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Introduction

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Introduction
Introduction
Moodle is a Learning Management System (LMS) – software developed to augment
traditional learning methods, enabling instructors to enhance their students’ learning
experiences or replace traditional face-to-face classes with online instruction. It was
originally designed by an educator to engage learners and promote collaborative, studentcentered learning. Moodle is like an interactive website for your class material with many
features and activities that enhance both teaching and learning.
“Moodle” is an acronym for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment. The
word “moodle” is also a verb that describes the process of lazily meandering through
something, non-purposefully, doing things as they occur to you, or enjoyable tinkering
often leading to brilliant insight and creativity – eureka moments.
At Veterans Upward Bound, Moodle is used in the following ways:
1. Partnered with a traditional, face-to-face classroom setting
2. As part of a hybrid class - 50% or more of the class is in the classroom, the rest online
3. Exclusively in a class taught completely online
In this guide, we will explain the basics of using and interacting with Moodle. It is assumed
that users have a basic familiarity with computers and are able to navigate the Internet,
create and read files, open and interact with PDF files, and access VUB email.
When using Moodle, it is critical that your VUB email account is regularly checked. Your
instructors will be communicating with you through your email. Most instructors will
expect you to check your VUB email daily. Please contact the ITS Help Desk if you need
assistance with your VUB email account.
Questions or concerns?
Moodle has many features that seem daunting to users. If you are having issues with your
course content or submitting assignments, contact your instructor. Contact the ITS Help
Desk if you are having account or login issues. Your instructor and the ITS Help Desk
should be notified if a class is missing from your “My courses” list.
Finding Veterans Upward Bound’s Moodle homepage
There are a number of ways for users to access Veterans Upward Bound’s Moodle. Many
users bookmark the VUB Moodle homepage on their personal computers for future
convenience. Here are two of the easiest methods to reach Moodle:
1. From the VUB website home page, click on Login then select Moodle.
2. From any web browser, type: http://vubonline.com .
Logging into Moodle
Once you have reached VUB’s Moodle homepage, your screen will look very similar to
Figure 1, seen below. To log in, enter your username and password at the left hand side of
the screen.
Figure 1: VUB Moodle home page before logging in.
Once a valid username and password have been used to login, Moodle will appear very
similar to Figure 2, seen on the next page. In the center, you will find the list of Moodle
courses.
Figure 2: Moodle home page. Underneath “My courses,” you will find all active courses you are
participating in. For help with missing courses, see “Questions or Concerns?” on page one.
Navigation Basics
Once you enter your course, you will see the front page, also called the Moodle class home
page, divided in a three column layout; the center, where most of your course
activities/content will be located in a topic-based or week-based format , and two columns
of menu items (referred to as “blocks”) on either side.
Many blocks can be added, removed, and relocated by your instructor, meaning, that each
of your courses may appear slightly different. You should become familiar with the features
that appear as part of the average course. See Figure 3 below, which breaks down the key
features for each section of the side menus.
Figure 3: Above is the typical layout for block menus, though some classes may differ slightly.
1. Navigation
The Navigation block is an expanding menu including My Home, Site Pages, My Profile, and
Courses. “My Home” takes users to their personal dashboard, showing course overviews for
Moodle pages tied to that account. “Site Pages” expands to show resources and help guides for
the entire VUB Moodle site, including this help guide. “My Profile” will take the logged in user to
their public profile, a minimalistic page showing a user’s enrolled courses, including past
courses which will appear in gray, and a few basic user details. Profiles can only been seen my
logged in VUB users. “Current Course” will also appear as an item in this block when viewing a
course. This allows the user to quickly move between weeks or topics on the Moodle course
page. Finally, “My Courses” is an expandable menu listing all courses a user is or has
participated in, making moving between courses fast and easy.
2. Administration
The Administration block adapts and changes depending on what the user is viewing. When
viewing a course, enrolled participants can view any visible grades by clicking Grades, located
underneath a submenu heading “Course Administration.” The Administration block will house
a submenu called “My profile settings” when viewing profiles or profile-relevant web pages.
Within this submenu is “Edit profile,” which is where users click to update their user photo,
location, time zone, and other profile settings. It is highly recommended that users keep their
profiles up to date, including a current and identifiable photo.
3. Activities
When an instructor adds an activity or resource to a course (see Commonly Used Activities and
Resources Icon Legend below), the Activities block will update when viewing that course to
include a current list of all visible activities and resources. This can be great help users navigate
to assignments much more quickly, especially in a more extensive online-based course. This
block only appears when viewing a course, and includes activities and resources from that
course exclusively.
4. Quickmail
Though not universally used, many instructors communicate with students through the
Quickmail feature. Inside the Quickmail block are four links: “Compose New Email” allows
users to create a new email communicating with any VUB Moodle user; the “Signatures” feature
is where users can create custom signatures, much like those found in an email client; “View
Drafts” shows all messages in the drafting stage; “View History” shows users their past
communications with other users.
5. Course Evaluation
Course Evaluation is a tool that allows students to evaluate classes and instructors by
completing a short survey. The block is hidden until the end of a term or session. Evaluations
are available one week before the end of the class. Evaluations are anonymous, and not made
available to the instructor until all grades have been officially submitted. Please take a few
minutes to fill out these Course Evaluation once your course has completed.
6. Search Forums
The Search Forums feature provides an easy way to search with key words within forum
postings. This is especially helpful in more feedback-based classes where Forums are more
regularly used. The Search Forums function is limited to the course that the user is actively
viewing.
7. Latest News
Recent posts made in the News Forum will display within the Latest News block, as well as a
link to view older posts. Some instructors choose not to use the News Forum feature, making
Latest News less informative.
8. Upcoming Events
This block displays approaching events within the specified course. Due dates, holidays, and
any event listed on the course’s calendar will appear in Upcoming Events is sorted
chronologically.
9. Recent Activity
Recent Activity is an optional block that shows users what has changed or been added since
their last login. Instructors often choose to leave this block turned off.
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