Semester Start Tips

A beginning-of-the-semester list of things to know for instructors using Moodle:

Creating Classes

  • The Colleague server automatically pushes all academic classes to Moodle 30 days before the semester. Students are added to Moodle classes 7 days before semester start.
  • For access beyond 30 days before the term, ask the Moodle admin to create a temporary shell for you to work in. Content from this temporary shell can be easily imported into an active class.

Student Access

  • Instructors need to make their courses visible for students to have access to them. To do this change the Visible setting on your course's settings page to Show. Course settings are accessed via the Edit settings link inside the Actions menu in your class ("gear" icon).
  • Your course end date - automatically calculated for you - ensures that your course will go from In Progress to Past on dashboard on the end date. Also, make sure to uncheck "Calculate the end date from the number of sections" if it is selected in your settings and you need to change your course end date.

It is recommended that you make your course visible to students one week before the class starts to allow students time to become familiar with your policies and resources, and so they can start to connect with other students.

Setting Up Your Content

  • You can't add any activities or resources in your class until you Turn editing on - under the Actions menu ("gear" icon) in your class!
  • Make your syllabus and any other introductory content visible to students before the semester begins. Any item that appears gray instead of black is not visible. Click on the "eye" icon in an items Edit menu - to the right of the activity/resource when course editing is turned on.
  • Set due dates via assignment settings and add important course events to your class calendar in Moodle - especially those within the next 30 days. Moodle due dates and calendar events appear on students' Moodle dashboard page and in students' mySCC. Once due dates are created, you can also change them from the Dates report. Go to: Actions menu --> More --> Reports --> Dates
  • Import old content into your new course shell using Import from your course's edit menu ("gear" icon on the right). For help, contact the admin. (Be sure to know the semester and year that you want to import content from when talking to the admin.)
  • Remove unused content sections from your course. Empty content sections pose an accessibility issue for students using screen readers. Make sure to Turn editing on when deleting unused sections.

Managing Your Class/Reporting Grades

  • Use your class reports to assess student activity. Some classes (primarily online classes) will have an Insights report that highlights students at risk of dropping out. Setting up content, due dates, etc. ahead of time increases the usefulness of this report
  • Add the ILP Block to your course to report your 5th week, midterm and final grades via Moodle. (Optional)
  • Use the role switcher to see what your course looks like from a student's view! Click on Switch role to... in your profile menu - your name in the upper-right corner of the page.

Helping Your Students

  • Refer students with technical issues to the Teaching and Learning Center (TLC). They can fill out a support request form (available under Academic Support Links block in Moodle), send a message to the Moodle admin, or email directly at robertl@shawneecc.edu. 
  • Students who can't log in to their email or mySCC should contact Donna Brown (donnab@shawneecc.edu).
  • If you have added the option ILP Block to your course, you can report students needing extra academic interventions via the retention alert link. (Optional)

If you choose not to add the ILP block, you can always access retention alert in mySCC, where you also submit attendance and midterm/final grades.