Site announcements

Tips and reminders for faculty and other course builders

Picture of Sharon Strauss
Tips and reminders for faculty and other course builders
by Sharon Strauss - Thursday, August 23, 2018, 10:39 AM

With the fall semester starting soon, you may find these tips and reminders helpful. This message is long and covers the following topics:

  • NEW this fall!
  • MUST DO: Make sure students can see your course!
  • Email your students
  • Match names and faces
  • Learn to say names correctly
  • Teaching a course with multiple sections? Select the right shell
  • Find/copy your old courses
  • Note: Guest access is ON
  • Online tutorials and general information
  • More Help?

NEW this fall!

IITS launched our F18/Sp19 Moodle server on May 30. This new server, running Moodle 3.4, has a number of usability improvements and new features. Most notable among the changes:

  • Only authenticated users can access Moodle courses, even if guest access is turned on. All Haverford and Bryn Mawr users have accounts on the system, as do Swarthmore users enrolled in courses through Bionic.
  • Swarthmore users that are not already on our Moodle system can request access. There is a link to a request form on the Moodle homepage; we will grant access within one business day of students filling out the form.
  • Updated dashboard page has tabs for current, future, and past courses, making it easier to see just those courses you are looking for.
  • Maximum upload size increased to 250 MB.
  • The Enrolled users menu is now better integrated into the Participants menu, making it easier to enroll TAs and others into your course. (Registered students are still added automatically.)
  • Add and remove course sections directly on the course page—not in the course settings window.

MUST DO: Make sure students can see your course!

Students’ Bionic enrollments are populated in Moodle. However, students will not see your course until you want them to see it. Once you have your course set up to your liking, MAKE THE COURSE VISIBLE to students.

  1. Click on the course administration gear icon (Gear icon, indicating settings menu) dropdown
  2. Select edit settings.
  3. Change visible to show.
  4. Scroll to the bottom and click save changes.

Email your students

Moodle lets you email enrolled students easily. There are two ways to do this.

Option 1: Use a special type of Moodle discussion forum, Announcements, to email all students and also keep an archive of that message in your Moodle course. Click on the Announcements link at the top of your course.

Option 2: Send mail to some or all of your students with the Quickmail tool on the side of your course.

Match names and faces

You can see a photo roster that helps you match names and faces. It’s a bit hidden, but worth finding! Photos for new students should become available during the first or second week of classes.

  1. From the course administration gear icon (Gear icon, indicating settings menu) select More...

  1. Find the Report section and select the roster report. This is usually under the Course administration tab, as illustrated below. However, you may see a third tab for Reports. If you have a separate Reports menu tab, look for the Roster report in that tab.

Learn to say names correctly

Each course shell has a link where you and your students can record your names and listen to those recorded pronunciations. The tool also lets course participants share their preferred gender pronouns with the rest of the class. Look for purple microphone icon next to the link named Record your name/Learn other names.


Teaching a course with multiple sections? Select the right shell

Academic courses are typically named COURSEID – CourseName.  However, if you teach a course with multiple sections, you should see all your sections, plus a course named something like COURSEID – CourseName (A01+A02 Combined).

If you teach a course with multiple sections, you have the option of using the individual sections, the combined course, or both. Students will only see the course(s) that you make visible. See our website for more information about combined courses.

Find/copy your old courses

Courses taught in previous semesters are still available on our archive servers: (F17/S18), (F16/S17), (F15/S16).

Moodle – Backup, Restore, and Import explains how to copy materials from previous semester courses into your current course shells. If you would like us to copy course materials for you, just ask.

NOTE: Contact IITS for help restoring courses overs over 250 MB or courses taught before Fall 2015.

Note: Guest access is ON

By default, guest access is on at the start of the semester. This lets all Bryn Mawr and Haverford students see your course materials, even if they are not yet enrolled through Bionic. Swarthmore students that are not yet formally enrolled may need to contact IITS to request access via a form button on our Moodle homepage.

IITS will turn guest access OFF after the registrar signals that students are properly enrolled, generally a few weeks into the semester. We will let you know when that happens. However, you can turn guest access off anytime.

Online tutorials and general information

See our Moodle web page for tutorials and additional information. It has a Quick Start Guide as well as a longer Moodle tutorial and a video showing you how to build courses. Note that, due to the recent IITS website migration, you might not immediately see some of the Moodle instructions that were available on the previous website. Please let us know if you are unable to find something that you want.

More Help?

The IITS Instructional Technology Services staff, as well as the Research & Instruction Librarians, are happy to meet with you. See our website for contact information on our website.

Have a great semester!dPy-LQJp0-9vhyekG7DPmaAtF6yBPzBwlDFauXvPANVq-6D3lR09IzRIHn-v-5BV6zL_mGHz5mbY8c7fSjkzpCMYX8BbiIFmOl7BsU0jLT362xMixVKgf2-v6ML1RQazJn9OR2v9