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Moodle Procedures

Moodle Procedures

These are the procedures for administration and use of Pacific University’s instance of the Moodle learning management system.

Moodle is the supported learning management system for Pacific University. Use of any non-supported learning management system must be reviewed and approved by UIS, the Office of Legal Affairs and the University Privacy Officer to assure proper handling of student educational records.

Definitions

  • Site is an area within Moodle where a person or people with teacher access can post content and create activities. Also sometimes referred to as a course or section.
  • Moodle Support Team is made up of staff members that provide direct support to Moodle users, including members of the Technology Helpdesk and the Center for Educational Technology and Curricular Innovation (CETCI).
  • Moodle Application Systems Team is a group charged with administration, maintaining the health of and setting procedures for Moodle. This team includes staff members from the Technology Helpdesk, CETCI, the Technology Operations Team. The Chief Information Officer and Dean of University Libraries act as advisory members.

Moodle Support

For errors in Moodle, problems with course creation tools or automatic enrollments, contact the Helpdesk.

For help with course content, design services, help integrating Moodle usage into curriculum, and inquiries about Moodle enhancements and add-ons, contact CETCI.

Site Creation, Naming & Enrollment

Two types of sites can exist within the Moodle system:

  • Colleague-Based Sites: These are courses created from, and with enrollments based on, a section (or cross-listed section) as listed in Colleague/BoxerOnline.

    • Naming: The courses are named automatically in the pattern:
    • Long Name: Course Title (Course Call Number and Section) Term
    • Short Name: Course Call Number and Section-Term
    • Creation: Through Summer 2019, instructors can create Colleague-Based Sites for any courses they are currently teaching via the Moodle controls in myAccount. After the Summer 2019 upgrade to the newer version of Moodle (exact dates to be announced) all Colleague-Based Sites will be created automatically for all colleague-based course sections, with valid instructors, being taught in the upcoming term.
    • Access: Instructors and students gain automatic access to Colleague-Based Sites based on enrollment data in Colleague/Datatel. This access is refreshed nightly.
  • Special Purpose Sites: These are Moodle sites that DO NOT correspond with one or more course sections, but instead are used for a training, communication or organization with or among groups of Pacific University faculty, students and/or staff.
    • Naming: The courses are named as follows: Organizational Unit – Purpose. E.g. Staff Senate – Green Committee Communication.
    • Creation: These sites should be requested by a faculty or staff member via the Request tab in the Moodle controls in myAccount (see the tutorial Requesting an Unlinked Moodle Course) and are created manually by the Moodle support team. Students who want a Special Purpose course (e.g. for a club) should ask a faculty or staff member (e.g. a club advisor) to request that course on their behalf.
    • Access: When creating a special use sites, the requestor is given “teacher” access. That instructor can then add other instructors and students via the Moodle enrollment tool (see the tutorial Adding a User to Your Site).

Combining Courses

Enrollment can be combined for two or more sites using the Meta Link tool. This gives any student enrolled in one site (whether through automatic or manual enrollment) access to the second site. For instance, a course called Intro Biology Lab (BIOL101-01) 2011F could have added to it the enrollments from Biology Lab (BIOL101-02) 2011F (another course section taught by the same instructor) so the instructor can teach both sets of students simultaneously in Moodle. See the tutorial Using Meta Link for more information.

Access

All current Pacific University deposit students, enrolled students, faculty and staff have access to Moodle. Access to moodle.pacificu.edu by Alumni or Former Students requires sponsorship of their account as a Sponsored Account. Contact the Moodle support team to consult about projects involving other PUnet account holders or community members.

Granting Course Access

Instructors of course sites can grant instructor or student access to any other student, faculty or staff member via the Enrollment tool in Moodle (see the tutorial Adding a User to Your Site). Otherwise, access to a Moodle sites without permission of a current site instructor is only granted via a request by a dean, VP or President.

End of Access to Colleague-Based Courses

For Colleague-Based Sites:

  • Students who were automatically enrolled (and not manually enrolled) lose access 6 months after the end of the course. Following this six month period, students’ status changes to “suspended”. Student records are maintained and instructors can access these records by manually re-enrolling students as needed.
  • Instructors do not automatically lose access until the course is removed from Moodle (see Course Cleanups, below).

Ownership of Course Materials

Ownership of materials created in Moodle by instructors is based on Pacific University’s Intellectual Property Policy.

Size Limits & Media Storage

Individual files uploaded to Moodle are limited to 50 MB. In the event that the total size of a course becomes large enough to cause problems, the Moodle support team will contact the course owner and work with him or her to find ways to reduce the size of the course.

Since Moodle has limited storage capacity and does not serve large files quickly, it is strongly suggested that media files (e.g. audio and video recordings) being served to students be stored and Box and linked to from Moodle.

Course Backups

All courses currently in Moodle are being regularly backed up to online file storage. If an instructor wants a copy of a Moodle site as it existed previously, or of a site that no longer exists in Moodle, the instructor should make a request to the Moodle support team. Such requests generally take 1-3 business days to complete. Note that courses that are unusually large (as discussed in Size Limits, above) may take additional work, and thus additional time, before they can be restored.

Instructors also have the ability to create, download, store and restore their own course backups as shown in the tutorial Backing up your course to Box.

Course Cleanups

During the Fall and Spring terms, the Moodle Application Systems Team selects sites that are likely no longer in use and moves them to the To Be Deleted category. Generally the sites selected for removal are colleague-based sites that are 2 years or more from the end date of the course sections they are based on or special purpose sites that have not been visited in one year or more. Instructors are warned approximately one month before courses are removed and can check at any time to see if any of the sites they currently have access to are in the To Be Deleted category via the Moodle controls in myAccount. Once removed, sites can be restored from backup as discussed in the Course Backups section, above. Instructors can also request that sites be removed from the To Be Deleted category for this course cleanup cycle by contacting the Moodle support team.

Moodle Change Evaluation

Global changes to Moodle (e.g. installing a new plugin, changing a global setting) will be reviewed by the Moodle Application Systems Team with advice from the Teaching and Learning with Technology Advisory Committee. Any add-on or customization added to Moodle is subject to removal if it is found to cause problems for other users of the system or if it is not currently compatible with a new version of Moodle at the time of a planned upgrade.

Revision History

  • Approved: Moodle Application Systems Team 3/19/2019
  • Reviewed: Moodle Application Systems Team
    • Version 1.0 Approved 03/07/2014
    • Version 1.1 Approved 02/07/2017
    • Version 1.2 Approved 03/19/2019
  • Owner: Moodle Application Systems Team

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