MoodleRooms 2.8 Summer 2015 Update

Update Overview

The update will occur on July 9th and and will result in some downtime from 11pm July 8th to – 5am July 9th while it is applied. We apologize for this inconvenience and the less than ideal timing- this is dictated by our Moodle Host provider, Moodlerooms, who has assured us that the downtime will be brief.

Major features of Moodlerooms Update 2.8 include:

  • Improvements to quiz construction
  • Improvements to the gradebook
  • New option for Forum Discussion Subscription

Help With This Update

ISPD Staff will be available through the summer to answer questions about the update. 

In the meantime, if you have any questions about this Moodle update, please contact Daisy Calvert

If you need to see someone in person we have drop-in hours from 10am-noon, Monday-Thursday when the college is open. If those hours don’t work for you, drop us a line and make an appointment. Our office is located in M125.

Additionally, workshops covering these changes will be available during In-service and 3 Days To Better Teaching with Moodle on September 15,16 and 17 and we encourage you to attend (there will be free food!).  Look for more information on these events in your email in August.

Improvements to Quiz Construction

The changes to the edit quiz page are all helpful and make it easier to edit quizzes while simplifying the interface. 

Overview

Editing Quiz Page Direct Comparison

Key layout changes include:

  • Individual questions now display in a more streamlined form (orange)
  • Question Bank Block are now located in the Add menu (red)
  • Move Question Controls have switched sides (blue)
  • Maximum Grade controls have switched sides (green)
  • Marked out of controls have streamlined and moved over a little (purple)

Individual items are highlighted by different colored boxes below (corresponding to the change noted above).

Old Editing Quiz Page New Editing Quiz Page

All pagination controls can now be found on one page

What does this mean?
You can control the number of questions that appear on each page of a quiz. This update gives you two different ways of controlling the number of questions on a page: manually adding them one at a time or automatically setting the question per page across the entire contents of the quiz.

To add a new page break between questions:

  1. Locate the last question you want to appear on a given page
  2. Click the add page break icon icon_pagebreak to the left and slightly below the question. A new page break will appear.
    pagebreak_ADD
  3. Repeat as desired

To Remove a page break from a quiz:

  1. Locate the page break you wish to remove (e.g., Page 2)
  2. Click on the remove page break icon icon_RMpagebreak to the above and left of the page breakpagebreak_RM
  3. Repeat as desired

To change the number of questions that appear on each page in a quiz:

  1. At the top of the Editing Quiz page, click the Repaginate button
    repageBtn
  2. A menu will appear:
    repageMenu
  3. Set the value in the provided box (how many questions you want per page)
    Note: We advise that you not put too many or too few questions on any page in Moodle as quiz data on a page is not saved until a student moves onto the next page. It is a best practice to write quizzes that keep a student on a quiz page for no more than 2-3 minutes, as this will minimize a loss of data (in case of connection loss) and will keep the student from needing to constantly reload Moodle (which can increase the chance of connection loss).
  4. Click the Go Button

Changing the weight of a question and/or Quiz

What does this mean?
The tall narrow highlight in the image to the right is the individual value (worth) for each question. This is, by default, one (1) point. As an instructor you can alter the weight of individual questions. For example, you might want an essay question to be worth five (5) points and a true/false question to be worth one (1) point.

To change the weight or grade for each question (marks) within a quiz, you must: 

  1. Click on the Edit Maximum Mark icon icon_editmaximummark
  2. Edit the value in the box that appears
    editMark
  3. Hit the Enter/Return key to save your changes

To change the point value of the entire quiz, you must:

  1. Click on the text box in the upper right corner labeled Maximum Grade
  2. Enter the total grade value for the quiz (for example, the quiz is worth 50 points in your course)
    EditQuizMaximumGrade
    Hint: if you don’t want the quiz to be graded (i.e. a practice or informational quiz), you can set the value to zero (0) and it will not appear in the gradebook.
  3. Hit the Save button

Quiz questions can now be rearranged via drag and drop

What does this mean?
In our previous version of Moodle there was an up and down arrow that, one step at a time, moved a quiz question slowly up or down the page. In this Moodle update there is now the familiar Drag and Drop icon, allowing you to use your mouse to move quiz questions more easily.

To Move a Quiz question elsewhere in a quiz:

  1. Click the move icon editQuizMove
  2. Hold your mouse button down and you can drag the question up or down to whatever location in the quiz you want, in any page. Release your mouse when the question is in your desired location.
  3. Repeat as desired

Adding new Questions to a Quiz

What does this mean?
Adding questions to a quiz is now broken into a small, clear menu from which you can select one of three options at a time to add to a quiz: 1) a new question you write on the spot 2) use one or more questions from a pre-established bank of questions or 3) use a set number of questions chosen at random from a given category.

Adding a New Question:

  1. Click the Add button for the page where you want to add a new question
  2. Select a New Question from the menu
  3. Click the Add button at the bottom of the pop-up
    KNOWN ISSUE: If you are working on a quiz that currently has NO questions in it you will only be able to see the first item on the Add menu, to use the other options do the following:

    1. Click on the Add menu link as you normally would
    2. Use your down arrow key on your keyboard to select the next option down, it may be highlighted by a dashed outline.
    3. When the option you want is visible, hit your enter/return key to select that option. 
  4. Select the type of question you want to create
    Hint: clicking on a question type will provide a description to the right
  5. Fill out the provided form
  6. Hit the Save Changes button when finished
  7. Repeat as desired

Adding a Question (or set of questions) from the Question Bank
Note: This assumes you already have question in a question bank within your course.

  1. Click the Add button for the page where you want to add a new question 
    KNOWN ISSUE: If you are working on a quiz that currently has NO questions in it you will only be able to see the first item on the Add menu, to use the other options do the following:

    1. Click on the Add menu link as you normally would
    2. Use your down arrow key on your keyboard to select the next option down, it may be highlighted by a dashed outline.
    3. When the option you want is visible, hit your enter/return key to select that option. 
  2. Select From Question Bank from the menu
  3. Using the Select a Category drop-down menu, select the category you want to pull questions from
  4. To add a single question from this category:
    1. Click the Add to Quiz icon editQuiz_plus to the right of the question you want to add.
      editQuizAddSingleQB
    2. Repeat steps 1-4A as desired for each category
  5. To add multiple questions from this category:
    1. Click the check box next to each question you want to add
      editQuizAddManyQB
    2. Click the Add selected questions to the quiz button
    3. Repeat steps 1-3 and 5A-5B as desired for each category

Adding a Random Question (or set of questions) from a Question Bank Category

  1. Click the Add button for the page you want to add a new question to
    KNOWN ISSUE: If you are working on a quiz that currently has NO questions in it you will only be able to see the first item on the Add menu, to use the other options do the following:

    1. Click on the Add menu link as you normally would
    2. Use your down arrow key on your keyboard to select the next option down, it may be highlighted by a dashed outline.
    3. When the option you want is visible, hit your enter/return key to select that option. 
  2. Select a random question from the menu
  3. From the popup select the category from which you want to pull
    editQuiz_AddRandomQuestion
  4. Select the Number of random questions you want pulled from this category
  5. Hit the Add Random Question button
  6. Repeat as desired for each category from which you want to pull

 

Improvements to The Gradebook

The changes to the gradebook all make the gradebook easier to use, understand, and access from a mobile device.

Overview

The New Setup Tab, Previously Categories and Items

What does this mean?
Categories and items — the place to make changes to how your gradebook functions — has been renamed Setup for added clarity. You can still edit your gradebook and access Categories and Items by clicking on the Setup tab.

Setup‘s sub-items (tabs) are as follows:

  • Categories and Items (Default)
  • Course Grade Settings
  • My preferences: Grader Report
  • My preferences: Joule Gradebook

Categories and Items – Direct Comparison

Some things have moved around, to see how new and old compare, see the images below:

  • Aggregation, Extra credit, and all Actions other than Move have been relocated into the Edit menu and its contents (blue)
  • The move icon has be relocated to the left of the page for more constancy between interface (purple)
  • Weights are new to Natural (previously Sum of Grades) and function differently than other weights you may be familiar with (green, only shown in New)
    • e.g., Weighted Mean of Grades does not work the same way as Natural’s weights.
Old Version of Categories and Items New Version of Categories and Items
Setup_CAI_Old_highlights Setup_CAI_New_highlights

 

Change the aggregation method in the new gradebook:

  1. Locate either the course category or a sub category you wish to change the aggregation in
  2. Under the Actions column click the Edit menu to open it
  3. Click Edit Settings to open a new Edit category page
  4. Under Grade category, change the Aggregation value to your choice
    hint: Natural will probably be the most straight-forward. Otherwise, clicking on the Help button icon_help will provide some simple explanation for each
  5. Click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the page when done
  6. Repeat as desired for each category

Hide a grade item in the new gradebook:

  1. Locate the grade item you wish you hide
  2. Under the Actions column, click the Edit menu to open it
  3. Under Grade item click the check-box next to Hidden to toggle visibility
  4. Click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the page when done
  5. Repeat as desired for each grade item

The Other tabs

Course grade settings – This page features a wide array of controls to change the way most of your gradebook displays. Most folks probably won’t use this much.

My Preferences: Grader Report – Control over the built-in Moodle gradebook and default of the gradebook’s View tab, this allows you to set defaults for the first thing you (and any fellow teachers in a class) might see on viewing the grader report.

My Preferences: Joule Gradebook – Control over the Moodlerooms exclusive Joule Gradebook and default of the Joule Gradebook tab and how it displays.

Sum Of Grades replaced By Natural Aggregation

What does this mean?
Come the update Sum of Grades will no longer appear in the gradebook. It will be replaced with an aggregation method called Natural. Post update all instances of Sum of Grades will change to Natural, weights will be left as default- the same as sum of grades and students will see, in percentage what weight each item holds on their grade, the overall worth of a class should be unchanged.

Natural also comes with feature that Sum of Grades lacked: weights.
All weights in Natural Aggregation must add up to exactly 100 (think percent).

Hint: This is a new way of doing things whereas weights in weighted mean of grades can be any value and are more like parts in a recipe, e.g., One (1) part assignment, two (2) parts quiz in a 300 point class would value the quiz at 200 points and the assignment at 100. Weighted mean of Grades has not changed in function.

Understanding Weights vs Max Grade in Natural Aggregation:

  • Max Grade – Like the Sum of Grades it’s replacing, the max grade or course total will always be the total of all points possible in the gradebook. These cannot be changed or edited, that’s what weights are for.
  • Weights – Must add up to 100 (as in percent) and are automatically generated based on points for a given assignment. Moodle re-balance all of the weights of all of the grade items to compensate around these manual weights.

How to change the weight of an item in Natural Aggregation

  1. Locate the grade item you want to modify the weight of in your gradebook
    natweight_start
  2. Click the check-box under Weights to made the text-box editable
     natweight_edit
  3. In the (now editable) text box enter the percent value you want the grade item to be (for 50% enter 50)
  4. Repeat above steps for any other weights you want to change- you do NOT need to modify all of them
  5. When content with new overrides hit the Save Changes button at the bottom of the page
    natweight_end
  6. Moodle does the math for you. When the page reloads your entered weights, if valid, will be what you set and all other weights will have adjusted around them to make room while still keeping a value relative to their max grade value. 
StudentView

For a look of what students will see with Natural Aggregation, click to enlarge

What Students see when Natural Aggregation is used:
Students will now have a clear weights column in the gradebook letting them know the actual impact each activity has on their grade, in addition to any actual points earned on each assignment. This was decidedly lacking in previous gradebook versions as weights were never mentioned or displayed to students at all. 

new tab: Single View

What does this mean?
The new tab, Single view is ideal for checking out all grades for a given activity (Grade Item) OR all grades for a given student (Users). You can select one (1) option from one of the drop-down menus provided.
It can be found under the main (default) View Tab in the gradebook.

singleViewDefalt

The default screen on clicking into Single View

 

Using the Bulk Tools to enter zeros (0) for all empty grades

  1. Use Single View and select your user (student) or Grade Item from the drop down menu
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and check the Perform bulk insert check-box
    singleView_bulk
  3. Leave the default values as are (Empty Grades, 0 (zero))
  4. Hit the Update button
  5. Navigate to next student and repeat as desired

Navigating from one Grade Item or User to the next in Single View:

  1. Save any changes on your current page
  2. Locate either the top or bottom of the page, along the right side
  3. A student name or grade item name will be there, followed by an arrow icon. Click the link.
    singleView_Nav
  4. Begin work on the next student
  5. Repeat as desired

Single View: Users 

singleViewStudent

To see single view for editing a student in action, click to enlarge

What does this Mean?
You can look over a single user’s entire gradebook, grant several exclusions or apply overrides and feedback quickly and then move onto the next for an editable view of a student’s progress in your course.

Single view: Grade Items

singleViewAssignment

To see Single View of an activity in action, click to enlarge

What does this mean?
Single View for Grade Items allows you to look at student grades linked to an individual activity. It is ideal for quick grading by way of Manual Overrides (now easy to enable and disable- no turn editing on required!) You can also grant one or more students exclusions from the activity with a check. Any changes made on this page must be saved with the Update button, which is located at both the top and bottom of the page.

 

Grade Exclusions

What does this mean?
Exclusions are new to Moodle and are similar to the old aggregate only non-empty grades that could be toggled in the depths of your gradebook. Exclusions can be applied temporarily at the start of term to reduce student grade panic and removed as items come due. The can also be left on for the duration of the term if a student is unable to complete an activity and you do not wish it to negatively affect the individual. 

Grant a student an exclusion:

  1. Open up Single View in the Gradebook
  2. Select the Grade Item for which you wish to give a student an exclusion 
  3. On the new page, locate the student’s listing
  4. At the right side of the page is the Exclude column, click the check-box for your student
  5. Scroll to either the top or bottom of the page and hit the Update button to save your changes
  6. Repeat as desired

New Option for Forum Discussion Subscription

What does this mean?
A  new, less broad version of forum subscription has been added to forums.
You can now subscribe to a single discussion instead of, or in addition to, a full forum subscription (all discussions). This can be done either as you make a discussion topic or in response to an existing one.
This will minimize email clutter to more relevant forum posts at the discretion of the student or instructor making the subscription.

Subscribe to a discussion as you post it: 

  1. Enter the forum in which you intend to post
  2. Click the Add New Discussion Topic (or other variation as appropriate)
  3. Fill out your Subject, Message and (perhaps) Attachment normally
  4. Ensure that the check-box next to Discussion Subscription is ticked
  5. Click the Post to Forum button
  6. Any replies to your post will be emailed to your Clackamas email

Subscribing to an existing discussion:

  1. Enter the forum in which you wish to monitor a discussion topic
  2. Click the discussion topic title link
  3. Locate your Actions Menu
  4. Click the Subscribe to this discussion link
  5. Any further replies to this topic will be emailed to your Clackamas email