Make your Moodle life easier this Spring semester (and “Where’s my course?” help)

Where are my courses?

Not every instructor uses Moodle, but if one of yours told you to check the course site, there’s a chance you weren’t added (yet!). Any changes to your schedule today will not be conveyed to us until tomorrow, so if you need in a newly added course, let us know!
Please direct all inquiries to moodle@kings.edu. Thanks!

Set aside time for testing!

Did you know there are a bunch of things to know before testing? We call the page Things to Know BEFORE Testing. It’s got all the good ideas, like saving answers and how to copy/paste, if necessary.

For the sake of your professors, please use Word documents.

You all have access to Word Online and to download it for free, but if you choose to use Google Docs or Pages (mac), please Export files as Word files.

Turnitin, for example, can read Word files. It cannot read .pages or .gdoc files, so to avoid confusion, turn in a .doc, .docx, or even a .rtf.

You can use your OneDrive through Moodle.

With your email address comes cloud storage called OneDrive. You can save things here and get to them from Moodle. Whenever you need to upload a file, you can click Office 365, then the My OneDrive icon to access your storage. No juggling attachments or saving files on computers or lost USB drives or any other nightmares!

Don’t let tech stop you!

Moodle’s great, and we have tutorials to guide you along. Learn how to do things before the last minute! Then you can focus on the assignment instead of the technology to achieve it.

Advanced Moodle user?

Advanced Moodlers might like the Moodle app (check your app store). If you give that a shot, use this for your site: http://kings.mrooms2.net

The Moodle app can give shortcuts and quick access to things without all the zooming and scrolling that the website requires

I’m not getting Moodle emails! (Find out why and how to fix it!)

Since the college migrated users to Microsoft’s hosted Office 365 email solution, we’ve gotten quite a few reports of missing Moodle emails from students. Office365 is so “smart” that it’s attempting to filter your emails based on your preferences. So if you’ve deleted 10 past Moodle emails from your professor, then it “learns” that you find these emails annoying and starts to remove them for you. Maybe homework updates are annoying to you, a wonderful and always prepared student– but a class cancellation or relocation for the day? Missing that announcement is REALLY ANNOYING. Moodle is sending the emails, Office 365 is not delivering them.

So how can you fix this problem?

Our Office 365 team has made several efforts to contain this problem, starting with putting the email’s address on a whitelist. This brought back functionality for most users, but the “smart” Clutter  and Junk tools may continue to create barriers for you. Let’s climb over them together:

  • Turn Clutter off: If you can manage your emails on your own, without algorithms trying to guess what you want, just turn off this feature.
  • Turn Junk Mail off: You may see an uptick in unwanted emails, but you may be surprised to see things you’ve been missing, too.
  • Keep Junk Mail on, verify emails are “allowed”: Go to your Blocked Senders settings in email (open a new tab, log in to email, then click here). Verify that donotreply@blackboard.com is NOT in your blocked senders. Heck, go a step further and add it to your Safe Senders!

While it seems silly that every user should have to do this, not necessarily everyone is required to. This should help those of you who notice missing correspondence rectify that problem, but many users don’t have any problems at all.

If missing messages persist, contact help@kings.edu.

Update for Faculty: Moodle/Turnitin integration (good news!)

On 2-2-17 we had a service pack applied to our Moodle site. Part of this update is that Turnitin functionality for “old” Turnitin assignments has been restored! This is great news for those who may not have time to upgrade their assignments through the semester. However, we still strongly suggest faculty consider re-creating Turnitin Assignments using “Turnitin Assignment 2,” as support for the original plugin is likely to be discontinued in the future, though we’re not sure when. Isn’t it better to be prepared?

Go to “Add an activity or resource” and choosing “Turnitin Assignment 2.” Prompts are similar to the previous version, but one enhancement is due dates being set on the Settings screen, not a separate page.

For those interested in learning about the new integration, we’re hosting the following session through CELT:

A Newer Way to Turnitin
Academic & Instructional Technology Staff
Thursday, February 16 at 3:30 p.m.
Molewski Room, Sheehy-Farmer Campus Center
Turnitin’s integration with Moodle was recently updated. Now that we’ve had some time to get to know it, we want to show it off and answer any questions you might have. This update introduces a much more streamlined assignment creation and editing process. There’s also better rubric management, e-raters that try to pick up technical issues, new “tutor” roles, and PeerMark online-peer-review functionality.