Moodle Course Shell Template Readme

The Centre for Instructional Development has populated this course with a standard content template as a foundation for your course. Note that the format and sample information provided have been carefully assembled to address issues common to distributed learning. \

This document was created to help you understand how the template can be used and what must be done to successfully integrate it into your course. Part 1 of this document explains the purpose of each resource, Part 2 describes the editing process, and Part 3 offers access to further development resources.

Part 1. Description of the Template Resources

This section describes the purpose behind each of the resources contained in this template as follows:

    Readme - This is the document that you are currently reading. It is recommended that you keep this link as a reference for yourself and others who might help to develop or teach this course. Students cannot see it in it's hidden (greyed-out) state.

    Welcome - The Welcome page provides a great opportunity for an Instructor to reach out to his or her students and establish an important "face" for students to identify with. Instructors may also wish to encourage students to visit the Instructors profile page to see personal/professional information about the Instructor, relevant to the course.

    Introduction to the Course - The Introduction should be designed to connect the student to the course and what they should expect to learn. A Course Scope should be added to provide students with a "big picture" of what the course offers, while detailed Learning Outcomes must be provided so that the students will know what will be expected of them and and what they should expect of themselves by the end of the course.

    Program Content Guide - When available, access to a Program Content Guide (PCG) is advisable as it will help not only to establish a learning path for students, but also serves as a guide to keep our courses consistent with what we advertise them to be. Current PCG's are located on the VCC network drive-space at: J:\ProgramContentGuide.

    How to be successful in this course - After reading this document, a student should be clear as to what the format is for the course content, activities and evaluations. Also included should be what the Instructors role is as well as the Students role through various stages of the course (if applicable).

    Textbook and other learning materials - This is a good opportunity to let your students know what textbooks and learning materials will be required, where to get them, and even how much they should cost. Note that you could even provide a link to web documents here.

    Course Schedule - Having the schedule available as an independent resource for students can provide added convenience and quick access for students. It is important to note that any dates added to the schedule must be updated each time the course is offered, therefore it is recommended that you use a week one, week two, week 3, etc., format instead.

    Assessment Guidelines - This document can serve as an excellent resource for Students and will likely be accessed frequently by Students. In addition to providing Students with the weighting for each assignment, details can be provided here to clarify what will be expected in each assignment.

    How to communicate with your Instructor - It is important to note that a common break down and great source of anxiety for both the Student and the Instructor is with often in related to communicating. Instructors communicate with their Students in many different ways and with varying degrees of expectations. Instructors may ask that Students use the Moodle Mail tool, the Moodle Message tool, WebMail, telephone, etc. to communicate and will often have predetermined expectations as to when a Student is to communicate. Students on the other hand need to know how long to expect a reply from their Instructor. A clear set of guidelines should be created to suit the needs of your particular learning environment.

    Course Development Team - It may be important to include the contact information for individuals responsible for the development of the course. Particularly if the course has been provided courtesy of another organization or to meet the conditions of a Creative Commons Agreement.

    How to Proceed - This information is designed to bridge the gap that often occurs for a student between traditional classroom learning and the online format. This document includes a reference to the "Using Moodle" block which is in itself serves as a huge resource for both Students and Instructors. It also introduces students to the News Forum, which is standard in every Moodle course regardless of the template, and a Frequently Asked Questions Forum, which is standard to this template.

Part 2. Editing the Template Resources

The resources and activities included in this template appear greyed out - this means that they are currently hidden to students, and are visible only to course Teachers and Administrators. These resources and activities can be modified using the following icons:

edit icons

To be able to see these icons, you must select the button or link that reads "Turn editing on". The button is located in the upper right side of your course homepage and the link is located in the block labeled "Administration". The purpose of each icon is as follows:

Indent/outdent - This moves the link to the left or right and helps to establish hierarchal organization.

Move up/down - This moves the link up or down. Note that when you select this icon, the original link disappears until you select a place mark (shown as a box) for it to reappear in.

Update - This enables you to edit the resource/activity as the particular resource/activity affords you to.

Delete - This will delete the link and, if the file was created in Moodle, it will also delete the file itself.

Un-hide/hide -  This allows you to control whether or not students can see the activity/resource. When hidden, links appear greyed-out to Instructors and do not appear to students. Note that the default setting for all of the resources in this template is "Hidden" so be sure to unhide them to enable your students to see them.

Part 3. How do I Learn More?

It is highly recommended that everyone who participates in the development, delivery, or administration of a Moodle course successfully complete the following free, self-paced courses that are available to all VCC staff:

Online Learner Success Express (OLSE) - This course is based on the full version (Online Learner Success) and was created as a general course for all students accessing the Moodle site. This is an important first step for those who develop, deliver or administer Moodle to establish and maintain a student-centred approach. The course is self paced and is usually completed in 2-4 hours. This course appears in the "The Zone" category in the "My Courses" page and is available for reference as well.

Online Teacher Success (OTS) - This course was developed to provide detailed information for those who develop, deliver, and administer Moodle. This course also appears in the "The Zone" category in the "My Courses" page and is available for reference as well.

Select this link to access the Online Teacher Success course. Note: You will be prompted to enter the one time enrollment key, "OTSAug08123" to access the course for the first time.

Moodle eBook - The Moodle eBook, titled; 'Using Moodle - Teaching with the Popular Open Source Course Management System' was developed by Jason Cole and Helen Foster and is published by O'Reilly as part of the Community Press series. You may find this resource useful for specific information however, it was originally developed for version 1.7 of Moodle and we now use a later version (v 1.9 as of Aug 2008).

    "Using Moodle" block - By default every Moodle course contains a block titled "Using Moodle" This block is designed for students to learn how to be successfully as an on-line student but also provides a great resource for Instructors as well. The block is maintained by the Centre for Instructional Development.

    Using Moodle block image