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Moodle Notes

Adventures in Beginning Moodling, 2006-07
Lisa M. Lane


Stuff I had to change:

First, I had to upgrade from Moodle 1.5, which my provider had, to Moodle 1.6. I did this in order to have essay questions on quizzes. This required dealing with settings on the mysql database, which took some time to work out!

When I did this, the week numbers disappeared. I posted to the moodle forum and had an answer that worked within a day.

I wanted a glossary where students contributed entries, and everywhere that word appeared it linked automatically to the glossary. But ine didn't link automatically. I found out at a Moodle forum post that I had to go to Aministration - configure - filters to turn it on.

But it highlighted the entries in grey. I wanted bright, like yellow. A forum post about changing the config.php file to get the grey box to show told me how to edit the theme's css file.

Then I wanted random essay questions, but it didn't work. It looked like the random essay questions were being added, but they weren't appearing on the quiz. After reading some forum posts, I felt confident enought to change the question/type/randon/questiontype.php file, and the mod/quiz/report/grading/report.php files to make it work.

I noticed with all this that I couldn't change the files on the server. I had to download the file, change it and upload it. When I tried just opening it on the server and making changes, it looked like to worked but it didn't.

I had glossary entries set to be rated on a 100 point scale, and discussion forums on a Separate and Connected Ways of Knowing scale. In the gradebook, this had the effect of making my 100+ point class total 1302 points! So everyone was getting an F. Checking out another forum post that has me change the code....

Found out that I could leave everything in Uncategorized until I graded it, then move it to graded. This made weights correct. But Moodle can't give a letter grade for over 100% weighted.

Cron Jobs (1.6)

Jan 07: The joys of CRON! I was noticing that I wasn't getting emails from forums I'd subscribed to, which is important to me running four classes in Moodle. Turns out there a thing called a "cron job", which is where the server tells the program to do its updates. I had to go to Lunarpages C-Panel Cron area, and put in the code. Took awhile to figure out the right code for this server is: php /home/lisahi2/public_html/moodle/admin/cron.php . But now it runs updates every 5 minutes around the clock and folks get emails.

better: nice -20 php /home/lisahi2/public_html/moodle/admin/cron.php

Problem: My host, Lunarpages, said I couldn't run so many cron jobs. It was taking up too large a percentage of my shared server, and if I wanted to do that much I needed by own server. Had to set cron jobs at every 30 minutes, which is hardly ideal.

Marking forums read (1.6)

Moodle is emailing me the post areas I've subscribed to, but when it does that it marks them "Read" in the class itself, which confuses me. The Moodle users forum showed me that I can set that in Admin by changing foum_usersmarksread to "Yes". Of course, this means I must manually mark posts as read, a different kind of annoying.

The default for students is that they get emails from any forum they've posted to. They can turn off the setting in Profiles, but don't always know that. For next time, before courses start, I need to set Moodle to a default setting that creates NOT subscribing to forums as the default. I'll need to change the Forum auto-subscribe value in the mdl_users table in the database from 1 to 0. Not being experienced with databases, I'm gonna wait, and it wouldn't affect established new accounts anyway.

Other issues (1.6)

I posted today (1/30) on Moodle forum that the Last Access date is wrong for at least one student.

The color is not moving to the current week in History 105 (theme is standard red). I don't recall whether this was a problem last semester, but I don't think so. Haven't solved this one yet.

Unable to backup the class with over 40 students in it. It hangs on Backup. Looked through all forums, especially , though it's from 2004. Changed settings in admin/cron.php from 128 MB to 750./ Still won't do it. PHP memory itself is too low. Had to go into php.ini file, which was too dangerous -- Lunarpages said use htaccess file instead. Backed out, as I recall. Nothing worked.


Found something wonderful! I can go to the quiz after students take it and click "Manual grading", select Grade All and see all student answers to the same question on one screen and grade them all together. This way I can compare all the student responses to the same question as I grade. Marvelous!

I was able to create a "Sticky Block" with my Moodle tutorial, online status indicators and link to email. This automatically appears in all my courses.

I've had to make a custom offline quiz scale so I can input grades like "6.5" for quizzes in my onsite class.


10/30/06 Got 404 error code and 403 Forbidden permission to access the file that processes the quizzes, when I tried to save changes grading a batch of essay questions. Noticed that every time I went back in, ///// symbols had been added before every apostrophe. Stopped using apostrophes to see if it helped. Am writing like Damon Runyon. It does it with " marks also.

Jan 07 notes:
On a Mac using Firefox, when using Manual Grading on multiple essay questions, the HTML editor appears for every question, jamming up the system. I have to use Safari (a browser not compatible with Moodle's HTML editor) to grade a zillion essays.
Also in Manual Grading of Essays, the use of apostrophes creates slashes instead, and jams up the page.

May 07
Deleting an item from the calendar deletes the actual item, not just the notation from the item, if Moodle created the calendar entry! I just accidentally deleted student final exams by trying to clean up the Calendar. Arrggghhh!

Other yucky issues
-- You can't just change a grade in the Gradebook. This has been a problem when trying to give half credit for late quizzes. It can't be done. (solved in Gradebook Plus v2)
-- If you don't use Moodle's internal numerical scales (which do not include .5), the Gradebook cannot calculate weighted grades and translate it into a letter grade.
Solution: To use the internal numerical scales most effectively, it becomes necessary to increase the total points and have them curved down for each test. For example, my final exam has 50 multiple-choice questions (for 5 points) and 1 essay (for 5 points). So each multiple-choice question is worth 1 (the default), then the essay is worth 50. I set the whole quiz for a total of 10, and Moodle calculates it perfectly (as 4.7 for the essay, for example, if it's 47 points). (solved in Gradebook Plus v2 if using Graded Event -- can't make comments, tho' -- must use Weighted for letter grade in preferences)


I could add a logo to every course by uploading an image as a Label. However, I found out I cannot see the upload image or any buttons in Safari, and have to use Firefox instead for that. (This is part of the HTML Editor problem.)


To get an 11-point quiz to show as 10 plus an extra credit, I have to use the "Curve to" set at 10 on the gradebook. (not in Graded Event in GradebookPlus v2)

Good Moodle

Can create "sticky blocks" -- information you want to create for every class, in a central location

Accepts media using embed tag

Can make "custom scales" for grading, including discussion post ratings. These can be numerical or qualitative, and can say anything.

The nested discussions are just simply wonderful.

Manual grading lets you see all the responses to a single quiz question on one screen, and grade them from there.

Almost everything can be done from the one main screen.

Bad Moodle

No comments on blogs

You can't make a quiz question worth .5 points, and the standard grade scale doesn't include decimals (though you can make a custom scale with them -- however, it won't calculate these if you're using Letter grades based on them)

If Moodle adds an item to the Calendar (which it does when you set open and close dates for quizzes), deleting the item from the Calendar deletes the actual quiz

I have never gotten the color markings to work in the standardred theme

Manual grading (of all responses to a single question on one screen) crashes Firefox because of the HTML editor -- Mac users need to use Safari for Manual Grading

Student comments on Blackboard vs Moodle (Spring 2007)

The Upgrade (to 1.8)

Now in 1.8 ---------------

Week numbering

Week numbers have disappeared again, having Restored all courses without users. Had to do the same fix again. I realize that will not work with Moodlerooms, which will not allow a code change.

Students Rating Discussion Posts (1.8)

Students are not allowed to rate discussion posts by default anymore! And it's nasty to change it. You have to have administrative rights to allow Teachers to "override the permissions of others", then give them permission to override Student roles, then they have to use the Assign Roles and override tab to check "Rate posts" for students. (Or they can do it for each forum, which is even more cumbersome).

"If the teacher has been given permission to Override permissions for others (by editing the Teacher role in the Administration -> Users -> Permissions -> Define roles -> Manage roles tab), and has also been given permission to override the Student role (Administration -> Users -> Permissions -> Define roles -> Allow overrides tab), then the teacher will get a course-level GUI for tweaking the Student role (Course -> Admin -> Assign roles). Changes made by the teacher to the Student role will apply to ALL students. To affect a single student seems to require a custom role, provided by the admin."

This is from .

Random Essay Questions Gone

Random Essay Questions are not enabled by default and should require a code change, but apparently there are major problems with the database so it can't be used (this according to the expert, Michael Penney, via Moodlerooms). After trying the code change, I wrote to Moodlerooms August 2007:

I have done some pretty extensive testing this evening in my own installation and have discovered the problem, which is also discussed in the thread I sent you (

Changing the code for random essay questions from "false" to "true" enables such questions. They appear perfectly and can be scored properly, but with two problems:

1. They cannot be Manually Graded (which is how I grade all essays) -- this is mentioned in the last post of the forum.

2. The student cannot see standard feedback, only General Feedback, for those questions.

This severely affected all my tests, and I hope it gets fixed.

For students to see the feedback on a test, the "Responses" item must be checked.

Students may review
Immediately after the attempt
Responses Scores Feedback Answers General feedback
Later, while the quiz is still open
Responses Scores Feedback Answers General feedback
After the quiz is closed
Responses Scores Feedback Answers General feedback

Moving from one Moodle Installation to Another

When I did Backup and Restore from my Lunarpages installation into Moodlerooms' through MiraCosta, all my forums lost their code formatting. They were exported in Moodle auto-format, but arrived as HTML format, removing much of the code and forcing me to repaste each forum starter.

Because they are stored in the database, the Calendar entries (and thus the Upcoming Events) do not transfer. And if you use delete course and Restore, any calendar in the receiving course is deleted. I had to re-enter all calendar entries by hand.

Latest News ... "more" is hidden from students

In 1.6, I could make the News forum hidden, but all info would still show in the Latest News box. In 1.8, I have to make the News forum visible in order for students to be able to click on "more" and see the whole thing in the box. Really stupid, because now all news appears in two places. So I've changed the forum name to "Latest News (same as in the box on the right)". Ugh.

Problems with GradebookPlus v2:
-- In Manual Grading, if you only grade some, it marks the number that needs grading as 0.

Issue: The students are still seeing their scores even though I don't have any boxes checked. -- maybe??? or maybe just I am seeing them....

Sept 07: just discovered students can't see anyone's ratings in the forums:
For my own installation, can change student role per course, override role for "View any ratings" (mod/forum:viewanyrating)

GradebookPlus v2 lets one use decimals with Add Graded Event. Can put 10 at top score (even if student gets 10.5) and will calculate grades correctly. No need to double anything!

Activity Reports

Oct 07: students do not seem to be able to see their own activity reports -- am editing student role to Allow "Users: See user activity reports", which says "This allows a user to view this user's activity reports and grades (user context only)". Looks like I then had to go into the course itself, and override the role to do this there too. NO, it keeps saying I'm not allowed to look at that page. Tried in 111 #1260 with Admin done too, and Hist104 without Admin access.

Because of, added View Reports (in Core section), but can now see everyone's including their grade!

Kept View Reports, but undid "Users: See user activity reports". Can still see everyone's. In Admin, undid "Users: see user activity reports" in Student roles. Now can't see own in Participants, but can see everyone's in Admin block! Had to undo View Reports in Core.

UGH. The only setting that needed to be changed was a Course Setting: Show Activity Reports.

Oct 26: Trouble is, the activity report shows the incomplete quiz grade also. I haven't graded essays yet, and don't want students seeing that score.

Bounced emails/spam?

Dec 2007: Suddenly, bunches of automatic emails to students (from Latest News forum) getting bounced to me, with this error:

Domain has exceeded the max emails per hour (800) allowed. Message discarded.

I don't have that many emails, and my student numbers have reduced since the start of the semester. Reported to Lunarpages, who said I'd have to find the email script and fix it myself, since they assume Moodle is causing the problem rather than someone hacking my account. They noted I'm not in 1.8.2 yet, and that I didn't use Fantastico to install. They did recommend changing CHMOD settings to 755 on everything, which I am doing. But still bouncing every single email. That makes this installation essentially unusable for Spring! May have to get the Moodlerooms account and forget this experiment. Should probably update to 1.8.2 anyway.

Forums not being edited/replicated properly in Forums list

Jan 08 AHA! over the semesters, I've noticed that when I changed the content of a forum by going to that forum from the main weekly page, it didn't change if you went to it in the "Forum" page, linked as a breadcrumb. I don't know why it is, but I figured out I must change the content in BOTH places. That said, when I post a *new* forum, it copies correctly to the "Forum" page. So at first I thought, it's probably an artifact from Restoring from 1.5, then 1.6, into now 1.8. But it isn't. When I go back to that same new forum and edit it, it does NOT change on the Forum list page. This is a Moodle bug.

Pros and cons of going with a Moodle host rather than running Moodle on my own or Lunarpages server:


No issues with bounced emails or code
Actual support


Will lose my code changes
Poor selection of Themes
Will lose week numbers on some themes
May have trouble zipping files into installation*
All old students will be uploaded with zip file if has users
Possible slow support
Will lose calendars and forum formatting when uploading (but have latter saved to txt file)

Moodlerooms through MiraCosta

Issues when MCC went to Moodlerooms:

Student enrollment verification emails were not sent out to some students after they self-enrolled. We had to check the list of users continually and manually confirm for the first week. Only an admin can do this, so Karen had to do it. Site Administration --> Accounts --> Browse

Guest access wasn't working initially and they had to do something to fix it.

1) When you set a theme, it comes up with the default title (such as Flex or Moodle Rooms). This text needs to be changed if an instructor wants to use that theme. Please contact Moodlerooms to see how to change these.

2) As administrator, you will need to set permissions (roles) so that Teachers (or Course Creators, whichever you've decided to use for Faculty) can manage their own users (student enrollments). Under Site Administration - Users - Permissions - Define roles, please set "Allow" for:
Create users
Delete users
Update user profiles

Teachers were not allowed to do admin stuff: be Course Creator, create student accounts, etc. That meant teachers cannot change passwords for students -- they had to call the HelpDesk.

* First try unable to load zip files into installation. Server timed out while they were uploading. Had to send zip files to Moodlerooms and they had to upload for me. Said they fixed it later

Time zone problem: had to be changed by Admin

Under Admin - Modules - Activities - Forum settings, would you please change forum_usermarksread from NO to YES. Otherwise when a user subscribes to a forum and it emails them, the messages look like they've been read in the forum. That makes it harder for instructors to keep track.

To embed anything, needs to change Admin -> Security -> Site Policies -- please check the Allow EMBED
and OBJECT Tags

We will need the Gradebook Plus v 2 on our installation, because it's the only way to edit grades individually (for example, to make a late quiz worth half points). Please ask them to do this on our installation. For 1.8, the URL for the plugin is . It's really a patch rather than a separate module.

Having students rate posts required Admin role override: In the last version of Moodle, it was easy for instructors to have students rate forum posts; in 1.8 it isn't. In fact, it's ridiculously cumbersome -- the instructor has to Edit their forum, click on Update, then on the Roles tab, then override the student role for each forum where they want students to use ratings. But Teachers can't do this at all without a permission change. Could you please enable this by allowing a Teacher to override a Student role? If a Teacher doesn't want students doing ratings, they just won't override. But those that do can have it then. See In order to get this to work on my hosted installation, I had log in as Administrator and override the Student role for each course to permit "rate posts".

Random essay questions were not possible without breaking the installation. Turns out this is a 1.8 problem.

Moodlerooms with my own account (beginning January 2008)

Did all Admin changes above myself, no problem.

Issue 9 January: blocks disappearing now and then -- Messages, then Latest News -- could remake but sometimes disappeared while moving upward -- then reappear (possibly only in 1.8.2 and edit mode, according to [March update: Moodlerooms says this is now a "known bug" and is fixed in 1.9]

They can't/won't change:
- default on mdl-users table autosubscribe to 0, so students have to opt out of emails to each forum they post to (database change)
-week numbers can't be added to weekly layout (code change)

Feb 08

Second slow-down of site -- the first one last month was fixed quickly. This one has gone on for days. The response from Support:

Moodlerooms would like to apologize for any performance problems you might have been experiencing recently. Moodlerooms and Sun Microsystems have been working together on a major project to demonstrate that our new set of new servers will accommodate one million concurrent users. This project is very nearly complete. As a result, we anticipate all of our hosted customers will see increased performance over and above what you normally expect in your Moodlerooms hosted environment.

We are working now to alleviate any problems you might have been experiencing. We anticipate performance will be at or above normal by the end of the weekend at the latest.

Please accept our apologies for this inconvenience and our thanks for your continued patience and support of Moodlerooms.


Andy Braden
Manager of Customer Relations
Moodlerooms, Inc.

Hmmmm. Have also had weird issues over last few days, including a student account that completely disappeared (which shouldn't be possible -- one should always be able to add profiles back from the database, but it was completely gone), and a couple of students whose posts disappeared. No response on these yet.

March 08

More slow-downs. They have been unable to fix a problem for one of my associates on the MCC account (the Grades link disappeared from the Admin box, so students can't get their grades) AND have been unable to figure out why one of my students grade on Quiz 2 won't "stick" -- it keeps changing to 0, so I've had to add an extra credit category just for her.

Moodle 1.9 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

upgraded through Moodlerooms

First issue: Gradebook is completely new -- grades for individual assignments came through, but not course totals or letter grades.

Editing grades: use Turn Editing On

Admin stuff

Assign roles page now lists names of users assigned to each role.

For our administrator:
A. Enable email notification to students after completing a Quiz
In the quiz settings or "Update this quiz" link, email options are turned on under the override permissions tab. Modify the student role and change the "Get email confirmation when submitting" (mod/quiz:emailconfirmsubmission) to "Allow".

B. Let students see our Front Page
Permitting logged-in users to participate in Front Page activities (this allows users to see all visible MCC Moodle courses)
1. Access Site Administration > Front Page > Front Page settings
2. Set the default front page role to student.

C. If you want to refer them to HelpDesk directly for password issues:
Forgotton password URL
If your lost password handling is performed entirely outside of Moodle (for example, only by a help desk), you can set the url of that service here. Anybody pressing a "lost password" link in Moodle will be redirected to this URL. Note that this will disable all of Moodle's lost password recovery options regardless of authentication method(s) in use.

D.Please enable AJAX
Administration > Appearance > AJAX and Javascript (this allows for drag-and-drop of course blocks)

E. Change student role to allow forum ratings (forum:rate) and view ratings (forum:viewrating, forum:viewanyrating)

F. Change teacher role to allow overrides of student role
1. Access Administration > Users > Permissions > Define roles.
2. Edit the teacher role and change the capability moodle/role:override to allow.
3. Click the button "Save changes".
4. Click the tab "Allow role overrides" (in Administration > Users > Permissions > Define roles).
5. Check the appropriate box to allow a teacher to override the student role.
6. Click the button "Save changes".

G. Under Modules - Filters - Manage Filters, enable Algebra Notation.

H. Under Grades - general settings, enable Outcomes


Gradebook -- the whole thing is an issue
First, my totals from previous classes did not appear. Had to Turn Editing On, Edit the "graded" category, and set to Sum of Grades just to get it totalled.
Extra credit is impossibly difficult. So is excluding grades.

Fall 2008 : Moodle 1.9

Gradebook issue #1: Scales translate automatically as percentages in gradebook.
There is an admin setting where you can not aggregate scaled grades at all, but if you do that it's for the whole site and then it wouldn't aggregate a scale with numbers.

So to make a real scale, it must go in comments -- the easiest way to do this is through the Grades with Quick Feedback visible. Then they see the comment in grades. So each assignment has No Grade (instead of Scales), then Quick Feedback in the Gradebook. Homework is in its own category. The only way to move an item into a category once it's been created is to update that assignment.Then from the Gradebook I edit the Homework category (and Study Guide category) so Grade type is NONE. For each category, item weight is added. Graded = 100%

BUT, this shouldn't be an issue if the category (or course?) uses Sum of Grades:

Sum of grades
The sum of all grade values. Scale grades are ignored. This is the only type that does not convert the grades to percentages internally (normalisation). The Maximum grade of associated category item is calculated automatically as a sum of maximums from all aggregated items.

A1 70/100, A2 20/80, A3 10/10:
70 + 20 + 10 = 100/190

So instead, I put all the homework in a category called Homework, which I set at Sum of grades, and 0.00 weight. The I was able to use the drop-down scale but not have it count for points.

BUT it still showed the percents when they look at their grades (user report is the easiest way to see this). For each item controls, from the gradebook using edit, I tried changing the multiplicator to 0. That at least has it say 0%, but it only worked for ones I hadn't graded yet. So I had to use commenting.

Gradebook Issue #2. Cannot have an extra credit internally in a quiz

I had it set so that they'd get a score out of 10, but 11 were possible. There is no way to do this in 1.9. You can have an extra credit item, but you can't have a maximum score lower than the total possible points. So I had to increase the maximum for both the category and the course to 110. That means you can't use Letters. And the student can see a percentage (of 110%, not 100) so it shows wrong percentage although the points are correct. There is no way to have the student not see the percentage column in their User Report.

So for online classes:
Course level -- weighted mean of grades (for showing the correct letter grade and percentage -- needs to be SUM near the end of the class so they see points only!
Graded category -- Sum of grades (needed so they can see total points!), weighted mean of grades, max points 100 , item weight 100.00
Quiz -- multiplicator 1.0, grade display real(default), 2 decimal points -- maybe multiplicator should be 1.1????
Category total -- grade display type -real, 2 decimal points, item weight 100.00
Course total -- Maximum grade 110, grade display type default(real) letter, decimal points 0, Grade type=value

doesn't work, percentages still show and they're wrong, having to change letter grade scale to reflect problem -- have changed all grades scales and am using letter grades now alongside the percentages.

To create extra credit, make offline assignment with max points. Then go into gradebook, view categories and items, an d use extra credit checkbox.

To actually SEE the letter grade, must turn editing off.

For ungraded stuff
Category total - grade type = none

For onsite classes, I'm having to add an extra credit item in graded, where I put all points over 10. What a chore.


Other admin settings:

To allow students to upload images, must change Roles -- override -- manage files (allows them access to all files, however)

Planning for shift over to MiraCosta Moodle Fall 2010

Settings I need changed just for me:

Req Dec 09: I would like to have my own role with permission to:

Edit user profile moodle/user:editprofile

I would also like a way to Message all teachers inside of Moodle, to make sure I'm not missing any when I send out announcements. I don't know whether that is covered by this?

Answer Jan 10:

I created a new role in Moodle (see screen Shot 1) that was a  duplicate of teacher and then allowed the following per your request.

Edit user profile moodle/user:editprofileroles

I see you have the POT course on Moodle & Lisa's Demo Class History 111.  I changed your role in both of those classes to this new role for you.  (Lisa Lane Role).

See Screen Shot 2 of where the permissions are for your new role.

I took a look at the Message all teachers inside Moodle link you sent plus did some additional research. It appears this is new in 1.9.   I have contacted Moodlerooms admin support for assistance to see how I might be able to add this to your role so that you will have access to this directly.

May 2010

Unable to restore users from a previous class -- need moodle/user:create (System- Create Users on Restore)


To allow teachers to restore users from a previous class

Requested added to my role.

Fall 2010 Gradebook

Not showing final grades -- no edit button available for Course total with all set at weighted mean. Had to edit Graded category total to show letter grade. Should be OK because shows percentage too.

All categories should be set at simple weighted mean of grades. Spring 2011 note: except Graded, which should be set a sum of grades. Course total settings should be Letter.

Grade -> Settings - course) -> User report -> show totals excluding hidden items (because I have hidden things I'm not using on the list)

Forum ratings appear in gradebook with percentage 2/11

Standard forum ratings will appear in gradebook with a percentage on the scale if the list is text instead of numbers. These percentages appear in the gradebook and confuse students. If made invisible in the gradebook, they may still be able to see them in the forums. If invisible in gradebook, students cannot see their ratings in the gradebook, but only in the forums themselves.

Note May 2012 - can hide from student view by choosing Grades - Settings - Course - Show hidden items -> No hidden

Students can rate posts in forums 2/11

The MCC default is set so students can do ratings. Need to override this in each forum by using Student - Prevent on Rate Posts

Students self-enroll in particular groups (1.9) 11/8/11

First create an overall enrollment code for the class. Make the first couple of numbers the same as the course section number and it's easier (so 1600 for sections 1631, 1632 etc)

Then create groups, and edit settings. Add enrollment code for the group (I use section numbers: 1632 etc).

When a student creates an account and self-enrolls, they have to put in this code, and are automatically added to a group.

Fun with groups:

Setting course -- must be Separate or Visible Groups (can see each other), but may not carry over to individual forums. Have had to set it as Separate or Visible Groups in individual forums.

In course settings, if  Force, makes it so no one can reply, even to my posts.

Single simple forum DOES NOT WORK with groups. Have to create standard forums for each section (or put it all in the intro, then separate reply forums). To do this, select the section group in the upper left drop-down first, then add a topic.
note Aug 2012 - in each forum must prohibit them from  "Add new discussion topic" when doing this by Update This Forum, Override permissions, Student, Start New Discussions -> Prohibit.

2/9/12 - trying to get HTML back in subject headings for forums

Looks like in Moodle 2, it's Admin-Appearance and uncheck "Remove HTML from all activity tags"

1.9 -- Appearance - HTML settings - uncheck "Remove HTML tags from all activity names"

1.9 to have Latest News show in a box but not in the centre column, put it open in a later block after the class is over that won't be seen\

Browser issue: Cannot change quiz questions on deployed quiz in Firefox, only Safari ("A required parameter (courseid) was missing")

Google eliminates old embed code in Moodle (Dec 2012)

Now must turn on Modules - Filters - Multimedia Plugins - Settings - Enable YouTube link filter, then link URL of video as per this tutorial:

Moodle 2

Unable to install Moodle 2.2, so going with 2.0 through autoinstall at Bluehost.

HTML back in subject headings for forums

Looks like in Moodle 2, it's Admin-Appearance and uncheck "Remove HTML from all activity tags"

The key is to understand that all menus are now contextual. Most pages have a "Settings" tab in the upper left contextual to that page only.
Workflow for editing - cannot edit from within a quiz or forum - must use the edit symbol on the main page   - can edit with Settings tab

Activity reports are now buried in the Navigation menu - courses - participants. Need to put Navigation menu in block on course page. Students can access their own.
Activity reports and Forum posts: To access for i ndividual students, go to their Profile page through a link with their name, then find Navigation menu, Courses - Coursename - Participants - Student name - Forum posts or Activity reports

Activity completion will lock if anyone (such as test student Student A) takes the quiz or views the page - need to go back and unlock before adding students.

Unenrol is no longer available as an option in the student's profile. Now Course admin -> users -> Enrolled users -> check X in Enrollment methods column on the right.

Trouble with images and links in forums. Can now make URLs into links automatically Site admin -> plugins -> Manage filters -> Convert URLs into links - on - then add HTML format in settings
Images try to embed when you put in the URL, causing problems - Site admin -> Plugins -> Filters -> Multimedia plugins, turn off  "Enable auto-embedding of linked images"
Also Site admin - plugins - filters - manage filters has Multimedia plugins - on - apply to content, and Convert URLS into links - on - apply to content, both with settings

To enable RSS feeds for forums: site admin - plugins - activity modules - forums - Enable RSS feeds

Manual grading requires a navigation block (see - easiest to add it to page for assignment. Editing must be ON on main page first!

To see theme changes right away, Appearance -Themes- Theme Settings - Theme designer mode (then turn it off - use temporarily only). Also needed for Language pack changes (below) per theme.

Quizzes cat and Whole course grade for now: have to aggregate only non-empty grades and use 0 to get grades to come out properly on quizzes w total 50%

Course settings in gradebook must be grade display type set on default-real to see scales in Grades

Moodle 2.2


Enable Ajax -
Appearance - HTML - uncheck box to allow html in labels
Navigation - use site name for site pages
Advanced - Enable Outcomes, Stats, RSS feeds, completion tracking, conditional access, plagiarism
Site admin - plugins - activity modules - url -> uncheck Require activity description, Available display options select all
remove email from gradebook Users-->Permissions-->User policies -> Show User Identity -> uncheck email if it's checked
To change default words and phrases - Language - Language editing - choose English - load language pack -in moodle.php, changed weeklyoutline to Syllabus.
Some setting (?) must be changed to allow teachers to Log In As students via contextual menu on Profile page (permissions - Course - Log in as other users)

Regular use:

To add code and it won't accept it, turn off editor in own Profile

If grades there but not appearing in gradebook, lock and unlock gradebook items, including total.

2.2 gradebook report preferences to have more students show (default is only 25)

2.2 course settings in gradebook lets you hide percentages (and scale ranges)


Moodle 2.3


Site admin
  - Appearance - Themes - Enable course themes
  - Appearance - HTML settings - uncheck box to allow html in labels
  - Appearance - AJAX and Javascript - Enable Ajax
  - Appearance
 - Advanced - Enable Outcomes, Stats, RSS feeds, completion tracking, conditional access, plagiarism
- plugins - activity modules - url -> uncheck Require activity description, Available display options select all, customize popups (800x600), customize frame height (100)
- Plugins - Activity modules - Forum - uncheck "Use email address in reply", change "Read after days" to 160, "Enable RSS feeds" change to Yes
- Plugins - Activity modules - Page - uncheck "Require activity description"
- Plugins - Filters - Manage filters - turn off everything not using, enable only activity names auto-linking and multimedia plugins applied to content (can also convert URLs into links and images if desired) - warning server load!
- Plugins - Blcoks - Manage blocks - make invisible what you nevewr use
Plugins - Message outputs - Email (uses php default in Moodle to send mail, change change to SMTP)
Plugins - Message outputs - Default message outputs - change Personal messages between users - check Online also so comes to your email also even if logged in
- Plugins - Enrollemnts - Self enrolment - Allow self enrolments change to Yes
- Plugins - Enrolments - Manage enrol plugins - turn off Cohort sync
- Users-->Permissions-->User policies -> Show User Identity -> uncheck email if it's checked
- Language - Language customization - choose English - load language pack -in moodle.php, changed weeklyoutline to Syllabus
- Location - Location settings - Default timezone UTC-7 spring-fall, UTC-8 fall-spring
- Grades - General settings - "Recover grades default" - check box!
- Grades - General settings - "Navigation method" - tabs
- Courses - Course default settings - "number of week/topics" change to 18, news items = 3 , checkbox to "Show activity reports", Completion tracking change to Enabled
- Courses - Backups - Active change to Enabled, schedule on Tuesdays at 1, Keep 2
- Security - Site policies - Allow EMBED and OBJECT tags check box, Max time to edit posts change to 60 minutes, Password policy

- Security - Site policies - Enable Trusted Content
- Server - Performance -

Users - Permissions
permissions - Course - Log in as other users- Extra PHP memory limit - change to 1024M

Image (media?) embeds -

Site administration - Plugins - Filters - Manage filters

Convert URLs into links and images - Off, but available (so in course settings, can use Filters to enable it)
Settings: Appy to formats - Moodle auto format, Embed images - check

Problem prep -

check Server - Session handling - may want to stop using database (but will log out everyone)
Disalbe some modules, filters, etc
Space cron out (hourly) - have to use C Panel - Cron settings to change to once an hour

Browser and operating issues

>NOTE- inserting an image using TinyMCE HTML editor with URL doesn't work in Safari - it strips dimensions to 0 width and height.


To un-override a student's grade (such as a 0 for a missed quiz), just go to gradebook and click Edit symbol next to that exact grade - uncheck Override Grade.

Manual grading - go to Quiz - Results, then use Navigation Menu to get to Manual Grading: Navigation - Course - Week - Assignment - Results - Manual Grading.

To delete selected attempts, Navigation - Course - Week - Assignment - Results - Responses.

Restore from 2.2 -> 2.3 MCC to my own problems

More on Backup/Restore in Moodle 2

error/wrong_setting_level_moodle_backup_xml_file -- have to download, open and edit moodle_backup.xml - remove all settings - local.

error/xml_parsing_error -- also need to go into roles.xml and remove any strange roles (like DSPS)

also deleted local folder?


Student permissons were preventing them from seeing grades

Error: Sorry, but you do not currently have permissions to do that (view grades of other users). even when trying to just view own grades.

 Can set for entire Moodle site through Site Administration -> Users -> Permissions -> Define Roles. Select a role name and then press the Reset to defaults button. Or inside course, set all permissions to Inherit to reset.

Completion setup forces erasure on a forum when changing scale (or anything else)

Can change from items posted to only complete with grade, but otherwise no solution.


Reasons to go to Moodle 2

can remove "range" from user report, preventing confusion
activity tracking is interesting

Reasons Moodle 2 is bad

contextual menus are confusing - might have to add them then place them in dock or column
difficult to get full report on one student
activity reports and completion stats are awkwardly located in Navigation while grades are in Settings
must use CSS styling instead of standard HTML
Moodlerooms hooks into Jewel and other items - hard to make invisible or not use


Forums and activity completion

Set activity completion on each forum, set to 0 attachments in each forum

To actually view the chart of activity completion with all students: Navigation > Courses > My course > Reports > Activity completion.

To get Excel report of participation for Contribution Assesssments: Navigation > Courses > My course > Reports >Logs


Course setup each semester

Assign roles - change student role so they can Manage files or they can't upload images. Assign roles - override permissions - Manage files - allow (Users - permissions)

Course settings - Permissions - delete Student from permissions in Forums to add ratings, view raw ratings, see the ratings of others!

Categories: Graded posts and Quizzes -> letter and %

make Letter(percentage), 1 decimal
only aggregate non-empty grades, then put not completed when posted


Unable to get all students to show in gradebook at once with both quick grading and commenting on - had to change php.ini

Full php.ini code:

max_execution_time = 300
max_input_time = 600
memory_limit = 60M
upload_max_filesize = 200M
post_max_size = 64M
max_input_vars = 4000

Students not getting emails from Latest News

trying to set Cron wget -q -O /dev/null via - no go

Bug - changing letter grades (via Alfredo at Moodlerooms)

Error: When I change any of the items to unused in the letter grades I get this error:

Debug info: Duplicate entry '8083-69.00000-C' for key 'mdl_gradlett_conlowlet_uix'
UPDATE mdl_grade_letters SET letter = ?,lowerboundary = ?,contextid = ? WHERE id=?
[array (
0 = 'C',
1 = 69,
2 = '8083',
3 = 67,
Error code: dmlwriteexception
Stack trace:
line 410 of /lib/dml/moodle_database.php: dml_write_exception thrown
line 1156 of /lib/dml/mysqli_native_moodle_database.php: call to moodle_database-query_end()
line 1188 of /lib/dml/mysqli_native_moodle_database.php: call to mysqli_native_moodle_database-update_record_raw()
line 167 of /grade/edit/letter/index.php: call to mysqli_native_moodle_database-update_record()

I need to change the letter scale to A 89%, B 79%, C 69%, D 59%, F 0% and that's itl

Workaround (courtesy Alfredo at Moodleroome):: In a nutshell, the Moodle gradebook code appears to change the database records one by one, instead of as a set. If you'd like a more detailed description of the bug, please let me know. Anyway, here's what I did as a workaround. I set the new letter boundaries to Z, Y, X, W and V. After that was saved successfully, I set them to A, B, C, D and F.

Best: erase all the letters except A first, save and start over.e

Timed posts for forums

Settings > Site administration > Plugins > Activity modules > Forum

(in Settings for a forum, creates a enable with dates)

LIST Customization requests for Moodle 2 - Site Admin settings


Enable outcomes, stats, RSS, completion...
Advanced settings -
"Enable Outcomes" - check for yes
"Enable RSS feeds" - check for yes
"Enable completion tracking" - check for yes
"Enable conditional access" - check for yes
"Enable plagiarism plugins" - check yes if MCC is using them
"Enable statistics" - decide whether server load is worth it


Remove emails from gradebook
Users-->Permissions-->User policies -> Show User Identity -> uncheck email


Enable recovering of previous grades
Grades - General settings - "Recover grades default" - check box

Enable tab navigation in Grades
Grades - General settings - "Navigation method" - tabs

Enable static colum for student names in gradebook
Grade - Report settings - Grader report - enable "Static students column"

Enable quick feedback
Grade - Report settings - Grader report - Quick feedback - check for Yes

Enable quicker grading via AJAX
Grade - Report settings - Grader report - Enable AJAX - check for Yes


Set clock at Pacific Time
Location - Location settings - timezone UTC-7 (for spring-fall, would be UTC-8 for fall-spring)


Remove requirement for activity description on pages
Plugins - Activity Modules - Page - uncheck "Require activity description"

Continue manual marking of posts as in 1.9
Plugins - Activity Modules - Forums - Manual message read marking - check the box

Timed posts for instructors
Plugins > Activity modules > Forum

Show emoticons
Plugins - Filters - Manage filters - Display emoticons as images (on)

Make available converting URLs into links and images
Plugins - Filters - Manage filters - Convert URLs into links and images (off but available)

Ensure multimedia works
Plugins - Filters - Manage filters - Multimedia plugins - On - apply to content and headings

Set module display to minimize navigation zone, display in all formats, and make popups bigger
Plugins - activity modules - URL
"Frame height" - change to 100
"Available display options" select all,
"Popup width (in pixels) - change to 800, Advanced
"Popup height (in pixels) - change to 600, Advanced

Customize forums
Plugins - Activity modules - Forum -
"Use email address in reply" - check for No
"Read after days" - change to 160
"Maximum attachment size" - change to 2 MB
"Manual message read marking" - check for yes (had to get faculty approval!)
"Timed posts" - check for yes


Allow object and embed, post changes
Security - Site policies - Allow EMBED and OBJECT tags check box,
Max time to edit posts change to 60 minutes

Prevent text warnings on instructor forum posts
Security - Site policies - Enable Trusted Content


Enable html for labels
Appearance - HTML settings - uncheck box to allow html for labels

Add links to view user posts
Appearance - Navigation - check box to add links

Arialist theme for visible new posts
Appearance - Themes - Arialist - CSS box
.forumpost.unread .content {border:2px solid #D88A00;} /*unread post border*/ -- change color to #1e00d8

Arialist theme for column size
Appearance - Themes - Arialist - Column width - 250px

Enable AJAX and Javascript
Appearance - AJAX and Javascript - Enable Ajax

Enable course themes
Appearance - Themes - Enable course themes


Role permissions for teachers  - Login as other users

Change defaults for notifications
Disallow students receiving grade change notifications
All other settings except Personal Messages should be opt in for students
Uncheck Assignment Notifications, Warning, Available Update Notifications

Lisa Lane custom Role

Admin - Users - Permissions - Define Roles - (my role) - Override permissions for others

Editing a quiz

Much easier from Quiz Preview

To mark all posts in forum read

Must use Activities block - Forums

To jump to unread posts in forum

add #unread to URL

2.3 permissions - student overrrides at course level - allow to manage files, block ratings and rate

Reference specific post
where id is the forum number and p is the post (hover over reply to see number)

Dropping lowest score in category prevents course total from showing

Can't use Arialist theme to move sections - have to change to not forced then back to Arialist.

Final exam won't let them take it

If they've ever even peeked at the final and it has one attempt and a timer, it won't let them take it, even if settings are fixed to allow it. Must go into the list of attempts and delete their attempt even though there isn't one. They must appear on the "no attempts" list to be able to get back in.

Getting multiple scales to calculate properly in category

Must change graded posts category to mean of grades.

Multiple sections

MUST force groups in course settings or they can post in other groups.

Latest news not getting emailed or showing

Latest news cannot be hidden in a hidden week. Instead, I must put it as Showing in an "orphaned activities" area. This appears when there is an activity in, say, Week 10, but there are only 9 weeks in the settings.

Assignment grade hidden in gradebook even when eye open everywhere (happened when I put a password on).

* Had to go to main page, edit, make activity hidden and then unhide again.
* If a quiz, must change Review options to make things open - check a lot of boxes.

Settings Moodle 2.5 MCC

Filter - no automatic linking
Filter - make URLs live
Users - permissions - student override course - ratings
Users - permissions - student override forums -ratings
Users - permissions - manage files
Users - permissions - prohibit view joule gradebook and view grades via joule

Gradebook setup

Categories (quizzes, primary sources, writing) should all be Mean of Grades, since there are no weights.  Category total should be Letter.

Course total can be Simple Mean of Grades. Course total Letter (percentage).

To show ratings for primary sources and writing, grade display for each item must be Real. I like Real (letter) so they see the letter grade for each rating.

Settings - show percentages and show letters means don't need to set these? Hide ranges, Show totals excluding hidden items

Quizzes - category total Letter (percentage), each item Letter (percentage)
Primary sources - category total Letter (percentage), each item Real
Writing Assignment - category total Letter (percentage), each item Real (letter)

Quiz or Contribution Assessment grade item hidden in Gradebook? Be sure to use quiz Settings - Review Options - show attempt and feedbacks in all sections - after quiz, etc.

Different assignments for different students - Simple Weighted Mean should work, since it doesn't count assignments not completed.