Information about Moodle for Staff

Information for Staff.

From Bob Ridge-Stearn, Head of e-Learning.

email sent to staff 26 Oct 2012.

eSMF Pilot - support materials and training.

(eSMF = electronic submission, marking and feedback).

Support Materials.

The e-elearning team has produced  24 guides and videos to explain the technicalities of eSMF in Moodle.

You can access these from this link -  Help with Electronic Submission of Assignments, which you can also find on the front page of Moodle.

If you want a guide or screencast on some aspect of eSMF which we haven’t covered, please email and request it.

Training Sessions.

We are offering scheduled training sessions which cover the whole process of eSMF.
In these sessions you will gain hands-on experience of:

  • ·         Submitting an assignment (as a student).
  • ·         Marking work (grading and providing feedback).
  • ·         Using Word Comments and Word Track Changes to provide feedback.
  • ·         Using a separate feedback form (optional).
  • ·         Moderating.

Note that they do not deal with providing audio feedback. If you require training on this, please contact .  We will provide this training on a one-to-one basis. 

How long?

These sessions involve you doing tasks.  We estimate that they will take between 60 and 90 minutes depending on the participants J

We have booked the rooms for 90 minutes.


We have tried to offer a range of days and times. Anna will run training sessions as follows: 

  • Tuesday 30 October   12.40.
  • Thursday 1 November  09.30
  • Monday 5 November  14.00
  • Wednesday 7 November  15.00
  •  Tuesday 13 November  14.00
  • Thursday 15 November  12.40

If none of these dates is convenient, we can also offer the session to subject areas if you liaise with Anna about the date/time and book a room yourself.


When you let Anna know you want to attend, she will tell you where.

How to book a place.

These sessions require some preparation on our part (creating dummy courses and uploading student work for you to mark), so we do require at least 24 hours’ notice of your intention to attend.

Each session is limited to 15 participants.

Please email Anna – and let her know on which date you want to attend.

Who can attend?

Any member of staff. Not only those involved in the Level 4 eSMF pilot.

Best wishes,

Preparing your Moodle page for students. (17 Sept 2012)

Before making your Moodle page available to students, here are some things you probably should do:

1. Remove last year's module handbook.

2. Update any schedule information that relates to the last time the module ran.

3. Delete any references to Moodle Assignments that have been removed or relocated. For example you may have text on your page telling students the Assignment is in Topic 5 whereas in fact all Assignments are now at the top of the page under the MDS.

4. If you use a weekly format (as opposed to a topic format), set the start date of the first week. How? In left column see Settings > Course Administration > Edit Settings. Then set the 'Course Start Date'.

5. Check that the elements on the page are revealed or hidden as you want. Often students cannot see resources or activities because they are hidden. To see what your students see, you can use the settings in 'Switch role to...' in the left column of the page. To unhide whole topics and elements such as activities and resources click on the closed eye icon so it turns into an open eye icon.

6. Send a welcome message via the News Forum after you have made the course available to students.

7. If you have in the past asked eLearning to combine modules into a single Moodle page, we did so by making what we call a 'Meta Course'.  The MDS and Assignment Briefs for the original modules are on separate Moodle pages not on the meta course so you will need to make these available to students as well as the meta course.

Changes to Moodle page layouts for 2012-13. (18 August 2012)

There are 3 major changes this year.

1. A Common Theme.
All Moodle courses (aka Moodle pages) will use the same three column layout and theme (e.g. colours, font).  This standardisation was necessary to implement anonymous marking in the Assignment activity and to accommodate a block of institutional links in the right hand column.

Users who previously changed the theme for accessibility reasons can still change colours and text size by using the new Accessibility block on the front page of Moodle.

2. Module Data Sets (MDS) and Module Handbooks.

This year you will not need to upload module handbooks. However, you will need to delete your 2011-12  module handbook from your 2012-13 Moodle page and you will need to delete all references to it.

Much of the information contained within the old module handbooks is now automatically added to your Moodle pages at the top in the centre column, in what we call a Module Data Set.  This is managed by Quality Office.

Information about assessment, which previously was to be found in Module Handbooks, should now be supplied in an Assignment Brief.  Richard White in Exams & Assessments has sent out a number of messages about this.

3. University College Reference Documents. (updated 17 Sept 2012)

There is now a common block in the right column. This is managed by Quality Office and contains important links to reference documents. At the time of writing not all the links are active but they should be soon.  This block is collapsible by clicking the litter minus sign icon at the top of the block.

Moodle Assignments. (17 Aug 2012)

All old Moodle Assignments have been removed form Moodle 12-13 and need to be re-created.
There are 2 types of Moodle Assignment:  those that concern Exams & Assessments and those that don’t.

Moodle Assignments whose results go to Exams & Assessments.
In the interests of uniformity  all these Moodle Assignments will be created by Exams & Assessments from information submitted on the Moodle Assignment Instruction Form that modules leaders are asked to complete when they fill in the Assignment Brief (if they want to use electronic submission).

Moodle Assignments that have nothing to do with Exams & Assessments.
If you want to use the Moodle Assignment Activity for formative assessment or simply as a drop box for non-assessed work, please ask the e-learning team to create the assignment(s) for you.

References to old assignments.
Please ensure your documentation, on and off the Moodle page, does not direct students to the position of the old (deleted) assignments.  All new assignments will be positioned beneath the MDS at the top of the Moodle page.

The message "This course does not match with a module on SITS".  (17 Aug 2012)

If you see this message at the top of your Moodle page it means that Moodle cannot find a corresponding module in SITS (Student Records database).  This may be due to the following reasons:

  1. It does not relate to an academic module. For example a subject area's Moodle page.
    If this is the case, email and we will remove that warning message.
  2. Student Records are not aware that you are trying to deliver this module. 
    In this case, please speak to Student Records.
  3. It is an academic module and it does exist on mynewman (SITS).
    In this case there are probably two Moodle courses, one relating to the SITS course and another that elearning manually created for you.  There will be a slight mismatch in the Moodle name, which elearning can fix for you. So, please email

Messages to Students via News Forums. (17 Aug 2012)

Please remember that messages you send via News Forums will not be delivered to your students if you have the course hidden.
However, if your course is available to students (i.e. not hidden) then any message you post to the News Forum will also be delivered to their email inbox.
Also, please be aware that if you post messages to the News Forum before a student is enrolled onto the Moodle course they will not receive the email alert.

What is SITS? (17 Aug 2012)

You may see reference to 'SITS' on a Moodle course or in connection with enrolling students onto Moodle courses. SITS is the Student records System that is used by our Student Records department. The mynewman website is the graphical interface for SITS.

How Students get enrolled. (17 August 2012)

Students are 'registered' on modules by Student Records department. An automated process then enrols them onto corresponding Moodle courses. The e-learning team does not enrol students onto Moodle courses.

Who is enrolled on my module? (17 August 2012)

Check on mynewman not on Moodle.

I cannot see a module (Moodle course) I am supposed to be teaching. (17 Aug 2012)

If the course is not in your My Courses list and you cannot locate it by searching for it with the search box on the front page of Moodle, it is probably hidden and you are not enrolled onto it. In this case please ask the module leader to ask the e-learning Team to enrol you as a tutor. (The e-learning team has had complaints in the past from module leaders about enrolling other tutors on their courses, so please ask via the module leader). If you are the module leader, email .

Information in the Module Data Set is incomplete or wrong. (17 Aug 2012)

At the time of writing, all MDS boxes contain a default holding message. However, when they do contain MDS information pertinent to a module and if you find it to ne incomplete or wring, please contact Jenni Perkins in Quality Office.

Last modified: Friday, 2 November 2012, 4:13 PM