Uses of Moodle in this Class

Dr. Marcovitz uses Moodle in his classes in various ways. While most information will be provided to the class via the class Web site, some information may be provided using tools in Moodle. Primarily, Moodle may be used for: discussion forums, file sharing, turning in assignments, and group communication. Moodle can be accessed by going to https://moodle.loyola.edu/ and logging in with your Loyola username (generally, your first initial and middle initial and last name) and password. When you sign up for a class, the Office of Technology Support automatically enrolls you in that class's Moodle class. If you have trouble accessing Moodle or need your password reset, call the Office of Technology Support (410-617-5555) or email them (ots@loyola.edu).

Moodle Glitch - Moodle Not Responding

On occasion several people (myself included) attempt to access Moodle and find that it does not respond. Rarely, Moodle is actually down, and there is nothing that you can do. More commonly, it is a temporary glitch. If you go to https://moodle.loyola.edu/ and find that it is not responding, try quitting out of your browser (don't just close the window if you are on a Mac, but quit all the way). Most of the time when go back to your browser and back to https://moodle.loyola.edu/, it will work perfectly.

Forums

Some classes will use the forum feature of Moodle. Usually, a forum will be listed in the class the week it is being used.

Forums can be threaded. That means that each new topic generally has its own thread. When responding to a posting, the response is tacked onto the original posting as a reply. It will appear in the list of postings right below and indented from the original posting. Generally, when replying, it is not good practice to change the subject of the response because if there is a new subject, it probably should be in a new thread.

Some classes might use Moodle forums in lieu of class. This is most likely to occur with a class like ET690 Educational Technology Seminar in which a Moodle forum might substitute for one or more class meetings. In this case, your participation in the forum discussion will be an important requirement for successful completion of the class.

For most uses of Moodle forums, you will not be allowed to start a new thread. The threads will be predetermined by Dr. Marcovitz, based on the needs of the class.

Also, Moodle has both single-issue forums and threaded discussion forums. Many of our discussions will be single-issue discussions in which case there will be no threads.

File Sharing

One way that files might be shared with the class is through Moodle. Note that when you click on a document, it is likely to open within your browser, possibly even as a frame within Moodle. This is not a problem for a document that you simply want to read, but it can cause issues for printing as well as accessing certain file types (such as PowerPoint). If the document is not opening the way you want, you might try right-clicking (ctrl-clicking on Macs with one mouse button) the link to the document and choosing Save from the flyout menu. This will allow you to save the file to your computer and open it with the associated application (e.g., Word or PowerPoint). If  you open a document, and it appears within a frame within Moodle, be sure to use your browser's frame capability to print the current frame (in some browsers, this is accessed by right-clicking on the frame of interest and choosing This Frame from the flyout menu).

Assignments

Many assignments will be handed in using the Assignment feature of Moodle. Assignments will generally be placed on the calendar for the date they are due. Simply click on the assignment and follow the instructions to upload your file or files for the assignment. When you hand in files for an assignment, be sure that the filename starts with your name. For example, if your last name is Smith, and you are handing in the Basket Weaving Assignment as a Word document, you should name your file SmithBasketWeaving.docx.

The Assignment system cannot accept folders so if you are handing in a folder's worth of material (such as a Web page that includes pictures), you must first Zip the folder. This can easily be done in Windows by right-clicking on the folder and choosing "Send To" and "Compressed (zipped) file" from the flyout menu. On a Mac, right click (or ctrl-click) on the folder and choose Compres. You can then upload the zipped file to the Assignment.

Group Communication

On occasion, classes might use the group areas of Moodle. If so, Dr. Marcovitz will set up groups. Within groups, you can email group members, set up group discussion boards, and much more. This can be a useful tool for group communication. If you are working in a group, and Dr. Marcovitz has not set up group communication in Moodle, and you would like it, ask him, and he will be happy to set up a group for you.

Grades in Moodle

When you turn in assignments electronically, they often will be returned via Moodle. For many assignments (such as papers written in Word), Dr. Marcovitz will include grades and comments within the file you handed in. For other assignments, Dr. Marcovitz might return a rubric with feedback. Sometimes, Dr. Marcovitz might choose to enter your grade into Moodle, but usually, he will enter it on the rubric or in the comments that he returns to you. If any grades are entered into Moodle, you should pay attention only to the grade that Dr. Marcovitz entered, not to anything that Moodle generates. Dr. Marcovitz does not generally use Moodle's gradebook system so any percentage grades or final grades that Moodle generates are likely to be wrong.


This page was prepared by Dr. David M. Marcovitz.

Last Updated: December 12, 2011