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					Wazza’s QuickStart
3. Moodle - Front Page & Category Page Layout

                                                                                      moodlenotes.wazmac.com



Document Overview

 This is the third document in a series of documents designed for teachers who are
 new to Moodle, but who may also have some responsibility in managing it’s
 implementation in a school environment.

 This document discusses how to alter the standard Moodle Front Page, which by
 default provides a raw text list of categories and courses, to instead display a more
 friendly front page that mirrors the structure of a school.

 This document also describes how to add visual navigation elements to pages for
 each Category (ie faculty or class).

 This document assumes that you have already setup your Moodle site as described
 in the previous documents in this series.




 Some of the processes described in this document assume that you have administrator access to be able to
 change the default setup of Moodle.

 If you don’t have administrator access for your school server, you can setup a free Moodle account (with you as
 the administrator) at www.keytoschool.com and experiment with creating a modified Moodle framework there.
 Once this experimental framework is finalised you can then re-create that structure on your school server.




Wazza’s QuickStart - 2. Getting started with Moodle - Front Page & Category Page Layout
          
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 1. Front Page Settings

    1.1. Open your school’s Moodle site in a web browser. The first page that you
         see is known (surprisingly!) as the Front Page.

           If your site categories have already been configured, as described in the
           previous document in this series, your Front Page will look something like
           this:




    1.2. Login to Moodle as an Administrator.




    1.3. In the Site Administration block, click on the Front Page folder, and then
         on Front Page settings.




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    1.4. Scroll down to the list of popup menus that define the items that will be
         shown on the Front Page.

           Choose the None option for all four popup menus for both the main Front
           Page and the Logged in front page settings.




    1.5. Scroll a little further down the Front Page settings page and tick the option
         to Include a topic section.




    1.6. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the Save Changes button.




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 2. Editing the Front Page

    2.1.    At the top of the page, click on the Home button to return to the Front
            Page.




    2.2.    Your Front Page should be pretty much blank, except for your
            Administration Block and your Calendar.




    2.3.    In the top right corner of the window click on the Turn editing on button.


    2.4.    You will now see some additional icons and other features on the screen.




Wazza’s QuickStart - 2. Getting started with Moodle - Front Page & Category Page Layout
   
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    2.5.    Adding a user-friendly Main Menu


            2.5.1.    At the very top of the centre part of the window click on the small
                      editing icon.




            2.5.2.    This will open a Summary of Site window.




                      At the time of writing (2009) Safari does not display the
                      editing toolbar on this page. Mac users will need to use
                      Firefox browser for this and many other functions in Moodle.



            2.5.3.    In the editing window add a suitable heading.




                      Use the editing toolbar to centre the heading.




Wazza’s QuickStart - 2. Getting started with Moodle - Front Page & Category Page Layout
   
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            2.5.4.    Hit the return key a couple of times to move down two lines, then
                      click on the Insert Table button in the toolbar.




            2.5.5.    In the Insert Table editing window, choose to add a table with 2
                      rows, 5 columns, and border set to 0, as in the picture below.




                      Click on the OK button.



            2.5.6.    You will now see your table inserted in the editing window.




            2.5.7.    Double-click in each cell to enter the name of each of the
                      categories that you previously created (see the previous
                      document).

                      Use the formatting toolbar to centre the text in all the cells.




Wazza’s QuickStart - 2. Getting started with Moodle - Front Page & Category Page Layout
   
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            2.5.8.    Click on the Save Changes button at the bottom of the screen.

                      You will now see the additions that you have made to the Front
                      Page.




    2.6.    Linking from your new Main Menu to each Category

            This section assumes that you have already created a category
            framework, as discussed in the previous document in this series.


            2.6.1.    If you are not already there, go to the editing window for the Topic
                      section on your Moodle front page. (Turn editing on > editing icon
                      for topic)




            2.6.2.    In your browser, open a second tab (or window) and navigate to
                      the front page of the site in that tab.




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            2.6.3.    In the Site Administration block (in the newly-opened tab), click
                      on Courses > Add/edit courses.




            2.6.4.    Click on the Turn editing off button.




                      This is important!


            2.6.5.    You will now see links to all the course categories that you
                      previously setup.




            2.6.6.    Right-click, or control-click, on the first “top level” category in the
                      list (in this case “English”) and choose Properties from the menu.




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            2.6.7.    In the Element Properties window, select and copy the address
                      of the link to the category.




                      Note: You may have to drag the window to be slightly longer to
                      see the full address.


            2.6.8.    Now - click on the other tab that you have open.

                      This is the tab that contains the Summary of Site editing window,
                      with the table containing the list of your top-level categories.




            2.6.9.    Select the English category (or whichever category for which you
                      just copied the address in the other tab).

                      • Click on the Insert Link button in the toolbar;

                      • Paste the copied address into the URL field in the Insert Link
                      window.




                      • Click on the OK button to return to the editing window.
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            2.6.10. The selected category will now be displayed as a hyperlink.




            2.6.11. Repeat this process for each of the other top-level links.




                      Click on the Save Changes button at the bottom of the screen.




            2.6.12. You will now see your Front Page with a neat table menu linking to
                    you categories.




            2.6.13. Return to the editing window (Turn editing on > Topic editing icon)
                    to change the font size and colour of the heading, for example, or
                    to change the other information displayed in the Topic section.

                      Maybe add some graphics/icons for each Faculty using the Insert
                      Image icon on the editing toolbar.




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            2.6.14. This will change the look of the Front Page to provide a more
                    visually-appealing interface...




                      You can use the editing window to link from the individual graphics
                      in the same way as from the text in the table.


            2.6.15. You will need to add additional rows to your Table to include these
                    graphic icons. To provide more options for editing the table, click
                    on the Fullscreen Editor button to open a new editing window
                    with more toolbar options - particularly for tables (inserting rows,
                    etc).




            2.6.16. Log out as the Admin user to see the Front page that others will
                    see when the visit the site.




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    2.7.    Adding a My Courses block

            There are many “Blocks” that you can add at the left and right sides of the
            Front Page.

            One useful option is for students to see a list of Courses in which they are
            enrolled, when they login.



            2.7.1.    Logged in as an Administrator, click on the Turn editing on button
                      on your Front Page.




            2.7.2.    Scroll down to the Blocks section.




            2.7.3.    Click on the pop-up menu and choose Courses from the list of
                      available Blocks.




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            2.7.4.    This will add a Course Categories block to the Front Page.




                      All these Course Categories will be visible on the Front Page,
                      before Students and Teachers login.

                      Once logged in, this Block will display only those Courses in which
                      a Student (or Teacher) is enrolled.



            2.7.5.    Use the up/down and left/right arrows to move the block to the
                      desired position on the Front Page (eg - top left corner)




            2.7.6.    When a student or teacher logs into the Moodle site, they will now
                      see a “quick-access” list of courses in which they are enrolled.




                      Try experimenting with some other Block options on the Front
                      Page.




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 3. Adding Visual Elements to Category Pages

    We can also make our category pages (ie faculty or class pages) more visually
    appealing by including some graphics as links to sub-categories and courses.


    3.1.    Log on as an Administrator.


    3.2.    Navigate to a Category page which is displaying the sub-categories within
            that category - ie a Faculty, Class, Teacher list, depending on how you
            have organised your categories and sub-categories.




    3.3.    Click on the Turn editing on button.




    3.4.    Click on the Edit this category button.




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    3.5.    Click on the Fullscreen editing button.




    3.6.    Using the same process described previously for adding icons to the
            Front Page, add a table with multiple rows and columns to include
            graphical elements as links to each of the sub-categories.

            These links may be to Teachers, Years, Classes, Strands, etc.




            Note: You will need to click on the Turn editing off button to see the
            results of your handiwork!



    3.7.    You can repeat this process to add a table with graphical elements to
            Teacher and Class sub-category pages




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