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.
Establishing a 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"
- KnowPlace - provides a variety of hosting packages and support. See more info under "Partners"
- OSBC - longest history of LMS hosting in BC. See more info under "Partners"
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. This gives members 3+ months to prepare their sites for the August releases. Thus, be aware that you should be doing a yearly update in spring/summer (at least). This will also help your program be more secure, problem-free, and able to explore new features.
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). See "Moodle.org" (Free)
- WIRIS - this is NOT required, but allows students and teachers to easily build equations. See "Partners" (not Free)
- Progress Report - this is a recommended plugin that helps with communication (Free to members, see "Plugins")
- Individual Plugin - this is a recommended plugin that helps with deadlines (Free to members, see "Plugins")
- WCLN-LTI - this is strongly suggested after Summer/2019.....see notes below (Free to members, see "Plugins")
- Marking Blocks - teachers often appreciate marking blocks. None work perfect. See "Moodle.org" (Free)
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.
In order for your Moodle site to access these lessons, you'll need your LTI configured.
- you need to be a site admin to do this.
- install the LTI Plugin
- go to Site Admin > Plugins > External Tool > Manage Tools
- in the "Add Tool" screen, click "configure a tool manually."
- Tool name = lti.wcln.ca
- Tool base URL = lti.wcln.ca
- Consumer key = ************** (supplied by WCLN)
- Shared secret = *************** (supplied by WCLN)
- Share launcher's name with tool = always
- Share launcher's email with tool = never
- Accept grades from tool = never
- Force SSL = No (not selected)