WCLN prepares courses for download each summer (the updated courses are available August 1-15 each summer). To get the full benefit of your membership, it is suggested that you aim for an update of each course each year as we continually evolve the courses to take advantage of browser updates and server trends, as well as improving the core material.
The account used to access these downloads is NOT your personal account for WCLN. The account used to download these Moodle backups is provided to the administrator of each member program. Each program is asked to share this download account info with one technical person who is responsible for restoring the courses for the program.
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.
Note that updated keys were being stored in the download area in the past. This is no longer the case, as keys have been moved to the bottom of the Discussion Forums area.
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 March/April in the general "WCLN News" forum on the front page of the site. This gives members 3+ months 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 dashboard look. (Free - see "Moodle.org")
- WIRIS - 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")
- Individual Plugin - this is a plugin that helps with deadlines (Free to members, see "Plugins")
- WCLN-LTI - this is needed after Summer/2019.....see notes below (Free to members, see "Plugins")
- Marking Blocks - teachers often appreciate marking blocks,. though none work perfect. (Free - see "Moodle.org")
Many equations within WCLN Math/Science courses are built with WIRIS to make them easier to read for students. Before we release our courses, we run a script to convert the equations into pure MathML.
Seeing these equations on your site requires a Math filter.
- if you licence WIRIS (see Partners), the filter is already there.
- if you don't licence WIRIS, then you'll need the free built-in filter (MathJax) to be first in your filter list.
See Partners > WIRIS for more details.
LTI Set-up (Coming in Summer 2019)
Some 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.
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.
- Pros: cheap, can expand as much as you want (eg support BL in classrooms) without thinking about cost.
- Cons: requires a decent tech department with a little extra time. What happens if a problem on a holiday?
Some districts chose a separate hosting service.
- Pros: less stress for your tech department, more support in non-typical hours, specialists.
- Cons: you'll be paying for the service.
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, developed 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"