Online/Blended/In Person Course Questions

 

 

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Moodle – the Thomas CMS/LMS

Skype – for free video conferencing (guest lectures, online office hours, etc.)

Cisco Tandberg Unit and Movie software (faculty link only) – for standard video conferencing for blended/online courses

Skype for Business – for off-campus based online classroom experience with recording

Resources for using and supplementing the sytems listed above

CILC (Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration) – an overview of CILC

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How do I login to Moodle?

Getting your Moodle Username and/or Password

Your Moodle username is usually your last name and first initial (for example: smithj), matching your Thomas domain/email account username.

Your default Moodle password is usually the last six digits of your SSN.

You can change your password (if you cannot login with the default password or if you forgot your password) by using the steps below:

 

  1. Go to the Thomas College Moodle site
  2. Under “Forgotten your username or password?” text, click on the “Yes, help me log in” button
  3. Enter either your username OR your email address (by default, all Moodle accounts use your Thomas email account)
  4. An email is sent to your email address (your Thomas email address, unless you have changed this in your Moodle profile)
  5. Once confirmed, another email is sent with a new temporary password. Use this password to access your Moodle account
  6. Once you have logged into Moodle, you should change your password to something you will remember
  7. If you do not have your account information, please contact our IS Desk

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How can I change my Moodle password and edit my Moodle profile (description / email address / photo / etc.)?

Changing your Moodle password and editing your Moodle profile

You can access your Moodle profile by clicking on your name in the upper-right-hand corner of any Moodle page (beside the logout link).

You can change your password from your Moodle profile by clicking on the “Change Password” button.

You can edit your profile (including changing your email address, name, description, photo, etc.) by clicking on the “Edit Profile” tab in your Moodle profile.

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How do I find course content posted to Moodle?

Moodle Course Content

After logging in to Moodle, you will be presented with a list of your courses.

Clicking on the name of one of your courses will bring you to the course page for that particular course.

Your course can be organized (setup by your instructor) by topic (numbers 1 through X), or week (dates.) Generally, your instructor will post a welcome note and syllabus in the general topic at the top of the course, with weekly topics and assignments organized in the weekly/topic area.

After clicking on a course, you are presented with an outline of topics or weeks. This outline will host any files, assignments, chats, and discussion forums, etc. that your instructor has posted for the class.

You can also use the “Activities” block (usually located on the left-hand side of the course) to locate activities by type (assignments/forums/etc.)

Where do I find more information (including screenshots, etc.) about accessing my Moodle course?

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How do I submit an assignment using Moodle?

Submitting Assignments using Moodle

Moodle does not have one “drop box” for all assignments. Instead, your instructor can setup file submission activities, through which assignments can be submitted.

To find the assignment and upload your file, follow the steps below.

  1. Click on the name of the assignment (from the topic/weekly section area or from the Assignments link in the Activities block [typically located on the left hand side of the course])
  2. Use the browse button to find the file and the upload button to submit the assignment for grading

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How do I use a Moodle forum?

Moodle forums (aka discussion boards)

Instructors can create separate forums by topic or weekly discussion.

Forums in Moodle can be setup by the course instructor to restrict access to certain functions, allowing (or preventing) the creation of new discussion threads, replies, etc. (For example, in a Q and A forum, reading posts is prevented until you yourself have responded to the question.)

Students have the option (unless the instructor requires subscription) to subscribe to a forum. Subscribing to a forum sends an email to the recipient each time someone posts a new topic or reply to the forum.

Forum discussions in Moodle can be graded by the course instructor to provide feedback to students regarding forum discussions.

To find a forum, follow the instructions below.

  1. Click on the name of the forum (from the topic/weekly section area or from the Forums link in the Activities block [typically located on the left hand-side of the course])
  2. Use the links provided to navigate the forum, reply to posts, create new discussions, etc.

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How do I use Moodle to send messages to course participants?

Moodle Messaging – How to communicate with course participants via email using Moodle

Moodle has two systems that can be used to send text-based messages to students. The Moodle Messaging tool is commonly misunderstood and confused with the function of the Moodle News Forum tool. Below are descriptions of each and how they can be used to connect with course participants.

Send Message

The Moodle messaging system is internal to Moodle, ie all messages are sent and received within Moodle. Think of it as Moodle instant messaging. By default, when a user receives a message and they are NOT actively online in Moodle, the message is also sent to the recipient via their configured email address. (Please note that the user does have the option of changing this to not receive messages via email.) Recipients who ARE actively online in Moodle at the time the message is sent, receive an alert that they have a new message and can access the message history via the Messages block in Moodle. Drawbacks to using the Moodle messaging system is the inability to handle attachments and the inconsistency in getting the message delivered to the course participants. This is because this system is designed more as an instant messaging medium rather than an email messaging system. For a more robust application, refer to the News Forum.

News Forum

The news forum that is pre-configured in each Moodle course can also be used to email students in a particular course and to post class announcements at the same time. By default, this forum is configured to force everyone to be subscribed. Forced subscription means that everyone in the course will receive an email when new messages are posted to the news forum, they do not have a choice in the matter. They can, however, choose (within their profile) to receive forum messages in digest form (grouped together into one email per day), and where Moodle messages get delivered (by configuring their email address.) The news forum allows attachments. For messages directed to the entire class (especially for those messages containing attachments or messages where email delivery is preferred), the news forum is the tool of choice.

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How do I access Moodle content from a course I took last semester?

Accessing previous (hidden) course content and/or hiding old course content

Approximately one month after the start of a new semester/trimester, the content from the previous semester/trimester is hidden. There is currently no way to hide old content on a per user basis. Content from previous courses is only available for approximately one year from the start of the semester/trimester. Instructors have access to the previous/hidden content in their My Moodle page, using the grayed-out links below their current courses. Students must access previous/hidden course content manually.

  1. First, login to the Student myThomas
  2. Click on the link to see your unofficial transcript
  3. Notice the ID number and the course number for each course. Use these numbers to craft the URL for the course you are interested in seeing content for using the format: http://cms.thomas.edu/course/view.php?name=shortname where shortname = “MG556_24034”, for example (MG556 is the course number and 24034 is the ID number), which would look like: http://cms.thomas.edu/course/view.php?name=MG556_24034
  4. Login to Moodle with your student account
  5. Use the URL determined above to access the course content

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How can I hide content from previous semesters?

Accessing previous (hidden) course content and/or hiding old course content

Approximately one month after the start of a new semester/trimester, the content from the previous semester/trimester is hidden. There is currently no way to hide old content on a per user basis. Content from previous courses is only available for approximately one year from the start of the semester/trimester. Instructors have access to the previous/hidden content in their My Moodle page, using the grayed-out links below their current courses. Students must access previous/hidden course content manually.

  1. First, login to the Student myThomas
  2. Click on the link to see your unofficial transcript
  3. Notice the ID number and the course number for each course. Use these numbers to craft the URL for the course you are interested in seeing content for using the format: http://cms.thomas.edu/course/view.php?name=shortname where shortname = “MG556_24034”, for example (MG556 is the course number and 24034 is the ID number), which would look like: http://cms.thomas.edu/course/view.php?name=MG556_24034
  4. Login to Moodle with your student account
  5. Use the URL determined above to access the course content

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How can I project content from my iPhone/iPad using classroom technology?

AirServer

Airserver is a program that allows you to display the content of your iPad or iPhone on a Mac or Windows computer.

The host computer and the iPad or iPhone must be on the same Wi-Fi network to communicate. If the iPad or iPhone is on the ThomasPersonalDevices network you may need to change the host computer to ThomasPersonalDevices as well. If both devices are on ThomasCollegeDevices you do not need to make any changes.

  1. To change networks, click the wireless network icon on the lower right hand side of the desktop.
  2. Select ThomasPersonalDevices from the list, click “Connect” and enter the password.
  3. To start Airserver, click the Windows icon on the lower left hand corner of your desktop to go to the start screen. (You may also hover your mouse over the upper right hand corner of your screen to bring up the search box in the Charms Menu.)
  4. Type “Airserver.” If Airserver is installed on your computer it will be at the top of the results list. Click the icon to open the program.
  5. Airserver is now running on your computer.
  6. To connect an iPad, turn it on and swipe up from the menu bar at the bottom of the screen. Click the AirPlay icon.
  7. Select the name of the computer that you would like to display to. Click the button next to “Mirroring.” The iPad screen will now project to the computer.

If you have any questions please contact the Service Desk. (servicedesk@thomas.edu | x114)

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What are my video conference/recording options?

Platforms:

Tandberg Skype Google Hangouts U-stream
Description Video conferencing platform designed for real time distance communication. Video conferencing service and software designed for real time distance communication. Web based video conferencing service designed for real time distance communication. Web based video streaming service.
Pro Features a large screen television monitor and a high quality connection. Works on computers, smartphones, and tablets. Supports Instant Messaging (IM), file sharing, and VoIP calling. Presentations are streamed live and can be publically accessed and simultaneously recorded on YouTube. Supports Instant Messaging (IM) and file sharing. Broadcast and record to your own channel on the Ustream website.Participate in the Social Stream with your audience.Create instant polls during your broadcast for your audience. Android and iOS mobile apps are available.Video can be saved for future viewing.
Con All parties must have compatible software. Setup is required and must be scheduled in advance. Requires Skype account. Software must be installed on all participating computers. Quality varies. Requires a Google+ account for all participating parties. Quality varies. Ad sponsored. Unlike the other options, Ustream is a broadcast medium and not designed for two-way communication.
Application Guest lecturers, distance education, co-presenters working from different locations. Guest lecturers, distance education, co-presenters working from different locations. Guest lecturers, distance education, co-presenters working from different locations. For streaming web based presentations and playback.

*Taking the time to setup and test the system before your presentation is highly recommended. Please contact the Service

Desk (207-859-1204 | servicedesk@thomas.edu) for assistance.*

Equipment (available at Thomas):

Flip Video Camera Samsung Pocket Camcorder Sony Handycam Canon Vixia HV40 JVC Camcorder iPad Panasonic HC-V720P/PC
Description Small digital camcorder. Small digital camcorder. Small digital camcorder. High quality camcorder for livestreaming. Small analog camcorder for livestreaming. Tablet device with built in video recorder. Small high definition video camera.
Pro Records in high definition. Captures video and still photographs. Best choice for editing video content. Highest quality livestreaming option. Functions like a high quality webcam. Works well with U-stream. Small high definition camcorder with wi-fi capabilities, external microphone available.
Con Production halted in 2011. Not all models record in high definition. Standard definition recording. Used for streaming video in the Summit Room. Library does not provide mini-DV tapes. Device does not have a USB or memory card port. Low battery efficiency.
Storage and connections. Internal memory. Built in USB and HDMI ports. Features built in USB and mini HDMI ports. Use with Micro-USB memory card. (available in the library). Records to miniDV or Sony Memorystick Pro cards. (Memory sticks available in the library) Features built in USB and mini HDMI ports. Features built in USB and mini HDMI ports. Records to mini-DV or Micro-USB card. (Micro-USB cards available in the library) Use with a storage site. (iCloud, Dropbox, Skydrive, etc…) Features internal built in memory of 16GB. Built in USB and mini HDMI ports. Records to SDXC UHS-I Memory Card (memory cards available in the library)

Video Production Facilities at Thomas College

Room Equipment
AL235 Media Lab
  • One Computer with DVD-RW drive and 27 inch monitor
  • Adobe Creative Cloud, Sorenson Squeeze, Avid
  • Fostex DC-R302 3-Channel Audio Mixer and Stereo Recorder
(available for check out at the Service Desk)
AL234
Green Screen Room
  • Green Screen
  • portable camera
  • lights
  • reflectors
(Camera and tripod available for check out at the Service Desk)
AL236 and AL237
Media Studio Rooms
Each studio contains:

  • One Computer with DVD-RW drive
  • 27 inch monitor
  • Adobe Creative Cloud

Scenarios / Questions:

How do I record a lecture for future use?

Ustream and Google Hangouts are the best methods for recording class lectures. Ustream is a one way (broadcast) medium and Google Hangouts supports two way (conversational) communication. Ustream videos may be stored and accessed via the Ustream website (ustream.tv) and Google hangouts can be viewed live and archived on YouTube.

How do I co-teach or involve an instructor or presenter from another location?

Tandberg, Skype, and Google Hangouts allow co-presenters to create a dynamic, interactive learning environment that supports two way communication. The Tandberg system generally requires more time for testing and setup but has the highest quality and features a large screen monitor that works well for large groups.

How can I teach a class for an audience at two or more locations?

Tandberg, Skype, and Google Hangouts allow instructors to create a dynamic, interactive learning environment that supports two way communication with audiences in more than one location. The Tandberg system generally requires more time for testing and setup but has the highest quality and features a large screen monitor that works well for large groups.

How can I broadcast / create a webcast for a live event?

Ustream and Google Hangouts are the best methods for broadcasting live events. Ustream videos may be stored and accessed via the Ustream website (ustream.tv) and Google hangouts can be viewed live and archived on YouTube.

What is the best option for recording a lecture and saving it to YouTube?

Google Hangouts is the best option for saving a lecture to YouTube. Lectures can be streamed live and are available on YouTube immediately following the presentation.