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Moodle Changes its Approach to Mobile « Technology, Innovation ...

Moodle Changes its Approach to Mobile « Technology, Innovation ... | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it
Moodle HQ has decided to move away from native mobile Moodle app development and will switch to developing with HTML 5 and the open source mobile development framework Phonegap. This will allow developers to ...
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Why is Moodle the Best LMS? - EdTechReview™ (ETR)

Why is Moodle the Best LMS? - EdTechReview™ (ETR) | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it

Moodle (acronym for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) is an open source Learning Management System (LMS ) or a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE ). It is rising in popularity among the educators around the world, as a tool for creating dynamic websites for students. It is open source, since it is customizable, has no contracts or user costs to pay and is widely available for free use. It can be efficiently integrated with your management system and allows you to support personalized learning, which is effective even outside the classroom and encourages the involvement of the broader community of the institution.


Moodle has constantly maintained its top spot among the LMS tools and has been ranked 11th overall among the top 100 tools for learning in 2013 . Many factors have contributed to Moodle being highly successful. On top of being a great LMS, it is also free to use. Teachers can teach their own online courses using this and find it stable and easy to use and being customizable, it fits to its user’s needs with ease.

 

 Moodle has several advantages over other LMSs, here’s the list of a few:


- It is an open source learning platform, which is utilized by millions of people worldwide. This open source nature allows anybody to tinker with its code or add new things. Users can share changes with the Moodle community for others to use for free. All this leads to the extension and reformation of the software.

- It makes use of simple technologies, as a result of which its developers are easy to find.

- It is built on some of the most reliable technologies, such as PHP, MySQL, Apache.

- It has a fully cooperative development model which offers constant scope for improvement by allowing many high quality contributions to acquire new modules, features and enhancements.

- It makes use of the more advanced programming approach, the object-oriented programming which makes its functionality all the more efficient and allows users to proceed at their own pace, as well as customize it according to their needs.

- It focuses on making the learning and teaching experience constructivist. This process encourages the involvement of learners in the learning process, rather than letting them receive knowledge passively. The learning environment becomes more democratic with interactive and student-centered activities.

- It is convenient for educational institutions and organizations for learning and course management.

- It can be quickly deployed in your organization, without the requirement of any extra efforts.

- It is highly cost-effective, since it has a low risk startup and a low initial investment.

- It provides you with fast and reliable updates of information.

- It provides you with regular support, all the time you use it. Its support feature is active twenty four hours a day, seven days a week and addresses to its developers, members and users.

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Sandbox Plugin Lets you reset demo and free trial courses automatically

Sandbox Plugin Lets you reset demo and free trial courses automatically | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it
If you’re selling enrollment to courses using Moodle or showcasing a demo of a new Moodle plugin or feature, giving potential customers a chance to review the materials/functionality before they commit to purchasing might help increase conversions and sales overall. Just like the reset feature on Demo.Moodle.Net which resets the courses to a base stat every hour, the Sandbox plugin for Moodle 2.x allows you to set a course up and systematically/automatically reset the course so that even the same users will get a fresh experience every X duration.

According to the description (https://moodle.org/plugins/view/local_sandbox):

After installing local_sandbox, the plugin doesn’t do anything until it is configured. To configure the plugin, please visit Plugins -> Local plugins -> Sandbox.

There, you are able to define when local_sandbox should restore the courses.

You also define the directory where the course backup files to use for course restoring are. local_sandbox takes every file in this directory with a .mbz filename extension, takes the file’s name, searches for a existing course with a shortname equal to the file’s name and finally, uses the course backup file to restore / reset this course.

Additionally, there is an option to set the course start date to today instead of setting it to the date saved in the course backup file. Use this option if you need to provide playground courses in Moodle which pretend to be up-to-date.

As local_sandbox acts automatically, it can inform you by mail when failures or problems occur.

The plugin is now available for Moodle 2.3 through 2.8. Download it here: https://moodle.org/plugins/pluginversions.php?plugin=local_sandbox
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Moodle 2014 Overview by Numbers

Moodle 2014 Overview by Numbers | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it
It was another busy year for Moodle, marking some key milestones and big numbers from the hard work of Moodle HQ, the community and many others around the globe. Thank you to everyone for your large and small contributions over the year. Enjoy this look back at the achievements of 2014 for Moodle.

12 Years of Moodle were celebrated
Moodle celebrates the first launch as our birthday on August 20.
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Moodlerooms releases Flexpage Format for 2.7

Moodlerooms releases Flexpage Format for 2.7 | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it
Moodlerooms has released Flexpage for Moodle 2.7 this week. Flexpage is an innovative set of Moodle plugins which provides you the ability to create a course more like a webpage. Each topic could be it’s own page, each activity added anywhere on the page, a totally custom and more linear presentation-like navigation enforced as the course developer sees fit. While the format may not be responsive or as usable for mobile users it does provide a unique way to create and manage a course. Here is an example of a course laid out with the Flexpage format:
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Live Weekly Session: Assessment in Moodle - Teaching with Moodle: An Introduction - YouTube

Learn how to use graded activities in Moodle such as assignments and quizzes and how to set up the gradebook. 

Teaching with Moodle: An Introduction is a free MOOC designed to provide a good foundation and context to Moodle. Discover more about the course and register today - learn.moodle.net.

The MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) is a four-week self-paced and collaborative course up to 3 hours a week, ideal for teachers to master the basics of Moodle, enrich their knowledge and enhance their students' learning.

 

 

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igrades plugin

igrades plugin | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it

A while back I wrote a post on the igrades plugin that I build for a client. The plugin showed all the students grades, regardless of whether that were enrolled in the course or not.

I showed the plugin to a friend of mine. He took one look at it and went, “Yes, but could you group the activities under the course?” He then proceeded to create a quick mockup of what he was thinking. It took me but a moment to realize my first effort was rubbish and that he was right.

So back to the drawing board for another stab at making the solution a little more practical. Below are my revised efforts. I now use an Accordion to group the activities in a course. I also included a count of the number of activities required for completion. A progress bar to gives the users a quick visual of their progress.

 

 

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Moodle plugins: Login / User info

Moodle plugins: Login / User info | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it

The block_login_userinfo plugin has two views: As long as the user is logged out, it displays a login form just as block_login does. As soon as the user is logged in, block_login dispears. In contrast to this, block_login_userinfo displays pleasant information about the logged in user like his/her username, his/her avatar. Additionally, it displays a logout button where the user expects it to be: exactly at the position where the login button was previously.

 

Furthermore, for teachers and admins, block_login_userinfo shows exactly the same information as the login info section which is normally found in the top right corner of your moodle page - especially information about role changes and about failed user logins.

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Moodle Mobile 1.11 Gets Calendar Integration

Moodle Mobile 1.11 Gets Calendar Integration | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it
Moodle Mobile continues to impress, most recently with the release of 1.11 and Calendar Integration with reminders as local notifications.In addition to the calendar integration fixes also addressed issues with forum display, error messages and content saved for offline viewing.

Full release notes for 1.11 can be found here: https://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MOBILE-873

A synopsis is available on the Mobile Moodle release notes: https://docs.moodle.org/dev/Moodle_Mobile_release_notes#Moodle_Mobile_1.11
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All the things I do supporting moodle ......

a basic brain dump of task and other things I do relating to support / setup/ administration / training / explaining / problem solving / etc with moodle. I will organize later

Integrate with external DBs
Create new accounts
Monitor cron files
Check drive space
Check DB backups
Remove accounts
explain and use cohorts
explain why share and share accounts
Load courses
Remove courses
troubleshoot why some course restores do not work
help my customers find things in moodle
explain the gradebook
configure the gradebook
explain completion tracking
turn on/off completion tracking
configure quizzes - attempts, review options, open/close dates, delete attempts, contact vendors about content issues
contact vendors in general - about their courses - loading them on our moodle - maintaining accounts and assigning permissions for them in contexts
keeping the # of administrators to a minimum - saying "no, you don't need those rights" - and then repeating that.
Resetting passwords
Uploading users via bulk upload
Creating cohorts, editing cohorts, explaining and finding instances where cohorts make sense
enrolling cohorts into courses
enrolling teachers into courses
troubleshooting the external synch for account authentication and enrollments
configure assignments - # of uploads - automatic email push to teacher, change the number of submit buttons - via draft
troubleshooting RSS feeds - enabling and turning off blocks
loading and using course themes
explaining site wide variables, like session time, file max upload size\
turning on and off debugging options
remoting to the MySQL moodle DBs using both MySQL Workbench and phpMyAdmin to perform all sorts of operations on the DB. usually in the form of course wide updates to quiz, forum or assignment settings.
Backing up the DBs - Restoring the DBs - upgrading the moodle from 1.9 - 2.2 - 2.6
Troubleshooting DB upgrade issues.
Documents in this blog lots of detailed moodle things
Installing plugins - un-installing plugins - wondering if a plugin is problematic in other places - like in DB upgrades. Activating plugins - like google drive or dropbox.
developing custom enrollment and grade / progress reports - using php / javascript / html / mysql
helped solve a large en-mass data file - attempting to be imported via bulk users
resolve course behavior - usually from vendors
assigning points to forums - modifying the gradebook
explaining LDAP configuration - why its a good idea - tradeoffs - moodle is now a slave etc. Troubleshooting LDAP configuration - determining what moodle requires and will allow - like duplicate email addresses.
help explain and demonstrate the home page setup - course categories - how to organize course and other information on the home page and course pages
showed different course formats - topic formats - and other course wide properties.
explain - demon-straight the relationship between the course wide forum and the
updating Timezones and then time settings - so moodle would be daylights savings time aware - and stay that way.
deciding - allowing users to create their own accounts - tradeoffs - Site policies
site policies - like password policy and what that should be.
assigning system roles - site wide - when applicable - why......
creating custom roles - although the longer i am here doing this - the less I like doing this. Work within the framework - do not introduce upgrade maintenance points.
Enabling email based self registration - with the reCAPTCHA - so we don't get spammed with a bunch of dummy accounts.
creating graphics and uploading into site themes
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@RemoteLearner Releases Office 365 Moodle Integration

@RemoteLearner Releases Office 365 Moodle Integration | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it
Remote-Learner, a Moodle Partner in the US, UK and Canada recently released a set of plugins to work with Microsoft Office 365 and Sharepoint. Read more at the Remote-Learner Blog. The integrations provide easy ways for students and teachers to authenticate, access files, sync calendars and much more.

Development of the plugins was carried out in partnership with Microsoft who made the announcement at BETT.

Microsoft Services Plugin set: https://moodle.org/plugins/browse.php?list=set&id=71
Office 365 Plugin set: https://moodle.org/plugins/browse.php?list=set&id=72
also updated was the oEmbed filter: https://moodle.org/plugins/view/filter_oembed
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MindMap Course Format get updated for Moodle 2.8

MindMap Course Format get updated for Moodle 2.8 | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it
Łukasz Sanokowski, developer of the MindMap Course block and Timestat block recently released an updated version of the MindMap course format for Moodle 2.7 and 2.8. This format can represent your Moodle course in a format that helps to illustrate the interconnectedness of your course resources and activities. See our past coverage here which was focused solely on the block version of the MindMap for Moodle.

Mindmap Course Format allows Moodle users using courses through interactive, personalized mindmap. Additionally, it provides features unavailable in standard Moodle, which are: 1) graphical presentation of conditional dependencies and 2) distinction of modules where student have problems (and which are near deadline).

The format can be downloaded from Moodle.org: https://moodle.org/plugins/view/format_mindmap
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It's Only the Beginning: The Internet R.I.P. (Mikko Hypponen)

It's only the beginning - Security expert Mikko Hypponen warns about the monster we have created with our connected world.

Via Gust MEES, Rui Guimarães Lima
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Chris Carter's curator insight, January 21, 9:35 PM

Chilling.

Allan Shaw's curator insight, January 22, 5:05 PM

I'm not sure how to react to this YouTube clip. It is worth watching and reflecting. Perhaps all I can do is be more careful, read user agreements, not use 'free' services where my privacy and data are traded and influence others to do the same.

Polly A. Sheppard's curator insight, January 23, 6:00 PM

This really gives you something to think about!

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Moodle plugins: Grade Me

Moodle plugins: Grade Me | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it

Shows a teacher all of the assignments and manual quiz questions (essays and file responses) that have been submitted, but not graded. The block is configured to work with groups that is, teachers will only see the assignments submitted by students if they are both members of the same group. You'll have to let me know if it works with courses that don't use groups at all. You can install the block on the Front Page and it will show ungraded assignments for ALL courses, and if you put the block on a course page it will only show the ungraded assignments for that course.

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Bootstrap and Moodle – Gradebook tweak!

Bootstrap and Moodle – Gradebook tweak! | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it
Bootstrap themes have been available for Moodle for a while now, and a small issue was there that I had not seen before – until a lecturer wondered why they could not see grades in the gradebook that should have been there.

As it is that time of year that many are dealing with end of semester grades, I thought I should pass along the solution for you if you have not known about it.

** Please note that this may not effect your site depending on the version of Moodle and if you are using a Bootstrap theme.

The issue is this:

When a teacher hides a grade from students it got a class=’hidden’ applied. Themes before bootstrap ignored it as they did not have a style for it. However bootstrap base, and therefore themes like Clean etc did have a style of it namely:

display:none;
visibility:hidden;

So instead of showing grey-ed out, or showing normally, the hidden grades vanished on the interface for the teacher as in the screenshots below.
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Q&A With Martin Dougiamas, Founder and CEO of Moodle

Q&A With Martin Dougiamas, Founder and CEO of Moodle | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it
ETT: What is the market segment your company is in and who are your core customers?

Although we are often called an LMS, we refer to Moodle as an open source learning platform because we do much more than a strict definition of an LMS can allow. Moodle is currently used in more than 230 countries with more than 70 million users worldwide. The focus of Moodle is to provide educators (individuals, schools, universities or workplace) with the tools to build their own highly customized site for online and blended learning.

In the 12 years since its first version, Moodle has been adopted by many renowned organisations across the globe, including Australia National University, California State Universities, London School of Economics, Google Mount Sinai Hospital, Shell, Mazda, ING, Allianz, and Open University as a few examples.



ETT: How did you come across the problem you’re addressing and how did you define it – what was your process in identifying it?

When I started Moodle, the web was fairly new and was largely a one-way publishing medium. As an Internet developer since 1990, however, I knew a lot more interactivity and collaboration was possible via computers, and I started researching the latest in pedagogy and working on Moodle as a way to blend this into the growing web technology.

 

ETT: What it is that you’re doing differently than your competitors? And do you expect to develop other differentiators in the future?

 

Moodle will continue to be an open source learning platform and to try and take open source to new heights.

Unlike many .com companies in the edtech sector who may be driven to produce profit for investors, our main drive is to provide free tools for educators to use as they wish.   Even though we do have a range of commercial services via our Moodle Partners (see moodle.com) all of these are designed to help pay developers to produce our free software.

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Moodle Authentication Methods You Need to Know

Moodle Authentication Methods You Need to Know | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it
Moodle Authentication is a process whereby individuals are allowed to confirm that they are whom they claim to be.
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What is Moodle?

This is "What is Moodle?" by HowToMoodle on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.

Via Patric Lougheed, Juergen Wagner
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Moodle Mobile Plugin for Moodle helps you design courses for mobile consumption

Moodle Mobile Plugin for Moodle helps you design courses for mobile consumption | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it

Juan Leyva has released a new plugin for Moodle which provides Availability Conditions dependent on whether users are using the Moodle Mobile App to access courses. According to the description,

With this plugin you can choose if an activity, resource or a complete section is (or is not) visible for users accessing the course via the Mobile app.

If you’re optimizing a course for mobile viewing only, this is an additional tool you can utilize to ensure that students are having the best experience they can when interacting with your course through their handheld device and the Moodle Mobile app. A neat way to limit or provide additional resources to each student depending on how they are accessing your site.

Download the plugin (which is helpful only if you are already utilizing or suggesting the students utilize the Mobile Moodle app) here: https://moodle.org/plugins/view/availability_mobileapp

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Moodle plugins: Course Checks Block

Moodle plugins: Course Checks Block | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it

This block carries out a number of automated checks on a course, that are all user configurable. The checks were designed to encourage a minimum standard of course quality and highlight possible opportunities for improvement.

 

The block also has the option to allow users to "clear down" a course, simply removing any sections that don't have content. It won't delete any sections that have content and/or a summary.

 

The checks that can be carried out by this block are:

 

* Checks that the course has a summary, and course image set

* Checks that the course is visible to students

* Checks that guest access has been disabled on the course, to help prevent issues where enrolled students don't have permissions to do things

* Check that section headings have been renamed from their defaults.

* Check that all sections have a summary

* Check that there are no empty sections, and that they all have content

* Checks there are no assignment deadlines prior to the course start date (useful in rollover process)

* Allows site administrators to recommend blocks that should be installed on each course

 

Future Plans (early 2015)

* Check for old assignment dates after course rollover

* Add tool to quickly update assignment deadlines

* Make sections in block collapsable

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Moodle plugins: Static Pages

Moodle plugins: Static Pages | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it

The local_staticpage plugin is designed to fetch a static HTML document from disk, enrich it with Moodle navigation and theme and deliver it as a standard Moodle page which exists outside any course.

 

Static pages will be available on catchy URLs like http://www.yourmoodle.com/static/faq.html and can be linked from Moodle HTML blocks, from your Moodle theme footer and so on. Using the local_staticpages plugin, you can create information pages within moodle, but without misusing a whole course just for showing a textbox.

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Moodle plugins: Tabs

Moodle plugins: Tabs | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it

This is a simple Moodle filter which creates tabs in textfields.

 

To create tabs in textfields where the filter is activated, simply use the following syntax: {%:Tab title}Tab text{%}

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Moodle Mobile 1.10 and 1.11 Released | Moodle.com

Moodle Mobile 1.10 and 1.11 Released | Moodle.com | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it
The Moodle Mobile team having been working tirelessly to bring to the users the latest in efficiency and usability from the mobile application. Aiming to provide a coherent and intuitive experience, the app has seen 3 major new features in the past releases.

Messaging
A new interface similar to Whatsapp/Telegram has been introduced to messaging within the app. This provides the ability to view recent conversations, search for contacts, add/remove contacts and view user profiles. Available in 1.10

Calendar
The Moodle calendar from your course now has the ability to integrate into your device calendar, providing push notifications as reminders and warnings. Available in 1.11

Sections Summary
Sections summary is displayed in the course contents page. Available in 1.11

The Moodle Mobile application is available for Android, iOS and Windows.
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New Microsoft Office 365 open source integration with Moodle transforms education technology | News Center

LONDON — Jan. 19, 2015 — Microsoft Open Technologies Inc. (MS Open Tech), a subsidiary of Microsoft Corp., together with leading Moodle partner Remote-Learner.net Inc., on Monday announced integration between Moodle and Microsoft Office 365, bringing a more productive experience to teachers and students by harmonizing login credentials, calendar management and course content creation, in addition to other workflow improvements for education institutions and other Moodle users.

“Working closely with Remote-Learner, we’re delivering a technical solution for one of the most popular open source learning management systems that aims to provide seamless workflows for both Moodle and Office 365 users,” said Jean Paoli, president of MS Open Tech. “By working closely with the open Moodle community, MS Open Tech will continue taking feedback and maintaining, improving, and adding new features.”

The open source Office 365 and Microsoft Services plugins for Moodle include integration with OneDrive for Business, OneNote and Office 365 Outlook calendar. The integration allows students and instructors, as well as enterprise users, to sign on to Moodle with the same ID, making single sign-on easier and faster for education institutions and other Moodle users with Office 365 accounts. In addition, events created in Moodle will be stored in teachers’ and students’ personal Office 365 calendars, enabling them to easily track course events and due dates. Previously, instructors needed to update their Outlook calendars manually, or send event invitations separately to students.
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Thomas Hodgers's curator insight, January 20, 7:43 PM

Download the Moodle and Office 365 integration resources and guidance http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=39932

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Moodle plugins: Online audio recording

Moodle plugins: Online audio recording | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it

Audio recorder (Flash 10.1+) submission method. Records locally and uploads via HTTP POST, so there's no need for a streaming server!

 

Finally putting an end to the need for a streaming server (or a Java applet) to allow students to record audio clips for Moodle assignments, the Online Audio Recording assignment uses Flash (10.1+) to record audio from a microphone, convert it to MP3 format and upload it to Moodle via HTTP POST.

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Moodle plugins: oEmbed Filter

Moodle plugins: oEmbed Filter | Moodle Best LMS | Scoop.it

Using the oEmbed protocol http://oembed.com/ hyperlinks pointing to supported sites will be substituted with an embedded version.

N.B. You may need to disable YouTube and Vimeo in the Admin->Site Administration->Appearance->Media Embedding

 

This helps send students to videos on external sites but without leaving Moodle and being distracted by other content.

 

Currently supported sites

* YouTube *

* Vimeo *

* Ted *

* SlideShare

* Screenr

* Issuu

* Poll Everywhere

* Soundcloud

* Microsoft Mix

 Sites with * also support optional "Lazy" loading. For these sites a thumbnail still of the video is shown that is swapped for the actual video when clicked upon. This speeds up page load times and reduces bandwidth.
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