Those designated as "Download Tech's" (typically one Moodle admin per district), can find the course downloads in the Discussion Forum (scroll to the bottom) and restore them locally for their district's DL and/or BL teachers.
All courses in the download area are free to WCLN members except for the material labelled as Content Connections or StudyForge. An additional license is required to use these resources. To access this additional license, find the corresponding vendor under the Partners area and contact them.
LTI Set-up (Required)
Most WCLN courses use LTI to distribute the lessons in a course. These lessons can more easily be kept up-to-date by WCLN year-round.
In order for your Moodle site to access these lessons, you'll need to configure some LTI settings PRIOR to restoring the courses.
If you are having any LTI challenges, start by noting general code definitions:
Moodle backups restore best into versions of Moodle that are equal or greater than the version of the restore. Thus, WCLN posts the version of summer releases each April/May in the general "WCLN News" forum on the front page of the site. This gives members a 3 month lead-time to prepare their sites for the August releases.
To best accommodate your hosting and updates, WCLN tries to minimize the extra Moodle plugins used in courses. Given that, here are some ideas:
- Grid - this is NOT required, but makes your courses look prettier with a dashboard look. (Free - see "Moodle.org")
- WIRIS Filter - this IS required to view the equations within the courses (see details* below).
- WIRIS Editor - this is NOT required, but allows students and teachers to easily build equations. See "Partners"
- Progress Report - this is a recommended plugin that helps with communication (Free to members, see "Plugins")
- WCLN-LTI - this IS required.....full instructions above.
- Marking Blocks - not required, but teachers often appreciate this - eg. Grade Me (see "Moodle.org")
*As mentioned above, the WIRIS filter is required. Also, ensure that it is at the top of your filter list (Site admin > Plugins > Filters > Manage filters).
Context: Many equations within WCLN Math/Science courses are built with WIRIS. Thus:
- you must install the WIRIS filter so you can see the equations (FREE). https://moodle.org/plugins/filter_wiris
- If your local staff and/or students will want to build equations using WIRIS (great option if your budget allows it), then you will also install the WIRIS editors and contact WIRIS/MathType for licensing (See Partners > WIRIS for more details).
- HINT: If you don't license the WIRIS editor, keep the filter, but remove any editing plugins (to avoid potential license problems).
Establishing a Moodle Site
If you are new to all this, please note that WCLN Members are responsible for their own Moodle instance for their own students. WCLN will simply supply the course backups for you to restore onto your own Moodle site.
Some districts host their own Moodle site within district.
- Pros: cheap, can expand as much as you want (eg support BL in classrooms) without thinking about cost.
- Cons: requires a solid tech department with extra time to support (eg. plan for problems on a holiday).
Some districts choose a separate hosting service.
- Pros: less stress for your tech department, more support in non-typical hours (holidays), and specialists.
- Cons: you'll be paying for the service & support (though, really you pay either way, right?).
Choosing a Host
There are lots of hosting options for Moodle, but here are some partners who are currently hosting your colleagues.
- 2StoryRobot - programming team, developers of the SMS2 (can host both), See more info under "Partners"
- OSBC - longest history of LMS hosting in BC. See more info under "Partners"
- KnowPlace - provides a variety of hosting packages and support. See more info under "Partners"
Some users choose to run their own Moodle site within-district. Server knowledge and time (to build and support) is required. If you don't have this, seriously consider using a Moodle host (above).
If you DO have the skills and time within district, here are a few small tips that might help you.
- Updating steps you may wish to use:
- Maintenance Mode
- Change /html/ to /html.date/
- Copy over config.php (to maintain accounts)
- Add fresh plugins
- Check environment
- Out of maintenance mode
- Check cron
- Uploading/Restoring Problems? You may wish to adjust php.ini. Some possible settings:
- post_max_size = 500M
- upload_max_filesize = 500M
- max_execution_time = 600
- ensure you have your automatic backups running regularly. This provides recovery at a course level, which is a nice option to have.
- Updating steps you may wish to use: