Toolkit

Site: Technology-Enabled Learning Lounge
Course: Facilitating using PowerPoint
Book: Toolkit
Printed by: Guest user
Date: Sunday, 14 April 2024, 3:08 AM

Description

Toolkit

1. - Technical requirements

To use our online learning space effectively you will require a computer with an internet connection. Some of the pages are data heavy so the better your internet connection the easier it will be to access your learning.

Use a broadband connection (256 Kbit/sec or faster--for optimal viewing of videos and online presentations) through USB wireless modem, ADSL, T1/T2, fibre optic or cable. Dial-up access will be significantly slower and is not recommended.


Please find alternate spaces to access the Internets if your system at home or work is not adequate.

By checking you have a few pieces of free software (or the equivalent for your mobile device) installed before you begin you will be able to open the majority of materials on our sites. For optimal performance, you should use the system components listed here. Other settings may lead to some functionality being lost.

Accessing Moodle via desktop
The following desktop operating systems support Moodle:
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows XP SP2
  • Windows 2000 SP4
  • Mac iOS X , version 10.3 +
The following browsers are recommended:
  • Google Chrome 22 or later (recommended for optimal compatibility)
  • Mozilla Firefox 15 or later--a free download is available from the Firefox site.
  • MS Internet Explorer 9.0 or later--a download is available from Internet Explorer site.
  • Safari 6 or later (please note that there are known issues with Safari and TinyMCE, the editor used in the text editor throughout Moodle)
Set your screen resolution to 1024 x 768 or higher for optimal experience of your online space. The following settings should be enabled:
The following plugin and readers should be used:

2. - Accessing Moodle on a mobile

There are two ways to use Moodle on mobile devices:

  • Users can open Moodle sites in their mobile web browsers.
  • Users can download native apps for their mobile devices.

Mobile Apps
The Moodle app can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store and Apple app store.

  • The official Mobile app developed by Juan Leyva with support from Jerome Mouneyrac, Moodle HQ and others.
  • MoodleTouch (aka mTouch) for iOS, created by Ali OzGur
  • mPage for iOS and Android (work in progress), created by Mass Media HK
  • Mbot for Android, created by Code Guild
  • The My Moodle app for iPhone, created by Moodle HQ (no longer being developed)
  • Droodle - an Android client for the Moodle 2.1 platform

3. - How to customise your profile

Watch this short tutorial to learn how to edit your profile.

Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.

...or follow these instructions to edit your profile:

  • From the right hand navigation column, under Settings, click My Profile Settings.  A drop down menu opens to where you see Edit Profile.
  • click on Edit Profile
  • scroll down all the menu items. Lower down the page you can add your interests, and below that, upload a picture.

 


You will find out that there are four sections:

  • General
  • User Picture
  • Interests
  • Optional

The general section has your personal details, your name, email address, location and description.  You need to edit or update any incorrect information.  Scroll down to the description section and write something about yourself.  This part is important for other participants to know more about you so please make sure you write in detail about who you are, what you do and why you are on this course.

User Picture
Add a picture to your profile. There are two ways to upload your picture:

  • You can drag and drop your picture in the space provided, or
  • Under new picture, then click on Add.
    Profile Picture

Interests
Please use the space provided to share with us your interests

Optional
This section is optional but helpful.  You can share additional contact information including your mobile and social networks.  This will make it easier for other participants to network with you on other platforms.

4. - How to move around the course pages

There are three ways you can navigate around Moodle: using the Navigation block,
Breadcrumbs and Activities Block.  Be aware your navigation and administration blocks may be ‘docked’ - this means they are in the side at the top left of your page (see below).

navigation

Navigation Block
The navigation block is located on the left side of the screen. This area contains pods that allow you to access:

1.Site pages
2.Your courses
3.Your profile
4.Your profile settings
5.Site administration

Clicking on these links, or on the arrow next to them, will open sub-menus that enable you to access more areas of the site.


Activities Block

tasks The Activities Block gives you quick access to some of the main activities in the course. For example, if you click on Forums you will see all the course forums and can subscribe to all or unsubscribe. Note that you are not automatically subscribed to forums so need to check often for new activity.


Breadcrumbs
Breadcrumbs are links provided at the top of the page that show the hierarchy of the site. These are particularly useful for navigating. To move between your course page and the course resources, use the "breadcrumbs" (isn’t this a great name?) in the top left corner of your screen.

breadcrumbs

Finding Your Way Home

home Most pages have a little red house icon in the bottom right corner. Clicking on the icon will take you to the main or home page.

5. - How to contribute to a forum

Receiving a forum message
You can receive a forum message in two ways:

  • in your email inbox (messages in a forum will be redirected to your email inbox if the forum has been set up to do this – this is called being "subscribed" to a forum)
  • when you are logged into your course page and read through the messages in the forums

Replying to a forum message
If you receive a forum message in your email inbox, please follow these steps.

1. The message may appear in your inbox looking like this (email in MS Outlook):
message

To reply to this message use the Reply link at the bottom of the window. When you click on this link you’ll be asked to log into the OURVLE course page if you have not already logged in. Try not to use the reply function in your email software, as this will not reply to the whole group – just to the individual who sent the message.

You can view the entire discussion before you decide to reply. Click on See this post in context to go directly to the forum in your course page where the discussion takes place. You will be asked to log in if you are not already in the OURVLE course page.

If you are in your forum page and looking at the different forum discussion you may want to reply to an ongoing discussion. Open the discussion topic by clicking on the discussion description.

If you want to reply, look for the Reply link in the bottom of the message. Clicking on this link will take you to a page where you can type in your message, in the same way as entering a new discussion. (See below:))

Adding a new discussion topic

When you are in the OURVLE course page you can:

1. Find the online forum where the discussion you are interested in is taking place. The icon for an online forum looks like this: forum icon

2. Click on the description of the forum next to the icon:

To add a new discussion topic (if you are raising a new point in the discussion, for example, rather than continuing a current conversation), click on the Add a new discussion topic button.

Type in the name of your Subject and then insert your message in the main textbox called Message.


Note: You can use the editing buttons shown above to format your message. Some will be very familiar to you, such as B for bold, options to use bullet points, and so on. You might want to play around with the various options.

When you are happy with your message, scroll down the screen and note these options:

subscription

The Subscription field allows you to choose whether or not you want messages to be copied to your email inbox. Click the down arrow and select the option you want.
You can also add an attachment, by browsing for your saved file. Click on the Browse button to do this.

Finally, when you are happy with your posting, select Post to forum.

 

 

 

 

 

6. - Too many emails from the course?

Are you frustrated by all the forum emails? You may be subscribed to all the forums,  meaning that you will receive all forum postings in your email box.

Everybody is subscribed to the news forum, because that is how your facilitator can reach you, even if you don’t log in to the course page. We assume that you regularly check your e-mails.

You can decide whether or not to keep track of what is going on in the course page without logging in. There are various ways to manage this.

  1. You can do this for all forums at once by clicking on Forums in the Activities block on your course page.
  1. You will see all the forums of the course listed. The last column of the table tells you whether or not you are subscribed. You can choose which resource you want to be subscribed to from the column by clicking on the Yes or No. Or you can subscribe/unsubscribe to all forums at once by clicking on Subscribe to all forums/Unsubscribe from all forums in the top right corner.
    subscribing to forums

Alternatively, you can manage the forums you want to subscribe to from the list. Click on No in the column on the right and it will become Yes.

7. - Online Learning Tips and Strategies

Like any type of learning, online learning doesn't just magically happen. As an online learner, there are some strategies that you can use to help ensure your success.

  1. Get familiar with the technology. Click on links, try things out, experiment a little. Get to know your “classroom”. Even though it isn't a physical space, you can still find out where things are and how they work. Go through all the pages in the toolkit.
  2. Ask questions. Asking is key to learning. Ask the facilitator and fellow participants. Remember, you are not alone!
  3. Share any tips or tricks that work for you. You are probably not the only one in your course who is new to online learning. If you notice that there is an effective way to navigate, for example, share it with your fellow participants and with the course facilitator.
  4. Manage your time. Set aside specific blocks of time to work on your course. Log on to the course pages regularly and monitor conversations in the forums. You will need to spend at least 5-6 hours per week reading and doing individual and group tasks. Some weeks require more time, some less.
  5. Remember that you are actually learning a number of things. Not only are you learning about a topic, you are probably also learning about technology and new ways to use your computer, the Internet, your iPod, your cell phone and more. Reflect on your learning in the weekly discussion forums.
  6. Add your voice. Online learning is designed to be accessible across distances and around the world. Your voice and opinion matters.
  7. Put your best self forward. Online learning is communal and collaborative. Edit your profile to introduce yourself and share your interests. Chat with your classmates in the Lounge forum.
  8. Take responsibility for your own learning. While you can (and should) ask questions and ask for help, ultimately it is up to you to succeed. You are responsible for your own time management and for ensuring that you have the appropriate hardware and software and can use it effectively.
  9. If Internet connectivity is a problem, prepare your contributions offline and then copy/paste into the forums.

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8. - Communication Skills

In this course you are required to do a significant amount of reading and writing. For example, you are required to post in discussion groups and socialize with course participants. You also need to submit written assignments.

When you are participating in an online forum, take some time to formulate a response to a question or to add a posting to the discussion. Think about what you are going to post and then review it for clarity, grammar and overall tone. Is your point clear? Did you use any jargon or technical vocabulary that other students might not be familiar with? Does your posting run the risk of being seen as offensive or inflammatory?

If you are not used to communicating online, you may notice that it can be difficult to interpret “tone” in text materials or to give a clue as to the tone you wish to use. When the course facilitator or a fellow participant posts to a discussion forum, are they making a light-hearted comment or a serious one? Are they angry or upset? It isn't always easy to know based only on the written word. The discussion forums include a number of emoticons or smileys that you can use to show how you are feeling.

Emoticons are just part of what is known as “netiquette”. Netiquette covers a number of online behaviours and practices that are considered polite. For example, don't use all capital letters when posting to discussion forums or other places where you can make comments in your online course. Using all capitals is considered to be shouting. Be careful when using humour because it can be very personal; what you might find funny, someone else might find offensive.

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9. - Netiquette

Our short guide to netiquette (online etiquette)

Communicating online has a specific code of behaviour. This is referred to as netiquette. The following rules or guidelines have been adapted from Core Rules of Netiquette by Virginia Shea, you might want to consider when communicating online.

Pay attention to spelling, grammar and punctuation

  • Strive to write clearly and correctly
  • Check for spelling mistakes and grammar issues
  • Do not use the kinds of abbreviations acceptable in a text message
  • Use language everyone can understand

Know your context

  • Introduce yourself
  • Remember that culture influences communication style and practices. Stay open and ask questions – avoid assumptions
  • Instructors will usually set the tone and provide guidance/guidelines

Remember the human

  • We all come with personalities. Remember there is a person behind the words. Ask for clarification before making judgement.
  • Check your tone before you publish
  • Respond to people using their names
  • Culture and even gender can play a part in how people communicate
  • Remain authentic and respect the same of others
  • People participate in different ways – some just by reading the communication rather than jumping into it
  • Avoid jokes and sarcasm- they often don’t translate well to the online environment

Text has permanence

  • What you say online is difficult to retract later – once in print. Be judicious.
  • Consider your responsibility to the group and to the learning environment
  • If you are working collaboratively – agree on ground rules for text communication (formal or informal; seek clarification whenever needed, etc)

Flaming: Research before you react

  • Accept and forgive mistakes
  • Consider your responsibility to the group and to the learning environment
  • Seek clarification before reacting
  • Ask your facilitator for guidance*

Respect privacy and original ideas

  • Always quote if you are responding to a specific point made by someone else
  • Ask the author of an email before forwarding it

*Note: Sometimes, online behavior can appear so disrespectful and even hostile that it requires attention and follow up. In this case, let your eFacilitator know right away so that the right resources can be called upon to help.

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