Avoid These Moodle Pitfalls

The Fall 2011 semester is well underway and our Phase One group is off and running with Moodle.  I wanted to share with you all some of the hiccups we have encountered and what their solutions are to hopefully prevent others from experiencing the same thing.

Students Can’t See Grades
There have been instances where students say they cannot see their grades for a particular assignment even after it’s been submitted and graded.  Of course the instructor should check all the appropriate settings that are tied to the visibility of that item.  But when that check comes up empty for solutions, we have found this trick.  Go to your admin block and get into the gradebook.  Click on Categories and Items.  Then find the assignment in question.  Click on the eyeball next to the assignment to close it (if everything checked out it should be open prior to doing this).  Then save your changes.  Then go right back to the same place and open the eyeball and save changes.  This appears to then make the assignment’s grades visible to students.

Hidden Items Issue

Possible fix when students can't see their grades.

 

 

 

 

 

Assignment Shows as Submitted
The online text assignment has been a popular activity among the Phase One group.  We have noticed that instructors can accidentally lock a student out of submitting by the way they navigate through the grader screen.  The tip off that this has occurred is when a student tries to submit and they do not see an “Edit my submission” button.  The other oddity is the fact that students will see a note that says they last submitted (even though the student did not submit ever) on December 1969.  This date is the major key to recognizing this problem.

What most likely happened is when the instructor went to grade some of the submissions, they clicked “Save and Show Next” instead of “Next” to move to the next student, which saved that entry as an attempt for that student and locked them out of submitting.

"Save and Show Next" versus "Next"
The instructor will know if they have accidentally “locked a student out” of attempts for this assignment if in the grader area the word GRADE has changed to UPDATE but no grade has really been entered.  This is another indicator to look for.

Update versus GradeOnce the student has been locked out, the only way to let them back in, that we have found, is to change the settings with this assignment to “allow resubmitting.”  This can be done from the Update Assignment option.  If instructors allow resubmitting from the start, then they will not run into this.  However, we realize that instructors may not want this particular setting enabled because of the nature of the assignment.

However, all of this can be avoided by choosing carefully between the “Save and show next” option as opposed to the “Next” option.

Drag and Drop Questions
There are several drag and drop questions on the practice test within the Moodle Orientation for students.  We have gotten feedback that some students are not able to drag the answers.  We have checked and sometimes this problem is because they are using Internet Explorer as opposed to MoodleRooms’ preferred browser, Mozilla Firefox.  However, some have experienced problems while using Firefox.  It has been hit or miss for students and support cannot provide any ideas on why this is the case.  It seems to be a known Moodle bug with no known solution at this time.  Therefore,  I would encourage you to not use the drag and drop question type within a quiz or test.  I will be updating the Moodle Orientation for next time to not include them either.

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