Advanced Moodle - click on the title to view the actual Moodle Course
Date: August 3, 2009
Presenter: Sandie Swanger
Room: L07

Moodle 1.9 for teaching 7-14 year olds by Mary Cooch - this is a link to the book on Amazon that was utilized in developing this course

Adding Blocks

You can customize the right and left blocks which flank your course content. They can be moved around in any order.
Some good ones to think about that aren't already a default option:
HTML - a blank block that you create, this is where I put my VOKI video
Loan Calculator - good if you are doing a budget project with students, otherwise, not necessary
Messages - Moodle's IM service
Online users - Let's you see who is online the same time you are in your course!
Quiz results - If you are creating quizes, you can display top performers
Remote RSS feeds - shows feeds of your choice, I chose CNN Entertainment News to display

Adding a Resource

Let's take a look at some resources that are available in Moodle.

What it is
Do we need it?
Insert a label
Adds a bit of white space
Helps to improve appearance of page
Compose a text page
Space to type directly in Moodle
Yes, but composing a web page is better
Compose a web page
As above, but with more options
Link to a file or web site
Allows you to upload and link to your externally created files and/or web sites you want to share with students
Display a directory
Allows you to show a whole folder of files
Yes, especially if you have a lot of hand outs on a given topic - keeps course page neater

Why should you create a file directly in Moodle instead of using Word? Help save the environment, cuts down on the number of clicks needed to open a file, not all computers have Word.

Discussion Forums

Just what is the difference in all of those discussion forum activities anyway?

What it does
Why use it
Single Simple Discussion
Only one question students can all answer
Best for focused discussions, students can't get distracted
Standard Forum*DEFAULT*
Everyone can start a new topic
More scope for older students
Q and A
Students must answer first before they can see any replies
Useful for avoiding copying
Each person posts 1 discussion
Sudents can post ONE new topic only
Handy if you need to restrict posting but still allow some freedom

Nice thing about forums - you can edit student responses, you can delete their response altogether if its inappropriate, you can reply to their response.
testing forums

Having students collaborate on a project? Why not give them a chat room instead? You need to explore the options and the capabilities of your students to determine which would be the better option. The nice thing about the chat is that it can be happening in real time with others who aren't physically present in the same building. You as a teacher get a transcript of the dialogue. But using a Simple Single Discussion forum would also work in helping to keep everyone focused on the topic for discussion.

Making a class Glossary

This is a great interactive tool for the class to use! This is similar to an online dictionary, but it is you and your students who get to create and all of the information to the glossary. You can add single words, phrases or images. Students can even comment on one another's entries. Very interactive tool and you can create multiple glossaries for different subject areas, topics, etc.

Create a Database

Want students to upload files and be able to share those with others? A database is a great tool for sharing/dropping documents created outside of Moodle.

Giving your students a Choice by allowing them to Vote

A great way to let students cast their vote is to create a Choice activity. You also have options as to how and when to display the results so as not to influence the polling process.

What it is
Why use it
Display Mode
Lets you have your buttons go across or down the screen
Use VERTICALLY if you have many options to avoid stretching the screen
Publish Results
Decide if and when you want students to see what others have voted for
Choose DO NOT PUBLISH if you want students to tell you their progress privately; if you are doing a class survey, for example, choose Always Show Results
Privacy of Results
Lets you choose whether or not to show names with the vote
Are the results more important than who voted for what? Some students might not want their names to be shown along with their choice
Allow choice to be updated
Lets students change their mind, but they can still only vote once
Useful, if you are using this to assess progress over a period of time
Show columns for unanswered
Sets up a column showing those who have yet to respond
A clear visual wya of knowing who hasn't done the task
If you click on Choice and View, you can still see who voted for what even if you keep things private, so you'll always know who to remind to complete their assignment! Choice can be used as a fast way to gather data for a class research project, offers a private way for students to give feedback about their progress, involves the class in deciding their learning path.

Online Text Assignment

Looking for a way to grade the students WITHOUT lugging home tons of notebooks or papers? This is a great solution - plus it keeps track of the grades for you! So this option saves paper, motivates kids because they are working online (OK, maybe not so much), you can work anywhere and have all your grades recorded for you!

You can edit students work, give them feedback but it still retains the students original completed assignment. So you can correct it, comment on it and give it a grade! Plus you can always update and change their grade if needed. Here are some other options for getting Moodle to keep track of grades for you :-)

Type of Assignment
What it's for
Why use it
Online text
Allows students to type straight into Moodle, and allows teachers to correct online
For short passages of plain text it's the quickest and simplest way to set and mark work
Upload a single file
Gives students the ability to upload a file created outside of Moodle
For tasks that aren't suited to the online text type
Advanced uploading of files
Students can send more than one item; teachers can return the corrected work for students to revise
If you like commenting on the students work but online text isn't for you, you can use this option to mark and return a Word-processed document; you can also use this if you are doing a project involving several pieces of work
Offline text
Studetns produce work offline, such as a class role play and it is marked in Moodle
This is just a space in the Moodle grade book for you to record their tasks done outside of Moodle


Cool activities AND Moodle GRADES IT FOR YOU! You will need to download it from

Using this software you can create Cloze exercises, Matching games, Crossword puzzles, Multiple Choice questions, and Jumbled sentences. Stay away from the Masher, that is a program that you need to pay for. Hot Potatoes is pretty intuitive, easy to use.

With matching, you can use 3 formats: flash card (shows a pair, guess the match, click to see if you are right), standard (uses a drop down menu to select match), and drag/drop (drag right half to match on the left).

No matter what hot potato activity you use, you will need to save it as "Create a Web Page" and then add it to Moodle as "Add an activity - Hot Potatoes Quiz" Don't forget to select the grading option to record the students' progress. Adding it as a hot potatoes activity ensures our grade book is recording! Now, while Hot Potatoes are fun, some kids can be sneaky and figure out how to change their responses without being penalized by using their back browser! So, if you want really secure grading capabilities, try Moodle quizzes instead.


There are different types of quizzes that you can make directly in Moodle. The quiz section has 2 parts, one is storage, where it keeps all of the questionns you have created and one that displays the questions used in the current quiz.

Multiple Choice - True/False - Matching: These are the three easiest types to use in Moodle and once you have taken the time to create each question - they remain in Moodle for use year after year. Questions can be reordered easily.

Other quiz options:

Question Type
What it is
What I think
Numbers questions with formulae
Perhaps suited more for older students
Not a question - just space for text
You can use it as a passage on which you can base subsequent questions
Space for text and your question and student gets big space for long answer
You have to mark this one yourself!
Short Answer
The student types in a word or phrase as his/her answer to your question
You need to be careful, they have to match your response exactly
For sums
Looks like short answer, but students type numbers instead of words
Random short answer matching
Matching but with answers from the short answer questions
Haven't found much use for it
Embedded answer or cloze
Moodle's version of gap-fill
Hot Potatoes J-Cloze is quicker to set up than this one


Lots of fun games, easy to make, easy to embed/link to! All customized to your curriculum! Great for independent practice!
Alien Abduction -
Dustbin Game -
Bish Bash Bosh -
Spellmaster -
Fling the Teacher -


These are especially handy resources if students are working at home and do not have access to the MACBOOK programs.
Audacity - record audio directly onto your computer and convert files to mp3
Background Music - open source music files
Windows Movie Maker - similar to iMovie, free on windows based computers
OpenOffice - no Word? no Power Point? Use this open source tool to view and create files that can be integrated with Word
iSpringSolutions - convert those Power Points into interactive Flash files, no Power Point needed from viewing computer
Get a YouTube video and embed it on Moodle - Convert the video directly from various portals option

What you need to know about file extensions and Moodle
File Extension
How useful in Moodle?
Flash video such as those from YouTube, plays well if you have multimedia filters enabled
Files made from Windows Movie Maker
Large video file, Moodle will play but the file size is too big
Tends to be quite small in size
Quicktime videos can be quite large, check out the size
Best sound file format for Moodle - see Audacity above
Windows sound file, Large files and won't play in Moodle player


Google Map - create a link on your moodle site for an area you are studying
Voki - animate, moving and talking characters
Go Animate - create and animate cartoon characters for the purpose of story telling
Wordle - graphic representation of of the most frequently used words in a blog, free write or speech