These FAQs have been created to support Teaching Online and Online Assessment during COVID-19 disruption.  This does not reflect our normal advice on planning and teaching for online-only delivery, and instead focuses on the basics that staff will need during this time. The FAQs are continually updated and include links to more comprehensive guidance where appropriate
Can’t find the answer here? The Moodle Support Hub provides comprehensive advice on using Moodle and has a set of basic FAQs or contact tel@bath.ac.uk for help.

Profile setup


Please watch our introductory screencast (no audio) on how to login, manage notifications (forum and assignment notifications) and setup your profile (e.g set profile picture, office hours).


Log into Moodle, then from any page, click your name (top right of the screen) and then select Profile > Edit Profile and complete the sections as appropriate.

  • The Description section can be useful for detailing any office hours.
  • The User Picture section is where you can upload an image file (which will be cropped an resized to a 100×100 pixel square).

Yes, you can remove assignment emails and restrict forum ones.

  • You can change the settings in your profile so that you only get one email per day from forum posts.
    • View profile > edit profile and then choose the Email digest type from the pull-down list.
    • Select Subjects (daily email with subjects only)
  • To change the assignment notification you need to change the message settings
    • Under My profile choose Messages > Messaging and then choose how you want to be notified for Assignments (i.e.have them unticked).

You can change the email destination for Moodle notifications by editing your Preferences > Notification Preferences.


All course events displayed in Moodle (e.g. assignment submission dates) use the UK timezone by default.

This can be confusing if you are studying or working in a different timezone, and errors can occur when converting these times to your local timezone.

Instead, with a small change to your profile settings, it is possible for Moodle to automatically convert and display these to your local timezone:

  1. Click on your name in the top right hand corner of the screen and select Profile from the drop down menu.
  2. In the User Details section click on Edit profile.
  3. Scroll down to the Timezone option. If it needs to be changed click on it and select your nearest location from the list. For UK time it should be set to Server timezone (Europe/London).
  4. Save your changes by scrolling to the bottom of the screen and pressing Update profile.

Double check:

Have you selected the correct timezone?   You may wish to double check, since an incorrect timezone may lead to incorrect deadlines being set.

Your profile change will only alter the dates / times provided by the system, and only you will be able to see them in this format.  If you are working in a different timezone, you can double-check you have applied the correct UK timings by reverting to the ‘Server timezone (Europe/London)’ setting.

Orientation, Structure and Navigation

The Essential Unit Information Area is a new tabbed area, which appears at the top of the Moodle page, before the main content. The tabs provide staff with a consistent layout to help them present key unit information to students.

Please read the Moodle Essential Unit Information Area – Quick Guide for more details.

From the week commencing the 3rd August 2020, we will be updating the Moodle theme and adding the Essential Unit Information block to SAMIS coded courses. The TEL team will work through this manually so please bear with us.

You can specify a later date (if there is teaching/resits happening at the moment) using the following form.

Bath Blend Baseline Templates for Moodle (which consist of sections and some key course activities and resources) can only be applied to blank Moodle courses and you can request this through the following form. You can import content from your previous course to this fresh Moodle course.

Please note, the Essential Unit Information block and new Moodle theme will be applied to all SAMIS linked courses from the 3rd August 2020 (please use the same form to request a deferral of this action).

Please read our Essential Unit Information setup, which details what content to place under the different headings and how to edit it.

Three things are all arriving over August 2020: the new Moodle theme, Essential Unit Information block and Moodle template (please do bear with us, as we are applying the changes manually). The following three sections explain what these are and when they will be applied

Moodle theme upgrade

What is it? The Moodle theme upgrade improves the user interface, navigation, better mobile performance, and gives a fresh look to Moodle (take a look at this demo course with the only new theme turned on). This does not effect content in Moodle courses (other than those that make heavy use of blocks on the side and custom HTML bootstrap elements).

When do I get it? For SAMIS courses, the new Moodle theme will be applied with the Essential Unit Information Area from 3rd August (to specify a later date, use the following form). For non-SAMIS coded courses it will be applied in due course (note the old theme will not work beyond August 2021).

Essential unit information area

What is it? The Essential Unit Information Area is a new tabbed area, which appears at the top of the Moodle page, before the main content. The tabs provide staff with a consistent layout to help them present key unit information to students. It relies on the new Moodle theme to work.

When do I get it? For SAMIS courses, the Essential Unit Information Area will be applied at the same time as the new theme to courses from 3rd August (to specify a later date, use the following form). For non-SAMIS coded courses, it can be added manually or not at all).

Moodle templates

What is it? The Bath Blend Baseline Templates for Moodle templates (which consist of sections and some key course activities and resources) can only be applied to blank Moodle courses. It also includes the new Moodle theme and the Essential Unit Information. You can request a template through the following form. You can also import content from your previous course to this fresh Moodle course.

When do I get it? You will need to request a Moodle template through the following form.

Communication

Moodle Feedback tool is a simple and easy way to create a short feedback survey. You can enable anonymity (but note that student identities are still recorded in the Moodle logs).

Please see the Moodle video guide below or read more about tools for gathering feedback from students.

Moodle Forum

Watch the video below for instructions on how to setup a Forum and what the different settings do or read Our Best Practice Tips for Forums.

Managing users & student data

Go to Participants (now in a block to the right) > Enrol users > (Enter user name to search); Assign role to user.

You can switch roles to “Student View” (instructions) which will simulate you being a student enrolled on your existing courses.. Note that this student will be in the default group.

Check course visibility, check Participants/Users to see if the user is present (especially if teaching multiple cohorts together in single course) and check the SAMIS User mapping (note this relies on correct and up to date enrollments on SAMIS).  Students are enrolled by SAMIS into their respective Moodle course three weeks before the start of Semester 1 and 2.

Yes, externals can access Moodle. First uou will need to put in a Request for Temporary Account (WAA account) from DD&T.

In Moodle, you can track students’ activity with any Moodle activity (e.g. pages, files, forums, assignments quizzes etc).

Reports are available at both the course and activity level – helpful for identifying those who may be struggling with the technology or who are not engaging with the content

Please read the guidance on how to how to turn on Activity Completion in the settings for each activity and also how to view the Activity Reports.

Managing resources

Yes. Deleted Activities are moved to the recycle bin for 7 days, after which time they are permanently deleted.

Go to the Course Settings Cog > Recycle bin and select the item(s) you wish to restore.

Animated screencast of how to restore a deleted activity from the Moodle recycle bin. Click the settings cog, then recycle bin, then next click the restore icon next to the activity you wish to restore. A confirmation dialogue confirms the item has been restored to its previous place in the course.

Please note, the recycle bin is only available if there if you have deleted contents in the last 7 days. It may take up to 30 minutes for the activity to appear in the recycle bin.

There are two ways to move an activity from one Moodle course to another:

  • Import – quick and useful for few items where you do not need to also move student data.
  • Backup and Restore – this two step process lets you customize and have greater control over what you move: activities, student enrolments, data and groups, etc.

Moodle has a 50MB upload limit to keep the platform working smoothly for everyone. If you are trying to upload video content (or a Powerpoint with a voice over), then you should instead upload the content to Panopto (guidance). It is also possible for staff to share content with students via their University of Bath OneDrive Account. Please contact tel@bath.ac.uk if these solutions don’t work for you.

To show or hide a whole Moodle course, edit Course Settings and under General > Course Visibility: Show/Hide. Note: hiding a course will stop students being able to access the course completely. Staff role (teacher, non-editing teacher, director of studies will still have full course access).

Based on the new Moodle theme, this shows where to find the show/hide options for your course.

Please read the Moodle course management guide, which will detail dates for when students are automatically (SAMIS) enrolled and removed from a course, and also guidance around resetting a course to remove student previous student assignments and quiz attempts.

Pedagogical Support

As outlined in the Bath Blend, consistency and scaffolding are key ingredients to allowing students to effectively engage with content. To achieve this you could consider using the Bath Blend Baseline Moodle template to structure your course and also follow these simple tips to improve an existing course (name sections appropriately, use descriptions and labels, change course format setting).

  • Set expectations early.
  • Communicate frequently and clearly.
    • Use the announcement forum to broadcast information
    • Other forums support students asking questions to you and to peers
  • Consider using Moodle’s Video feature to introduce new topics etc (max 2 mins in length)

1. Online Moodle Grading – see overview video and our Moodle course instructions
  • Works in the browser to allow annotation/inline commenting on scripts.
  • To support maths, other symbols, calculation, diagrams etc, it is easiest to mark up the script (e.g. insert C1 comment for calculation comment 1, S1 for style/grammatical comments etc) and then attach a supporting file with all the comments summarised (you can also use annotation tools but works best on touch screens and can be tricky).
2. Moodle Offline Grading- see video and our Moodle course instructions
  • Download all scripts to your local machine (if you select Download in folders, each student’s work will be downloaded into a folder for each student).
  • In terms of feedback, you can edit/markup their submission (using a more powerful pdf editor than Moodle’s annotation tools).
  • Supplementary files placed in the students folder will also be uploaded as feedback to them (this can also support scripted assessment of programming projects).
3. Rubrics and Marking Guides see video and Moodle course instructions
  • Rubrics allow you to assess against a set of performance indicators (and award a fixed mark for each one, i.e. comment 4 must map to 4 and not a range of marks) – selecting the performance indicator can feedback to students on generic positive points and areas to improve (there is also space for free comments too).
  • Marking guides, have a number of criteria (similar to rubrics), but allow a free comment for each (and any marks up to maximum for that criteria to be awarded).
  • Both approaches support standardisation of marking and also give a clear structure for the feedback.

4. Mix and Match + other strategies

  • These approaches aren’t exclusive to one another. For example the coded marking  (e.g. C1-type comments etc) could be used for online/offline/marking guides (one could also distribute a general version of the coded marking feedback sheet to all students separately on Moodle).
  • There are also lots of other genetic feedback strategies one can use inside Moodle. For example: feedforward/student engagement with feedback  – e.g. instead of detailed feedback on whole piece, ask for student to redraft/correct/identify small number of highlighted issues: Moodle allows for resubmission and you provide detail comments on the selected improved parts.
  • The suitability of these strategies will be dependent on the context of the assessment (formative/summative), the assessment aims and also the nature of the submission.

Managing groups

At the top of your Moodle course, go to the settings cog and select “More”. Select the “Users” tab and then “Groups”

Screencast showing how to access the groups menu. Mouse cursor moves to top of moodle page and settings cog, users tab and then groups

You first need to create empty groups and then allocate students to those groups. You can do this manually as shown in the video below or by getting students to self-enrol via the Group Choice activity.

You can create empty groups either manually or automatically following some structure/naming convention (e.g. Workshop Group {1,2,3…}): please see the video below:

The easiest way to populate large number students to groups, is to get them to allocate themselves to groups using the Group Choice Activity. The Teacher can specify the group membership via a separate document, and ask the students to enrol themselves into these groups (you may wish to review/amend the Group Choices to make sure it is correct).

There are plugins that promise .csv import of group memberships, but this is not supported on our current version of Moodle.

This answer assumes you have students correctly setup in Groups (e.g. tutor groups) from Moodle course 1 and want to copy those groups to a different Moodle course 2. If you need help on enrolling students from SAMIS to a Moodle course, read these instructions instead.

To do this we will use the Backup and Restore feature in Moodle (note: Moodle’s import feature does not work with Group Members). This will copy ALL enrollments, groups and groups members from Moodle Course 1 to Moodle Course 2.

WARNINGS

  • Prior to beginning this procedure and to avoid conflicts and confusion, Moodle course 1 should have the groups correctly setup and Moodle course 2 should NOT have any Groups or members.
  • This procedure will copy ALL enrollments from Moodle Course 1 to Moodle Course 2, including any manual enrollments. It is the responsibility of the user to clear up any additional enrollments in Moodle course 2 following Import.

Backup Instructions

  1. In Moodle course 1, in the Administration block > select Backup
  2. Under “Initial Settings”, only check:
    • Include enrolled users
    • Include user role assignments
    • Include groups and groupings
    • All must should be unchecked
  3. Click Next to progress to “Schema Settings” and select None. Scroll down to ensure all Sections and Activities are unchecked, then click Next.
  4. Under the “Confirmation and Review” all items should have a red cross next to them, except the following which should have green ticks:
    • Include enrolled users
    • Include user role assignments
    • Include groups and groupings
  5. Click “Perform Backup” and wait for Backup to be finished (this may take some time). You will then be taken to the Restore section in Moodle course 1 where you should download the file to your local computer.

Restore Instructions

  1. In Moodle course 2, in the Administration block > select Restore
  2. Under Import a backup file, Choose a file to backup and select the file you have just generated/downloaded to your computer from Moodle course 1. Click Restore (you will be prompted to review changes before the Restore is complete).
  3.  In the Confirm dialogue, ensure that the only checked items are as listed below then click Continue:
    • Include enrolled users
    • Include user role assignments
    • Include groups and groupings
    • all other items have a cross
  4. Under Destination, you need to select Merge the backup course into this course and then Continue.
  5. In settings, again confirm only the following are checked before continuing:
    • Include enrolled users
    • Include user role assignments
    • Include groups and groupings
  6. In Schema dialogue, you should ensure Overwrite course configuration is set to No
  7. In the Review dialogue, finally check all settings and activities are not checked apart from and then click Perform Restore
    • Include enrolled users
    • Include user role assignments
    • Include groups and groupings
  8. You should be taken to a review that shows your Restore has been a success (if not contact tel@bath.ac.uk)

Remember: this procedure will copy ALL enrollments from Moodle Course 1 to Moodle Course 2, including any manual enrollments. It is the responsibility of the user to clear up any additional enrollments in Moodle course 2 following Import.

Accessibility and Inclusivity

Please see our quick Blackboard Ally quick start video below or use the Blackboard Ally help page.

No, the Ally score for individual activities is only visible to teachers enrolled on the Moodle course. The only way students interact with Blackboard Ally directly is via being able to download Alternative Formats.

It is possible to turn off the alternative format download for individual content items (see the Blackboard Ally instructions). For students, the Alternative Format button will still be visible next to the activity, but will say “Alternative Formats for this file have been disabled”.

Technical Questions

Unfortunately, at this time we are focusing on existing solutions that we can support.

Plug-ins require a code review from our external hosts so they don’t impact the stability of Moodle for everyone. Please contact tel@bath.ac.uk to discuss alternative options.

Read the Accessible maths with Moodle Guidance for using the text editor of LaTeX markup.

The way in which the Re:View (Panopto) block works changed in Sept 2018 and scheduled recordings are stored and viewed from the Re:View portal.

If you haven’t scheduled lecture recordings or they haven’t taken place yet, then you will need to use the Moodle block. Please see guidance on our Panopto FAQs on What is the Moodle Block? and Adding the Moodle Block.

Activities

Use different activities like Wikis to create content together, Forums and Comments to exchange ideas, Database to collectively gather resources, Glossary to create shared understanding of concepts … and more!

You can group students in any of these activities to promote collaboration.

Moodle Quiz

Please see our dedicated page on Moodle Quiz Settings Setup and FAQ.

Moodle Assignment

Please see our dedicated page on Moodle Assignment Settings Setup and FAQ and our Assignment Submission FAQs for Students