Navigating Moodle for the Blackboard user

Posted on: February 3, 2012 | By: JP Lavoie | Filed under: Instructional Technologies, Teaching and Learning, Moodle, Moodle Musings
Blackboard and Moodle are both course management systems and offer similar features. Below is a list of the most popular functions in Blackboard and how it compares to Moodle. This list is not complete but should give the most ardent Blackboard user a good place to start. If there are features that you expect in Moodle but can’t find, let us know in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

Blackboard

Moodle

Notes

Control Panel

Administration Located in left-side menu

Make course available

↓ Administration

  • → Settings
    • ↓ Availability
    • Choose Available or Not Available
  • Save changes
Similar to Blackboard, instructors must make their courses available for students to view.

Edit mode is on/off

→ Turn editing on (upper right corner) To enable editing mode, click the button in the upper-right corner of the screen that says “Turn editing on.”

Upload a document

→ Turn editing on

  • ↓ Add a resource

(if already in Files folder)

  • → Link to a file or website
    • → Choose or upload a file…
    • ● Under Action column, click Choose

(if on your computer)

  • → Upload a file | Select file | Open | Upload

● Under Action column, click Choose

Upload a document, PDF, image, audio, or video.**We recommend that you embed or link to video from YouTube or Vimeo with private link (viewable only to those who have the URL).

Enroll a student

↓ Administration

  • → Assign roles
    • → Student
    • ● Search and click on Name
      • + Add user (name)
Elon users can be enrolled in a Moodle course as a teacher, non-editing teacher, student or guest. Please verify that that any student added to your course has also been officially added into Datatel by referring to class list in On-Track.

Announcements

News Forum Moodle uses Forum for class announcements. A Forum is created automatically at the top of your course homepage. You can rename Forum to “Announcements”.News forum postings will be automatically e-mailed to the class and headers will appear in the Latest News block.

The News Forum can be configured to send an e-mail copy of every post to the entire class. Students will be reminded of postings and are able to review previous posts.

Send email

→ Quickmail

  • ● Select Name(s) or Sections(s)
  • + Add (to Selected Recipients)
  • + Add attachments (if any)
  • ● Compose message
    • → Send Email
Students may view only current messages. No message history is available via Quickmail. (They can, however, view messages in their own email accounts.) Some email from G-Mail or Forum accounts may go to Spam Folders. Advise your students to check Spam for messages.

Assignment Tool (Digital Dropbox)

→ Turn editing on

  • ↓ Add an activity
    • → Select Upload a single file
    • or
    • → Advanced uploading of files
    • (if multiple documents)
Students upload their file directly to the assignment. No central dropbox is available.

Build a quiz

→ Turn editing on

  • ↓ Add an activity
    • → Select Quiz
Enter parameters for the Quiz, then build questions.

Grade book

↓ Administration

  • → Grades
    • ↓ Choose an action
      • → Simple view
      • (edit categories and items)
      • or
      • → Full view

(edit categories and items)

Grading parameters can accommodate simple totals or weighted values, depending on your grading methods.

Discussion boards

→ Turn editing on

  • ↓ Add an activity
    • → Select Advanced Forum
Advanced Forum offers several forum modes that can be assigned to individual topics.

Blog

Not recommended A limited blogging function is available for individuals and can be shared with the entire class.A more robust course blog solution is available. Contact TLT at tlt@elon.edu or ext. 5006.

Journal

→ Turn editing on

  • ↓ Add an activity
    • → Select Journal
A journal is a one-time, long form text entry between the instructor and a student (no one else may comment or add entries). Journals can be graded and faculty have the option to leave feedback. Journals may be made visible or private.

Wiki

  • → Turn editing on
    • ↓ Add an activity
      • → Select Wiki
Like Wikipedia, wikis are collaborative spaces where multiple contributors can add to and edit content on the page. Moodle does not allow wikis to be graded.

Create new course shell

Several weeks prior to the beginning of a term, course shells will be generated. If you don’t see your course listed, call the Helpdesk at 5200.

Copy a course

Go to your new course shell.

  • ↓ Administration
    • → Import

Select originating course from:

  • → Courses I have taught
  • or
  • → Courses in the same category
  • or
  • → Search courses

☑ Select originating course

☑ Select All / None / or individual items to be imported

  • → Continue (to verify selections)
    • → Continue (outline of contents)
      • → Continue (to execute import)
        • → Continue (go to new course)
Start in your new course shell, then import from old course.New course must have the same number of visible sections (topics) as the old course.These instructions will copy all course content (files, forums, etc.), but will NOT copy enrollments or any student data (forum posts, submitted assignments, etc.).

This may take a while, depending of number and size of files in your original course.

About the authors

Ben McFadyenBen McFayden is an Academic Technology Consultant with Elon University’s Teaching and Learning Technologies. Dan Reis is an Instructional Technologist with Elon University’s Teaching and Learning Technologies.

JP Lavoie

I am a multimedia developer for Elon and an overall technology geek.

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