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Moodle Login

Frequently Asked Questions

For Faculty

  1. What is Moodle?
  2. What is Remote-Learner?
  3. Why is COM moving to Moodle?
  4. What version of Moodle is COM using?
  5. What is the Moodle migration timeline?
  6. How is Moodle being phased in?
  7. Whom should I contact for technical help with Moodle at COM?
  8. Where can I get help with Moodle online?
  9. Where can I get pedagogical and professional information related to online instruction?
  10. Where can I find information about Moodle training at COM?
  11. Does Moodle work with both Windows and Mac operating systems?
  12. What are the browser limitations in Moodle?
  13. What is a good Moodle FAQ for me to recommend to my students?
  14. What is my Moodle username and login?
  15. How do I access Moodle?
  16. How do my students find my course in Moodle?
  17. How can I get a Moodle shell?
  18. What kinds of Moodle course shells are there?
  19. I am teaching more than one section of the same course in Moodle. Can I combine all sections and just use one course shell?
  20. How do students enroll/register in a Moodle course?
  21. How do I drop a student from my Moodle course?
  22. When will students get access to their Moodle classes?
  23. How can I prevent my students from seeing my course before it is ready?
  24. When will students’ access to their Moodle classes end?
  25. Can I email my students from within Moodle?
  26. How can I stop Moodle from sending me so much email?
  27. How do I edit my Moodle profile?
  28. How do I navigate with the breadcrumbs?
  29. What should I remind students to do once online classes begin?
  30. How do I ensure that my online materials are  compliant with current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements?

What is Moodle?
Moodle is the world's leading open source learning management system (LMS), used by educators around the world to create effective online learning. Moodle offers tools and supports the same sorts of course-related activities as Blackboard, including document upload and sharing, discussion forums, blogs, gradebook, assignment upload, calendar, chat, email, and more. While Blackboard organizes these items for you by giving you separate pages for various functions and enables you to select organizational preferences, Moodle provides primary organization by topic or by week. Links to all course activities, assignments, assessments, and resources are then created automatically in the appropriate topic or week on the course homepage. A Moodle course, by default, is one long page divided up by week or topic. Navigation is easily achieved by scrolling down, by using the “breadcrumbs” shortcut at the top of the course homepage, by using the navigation block, or by using the activities block running down the side of the course home page (you must choose the activities block with the add a block option for the final navigational shortcut). http://moodle.org/

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What is Remote-Learner?
Remote-Learner has been creating training, development, and educational technology projects for its customers since 1982. Remote-Learner played a central role in the establishment of the Moodle partners network in 2004 and today is the largest of the 50+ worldwide Moodle partners. It operates three data centers in the US, one in Canada and one in the UK, providing its clients with 24/7/365 support for Moodle and other learning technologies. Remote-Learner provides fully managed Moodle hosting options to COM. In preparation for the Summer Moodle Migration Pilot and Phase 1 of the Moodle Migration, Remote Learner provided close to 30 COM faculty and staff with Moodle training during spring and summer 2011. http://remote-learner.net/

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Why is COM moving to Moodle?
COM moved to Moodle 2.0 as our distance education learning management system (LMS) after our license with Blackboard expired at the end of June 2011. The DE Committee of the Academic Senate selected Moodle for its functionality and affordability. Moodle requires no purchase or annual license fee and is much more user friendly according to faculty and students who have used it. Many colleges have migrated to this system with positive results, so COM joins a large community of Moodle users.

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What version of Moodle is COM using?
COM implemented Moodle version 2.0.3 in summer 2011. We will upgrade to Moodle 2.1 when our hosting service, Remote Learner, makes it available during fall 2011.

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What is the Moodle migration timeline?
College of Marin's license with Blackboard terminated at the end of the spring semester 2011. COM began the process of migrating to Moodle for its 2011 Summer Pilot, its fully online and hybrid courses for Fall 2011, and all its courses (fully online, hybrid, and web-enhanced) for Spring 2012.

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How is Moodle being phased in?
Summer Moodle Migration Pilot (Summer 2011)
During summer 2011, COM offered 3 fully online courses and access to the Online Writing Center to all distance education students. The following three courses were selected for the Summer Moodle Migration Pilot because they were existing Blackboard courses that were taught by faculty with Blackboard and Moodle training and experience:
• ENGL 150 – Ingrid Kelly
• ENGL 151 – Alisa Klinger
• HED 130 – Kathleen Smyth
Fall Moodle Migration Phase 1 (Fall 2011)
Our focus for Fall 2011 is to migrate DE courses from Blackboard to Moodle. The Migration also includes any new DE offerings that have received approval from the Curriculum Committee for Fall 2011. Former Blackboard courses and new DE courses will, thus, be taught in Moodle during the Fall 2011. Phase 1 will include approximately 40 DE courses/sections.
The Moodle Migration will not affect other DE courses offered in other Learning Management Systems for Fall 2011.
Spring Moodle Migration Phase 2 (Spring 2012)
DE courses offered in other Learning Management Systems will be included in Moodle Migration Phase 2 for spring 2012. We anticipate approximately 9 courses, depending on what courses are offered.
During Phase 2, all COM courses will automatically have Moodle course shells associated with them for faculty to use either to teach fully online and hybrid courses, or to provide web enhancements for their face-to-face students. Even if you do not teach online, you can post your Syllabus and materials, as well as to communicate electronically with your students.
During Phase 2, MyCOM’s Course Studio will be permanently disabled, and COM will become a sole LMS institution—an institution with one learning management system.

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Whom should I contact for technical help with Moodle at COM?
If you need technical support, contact: moodlehelp@marin.edu

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Where can I get help with Moodle online?
Moodle has an extensive built in help system. At the bottom of most pages there is a link to a Moodle Docs entry for that page. Next to most objects in Moodle there is a Help Icon: a yellow circle with a question mark in it. Clicking on this will bring up useful contextual help.
Moodle has a large international user community and extensive online documentation:
Moodle Web site: http://moodle.org/
Moodle Documentation: http://docs.moodle.org/20/en/Main_Page
Moodle in Education: http://docs.moodle.org/20/en/Teacher_documentation
Moodle Student FAQ: http://docs.moodle.org/20/en/Student_FAQ

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Where can I get pedagogical and professional information related to online instruction?
The online monthly COM publication, DE@COM, will continue to provide faculty and staff with tips, tricks and tools for distance education and web-enhanced instruction, as well as with news, announcements, conference calls, and resource links. You can access DE@COM from COM’s DE homepage.

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Where can I find information about Moodle training at COM?
Moodle training at COM is available to all faculty in the form of FLEX presentations at the start of the semester and workshops throughout the academic year. Alisa Klinger provides on-the-ground Moodle training workshops with a 30-minute treatment of a topic followed by a 30-minute Q & A session. Topics include, Moodle basics, communication, resources, activities, quizzes, grade book, and Moodle questions. The schedule is listed in the monthly online newsletter, DE@COM. See the Staff Development web site for the FLEX workshop schedule.

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Does Moodle work with both Windows and Mac operating systems?
Moodle is browser-based so it works cross-platform with both Windows and Mac.

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What are the browser limitations in Moodle?
The WYSIWYG text editor normally used to edit textboxes in Moodle is not supported by Safari. Mac users are encouraged to use Firefox. You should communicate this message to your students as well.

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What is a good Moodle FAQ for me to recommend to my students?
The Student FAQ article “is intended to prepare teachers for the kinds of questions their students may ask about their Moodle courses. The article could also be given to students (either printed, copied electronically or simply linked to) but the contents may need to be modified depending upon the age / ability of the students concerned:” http://docs.moodle.org/20/en/Student_FAQ.

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What is my Moodle username and login?
It is the same MyCOM username and password. Your access to MyCOM gives you access to Moodle. In other words, you access Moodle through MyCOM; there is no “backdoor.”

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How do I access Moodle?
All MyCOM users have access to Moodle.  Just log in to MyCOM and click the Moodle icon on the "Faculty" tab.  If your course is a distance education course, be sure to select the “Distance Education” tab before accessing Moodle.  Your courses are listed in the Navigation Block on the left side of the page, under “My courses.” Click on the grey arrow for a drop-down listing of your course(s).

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How do my students find my course in Moodle?
When students login to MyCOM, they will have the Moodle icon on the “Student Tab.” If you are teaching a distance education course, be sure to communicate to the students to select the “Distance Education” tab before accessing Moodle.

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How can I get a Moodle shell?
By Spring 2012, Banner, the online administrative system, will automatically generate Moodle course shells based on the information in its system. You do not need to request a Moodle shell for your courses. Your Moodle shells will appear in MyCOM.

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What kinds of Moodle course shells are there?
There are 3 kinds of Moodle shells
  1. Backup shells named with the word “Backup” are shells that have been restored from COM’s Blackboard.
  2. Cross-listed or Metacourse: Metacourse “parent course” has the designation XL.sequential number.term code (term code designation follows the yyyyxx format with 10 for spring, 60 for summer, and 80 for fall). The metacourse shell is the shell where you load your content, if content is shared amongst multiple sections/CRNs. You do not need to load content into the corresponding production shells, once they are associated with a meta-course. In other words, you only load your content once into the parent shell, and the children automatically can view it.
  3. Regular production shells are designated by CRN and term code, and they are the ones you load your courses into.

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I am teaching more than one section of the same course in Moodle. Can I combine all sections and just use one course shell?
If you want multiple sections of the same course cross-listed in Moodle, you will need a “meta course” created for you. Please contact moodlehelp@marin.edu and provide the course names and CRNs for all sections in your request.

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How do students enroll/register in a Moodle course?
Students are automatically placed in a Moodle course when they register for the class. If a student is not showing up in your Moodle course, check your roster on the MyCOM portal. MyCOM is your official course roster, not Moodle.

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How do I drop a student from my Moodle course?
When you drop a student in Banner using the MyCOM portal, the student will be removed from the Moodle course approximately 24 hours after their drop is processed by Admissions and Records. Students who drop with Admissions and Records either in person or using their MyCOM portal, will be removed from the Moodle course approximately 24 hours after their drop is processed by Admissions and Records.
If you find that you have students who are “no-shows,” be sure to drop them when COM does census.

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When will students get access to their Moodle classes?
Students will be loaded into your Moodle shell in the few days before a session begins. While you will see your students listed on your participant list, students will not be able to view your course. Students will only be able to see your course as of the first day of classes.

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How can I prevent my students from seeing my course before it is ready?
If at any point you wish to deny your students a view of weeks or topics, simply turn editing on and click on the eyeball at the top right of a given block.

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When will students’ access to their Moodle classes end?
Student access to your Moodle course shell will cease about two weeks following the end of a session. The timing coincides with the submission of grades deadline.

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Can I email my students from within Moodle?
Moodle messages are automatically sent to students' MyCOM accounts. Anything posted to the News Forum is also sent automatically to all participants’ email accounts. Users can set their preferences to modify receipt of email from other forums.

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How can I stop Moodle from sending me so much email?
When you subscribe to a forum, Moodle will start emailing you all the forum postings as long as you are a subscriber.   You can consolidate your email and receive just one email per day containing all the new forum posts. This is called an “email digest.” Another option is to "unsubscribe" from the forum(s).

1. Change your email preferences:
On your course homepage, on the left sidebar menu, there is a "Settings Block."
Click "My profile settings" then "Edit profile."
Near the top of your settings information there is "Email digest type."
Use the drop down arrow to select one of the options:
 1) No digest (single email per forum post)
2) Complete (daily email with full posts)
3) Subjects (daily email with subjects only)
 Make your selection and, to save your changes, scroll to the bottom and click the "UPDATE PROFILE" button.
 
2. Change your forum subscription preferences:
 On your course homepage, on the left sidebar menu, there is a "Settings Block."
Click "My profile settings" then "Edit profile."
Near the top of your settings information, there is "Forum auto-subscribe."
Use the drop down arrow to select one of the options.
Make your selection and, to save your changes,  scroll to the bottom and click the "UPDATE PROFILE" button.

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How do I edit my Moodle profile?
You can upload a photo or image and write a brief description of yourself by editing your profile in the Settings Block under “My Profile Settings” – “Edit profile” (click on the grey arrow for the drop down menu) on the left side of your Moodle welcome page. Create a greater sense of community in your course by encouraging your students to edit their Moodle profiles too.

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How do I navigate with the breadcrumbs?
A navigation bar near the top of the page provides clarity about "where" in the course you are at any given time. If you click on the course name, you will return to the front page of your course.

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What should I remind students to do once online classes begin?
1. Advise students to use Firefox rather than Safari, if they are accessing the course on a Mac.
2. It is worth asking students to update their profiles in Settings - My Profile.
3. Remind students (and yourself) that you have to logout of the Moodle session or others will still have access when you are done--all they have to do is open the browser window, and the session will still be running. There is a message on the Moodle welcome page that reads:
IMPORTANT:
Closing this browser does not end your session. In order to end a session you must click on Logout (top right side of browser window). If you do not log out, your session will remain active. The next person to use this computer will have full access to your account.

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How do I ensure that my online materials are compliant with current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements?
Web-based courses fall under the ADA mandate that all classes must be taught through means that are accessible to all students, including those who have disabilities. The statute is clear that the college is responsible for ensuring ADA compliance for all of the courses it offers: that is, students who are visually- or hearing-impaired, or who have limitations in mobility, must be able to access all materials for their courses in formats they can access. Under the law, colleges are not permitted to wait until a student with a disability enrolls in a class to make accommodations in a given course. All courses must be accessible at all times. ADA requirements apply to all course content for your Moodle course, whether text, picture, podcast, or video. If you have questions about the accessibility of any of your online content, please contact Alice Dieli, Instructional Technologist / Distance Education, 415.485.9540.

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Distance Education Website
Technical Contact: Alice Dieli, Instructional Technologist / Distance Education, 415.485.9540
Content Responsible: Director of PRIE, 415.485.9545