attempts allowed: Here we will select Unlimited as we
want users to be able to come back and perform the diagnostic again,
at any point, as their skills and expertise improve over time.
°°
Grade | Grading method: Here we will select Last attempt, which
will ensure that the learning resources we release following the
diagnostic completion relate to the employee's current results,
and not to their previous or average results.
°°
Question behavior | How questions behave: Here we will select
Deferred feedback, which will ensure that the feedback is delayed
until the end of the diagnostic.
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°°
Review options | During the attempt: This option will be grayed
out due to selecting Deferred feedback previously.
°°
Review options | Immediately after the attempt: This option
should just have Marks and Overall feedback selected, as the release
of particular learning resources is really a form of feedback, rather
than having written feedback for specific questions, for example.
The same options should be applied to Later, while the quiz is still
open and After the quiz is closed.
Overall feedback | Grade boundary: This should be set to the
point at which you want to release different sets of resources. For
example you could have boundaries at 25%, 50%, and 75%, in which
case you would have four sets of learning resources depending on
the employee's score. Give each grade boundary its own feedback
text, such as, You failed the assessment however you scored
°°
°°
between 51 and 75% so you are nearly there. Review the
suggested materials on the course page and try again. or
Well done, you have demonstrated that you can perform
this behavior to the required standard, for users who
°°
°°
achieve over 75 percent.
Restrict access: We do not have any restrict access conditions set for
this diagnostic tool.
Activity completion | Completion tracking: Select Show as complete
when conditions are met, and select the Student must receive a grade
to complete this activity field, which will ensure that the diagnostic
is marked as complete once the employee has achieved a grade upon
completing it.
5. Click on Save and return to course.
The preceding quiz settings will result in your competency section looking like the
one shown in following screenshot. The page now takes the format of an initial
competency description, with the summary in the section title and the detailed
bullets as a separate label. In this way, only the high-level summary is shown
on the main course page to avoid it becoming too text-heavy.
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Beneath the competency description, we then have our competency diagnostic
tool, which has a number of questions relating to this particular competency. Your
organization should decide on the type and number of questions needed in order
to determine what level of competence the employee is performing at.
We now need to set up the resources that will be displayed when the employee
achieves a certain score in the diagnostic.
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To set up the resources, perform the following steps:
1. Under the diagnostic quiz, add a new Label resource. Repeat the steps
performed earlier in this section to add the actual label. You will want to
add some text such as, Your last attempt at the diagnostic tool
resulted in a score of between 51 and 75%. This demonstrates
a good understanding of what is required for this competency.
Review the suggested materials below and then repeat the
diagnostic when you feel ready..
2. Go to Restrict access | Grade condition, select the Customer focus
diagnostic tool from the drop-down list, then set the following fields: must
be at least to 51 % and and less than to 76 %.
3. Go to Restrict access | Before activity can be accessed, select Hide activity
entirely so that only the appropriate message appears for the employee.
Otherwise, the alternate messages will appear grayed out rather than hidden.
4. Under Completion tracking, do not indicate activity completion as this is
simply an instructional message and does not require a completion status.
5. Add resources and activities aimed at users who scored between 51 and 75%
for this competency. In the activity or resource settings, use identical restrict
access conditions as for the label you set up in steps 1 to 3. We would most
likely opt to turn Activity completion on for the resources and activities, in
order to track who has completed which items.
Repeat the preceding process for each grade range. For example, you could add a
targeted instruction label and learning resources for 0 to 25%, 26 to 50%, 51 to 75%
and 76 to 100% ranges. To make course administration easier, it is worth grouping
these together so that you have a label and resources for 0 to 25 %, followed by a
label and resources for 26 to 50% and so on.
The end result is a page that displays like the one shown in following screenshot. In
this case, the employee has scored between 26 and 50% in the diagnostic tool, so an
appropriate instruction message is displayed, followed by the learning resources that
relate to that particular grade range.
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Using this technique, you can build a course based around your organization's core
competencies. Each employee can engage in learning resources and activities that are
relevant to their level of competence.
Creating a quiz for summative
assessment
Summative assessments provide students with a score in order to summarize their
educational development at the end of a learning unit. In traditional classroom
learning this would be a paper exam, whereas in distance learning it takes the
form of an online assessment. While Moodle's quiz activity has a great deal of
flexibility and lends itself well to being used as a learning tool, it can also be used
for summative assessment if set up appropriately.
However, online summative assessment does come with risks. Users are not in
a formal examination environment, so there is more scope for cheating. There
are tools in Moodle quiz that we can use to mitigate this risk, including:
• Opening and closing a quiz at a specific time. This goes against the
scheduling flexibility that many turn to distance learning to take advantage
of, although a quiz could realistically be opened on a weekly or monthly
basis for summative assessment.
• Timed quizzes, which reduces the possibility of users going away and
finding answers to questions.
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• Secure windows, which reduce the possibility of users tabbing to a browser
window to look online for answers, although of course users may still have
a smartphone or tablet by their side.
• Making the quiz only accessible by entering a secure password that is
released at the time the quiz starts.
• Monitoring students in physical, class-based assessments, or using
monitoring tools, such as ProctorU for assessments on distance-learning
courses, which uses a webcam to monitor students.
Setting up the quiz
Role: Tutor
Time: 15 minutes
Device: Desktop
To build a summative assessment using the Quiz activity, perform the following steps:
1. Click the Turn editing on button, select Add an activity, choose Quiz from
the drop-down menu, and then click on Add.
2. The Quiz settings screen can be set up as previously described for a
formative assessment, with the following changes:
°°
Grade | Attempts allowed: This should be set to 1.
°°
Time | Open and close the quiz by date: This is particularly useful
for setting the quiz to only be available on a certain date and time.
°°
Time | Time limit: It allows a limit, in minutes, to be set for the quiz
duration once the user starts the quiz.
°°
Time | When time expires: This provides options for how to handle
the time limit expiry, including not counting unsubmitted attempts,
offering a grace period for submission but no more answers, and
submitting open attempts automatically.
°°
Question behavior | How question behave: This should have a
different selection for a summative assessment, most likely either
Adaptive mode to allow multiple attempts at questions with hints
but fewer marks for subsequent attempts, Deferred feedback to
submit the entire quiz before students receive any feedback at all,
or Deferred feedback with CBM which includes Certainty-Based
Marking, whereby the student indicates how certain they are that
they got the question right. This grading then takes the certainty into
account, so that students are penalized for guessing an answer which
turned out to be correct, or were very confident about their answer
but subsequently got it wrong.
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°°
Review options: This will look something like the following
screenshot for a summative assessment with much more limited
feedback provided.
°°
Under Extra restrictions on attempts, click on the Show more link
to reveal all the fields
°°
Browser security: This offers Full screen pop-up with some
JavaScript security, which basically means that the quiz appears in a
full screen pop-up window that covers all of the other windows and
has no navigation controls, and students are prevented, as far as is
possible, from using features such as copy and paste.
Accessing your quiz
Role: Student
Time: 15 minutes and above
Device: Smartphone or Tablet
From the student perspective, the newly constructed quiz will look quite different
from the previous formative quiz we set up. Perform the following steps to set up the
summative assessment:
1. Select the quiz activity on the Moodle course page. This will be preceded by
the check-mark icon as shown in the following screenshot, and possibly by
the quiz description if selected to display on the course page.
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2. Once in the activity, the quiz description is displayed along with the
notification of a single attempt and the time limit. The student can click
on the Attempt quiz now button.
3. A Confirmation message is displayed, because only a single attempt
is allowed.
4. Each question appears in the format as shown in the following screenshot,
with the quiz questions spanning the screen. Below this is the question status
data on the left, and the actual question on the right. As we have built our
quiz to get deferred feedback at the end, there is a Next button after the
question, rather than the Check button, as we saw in the previous sections.
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5. Once all questions are submitted, the student will click on Submit all
and finish.
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6. There is a final confirmation prior to quiz submission, and the student must
click on Submit all and finish.
7. Due to the options we selected in Quiz settings, we only see the overall
feedback, and do not see specific or general question feedback. At the
bottom of the screen, we can see that there are no more attempts allowed:
Checking grades
Quick tasks, such as checking grades, are a prime candidate for mobile access.
Navigate to Site administration | Grades | Report settings to select the columns
to display for each report, in order to optimize the report for mobile delivery. You
should aim to reduce the columns shown to the minimum required by your students.
For example, under User report, you can select from the following columns:
• Show rank
• Show percentage
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• Show grades
• Show feedback
• Show ranges
• Show weightings
• Show average
• Show letter grades
The default columns on tablet and smartphone are shown in the following
screenshots. Obviously, on the smaller devices, a relatively high number of
columns will negatively impact the display.
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Summary
In this chapter, we looked at how a number of different types of assessment tools can
built in Moodle using the quiz activity and how these can be optimized for mobile
learning. We looked specifically at formative and summative assessments, and
demonstrated how to build a skills gap analysis with personalized learning paths
which is a common requirement for workplace learning.
In the next and final chapter, we shall look at how to use Moodle's communication
tools within a mobile learning context.
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Communicating with
Mobile Users
In this chapter we look at communication—one of Quinn's 4 Cs of mobile learning.
Moodle has a wide range of communication tools and we explore how these can be
used in a mobile learning context.
Setting up a group discussion
Online communication tools are split between synchronous (where users interact
in real-time, such as in a chat room) and asynchronous (where users interact over
multiple browser sessions, such as a discussion forum). Asynchronous tools are
really useful for mobile learning when users can reasonably be expected to be online
at different times but may wish to access and contribute to the discussion at any
time of day—especially if it's homework or assessment related. Moodle discussion
forums can also be subscribed to by e-mail, so that daily updates can be pushed out
to subscribers, which is really useful for mobile learners.
Whether you choose to set up a forum for course related activity
or not, it is a good idea to create a mobile technical forum on
which students can share their expertise and interest, and help to
solve each other's problems.
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To set up a group discussion forum, perform the following steps:
1. On your course page, click on Turn editing on, then in one of your topic
areas select Add an activity or resource, and then click on Forum.
2. On the Adding a new Forum page, there are a range of fields to fill in that
includes the following:
Under the General subheading, specify the following:
°°
Forum name: This is kept short for viewing on mobile devices
°°
Description: This is also kept short, if you are selecting Display
description on course page, otherwise you can make it as long as
you like
°°
Forum type: Here there are a number of options, of which we will
choose Standard forum for general use
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Under the Subscription and tracking subheading, do the following:
°°
Subscription mode: This allows users to receive e-mail copies of
forum posts. It is usually best to let the user decide, so we would
recommend selecting Optional subscription from the drop-down
list. There are alternatives such as Forced subscription where
everyone is subscribed and has no option to unsubscribe, Auto
subscription in which is everyone is subscribed but can unsubscribe
if they wish, and Subscription disabled in which case the user has
no option to subscribe at all.
Under the RSS subheading, do the following:
°°
RSS feed for this activity: This is a good option to select as some
mobile users will use RSS readers to keep up-to-date with news
sites; so this allows them to include course discussions in their
personal tools
3. Click on Save and display.
4. You will now be in an empty forum, so the first thing you should do is write
an introductory post. Click on the Add a new discussion topic button.
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5. You can now fill in your discussion topic. The first two fields are red with an
asterisk which means they are required fields. Click on Post to forum when
you have finished writing your entry.
6. You will now be returned to the forum page, and your first post will be
ready to view:
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Learner view of group discussion
Perform the following steps as a learner:
1. Navigate to the discussion activity from your course page. Click on a
discussion item to view it.
2. The discussion item view has a drop-down list for viewing the forum in
different modes (for example, oldest or newest first). Click on Reply.
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3. Type your reply, and then click on Post to forum.
4. The forum view now contains the post that you just added.
Communicating through social networks
There will be a time in a course where students need to approach tutors for
advice and support regarding the subject matter of the course or any technical
or administrative queries they may have. It is important that there are clear and
appropriate channels for such support.
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While real-time chat rooms can be used on a weekly basis as a valuable place for
support, a more informal and ad-hoc support channel is also needed. Most students
are already connecting on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. It
makes sense to "go to where the fish are" and open up the channel of communication
with them on those networks. Many social networks produce widgets that you can
add to your own site.
One method to facilitate informal support is to use the Online Users
block, which can be added to a course page and shows which course
participants are online within the last five minutes, and from where
you can click an icon next to users' names in order to send them a
message via the Moodle messaging feature.
Adding a Google+ contact badge
To add a Google+ contact badge to a course topic summary, perform the
following steps:
1. Go to https://developers.google.com/+/web/badge/ and select the
badge that you would like to display on your Moodle page.
2. Copy the code snippet, and then go to your Moodle page in a new
browser window.
3. Click on Turn editing on.
4. Edit a label or topic summary, and then click on the HTML icon to toggle into
HTML mode.
5. Paste the code snippet, and then click on Update.
6. Add some text if you wish, and then click on Save changes.
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Twitter hashtag feeds
Twitter is the social networking site that allows user to broadcast short, 140-character
messages to all Twitter users. Hashtags such as #Moodle or #OpenSource are
commonly used to tag posts and act as a search filter so that users can view all
#Moodle posts, for example. Courses will often have a unique hashtag so that
students can find each other's tweets easily.
Given the ease with which students can tweet on the move and from any location,
this type of activity is very well suited to mobile learning. It can be useful to have
a Twitter hashtag feed displaying in a block on your course page. You can then set
up a hash tag for your course, and have this display on the course page. Real world
examples of this type of activity include students tweeting to a Twitter stream what
they enjoyed most about a particular lesson, a class connecting with authors over
Twitter, and pulling the Twitter hashtag stream into Moodle.
Setting up a Twitter hashtag feed
To setup a hashtag feed perform the following steps:
1. In your browser, go to https://twitter.com/settings/widgets/.
2. In the Widgets menu, click on Create new.
3. Under Choose a timeline source, select Search.
4. In the search box, type your hashtag name, for example, #moodle.
5. Click on Create widget.
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6. In Moodle, enter your course page, and click on Turn editing on.
7. Find the block called ADD A BLOCK, which should be at the bottom
of the left column, and select HTML from the drop-down list.
8. This will create a new, empty HTML block. Click on the configuration icon
within this new block.
9. This will launch a new page titled Configuring a (new HTML block) block.
In the Content section, click on the small button labeled HTML.
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10. This will launch the HTML source editor. Go back to your Twitter Widget
page and select the highlighted text just above the instruction: Copy and
paste the code into the HTML source editor. Do not worry about the content
of the code snippet; it contains a lot of JavaScript that you do not need to
understand—this is really just an exercise in copy and paste!
11. Click on Update, and then on the Moodle page click on Save changes.
12. The block will now be displayed on the bottom-left of your Moodle page.
The first time it displays it may take a few seconds to retrieve the tweets from
Twitter. You can use the arrow icon on the top of the block to move it to any
location in the left or right columns.
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Learner view of a Twitter hashtag feed
The desktop view shows the three-column layout:
Other Twitter widgets
More Twitter code snippets can be found at:
https://twitter.com/settings/widgets/.
These allow you to include items such as the Follow button, to enable users to
quickly follow you on Twitter, and the Tweet button, which will allow an instant
tweet with a link to the page. This latter option is great to allow students to share
pages or resources with their network.
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Managing the backchannel
A backchannel is the social media presence that forms around a real-world event.
If you attend technology conferences, you may sometimes see a hashtag promoting
the event such as #mootie13 which was the hashtag for the Ireland Moodlemoot
2013. The community that forms during the event around this hashtag is known
as the backchannel. These do not have to be unique to conferences though, and
backchannels can form around short, one hour classroom events or web conferences.
The backchannel provides an excellent opportunity to students to discuss the event
while it is happening and engage in some networking.
Using Twitter backchannels
Role: Tutor
Time: 15 minutes and above
Device: Smartphone or Tablet
All you need to do here is communicate a hashtag to your students that is
identifiable with your lecture. Put the hashtag in the footer of each slide if you are
using a slide deck, or stick it on the wall somewhere visible. This will enable them to
set up a hashtag search on their mobiles and watch the Twitter feed for that come in.
A hashtag feed can be collected afterwards and posted to your Moodle course page.
Tools come and go but currently Tweetarchivist.com offers a good free service that
will collect the tweets together in one place, allow you to download a PDF or XLS file,
and provide a number of good analytics about top tweeters and top words.
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Using Moodle chat backchannels
Role: Tutor
Time: 15 minutes and above
Device: Smartphone or Tablet
The alternative is to run a chat room directly in Moodle, which is useful as the
chat logs can be automatically captured. To add a new Chat activity, perform the
following steps:
1. On your course page, click on Turn editing on, and then in one of your topic
areas select Add an activity or resource, and click on Chat.
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2. On the Adding a new Chat page, under the Chat sessions subheading, fill in
the following fields as appropriate:
°°
Next chat time: If you change this to the time of lecture, the chat area
will not open until this time
°°
Repeat/publish session times: You can use this to schedule
repeating sessions
°°
Save past sessions: Here, there are a number of options but the best
one would be to Never delete messages
°°
Everyone can view past sessions: If you select Yes then all course
users can see the chat logs, which is normally what you would want
3. Click on Save and return to course.
4. For a student, there are two options when entering a chat room—standard
or accessible interface. Right now the chat interface is only really usable on
mobile devices when using the accessible interface.
Using Moodle messaging
Moodle has a built-in messaging system that allows conversations between users
and notifications about system events, such as new forum posts or assignment
submissions. This is useful for mobile learning because the user has a high level of
control over their personal messaging settings and can configure notifications about
all sorts of system events to be sent to their personal e-mail accounts when they are
on the move.
Messages can be accessed from several places:
• Directly from the Messages block, if it is enabled. This block will also show
whether you have new messages
• From the People block, by clicking on Participants, then selecting one or
more users, and clicking on Send a message
• Through the Navigation block, by clicking on My profile | Messages
• Via a link on the site header bar if you enable it (see the Adding a messaging
link in the site header section)
Users can edit their messaging settings by navigating ADMINISTRATION | My
profile settings | Messaging. The resulting page allows them to configure whether
to receive e-mail or pop-up notifications for a range of different system events, such
as assignment notifications, essay grading notifications, and personal messages. For
each system event, the user can select whether to receive a pop-up notification or an
e-mail when they are either offline or online.
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Note that ''offline'' does not mean logged out; it means that the user has been
inactive for at least five minutes or whatever time frame is configured by navigating
ADMINISTRATION | Site administration | Plugins | Blocks | Online users.
Sending a message via the Moodle Mobile app
To send a message to a user by using the Moodle Mobile app, perform the
following steps:
1. Log in to the app and click on your course title to expand the menu to
display the contents and participants. Click on Participants, as shown in the
following left-side screenshot. The Participants page opens as shown in the
following right-side screenshot; select the name of the user you want
to message.
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2. On the User page (shown in the following left-side screenshot), there are
a number of buttons available to choose from. Select Send a message from
the list of options. This opens the Send a message window (shown in the
right-hand screenshot) where you can write your message. Click on the
Send a message button to complete the task.
Adding a messaging link to the site header
Role: Admin
Time: 15 minutes and above
Device: Desktop
Adding a messaging link to the site header will give a handy tip to mobile users,
to allow them to quickly access the messaging function without having to scroll
through the NAVIGATION block, or add the People or Messages blocks, which add
additional clutter to a small mobile device screen. To add a messaging link, perform
the following steps:
1. Navigate to ADMINISTRATION | Site administration | Appearance |
Theme | Theme settings.
2. Scroll down to the field Custom menu items. You can add menu items into
the empty text box. Each line consists of the menu text, a link URL and a
tool-tip title, separated by pipe characters.
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3. To add a messages link you can add the text http://www.
moodleformobiles.com/ message/index.php|Messages replacing www.
moodleformobiles.com with your own site's homepage URL.
This will display the link on the header bar throughout the site, and will be very
easily accessible from a mobile device when using the Bootstrap theme, for example:
Sending SMS notifications
There are several Moodle plugins relating to SMS messaging, most notably the
moodletxt plugin, which allows teachers and administrators to send personalized
SMS text messages to their students from within Moodle. There is also an extension
plugin called moodletxt+, which will send automatic SMS messages on system
events such as site and course notifications.
The moodletxt plugin will need to be installed by your site administrator. The plugin
can be downloaded from the Moodle plugins database at moodle.org/plugins. The
service requires an account with Blackboard connecttxt, and trial accounts can be
provided on request.
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The company behind moodletxt was called txttools and they have been acquired
by Blackboard and became their Blackboard Connecttxt product; however, the
Moodle plugins remain supported and should do so for the foreseeable future, given
Blackboard's acquisition of two major Moodle partner companies: Moodlerooms
and Netspot.
Setting up a real-time chat session
Role: Tutor
Time: 10 minutes
Device: Desktop
Real-time chat is an important component of distance learning because it reclaims
some of the spontaneity and student collaboration that occurs with face to face
courses but which can be easily lost with distance learning. Real-time chat can be
used in a number of scenarios:
• Immediately after specific events such as online lectures
• Left open at all times for anyone to chat with whomever happens to be online
• Weekly organized sessions
• Q&A sessions with an invited speaker
Chat logs, particularly regarding specific chat ''events'' can be captured and
published for the benefit of students at a later date.
To set up an organized chat session, perform the following steps:
1. Click on the Turn editing on button, select Add an activity or resource,
choose Chat from the drop-down menu, and then click on Add.
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2. On the Adding a new Chat page, under the Chat sessions subheading, fill in
the following fields as appropriate:
°°
Next chat time: If you change this to the time of lecture, the chat area
will not open until this time
°°
Repeat / publish session times: Use this to schedule repeating sessions
°°
Save past sessions: Here there are a number of options, but the best
one would be to Never delete messages
°°
Everyone can view past sessions: If you select Yes then all course
users can see the chat logs, which is normally what you would want
3. Click on Save and return to course or Save and display, as required.
For large online distance-learning courses it would be a good idea, when
using weekly chat sessions, to either move the sessions between time zones
to give students in different parts of world opportunity to engage, during
more reasonable hours. Alternatively, you could run a small number of
weekly sessions in three or four time zones, to give better global coverage.
Participating in a chat session
Role: Student
Time: 15 minutes and above
Device: Smartphone or Tablet
To participate in an organized chat session, a user will perform the following steps:
1. Click on the title of the chat session.
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Communicating with Mobile Users
2. At this point the user has two options. Mobile device users should select the
Use more accessible interface option, as the standard Moodle chat is not
suited to small-screened mobile devices—even seven inch tablets.
3. The accessible chat interface will allow users to post and view messages, and
to see who is online. It is the same functionality as the standard interface, but
laid out more appropriately for smaller screens.
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Chapter 8
Setting up a virtual classroom plugin
Role: Admin
Time: 15 minutes and above
Device: Desktop
Virtual classrooms—also commonly known as webinars or web conferencing—
introduce an important element of synchronous learning into online courses, which
can lead to higher engagement and enhanced interaction among students.
On distance-learning courses, virtual classroom sessions need
to be carefully scheduled in order not to conflict with the
schedule flexibility that appeals to many distance learning
students.
Typically, a virtual classroom session will consist of a presenter and multiple
attendees, in which the presenter uses webcam video and a slide-show or screen
sharing to deliver a presentation, while attendees can interact with each other
using a chat panel, and can contribute to the presentation by using an electronic
whiteboard, or can be temporarily handed the presenter role to share their
own screens or webcam.
There are a number of key players in the virtual classroom market, many of which
have plugins for Moodle. These include commercial tools such as Blackboard
Collaborate, Adobe Connect Pro, and Cisco WebEx, and open source tools such
as Big Blue Button.
The commercial tools are mostly hosted offerings and come at an
annual subscription cost, although some can be downloaded and
installed on your own server. But beware; these are server-hungry
applications that consume a great deal of bandwidth. Think very
carefully and talk to your IT team before installing one on your
own servers. The open source tools are also available as hosted
offerings at lower cost, and have the downloadable option too, in
which case the same risks apply.
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Communicating with Mobile Users
We will use Adobe Connect Pro (ACP) as an example here, which itself is a mobilefriendly web conferencing tool, using the open source Webinar plugin which
is available on the Moodle plugins database at moodle.org/plugins/. For the
following steps, we will assume that the plugin is already downloaded and installed:
1. Navigate to ADMINISTRATION | Site administration | Plugins |
Activity modules | Webinar.
2. There are just three fields to fill in here:
°°
Site XML API URL: This will be your ACP login URL followed by
/api/xml
°°
Administrator email: This will be the e-mail address of the ACP
account administrator
°°
Administrator password: This will have been chosen on ACP
account signup or changed since
3. Once the settings have been specified, click on Save changes.
Setting up a virtual classroom session
Role: Tutor
Time: 10 minutes
Device: Desktop or Tablet
Using the Webinar plugin as described in the previous section, you will need to
add a Webinar activity into your course page. Go to the course you wish to use and
perform the following steps:
1. Click on Add an activity or resource and select Webinar.
2. In the Add a new Webinar screen, there are three fields to complete:
°°
Name (the required field)
°°
Description
°°
Agenda
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Chapter 8
3. Once completed, click on Save and display.
4. You will now be on the Activity screen, and can start adding sessions. Click
on Add a new session to add your first one.
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Communicating with Mobile Users
5. You will now be in the Adding a new session screen. Here you can update
following four fields:
°°
Host: This will list any user enrolled in the course as Administrator,
Teacher or Non-Editing Teacher. Some Adobe Connect accounts only
allow a single host, in which case the selected user in this field must
be the Adobe Connect account holder and be registered in Moodle
with the same e-mail address.
°°
Capacity: This is is the maximum amount of users you want to be
able to attend the webinar.
°°
Start date/time: The date and time at which the webinar starts.
°°
Finish date/time: The date and time at which the webinar ends.
6. Click on Save changes to save the session and return to the Webinar activity
screen. You will now see the webinar details:
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Chapter 8
7. Students can now enroll themselves onto the webinar.
8. As the teacher, you can now open the session at the allotted time by clicking
on Join session as host. This will initiate the webinar session, after which
students will also be able to join the live webinar.
9. Clicking on Join session as host launches the ACP window, at which point
the virtual classroom session will be live. Your students will be shown in the
Attendees window. Consult your ACP help guide on using the tool itself.
Joining a web conference
Role: Student
Time: 5 minutes
Device: Smartphone or Tablet
Students will be able to self-enroll on web conference sessions by performing the
following steps:
1. Click on the activity name and link on your Moodle course page.
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Communicating with Mobile Users
2. On the webinar activity screen, select the session you wish to register for, and
click on Register.
3. On the next screen, click on the Sign-up button to confirm your registration.
4. You will then see a confirmation message. Click on the Continue link.
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Chapter 8
5. The webinar activity screen is now updated. You can click on Cancel
booking if you wish to cancel this booking. Once the session has started,
you can click on Join session to join the webinar.
6. At this point, you may be prompted to install the Adobe Connect Pro mobile
app if you have not yet done so. You will then join the session in the Adobe
Connect app, which on a tablet will look like the following screenshot:
Summary
In this chapter, we looked at the wide range of communication tools in Moodle
and how these can be used in a mobile learning context. First we looked at group
discussion features, then social network integration, messaging and SMS, and finally
at virtual classroom activities.
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Appendix
You can read more about Mobile Learning from Research Library of The eLearning
Guild at http://www.elearningguild.com/research/archives/index.
cfm?id=117&action=viewonly.
You can get the book The Mobile Academy: mLearning for Higher Education at
http://www.amazon.com/Mobile-Academy-mLearning-Education-JOSSEY-BASS/
dp/1118072650.
You can download the app Adult Drug Calculations (Android Apps on Google
Play) from https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.
adc&feature=more_from_developer.
You can read more about Our Mobile Planet from Think with Google at
http://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/mobileplanet/en/.
You can read about Percentage of Individuals using the Internet Metadata for... (ITU) at
http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/ict/statistics/material/excel/Individuals%20
using%20the%20Internet2000-2011_Oct.xls.
You can read more about Trends in Digital Device and Internet Usage 2012 from Think
with Google at http://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/insights/library/studies/
trends-in-digital-device-and-internet-usage-2012/.
You can refer to Cell Internet Use 2012 from Pew Internet & American Life Project at
http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2012/Cell-Internet-Use-2012/MainFindings/Cell-Internet-Use.aspx.
You can refer to How Cellphones Shape the Lives of College Students [INFOGRAPHIC]
from Mashable at http://mashable.com/2011/10/31/cellphones-collegestudents/.
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Appendix
You can refer about Moodle Statistics at https://moodle.org/stats/.
You can refer to The New Multi-Screen World from Think with Google at http://www.
thinkwithgoogle.com/insights/featured/new-multi-screen-world-insight/.
You can refer to The 12 Most Popular Ways College Students Use Smartphones at
http://edudemic.com/2012/12/the-12-most-popular-ways-collegestudents-use-smartphones/.
You can refer to Connecting in the 21st Century: Parents and Administrators Speak Up
about Effective School to Home Communications from Project Tomorrow at http://www.
tomorrow.org/speakup/Connecting21st_2012.html.
You can refer to What do High School students want from mobile tech? [Infographic] from
ZDNet at http://www.zdnet.com/blog/igeneration/what-do-high-schoolstudents-want-from-mobile-tech-infographic/15843.
You can refer to Consumerization of IT from avanade at http://www.avanade.com/
en-us/approach/research/Pages/consumerization-of-it.aspx.
You can read about The Latest Infographics: Mobile Business Statistics For 2012 from
Forbesat http://www.forbes.com/sites/markfidelman/2012/05/02/thelatest-infographics-mobile-business-statistics-for-2012/.
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Index
A
Adobe Connect Pro (ACP) 202
AICC packages 62
App library
learner view 58
setting up 56-58
assignment
files, adding 119-121
setting up, for file submission 110-112
used, for grading reflective log 137, 138
used, for reviewing reflective log 137, 138
used, for setting up reflective log 131-133
used, for submitting reflective log 134-136
assignment briefing document
creating, for offline viewing 110
audio 87
audio add-ons 91
audio assignments
examples 109
audio feedback
providing 92-97
audio instruction
providing 91, 92
B
backchannel
about 192
managing 192
Big Blue Button 201
Blackboard Collaborate 201
Blackboard Connecttxt product 198
Blogs link
adding, in site header 146, 147
Book module
about 43
used, for adding help and support guides
43-46
Bootstrap theme
about 25, 26
downloading 32-34
installing 32-34
setting up 36
BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)
about 18
implementations 16
C
capabilities, mobile devices 8, 9
case studies, mobile learning strategy
about 19
Open University 23, 24
University of Sussex 20-22
chat session
participating in 199, 200
setting up 198, 199
Cisco WebEx 201
Clean theme
about 26, 27
exploring 29-31
setting up 27, 28
cohorts
setting up 70-74
used, for delivering performance-support
resources 69-74
communicating
through social networks 186
course blog post
submitting 145
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course blogs
about 143
Moodle, setting up for 143, 145
courses
QR codes, using in 59, 60
course topic summary
Google+ contact badge, adding 187
D
Database assignment
setting up 122-125
submitting 126-130
Droodle 42
E
G
Glossary
using, for best practice resource collection
80
using, for staff induction 74-79
Google 11
Google+ 187
Google+ contact badge
adding, in course topic summary 187
grades
checking 178
group discussion forum
learner view 185, 186
setting up 182-184
H
Echo360 98
ePortfolio tool 131
F
Facebook 187
feature phone 9
file assignment
submitting 112-115
submitting, Moodle Mobile app used 118,
119
file downloads
learner view 54, 55
setting up 51-54
files
adding, in assignments 119-121
file submission
assignment, setting up for 110-112
file types 56
flipped classroom approach 99
formative assessment
building, quiz activity used 154-158
question bank, building 158-160
quiz, accessing 162-166
quiz, building 160-162
quiz, creating for 153
quiz, setting up 154-158
skills gap analysis, performing 166-172
forums 139
hashtags 188
header bar
link, adding to help and support 47, 48
help and support
link, adding to 48
I
iActive 42
IMS Content Package 63
individual forums
used, for reviewing reflective log 142, 143
used, for setting up reflective log 139, 140
used, for submitting reflective log 140, 141
Information Security Awareness Learning
Suite. See Infosec
information security awareness training
about 68
multidevice SCORM resource, using for 68,
69
Infosec 68
J
journals 131
L
learner view, App library 58
learner view, file downloads 54, 55
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learner view, group discussion forum 185,
186
learner view, podcast 90
learner view, Twitter hashtag feed 191
Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) 98
lecture-cast products 97
Lecturecasts
delivering, to mobiles 97-99
Lesson activity
creating, steps 100-106
levels
used, for engaging learners 81-86
link
adding, to help and support 47, 48
M
Mahara 131
Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) 18
mDroid 42
media capture 91
message
sending, in Moodle Mobile app 195, 196
messaging link
adding, in site header 196, 197
mobile devices
capabilities 8, 9
mobile learning
about 7, 8
in academic research 17
learners 11, 12
users 10, 11
mobile learning strategy
about 10
case studies 19
mobiles
Lecturecasts, delivering to 97-99
mobile usage
in apprenticeships 17
in distance learning 18, 19
in further and higher education 14-17
in organization 13
in school 13
in workplace 18
Moodle
multidevice SCORM resource, adding into
62-67
setting up, for course blogs 143, 145
Moodle chat backchannels
using 193, 194
MoodleEZ (MoodleEasy) 42
Moodle for Android 42
Moodle messaging
message, sending in Moodle Mobile app
196
messaging link, adding in site header 197
SMS notifications, sending 197, 198
using 194
Moodle Mobile app
about 26, 37
exploring 39-41
functions 37
message, sending in 195, 196
setting up 38
used, for submitting assignment 116-119
working 39
Moodlerooms 198
moodletxt+ 197
moodletxt plugin 197
mTouch 41
multidevice SCORM resource
adding, into Moodle 62-67
building 61
using, for information security awareness
training 68, 69
MyMobile theme 26
N
Netspot 198
Nintendo DS 13
O
offline viewing
assignment briefing document, creating for
110
Onefile 131
online audio recording 91
online communication tools 181
Open University (OU) case study 23, 24
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P
setting up, individual forums used 139, 140
submitting, Assignment used 134-136
submitting, individual forums used 140,
141
performance-support resources
delivering, cohorts used 69-74
photo assignments
examples 110
PlayStation 13
podcast
learner view 90
setting up 88, 90
podcasting
advantages 87
disadvantages 88
portfolio
work, exporting to 149-151
portfolio export
enabling 148
practice resource collection
Glossary, using for 80
S
Q
QR codes
about 59
using, in courses 59, 60
question bank
building, for formative assessment 158-160
quiz
creating, for formative assessment 153
creating, for summative assessment 173
quiz activity
used, for building formative assessment
154-158
used, for building summative assessment
174, 175
R
real-time chat 198
record audio 91
reflective log
about 131
grading, Assignment used 137, 138
reviewing, Assignment used 137, 138
reviewing, individual forums used 142, 143
setting up, Assignment used 131-133
SCORM 61, 63
SCORM 1.2 62
SCORM activity
adding, into Moodle 63-67
Sharable Content Object Reference Model.
See SCORM
site header
Blogs link, adding 146, 147
messaging link, adding 196, 197
skills gap analysis
about 166
performing 166-172
smartphones 9
SMS notifications
sending 197
social networks
communicating through 186
staff induction
Glossary, using for 74-79
Study Direct 20
summative assessment
about 173
building, Quiz activity used 174, 175
quiz, accessing 175-178
quiz, creating for 173
quiz, setting up 174
T
tablets 9
themes 25
third-party Moodle apps
Droodle 42
iActive 42
mDroid 42
MoodleEZ (MoodleEasy) 42
Moodle for Android 42
mTouch 41
umm (Unofficial Moodle Mobile) 42
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Tweetarchivist.com 192
Twitter 187, 188
Twitter backchannels
using 192
Twitter hashtag feed
learner view 191
setting up 188-190
Twitter widgets 191
txttools 198
virtual classroom plugin
setting up 201, 202
virtual classroom session
setting up 202-205
virtual learning environment (VLE) 15
W
U
umm (Unofficial Moodle Mobile) 27, 42
University of Sussex case study 20-22
V
video assignments
examples 109
video lesson
creating 99
web conference
joining 205, 206
webinars 201
work
exporting, to portfolio 149-151
Y
YouTube submission 91
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Moodle for Mobile Learning
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