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Moodle

Guidebook
Introduction to
Dyslexia Action’s Virtual
Learning Environment
e-learning.dyslexiaaction.org.uk
Introduction to Moodle for Dyslexia Action Courses

Contents Overview
What is Moodle?..........................................................................................................5
Getting started.............................................................................................................6
Main Moodle Features.................................................................................................8
Logging in...................................................................................................................8
Moodle Homepage.....................................................................................................9
Module/Course Structure and Navigation.................................................................11
Forums.....................................................................................................................15
Assignments.............................................................................................................20
Managing Profiles and Finding People.....................................................................23
Sending private messages.......................................................................................27
Additional features.....................................................................................................31
Email notifications.....................................................................................................31
Editor Interface.........................................................................................................33
Calendar...................................................................................................................34
Chat..........................................................................................................................36
Wikis.........................................................................................................................39
Databases................................................................................................................41

Detailed Table of Contents


What is Moodle?..........................................................................................................5
What can it be used for?.........................................................................................5
Getting started.............................................................................................................6
Logging in and finding content................................................................................6
Technical requirements...........................................................................................7
Main Moodle Features.................................................................................................8
Logging in...................................................................................................................8
Moodle Homepage.....................................................................................................9
Side Blocks.............................................................................................................9
Main Page.............................................................................................................10
Module/Course Structure and Navigation.................................................................11
Course organisation structure...............................................................................11
Module front page ................................................................................................12
Page Header.....................................................................................................12
Sidebar Blocks..................................................................................................12
Module navigation tips..........................................................................................13
Course Display Toggle......................................................................................13

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Navigation Breadcrumbs...................................................................................14
Back and Forward browser buttons...................................................................14
Types of Activities.................................................................................................14
Forums.....................................................................................................................15
Forum listings....................................................................................................15
Topic listing within a forum................................................................................16
Navigating forum threads..................................................................................16
Posting in forums...............................................................................................17
Forum subscriptions..........................................................................................18
Press Coverage Room......................................................................................18
Module discussion forums.................................................................................18
Topic discussion forums....................................................................................18
Attachments in forums.......................................................................................18
Subscribing to forums (email alerts)..................................................................19
Types of Forums...............................................................................................19
Groups and forums............................................................................................20
Assignments.............................................................................................................20
Assignment Listings...........................................................................................21
Submitting an assignment.................................................................................21
Getting assignment feedback............................................................................22
Managing Profiles and Finding People.....................................................................23
Viewing profiles.....................................................................................................23
Editing your profile................................................................................................23
Advanced options.................................................................................................24
Changing your password......................................................................................25
Uploading a new picture........................................................................................25
Editing picture for upload...................................................................................26
Viewing other people’s profiles.............................................................................26
Sending private messages.......................................................................................27
Receive and respond to message.........................................................................27
Send message......................................................................................................28
View message history...........................................................................................30
Additional features.....................................................................................................31
Email notifications.....................................................................................................31
Notification options............................................................................................31
Notification emails.............................................................................................32
Editor Interface.........................................................................................................33
Calendar...................................................................................................................34

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Calendar features.................................................................................................34
Create a ‘user event’.............................................................................................35
Chat..........................................................................................................................36
What is a ‘Chat room’?......................................................................................36
What’s it for?.....................................................................................................36
What is the difference between a chat room and a forum?................................36
Student Chatroom.............................................................................................36
How to use the chat room..................................................................................37
How do I leave the Chat room?.........................................................................37
‘Idle’ and ‘Beep’.................................................................................................37
Chat tips............................................................................................................38
Reviewing old chat............................................................................................38
Wikis.........................................................................................................................39
Viewing a wiki....................................................................................................39
Editing a wiki.....................................................................................................40
Viewing people’s contributions..........................................................................40
Databases................................................................................................................41
Viewing items in the database...........................................................................41
Commenting on items........................................................................................42
Adding new items to database...........................................................................42

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What is Moodle?
Moodle is a virtual learning environment (VLE). A VLE is an online space similar to
those like MySpace or Facebook that holds course content and provides tools that
make it possible for students to form a learning community, communicate with their
tutors, upload their work and access learning materials.
Moodle is a popular Open Source VLE used by many universities, colleges and
schools including Open University and University of London. Our Moodle service is
provided by ULCC (University of London Computer Centre).

What can it be used for?


Once you have logged on you will find almost everything you need to complete your
course of study, namely:
• Programme content (the academic modules themselves)
• Links to online resources
• Discussion forums (for group work and socialising)
• Assignments
• Calendar (both personal and for your learning community members) for
scheduling assignment deadlines, events etc.
• A chat tool (used as and when the exercises require it)
• A personal space where you can store your reflections (Blog)

From http://www.flickr.com/photos/moggsoceanlane/3425000499/

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Getting started
Logging in and finding content

1. Go to http://e-learning.dyslexiaaction.org.uk
2. Click login (top left hand corner), a grey screen will then appear and you will
need to enter your username and password which has been emailed to you
from the Course Administrator
3. This will take you to the ‘Course Categories page,’ on the black bar, click on
‘DA’, you will then need to find your course. (Please follow the instructions in
the email from your Course Administrator).
4. You will then be taken to the Home Page where you can fill in your initial survey
at the bottom of the page.
5. You may be required to have an enrolment key depending on the particular
course; please see information sent to you via email from the administrator.
6. You will then see the ‘module homepage’ (see below for details)
7. To locate each topic scroll down the page or click on the Course menu in the
right-hand sidebar.
8. Each topic has an introduction and an overview of the content.
9. Resources such as Word documents, PowerPoint presentations etc. have links
within the topic.
10. Each topic will have a Module/Unit Queries & Responses Forum where you
are able to post any queries or problems you have with this topic.
11. If you have any technical problems then please email Moodle Support by
following a link found in the box on the left hand side within your
module/unit.
12. Within each topic you will also have access to your personal journal which is
used for communicating with your tutor. This journal cannot be seen by any
other student, only your group’s tutors and the tutors who have administrative
rights. Your tutor can mark work and give feedback within your journal.
13. There may also be an assignment that you will use to make notes, submit
work, lesson plans, evaluations etc.
We suggest that you always produce any document within a word processor
such as Microsoft Word or Open Office and then copy and paste into your
journal or assignment as sometimes work can get ‘lost’. Click on in the
editor toolbar to resolve any formatting issues.
14. To print or save documents which have been brought up in your browser
window, click on ‘Page’ or ‘File’ on your browser toolbar and choose ‘print’ or
‘save as’.
15. If you are downloading a PowerPoint presentation, or sometimes a Word
document, you security settings may block it and you will have to click on the
security bar towards the top of the screen and choose ‘run’ or ‘save as’.

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Technical requirements
Hardware
The technical requirements for using Moodle are fairly basic. In summary, any
computer purchased in the last 3-5 years capable of browsing the internet should have
no issues with it at all. If you can watch videos on YouTube or the BBC iPlayer, you
have more than enough power to access all the e-learning resources presented via
Dyslexia Action’s online courses. You can test your computer by going to
http://training.dyslexiaaction.org.uk/coursesamples to view examples of core course
materials and some sample audio-visual material.
The minimal recommended technical configuration is: Windows XP, 512MB of RAM,
1024x768 screen resolution.
Software
You will need the following software:
• Office Suite (Microsoft Office or Open Office)
• PDF reader (Adobe Acrobat Viewer or Foxit)
• Video player (VLC)
Accessories
In addition, you will need access to the following accessories:
• Printer
• Speakers/headphones
• Microphone
• Digital video camera
• USB memory stick
Technical skills needed
Using Moodle does not require any special technical skills beyond those necessary to
navigate around the internet today. In particular, you should be able to:
• Fill in and submit an online form
• Download a document and save it in an appropriate folder on your computer
• Upload a document from an appropriate folder on your computer using an
online form

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Main Moodle Features


Logging in

1. Username
Your username consists of the first letter of your first name and your last name. E.g.
somebody named Jane Smith will be ‘jsmith’.
2. Login
Type in your password and click here.
3. Lost password
Click here if you’re having trouble logging in, such as if you have forgotten your
password. You will be asked to enter either your username or email. You do not need
to enter both. Make sure you use the email address registered with Dyslexia Action.

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Afterwards, you will receive an automated email message with a new temporary
password. Please check you spam/junk mail folder.
Note: When you log in for the first time, you will receive a pop-up asking you to read
and accept the site’s acceptable use policy.

Moodle Homepage
After logging in, you will see the homepage.

Side Blocks
1. Main Menu

• Press Coverage Room We will be adding occasional press coverage on


dyslexia to this forum, which we hope will be useful to you all.
• Private Journal- and Personal Learning Portfolio This is a private journal,
which is not open to anyone else unless you want to make it so – here you
should keep any notes related to the course, any thoughts you have which may
be useful when you come to evaluate the course or, for people on the Post
Graduate courses, to write up your Professional Experience Report.

You will also be given a Personal learning Portfolio which can be linked to

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records you may need to submit to evidence your CPD; e.g. to the Institute for
Learning, (IfL) or General Teaching Council, (GTC)
• General Glossary This is a general course glossary which is open to all
students and tutors, but cannot be added to by students.
• Acceptable use policy Please take time to read this. You will be asked to
accept this policy the first time you log in.
2. My Courses
Listing of all the courses to which you are subscribed.
3. Online Users
List of users who are currently logged in. (Note: It may be a few minutes out of date).
4. Messages
Notification of any unread messages. Click on the Messages… link to open the
messaging pop-up window:

Here you can set your settings, search for people to send messages to or search for
your messages.
7. Upcoming Events
This block lists the upcoming events on the Moodle site. Click on Go to Calendar to set
what kind of events you want displayed on your calendar and your block:

Main Page
5. Moodle Support
Links to Moodle support pages including this document.
6. Course Categories
Listing of all the courses and course categories.
8. Course Search
Search for your course(s) by name.

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Module/Course Structure and


Navigation
Course organisation structure
You will be pre-registered onto your course(s), and once you have logged onto Moodle
the course(s) to which you have access will be listed on the front Home page. They will
be listed on the right hand side of this page.
The modules/units available to you will be the modules/units you are going to be
working on next. Sometimes they will be ‘hidden’ and will be released at a later date at
the appropriate time in your course.
All modules have certain elements in common. For shorter courses, one module may
be the entire course.
Each module/unit consists of a number of ‘Topics’ or ‘Units’. Within each topic there will
be an introduction and, in some topics, a list of books/resources/links to WebPages you
might find useful or interesting. Please do feel free to use the discussion forums to
suggest any additional resources which may be useful for that topic.
There will also be direction/links to the content of the topic which may be WORD or
PDF documents for you to print out, PowerPoint presentations to watch, quizzes,
questionnaires, or MP3 or video files, discussions in the Topic Forum, etc.
To access these you will need to have either Microsoft Office, or a program that can
read Microsoft Office files (downloadable free from the internet), Adobe reader (also
downloadable free from the internet) and either Windows Media Player or VLC
(download free from the internet if it is not already on your PC) to view audio or video
files. You will also need the free flash plug in installed in your browser (default
configuration on most computers).
Within the topics, you will also find information on any assignments you have to
complete and send to your tutor e.g. Practical Teaching Materials Assignments
(PTMAs), journals, teaching practice, essays, case study etc.
The course structure is illustrated on the following pages.

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Module front page

Page Header
1. Link to profile
Click here to view and edit your own profile.
2. Breadcrumbs
Navigate to the front page.

Sidebar Blocks
3. Moodle Support
On every course page, you can find a direct link to the Moodle Support page. You can
click the [-] sign in the top right hand corner of the block to minimise it.
4. Latest news
Notifications of the latest posts from the Module/Course News forum.
5. Course Menu
Click on the section titles to display that course/module section only. See 8 on how to
display the entire course.

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6. Section Links
Click on numbers to jump directly to the section you’re interested in.
7. People
Click here to see the list of all the people registered for this course or module.
8. Display link
Click on Show All Sections to display the entire course/module on a single page.

Alternatively click on the Show All Topics toggle:


9. Recent Activity Block
Shows all the recent activity in the Module/Course.
10. Activities
Click on the individual links to see all the activities of the same type (such as forums or
assignments) in one place.

11. Upcoming Events


Events from the course calendar and/or the whole site coming up soon.
12. Administration
Edit your profile or review your grades (not available in all modules/courses).
13. Toggle Section/Whole course Display
If you see this icon in the top right hand corner of a section, it means you are
viewing the course in a collapsed state. Click on it, to view the entire
course/module on a single page.
Click on this icon, if you want to zoom in to just the one section

Module navigation tips


Course Display Toggle
If you prefer, you can ‘hide’ all but the current topic when you login. Some
students/learners prefer this as it keeps scrolling down to a minimum.
1. To do this, click on the white box on the top right of the topic.
2. You will then see only that topic

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3. You can choose to see the other topics in the module by using the drop down
list where it says ‘Jump to…’
4. To undo this and return to a full view of the topics, click on the second white box
which appears when you have chosen to view that topic only.

Navigation Breadcrumbs
Navigating from one part of the environment to another is done via the links in the black
band at the top of each page. (They are called the ‘breadcrumbs’ because they always
lead you back to where you came from.)

To get back to the module you are studying, click on its (shortened) name, e.g. mod6
If you are ever unsure which one to click on, you can always get back to the homepage
by clicking on DA Home.
(The best way to find out how to use them is to practise clicking on them.)

Back and Forward browser buttons


Another method of navigation is to use the Back and Forward buttons on your browser.
The exception here would be if you tried to go ‘Back’ to a screen where you had made
some change (i.e. edited a forum post). This would give you an error message.

Types of Activities
Most of your Moodle work will consist of engaging in activities. The main types of
activities are:
Forums

Assignments

Quizzes
Feedback

Journals

Chats

Wikis

Resources such as links , readings , , , audio/video / ,


databases , or glossaries are also considered activities.
The most important activities are described in detail in the following sections.

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Forums
Forum activities in the module text are marked by this icon .

Forum listings
Whilst within a module/unit you can view all the forums by going into the ‘Activities’ box
found on left hand side and clicking ‘Forums’

1. Name of the forum


2. Subscription status
You are subscribed to this forum automatically and cannot unsubscribe.
3. Section number
Describes what section this forum is in on the module/course home page.
4. Number of discussion threads in the forum
5. Subscription toggle
The ‘No’ button indicates you are not subscribed to receive notifications from this
forum. Click the ‘No’ button to subscribe and then the ‘Yes’ button to unsubscribe. You
cannot unsubscribe from forums where the ‘Yes’ is not in the form of a button.

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Topic listing within a forum

1. Title of the topic posted


2. Name of the person who started the topic
3. Click here to start a new topic
4. Name of the person who posted the last post within the topic

Navigating forum threads

1. Navigation breadcrumbs
You can use these to navigate either to the home page of the forum you are in, or to
the listings of all the forums in the module/course.
2. Name of the author of the post
3. Switch the style of forum display
4. Click the ‘Reply’ link to reply to the post
See below on how to post a new item in the forums.
5. Click the ‘Show parent’ link to show the post to which this post is responding
This is particularly useful in long, nested threads, where it may not be immediately
obvious which part of this discussion a particular post responds to.

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Posting in forums

1. Topic subject
This should be as explicit as possible
2. Editor toolbar
This is similar to the toolbars in word processors such as Word. See below for details
of the individual buttons.
3. Text body.
See ‘Editor Interface’ section for more details about formatting your posts.

Remember to click on the ‘Word’ icon if you’re pasting from a text editor such as
Microsoft Word to avoid formatting issues.
4. Attachments
You can attach small files such as Word documents or PowerPoint presentations to
your forum postings
5. Click here to post.
Note: Make sure you only click once on the ‘Post’ button. If you double-click, your
message can get posted twice by mistake.

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X
After posting, you will have 30 minutes to edit your message. Do not use the back icon
on your browser for this but rather click on the ‘edit’ link. Otherwise your message may
be posted twice.

Forum subscriptions
We strongly recommend that students ‘subscribe’ to the forums on their course as it
would be easy to miss an important notice. (See section on ‘Subscribing to forums’
below).
Sometimes you will be subscribed to forums automatically by the course administrator.

Press Coverage Room


This can be found on the homepage top left hand corner ‘Main Menu’, and this is used
to announce any issues of Dyslexia that arise in the media and are likely to be of
interest to all.

Module discussion forums


As mentioned above, each module/unit has a ‘Module/Unit Queries and Responses
forum’ to discuss any issues, thoughts etc. related to that module. These discussion
forums are secure and only open to those on the course, or any other people, e.g.
tutors and administrators, who have access to the course materials.

Topic discussion forums


1. A topic may have one or more group discussion forum (where you might be
asked to discuss particular issues, resources etc.) at the end of the list of
resources etc. Click on this to go to the forum.
2. Click on the name of the discussion you want to read/post to.
3. To reply to a post once open, click the Reply button at the bottom right of the
screen.
4. Type your message into the large white box. Note: you may prefer to compose
the message in WORD first (for spell checking purposes) and copy and paste it
into the box. WORD formatting will not necessarily work in the discussion
software so you may need to reformat your message using the formatting
toolbar.
5. You can download a free spellchecker from the internet which you can use if
you prefer to type straight into the messaging white box.
6. Add an attachment if required (maximum file size varies by forum)
7. Then click on Save Changes to post the message (Note: you can only attach
one file per post)
8. You will see a note explaining that you have 30 minutes to edit your post if you
wish to.
9. Click ‘Continue’ button to go back to the forum.

Attachments in forums
It is possible to attach a file to a discussion in a forum. Maximum file size for
attachments varies by forum and is usually no more than 5MB.
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When opening an attachment in a discussion, it is best to click on the icon (rather than
the title of the discussion), which will make the attachment appear in a pop-up window.
If you click on the title of the attachment, the document opens in your current window
and you will have to click on the Back button to return to the discussion.

Subscribing to forums (email alerts)


If you would like all new posts (messages) to be emailed to you, there are three ways
of setting this up:
1. Globally. You can opt to have all new posts from every discussion that you
click into at least once, sent to you as an automatic email. This is set up in your
Profile area (see section below ‘Your Profile’)
2. At forum level: You can subscribe to each forum individually which means that
every post in every discussion within that forum will be sent to you.
To do this, click on the forum and click on the ‘Subscribe to this forum’. You will
then get a confirmation message.
3. At discussion level: You can opt to receive posts by email from certain
discussions if you prefer. This is set up the first time you reply to a message in
discussion. If you wish, ask for responses to this discussion to be emailed to
you by clicking on the drop down arrow and setting your preference.
4. To restrict the number of emails coming into your mail box during the day
you can select to request a Daily digest. This will send you one email at
5pm each day with all the relevant forum postings. You can reply and respond
to the postings from this email. This option can be selected from your profile as
indicated above.
See ‘Email notifications’ section for further details.

Types of Forums
There are three types of forums.
1. General Discussion
In this forum, anybody can post as many new discussion topics and they will be
immediately seen by anyone with access to the course.

2. One topic per person


This type of forum is used for assignments that require discussion. Each participant
can only post one new topic but can respond to as many topics started by other people
as he or she wants.

3. Question and answers: Post before you see other discussions

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This type of forum is used for assignments where many very similar contributions can
be expected. Each participant can post a new topic or question but will only see the
postings of others after making own contributions.

Topics in this type of forum are called questions, thus the ‘Add a new question’ button
instead of ‘Add a new discussion topic’ button. Both of these buttons do the same
thing.

Groups and forums


Some forums are available to everyone in a particular course/module and some are
divided into groups to make the discussion more manageable.
Groups are divided into visible and hidden:
Visible groups
In visible groups, you can only post in your own group area but you can view
discussions in the other groups by using the ‘Visible groups’ pull down menu illustrated
below. An administrator may also start a discussion outside the group area to which
everybody can then contribute.

Hidden groups
In a hidden group, only its members can add and view postings. These groups are
primarily used for tutorial discussions.

Assignments
Using assignments enables students/learners to upload any digital content for
marking/comment by the tutor. You can submit journals, lesson plans, evaluations,
photographs, or small audio or video clips.
Assignments are listed in the main body of the module/course marked by this icon
or in a separate listing as seen below:

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Assignment Listings

1. Assignments section
Module/courses section in which this assignment is located.
2. Submitted
Time when this assignment was submitted.

Submitting an assignment
• download the journal or assignment details, if instructed to do so within the topic
• complete the assignment in a word processor on your computer
• access the assignment form through the link within the topic/week/unit or
through the shortcut in the Activities block
• you will see the assignment name, due date, details
• at the bottom of the screen are a text field and two buttons

• use the Browse button to find your assignment on your computer [1.]
• use the ‘Upload this File’ button to submit the assignment [2.]
• you will then see the following

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• you can delete the file by clicking on the red x next to it [1.] and then upload an
updated version
• once you send your file for marking [2.] you will no longer be able to delete
• in some cases (usually lesson plans) you may be allowed to upload another file
BUT be aware that the second file will delete the file you have already
submitted!
• you can see your feedback by clicking on the assignment link again (see below)

Getting assignment feedback


Navigate back to your assignment to view the feedback.

1. Assignment description
2. Revised documents uploaded by the tutor
3. Comments made by the tutor
4. Original submissions

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Managing Profiles and Finding


People
Viewing profiles

Editing your profile

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Advanced options

From within a module, click the ‘Edit profile’ link within the People Box on the left hand
side of the screen. This will take you to a form where you can change various details
and settings, some of which are self-explanatory; some might require a little more
detail:
1. Given name and surname: These are the names that appear when you post a
discussion so you are free to call yourself what you wish. But please leave the
title of which course you are on beside your surname. This makes it easier for
everyone to see who is online.
2. Username and Password: You are free to change your username and
password here. Please note that if you forget your password, we won’t be able
to retrieve it for you! You must seek the instructions within the frequently asked
questions found in the Moodle Support box (left hand side of every module/unit
page).
3. Email: The address shown is where you receive any messages through
Moodle; if you change this at any time please notify your Administrator for the
course.
4. Email display: You can choose whether or not to let others see your email
address on the site but we recommend that you leave this set to ‘yes’ as we do
make the email addresses you specify in your profile available to others in your
cohort anyway.
5. Email format: If your email does not support HTML format, you can switch
here.

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6. Forum auto-subscribe: If you would like to receive each new post from your
group and tutor by email, change this setting to ‘yes’. You will be subscribed to
each forum from the next time you post to that forum (Note: If you prefer, you
can leave this setting as ‘no’ but subscribe to the individual forums you want to
have email alerts for. This is explained above in the section ‘Subscribing to
forums’.
7. Description: You are free to give a brief description about yourself if you wish.
This description is visible to anyone who clicks on your photo/image in the
discussion and also via the ‘Group’ members list. (Note: This box can’t be left
completely blank – we have put a full stop in for now)

It is essential that you update your profile if you make any changes by clicking
on the ‘Update profile’ button.

Changing your password


Click on the bottom

Uploading a new picture


After changing your password, the most important part of editing your profile is adding
a picture. This will make Moodle a much friendlier place as well as easier to navigate
by all. To add or change your picture, navigate to the bottom of your profile page to the
section Current picture/new picture.

Here’s where you can upload an image that you feel best represents you! If you do not
do that, your postings on Moodle will be represented by is a dark shadow outline.
Please note: your image needs to be square and 100x100 pixels – if you upload a

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rectangular photograph, the system will cut off your chin! IF you run into problems
please see ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ for some solutions if your picture is too big.

Editing picture for upload


There are too many ways of editing your pictures on your computer. We recommend
using a free online service such as Picnik.com that will allow you to crop and resize
your picture with just a few simple clicks in your browser. If you have a webcam, you
can even use it to take a picture of yourself.

1. This is where you can upload a picture from your computer


2. This is where you can get saved pictures, pictures from online galleries or take
a picture from your webcam
3. Click here to crop your picture to show just what you want to show
4. Click here to resize the picture to the desired dimensions
5. Click here to save the picture back to your computer for upload on to Moodle

Viewing other people’s profiles


Your full profile details are available only to you and the Dyslexia Action team of tutors
and administrators, but other students who are enrolled on the same module as you
can see a restricted version. The detail they will be able to view is:
• Your description
• Your email address – if you elect for this to be viewable in your profile
• Your location (town and country)
• The date you last logged on to the VLE

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To see someone else’s (limited) profile:


• Within a module/unit on your course, you will see a box titled ‘People’. Click on
the ‘Participants’ list, click on either their photo/image or name (in blue)
• From a discussion, click on either their photo/image or name (in blue).

Sending private messages


You can send a private message to another student or tutor on your course, either
when you see them online (found in the ‘Online users’ box in the top right hand corner
of the homepage) or by going to their profile from a module page.

1. Type your message here


2. Send message to recipient
3. Click here to get a fuller interface

Receive and respond to message


Simply, click on the envelope beside the person and a blank box will appear to type a
message.

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You can either use the plain interface below or the fuller one

Send message
You can send a message to a person who hasn’t sent one to you in one of two ways.
1. Via profile
Go to the profile by following the ‘Participants’ link on your module.

Click on the name of the person you want to message and then click the ‘Send
message’ button at the bottom of their profile.
Note: You can also get to someone’s profile by clicking their name anywhere else in
Moodle.

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2. Via messages
Click the ‘Messages’ link at the bottom of the ‘Messages’ block.

A pop up window will open.

Click on the ‘Search’ tab to search for your recipient by name and click on their name
to get the same ‘send message’ window as described above.
If you find yourself messaging the same person, click this icon to add them to your
contacts list. To remove a person from your contacts list, click this icon .
You can block a person from sending you messages by clicking the green light icon
. To unblock the person, you have to search from them and click the red light icon .

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View message history


Follow the same steps as if you wanted to send someone a message. Click on the
‘Message history’ icon to see previous communications between you. Alternatively,
you can click the ‘Message history’ link on the send-message form. Note: All these
actions will open pop-up windows. You must have pop-ups enabled for this to work.

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Additional features
Email notifications
Notification options
You will receive notifications of messages sent directly to you and of messages posted
on forums to which you subscribe. To reduce the amount of notifications on forums, set
the ‘Email digest type’ to ‘Complete’. This way you will only receive one email at the
end of every day (see below for an example).

You can disable notifications entirely by setting the ‘Email activated’ option to
‘Disabled’.
Make sure you complete the ‘Description’ field otherwise your options will not be
saved.

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Notification emails

Your notification emails will contain a copy of the message with links. The above is a
screenshot of a complete digest email containing messages posted in the forums that
day.
1. Click ‘Show parent’ to go directly to the post to which this is a response
2. Click ‘Reply’ to reply directly on the forum. This is not recommended.
3. Recommended: Click ‘See this post in context’ to see the post in its full context.
This is best for avoiding posting repetitive submissions.

An email notifying you about a message sent to you via the Moodle messaging
system will have a link to take you to the message on Moodle:

You can also reply to the email directly but this is generally not recommended.

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Editor Interface

1. Change the alignment of text (keep to left-aligned in most cases)


2. Change font – please keep default font type and size
3. Create a bulleted list or a list that is automatically numbered
4. Indent text or move item to next/previous level
5. Set text or background colour (please avoid using this unless there’s a very
good reason)
6. Add a link to a webpage
7. Remove a link
8. Insert an image into the text
9. Click this icon if you’ve pasted text in from Word or similar software to
avoid formatting issues
10. Undo/redo previous actions
11. Open the window in a full screen view; Make sure you click on the icon
again to make sure changes edited in the full-screen view are transferred
before you click on Post/Submit.
12. Change text to bold or italicised (please avoid underlining)

Click on this image below the editor to find out about available keyboard
shortcuts.

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Calendar
The site calendar allows for 4 kinds of ‘events’ to be recorded: You can use this to plan
your work schedule
Global events: These are events that affect every student on the course. They can
only be set by Dyslexia Action tutors, and would record things like assessment
deadlines.
Course events: This means anything affecting students of a particular module only.
These can only be set by Dyslexia Action tutors.
Group events: Events having to do with your particular tutorial group (set by tutors
only).
User events: These are your own personal events or reminders and can only be set up
and seen only by you.

Calendar features
1. Limit the kinds of events you’d like to see
2. Create a new event (see below)
3. Move to the next month
4. Show or hide certain types of events (closed ‘eye’ means the event types are
hidden, open eye means, they are shown)
5. Calendar overview – highlighted days have events scheduled
6. Click here for event details
7. The current day is marked by a black border
8. Click here to import events from this calendar to Outlook, Windows Calendar,
Google Calendar of iCal.

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Create a ‘user event’


In the ‘Upcoming events’ box click on the ‘New event’ link.

Or click on the ‘New event’ button at the top of the calendar page.

Type a name, a description and set the date.


If the event lasts longer than a day, set the ‘until’ date.
If the event repeats itself weekly, enter the number of repeats.
Click ‘Save changes’

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Although you need to set events at module level, you can view ‘All courses’ at once.
To do this, click on the ‘Go to calendar’ link
Set the ‘Upcoming events’ to ‘All courses’

Chat
The chat tool which allows users to have synchronous chat sessions. You will
find it, for instance, in the Student Only area.

What is a ‘Chat room’?


A chat room is a place where you can ‘talk’ (using your key board to type messages) to
other people in real time (often called ‘synchronous’ chat).
This particular chat tool that we have access to is simple and quick to use but it may
not have some of the features that you have seen before in other chat or instant
messaging software.

What’s it for?
The course occasionally asks students to ‘talk’ about something relating to the content
(it may be for an exercise, for example), so students/tutors can arrange to be online at
a certain time and get together for a real-time conversation.
People can also use the chat room simply for social conversations with whoever else is
online at the same time.
Some groups may like to set up a regular chat time each week.

What is the difference between a chat room and a


forum?
Chat rooms are for synchronous communication – every one needs to be logged on at
the same time in order to communicate. Forums are asynchronous – you don’t have to
be logged on at the same time, you leave messages and respond to messages which
have been posted.

Student Chatroom
There is a chatroom in the cohort news areas where you can talk with fellow students
who are online at the same time as you.

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How to use the chat room

1. Click on the link to the Chat room


2. Click on the link that says ‘Click here to enter the chat now’.
3. Your name and image (if you have one) will appear in the list on the right hand
side.
4. To write a message, type in the long white box at the bottom of the screen and
press the Enter/Return key on your keyboard.
5. After a short delay, you message will appear in the main window.

How do I leave the Chat room?


Simply let people know you are going, then click on the ‘X’ in the top right hand corner
of the chat window.

‘Idle’ and ‘Beep’


The ‘idle’ feature tells you how long a user has been logged in to the chat room without
posting a message.
The ‘beep’ feature is a way of getting someone’s attention! If you think a user is still
there but has minimised the chat window, for instance, you can click on the ‘Beep’ link
next to their name and (providing they have speakers on their computer) a bell will ring
at their end – good for any late night sessions where they need waking up! On the
whole you should keep the beeping to a minimum.
The feature also puts a written message in the chat window that alerts the person you
are trying to contact (no-one else hears the beep or sees the message).

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Chat tips
1. When typing a long message, it can appear to others that you have ‘disappeared’
so try breaking up a long message with dots at the end of a short line e.g.
10.45 Jane: Hi everyone, Jane here……….

10.45: Jane: Just wanted to say that I think……

10.46: Jane: Sarah’s point of view was similar to what I was thinking……

10.46: Jane: but I am not sure that it’s possible…..

10.46: Jane: to accurately judge whether a …..

10.47: Jane: chocolate biscuit can inhibit…..

10.47: Jane: productivity in the same way….

10.47: Jane: a custard cream can. Thoughts?

The dots let the others know that you haven’t finished ‘speaking’.
2. Few people have excellent typing skills so it is fine to produce typos, spelling
errors etc. in a chat room.
3. Not everyone who is logged in to the chat room will necessarily want to chat at
the same time as you. It is fine to simply type ‘Busy’ if someone beeps at you
and you would rather not chat to him or her at that moment.
4. Chat sessions are ‘logged’ and are visible to users for up to 30 days after the
session. To view previous sessions, click on the link in the top right hand corner
of the chat ‘introduction’ screen where it says ‘View past chat sessions’.
5. Remember the rules of ‘netiquette’ apply in chat rooms as well as in
asynchronous discussions. For a summary of ‘netiquette’ recommendations
follow this link http://www.albury.net.au/new-users/netiquet.htm or type
‘netiquette’ into a search engine.

Reviewing old chat


If you miss a live chat, you can always go back by clicking on the ‘View past chat
sessions’ link in the top-right hand corner of the screen and then choose the session
you’re interested in.

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Wikis
Some modules/courses may include wikis. Wikis are pages that can be edited
collaboratively by anyone with access. Most wikis consists of multiple pages but a wiki
can be just single page.

Viewing a wiki

1. Search all the pages in the wiki for any text


2. Edit the page you are on
3. Choose another view to display other pages in the wiki

4. See the history of edits to this page, including the contributions of other
people. If necessary, you can revert to an earlier version.
5. See pages linking to this page
6. Text of this wiki page
7. Refresh this page to make sure you’re editing the latest version

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Editing a wiki
Editing a wiki is just like adding any other content on a page. The only difference is that
you can create a new page just by adding square brackets around a bit of text [ ]. To
find out more about editing options, click on the help icon in the top right corner of the
screen:

Viewing people’s contributions


Click on the ‘History’ tab to view previous edits to a given page.

1. Click on this link to see the difference between this version and the previous
versions

2. Open an edit window with the previous version. You will then have an option
to save it as the most recent version.
3. View the new pages created in this version.
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Databases
Some modules/courses may include databases.

Viewing items in the database

You can either browse the database by clicking on the ‘View list’ tab as in the picture
above, or you can search for specific items by clicking on the ‘Search’ tab. See below.

Enter your search parameters and click the ‘Save settings’ button. Alternatively use the
‘Advanced search’ option. See below.

1. Set settings limiting the display of search results.


2. Toggle ‘Advanced search’ options on or off
3. Search by a particular text field. You can type in only a portion of the text. E.g.
‘wor’ will find ‘work’, ‘worksheet’, ‘word’, ‘words’, etc.
4. Choose an item from a list. You can choose more than one by clicking while
holding down the Ctrl key.

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5. Indicate that you want to find only entries that contain all the items in the
selected field.
6. Click this button to start search
7. Click this button to resume search from the beginning

Commenting on items
If commenting is allowed, you can add comments. In the listing, click on the magnifying
glass icon below the item you want to comment on.

You will see the item with an ‘Add comment’ link at the bottom. Click the link and add
your comment in the same way you would post on a forum.

Some items may also allow you to rate the individual items but the scales might vary.

Adding new items to database

Some databases will ask course participants to add items. Click on the ‘Add entry’ tab,
fill in the form and click one of the buttons below (depending on whether you’re adding
multiple items).

Once the item is saved it may appear directly or be sent to the database administrator
for approval.

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