This guide describes the way that Moodle is administered. It can be helpful for staff to understand some of the processes that are taken behind the scenes in Moodle.
Moodle spaces (typical)
Each unit of an undergraduate or postgraduate course is recorded in SAMIS and will have a corresponding Moodle space automatically created for it. Each SAMIS unit of study has a nominated Unit Convenor who is allocated a Teacher+ role in Moodle and has responsibility for developing and maintaining their Moodle spaces (content and activities).
Units are typically delivered in Semester 1 (S1), Semester 2 (S2) or across the full Academic Year (AY). Additionally, some course teams like to have a ‘course level’ Moodle space, and this is possible via two methods:
- If a course in SAMIS has a Director of Studies listed, a Moodle space will be automatically created with the relevant SAMIS course code. This will automatically enrol all students listed against that course code. This is particularly useful if a course hub space is required for students across all years of a course.
- A new space can be created (by the TEL team) and student enrolments can be mapped to it via the SAMIS Integration block. This is particularly useful if a course hub space is required for a specific year group in a course.
The following timeline describes the annual process for units that are delivered through semester 1 and 2. At each point along the timeline, advice is provided.
Moodle spaces (non-typical)
There are some courses that do not follow the ‘typical’ annual pattern of delivery. For example, PGT courses run their dissertation units from May to October, and some pre-sessional units run over the summer. In these cases, there are some additional issues to be aware of, and to plan for.
It is important therefore that Unit Convenors are aware that:
- access to Moodle during the upgrade process will be read-only, and may be unavailable completely for short periods
- submissions made to Moodle, after the snapshot, will not be captured in the Moodle archive
- students on these courses/units will be automatically unenrolled acccording to the SAMIS slot code before the next snapshot, and so there will be no evidence of student activity in any Moodle archive
Two recommended actions to ensure a stored archive of these courses/units:
- Identify when the unit/course will be ‘completed’ i.e. when students will no longer be active, and assessment marking or grade transfer is finished, but before the students will be unenrolled.
- Take a manual backup of the Moodle course (including user data) and save in a secure location (such as the x:drive or in SharePoint) outside of Moodle. If required, it can be restored to Moodle at a later date.
Common administration queries
The remaining information deals with common questions that arise for Unit Convenors (and other users of Moodle) when one cohort completes a unit and a new one starts.
Unit Convenors are enrolled in Moodle spaces alongside students who are recorded in SAMIS for any given unit. Unenrolment is automatically timed (see the timeline diagram above) but can be altered, if appropriate, by the Unit Convenor (or anyone with Teacher access in the Moodle space).
Other academic or professional services staff who require enrolment into a Moodle space are manually enrolled. This means that they also need to be manually unenrolled when they no longer need access.
The SAMIS Integration block in your Moodle space allows you to manually synchronise it with SAMIS. If students tell you they are registered, and you can see them enrolled in SAMIS, you can manually run the sync to pull them into Moodle – without waiting for the automatic sync that happens overnight. See guidance for details.
Moodle Reset or new space
Moodle Assignments are commonly used for coursework submission and require careful consideration when preparing for a new cohort.