Welcome to the elearning portion of your Professional Developement.

We have chosen the Moodle learning management system to help provide you with the best of elearning.

The basics of using Moodle:

Logging in

The workshops on this learning management system have been crafted to support professional development. Several are Key code only and you must be part of a specific program to gain entry. Others have prices listed and accept paypal for payment. You can take as many of these courses are you wish - more will be added over time. Your user name and password will give you access to your Learning Page, which will list all of your course work so you can revisit and expand on your learning into the future.

Enrolling in a course

Students connect to their courses using the systems self-enrollment feature. To enroll, choose the course you wish to take and either pay the entrance fee or enter the key code. If you believe you are entitled to a key code please email us (click here) and tell us the course you wish to take, your contact information and program information.

After the initial enrollment step is complete you will be able to log directly into your Learning Page.

To Log in to Moodle. click on the Learning Management link in the menu under eLearning or click here.

Select a course. Click the course you are interested in, a login window will appear. On the right side is called "Is this your first time here?" There are a series of simple steps where you can create your account. Once you have created an account you will have a Username and Password and will only need to sign in on the left side, titled "Returning to this web site?" Even when you take additional courses, your username and password will stay the same unless you decide to change them under your account information.

Using your course
All course elements are visible on the main page. Each course is set up with three columns (although your instructor can change this). The main central column, called the Topic outline, is the primary content area, and contains links to the various elements that your instructor has posted as part of the course. These may include plain text or HTML documents, links for downloading Word, Excel and PowerPoint files, images, and links to web pages at other locations on the Internet.

There may also be links to special features, such as online discussion groups (called forums), and a variety of other learning activities . It is beyond the scope of this document to explain how to access and use these various features -- your instructor will help you learn to use those special features that have been included in your course.

In the left and right columns of your course home page are special content objects called blocks. These can be turned on and off and also moved around by your instructor, but in most cases you will see the following blocks somewhere on either the left or right side of your course home page:

People. Contains an item called Participants, which is a list of the students in your class.

Activities. A list of links to various special features of this course, including any assignments, forums, quizzes, and other elements created by your instructor. There is a useful link here called Resources, which points to an easy-to-use single-page index to all the objects in the course.

Administration. This is the place where you can view your gradebook, change your password, and modify your personal profile. Take a look in particular at the Edit profile section in this block, which gives you an opportunity to modify some of the features of the course. This section also provides a tool for uploading a photo of yourself, which then appears next to your personal messages posted on the system.

My courses. This block is the same one you see when you log in, and provides quick links to move to other areas of the Moodle site.

Latest news. Recent postings to the forums are listed here.

Recent activity. This display shows you any recent modifications made by the instructor to the course since the last time you logged in.

Note that by clicking the "minus sign" icon at the top of each block closes it to reduce screen clutter. You can open it at any time by clicking the "plus sign" icon.

Getting around Moodle is not much different than getting around any web site. An advantage of Moodle is that you are usually never more than one or two clicks away from any course feature. Another useful tool is the navigation bar which appears at the top of each page. This feature shows you where you are in the context of the course structure and provides quick links to get back to where you came from. Here's an example that appears at the top of the page displaying the News forum.

The leftmost link, AU Moodle, takes you out to your main home page, and the link immediately to the right is the link to the home page for the current course (in this example, SOC-215-EX).

Special note on forums
The forum feature of Moodle is basically an online discussion board. Its main purpose is to provide a structured way for students to exchange comments with each other and the instructor in a public forum. But Moodle forums also serve an additional purpose. Whenever you post a comment in Moodle, your message will be posted in the forum and at the same time will be sent as an email message to the instructor and your fellow students. This means that you will be able to keep up with recent forum posts without having to log into the system. There's no need to save these messages in your inbox since they will be saved for you in the forum area of the course. In addition, if you should happen to delete or otherwise misplace an email message from your course, you will be able to locate a copy of it in your course's forum area.

Special note for Internet Explorer users
Moodle will work with just about any browser. However, if you use MS Internet Explorer, you may encounter problems downloading files (such as Word or PowerPoint files) placed in the course by your instructor. The problem is that because of certain security weaknesses in IE, Microsoft uses a default setting that blocks the automatic downloading of files. The result will be a blank white frame and an error message from IE.
Logging out
To protect your privacy, be sure to log out of Moodle when you are finished. Closing the browser will usually log you out but to make sure click the logout icon located at the top-right of the course home page. This is especially important if you are using Moodle on a public machine.