Getting ready for next year

A Step-by-Step guide for teachers

On this page you'll find the essential settings you'll need to take care of for the new year to run smoothly. Run your course through this checklist to make sure you've touched on all of the important stuff, but of course, don't forget to consider revising or deleting activities that didn't work so well last year, or adding more of an activity your students loved. Your page will always be evolving—as time permits you!—to reflect the changing needs of your students, and you'll learn a ton about this tool in the process. Happy Moodling!

  1. Backing things up (this MUST come before all other steps!)
    • CCIU has captured an archive of your course, but CCIU's version is large (the whole eCougar site!) and tough to restore. A personal backup of just your course with all of your students' work is a great reference.
    • To capture your course, visit the Administration block on your course page, and click Backup. On the next screen, choose what activities you wish to back up (you may wish to do them all), and leave the check boxes under the User Data column checked.
    • At the bottom of the page, choose to back up everything (grade reports, user files, logs, site files - everything!).
    • Follow the onscreen Continue buttons to complete the backup.
    • You'll arrive in your course files area when the backup is done, and you'll see the new backup file (ends with ".zip"). Download this file to your computer to save it (right-click, Save as).
    • When you're done, be sure to delete it from your course files in Moodle, so it doesn't bog you down (it should be pretty big!).
    • You may wish to burn the backup file to a CD, because the file will eat up memory on your computer. This is up to you; just store it somewhere safe, because it contains student grades.
    • If you ever need to reference this version of your course, simply contact your district administrator, who can restore the file into a copy of your old course.
  2. Resetting your course
    • When you've captured a back-up of your course, you can clean it out of all students, posts, assignment submissions, grades, EVERYTHING, by clicking Reset in the administration block on your course page. This clears out student activity, but leaves your actual information intact.
    • This is just one option for cleaning things out - if you don't like it, skip to the next item, on manual cleaning.
    • You will hand-pick what you wish to reset by activity type. If you're not sure, leave it unchecked. You can come back in later and reset again if you forgot something.
    • Be careful on the reset page that you don't clean out entries from glossaries, databases, or forums that you may want to keep, such as a glossary of terms or a database of images. Leave those unchecked unless you're sure you don't want any of your entries saved!
    • Also, be careful that in the section that asks you to unenroll users, that you choose only students. Don't select Teacher, or you'll remove yourself!
    • Remember, you only want to do this if you've captured a backup (see step one).
  3. Manually rolling things forward
    • If you're not crazy about the idea of resetting, you can manually unenroll students by visiting the Assign Roles link in the administration block. Remove the students from your course, and their grades will go with them.
    • Forums and assignments are tougher to clean out manually, so most teachers will use the Reset feature on just those items. However, you can copy the description of an activity, delete the old one, and make a new fresh one just as easily. Drop down the Add an Activity menu to quickly add a blank, empty activity or assignment, and paste in the prompt or description you copied. Then, just delete the old one. Simple as that!
  4. No matter how you choose to clean things out...
    • You will want to change the start-date of your course. Visit the Course Settings link in the administration block of your course, and change the start date to reflect the start of school.
    • While you're in the Settings area, you may want to change the enrollment key on your course, if you had one. This will give your course a secure password that last year's kids don't know about.
    • Change due-dates. This is often forgotten - if you have any due-dates imposed on activities or assignments in your course (you may not), be sure to update them.
  5. Enrolling new students
    • In August, CCIU will be uploading all new students in your district so that they have user accounts. When school begins, you can either add all students to your course yourself, by clicking Assign Roles in the administration block.
    • Alternately, you can let students sign themselves up for your course by giving it an enrollment key in your Course Settings (in the administration block). Then, simply give your students the enrollment key on day one, and they can enroll themselves.
  6. Getting help
If you're looking for new ideas, activities, or help with Moodle, remember that you can always visit and search by keyword for what you're looking for. You can also visit the Cool Modules course developed by CCIU for activity ideas, examples,and neat resources. Happy Moodling, and have a great year!

Last modified: Friday, June 8, 2012, 5:09 PM