Moodle Use, Spring 2012


Moodle is a traditional, open-source, course management system first available at Colby in 2008. It is popular with small liberal arts colleges, among others. About three-quarters of  the members of the Consortium of Liberal Arts Colleges use Moodle.  It is one of several web platform options available to faculty at Colby.

Around 45%-50% of all Spring 2012 courses at Colby made Moodle sites available to students. The sites were used mostly to distribute course resources like readings, syllabi, images, and links to web sites to enrolled students. A total of 6,791 resources were added for an average of 32.5 resources per active course site.  A few course sites used the Moodle quizzing tool. Notable of courses in which the quizzing tool was used, there was a minimum of 35 students enrolled and usually more. About 29% of active Moodle course sites used assignment activities (activities that require students to complete or submit an assignment in Moodle). Assignment activities are required to use Moodle’s gradebook. Of those course sites that could use the gradebook because of the presence of assignment activities, 43% opted to do so which calculates to 14% overall. About 21% of activated course sites included an instructor-created online discussion forum. 

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Introduction to WordPress

Here are instructions for creating your own site:

Log in to using your Colby user name and id.

You will see a screen–like the one pictured below, and should see your name displayed in the upper left.

Next, choose “Dashboard” and you will see a link that says ” your name’s blog”  i.e.–  “Ellen’s Blog.”  —click on this link to view your new blog/site.  

You may need to create a post — to do this choose “add — new Post” 

Here are instructions for adding a new post AND more about using WordPress:

A few notes about WordPress–

1) the privacy setting when a new site is created is “I would like only logged in Colby users to see my blog.”  This allows others at Colby to see, but not comment on your site.  You may view the privacy settings by going to: dashboard/settings/privacy

2) The url address for your new WordPress site will be something like this:

If you already have a WordPress site or would like to have another WordPress site, please email Adam Nielsen or Ellen Freeman and a site will be created for you. 

You may set up a time to come by Lovejoy for help creating a site OR for a quick introduction to WordPress.  Technical Training Student Tutors are also available extended hours in Lovejoy 144.  You may visit the Technical Training site at:

For help contact: or Adam Nielsen at

Managing Windows on the Desktop in Windows 7

Shake, Snap and Peek

Sounds like a bad remake of and 50’s era song – but they are actually three new features in Windows 7 that make managing your desktop easier.
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Spotlight: Research cruise blog

Whitney King is Dr. Frank and Theodora Miselis Professor of Chemistry

A group of 27 scientists, led by Dr. William “Barney” Balch of Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, boarded the R/V Melville in Punta Arenas, Chile on January 11, 2011, and arrived 36 days later in Cape Town, South Africa after travelling a distance of 7650 miles (12,311 km) across the Atlantic Ocean.

Scientists participating in the Great Belt Cruise conducted the first systematic study of the Great Southern Coccolithophore Belt, seeking to understand more about the species of coccolithophores that make up the Great Belt, factors that affect their abundance and distribution, and the impacts of ocean acidification and climate change on the coccolithophores in the Great Belt.

Annie Warner graduated Colby as an Environmental Science major with a concentration in Marine Science.

Whitney King and Annie Warner blogged throughout the cruise on their Colby at Sea Wordpress site. They answered questions from students at Epiphany School (a middle school in Massachusetts) and uploaded pictures and videos. Internet connectivity on the cruise was provided by satellite and bandwidth was limited so members of Academic ITS assisted by making sure blog posts were formatted correctly and comments and questions on the blog were relayed to Whitney and Annie in a timely manner. Most of the video and pictures were captured with smartphones and then either emailed or copied to a shared folder in using the Dropbox service. Video editing was conducted on the cruise using iMovie on Whitney’s Macintosh notebook computer.

The Research Vessel Melville in Punta Arenas, Chile.

Inserting Images Inside Shapes

Let’s say that you want to create a shape that has a picture inside it: 


Here’s how you do it… 
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Visualizing Data in Excel

(There is no audio in this movie)

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View PDF

Introduction to Google Sites

SMS for Google Calendar


Google Calendar Quick Start

(Need Info on Initiating Calendar Process – Unavailable at this time but will go here!)

Importing Schedules from Oracle

Exporting Your Oracle Calendar Data
  • Open your oracle calendar
  • File > Export Data 
  • Select “iCalendar File
  • Click “Continue

  • Under Export:
  • Check Meetings, Day Events, Daily Notes
    Check Tasks if you use this feature
  • Under Period:
    Select All if you want all past and future information exported
    Select Range and enter date information if you want to export a specific time frame
    Select Custom if
    you want to only delete a snapshot of past and future events
  • If you administer someone else’s calendar:
    Enter that person’s name under People/Resources
    Select their listing and click the green checkmark
    Their name should be added to the text entry space along with yours
  • Browse to where you want to save the file
  • Click”OK
  • If you have not previously exported your calendar, Oracle will also ask you for a filename
  • Click Save


Importing the Oracle Data to Google

  • Log into your Google account
  • Display your Calendar
  • Click on “Add” at the bottom of the left-hand side of the Google Calendar
  • Click on “Import calendar



  • Browse to your file and click “Import

  • You will get a message about how many “events” were processed and how many were successfully imported

  • If you receive errors, you can either browse your new calendar to find those that are missing and add them by hand
    or you can try exporting to a different format (vCal for example) and trying that.
    Some entries may not import in any format.
  • Possible errors include:
    • Too large a file
      The recommended file size when importing files into Google Calendar is 1MB or less.
      If your file is larger than 1MB, try importing events from a smaller range of time. 
    • “Processed 0 events” message
      This error often occurs if you have accidentally clicked the “Import” button more than once
      You events may have been imported on the first click – but the file would be empty on the second click.
      Check youe calendar before trying another format to make sure the events are not there. 
  • Once imported your calendar will display the events noted in your Oracle Calendar


Adding Events

cal-1 cal-2
  • Click the Create Event link on the upper-left of Google Calendar screen
  • Fill in event details: date, start time, end time, location, and description
  • Set your desired notification setting: email, text message, or a pop-up message on your computer (only works if Google Calendar is currently open)
  • Click Save  

Or Quick Add allows you to enter basic event details, and interprets how to display your event on the calendar.

  • Click the desired time slot in the calendar
  • Drag your mouse to determine length of event
  • Enter a title
  • Add more details if you wish
  • Click Create Event


Adding Calendars


  • Click the Add button on the left of the calendar
  •  Select Create a new calendar
  • Enter Calendar Details: (name, description, time zone, and email addresses of people you need to share it with)
  • Click Create Calendar

If you will be working with multiple calendars, it may be helpful to assign colors to them. To do this:

  • Click the down-arrow next to a calendar’s name in the calendar list on the left
  • Select a color from the menu

Sharing Your Calendar

 cal-5 You may want to share you personal calendar with friends and family; or you may need to share a group or departmental calendar. Or, you may want to make a calendar public. You can do all of these things in Google Calendar.

  • To display the Calendar settings dialog, click the down-arrow next to the Calendar’s name
  • To work on sharing settings, click on “Share this calendar

To make the Calendar public:

  • Click on “Make this calendar public
 To share the calendar with specific individuals:

  • Enter the email address of the user with whom you want to share the calendar
  • Select the desired level of permission from the drop-down menu
  • Click Add Person
  • The person you selected will receive an email invitation to view your calendar

Permission Options:

  • See only free/busy (hide details)
  • See all event details
  • Make changes to events (individuals can make changes to events)
  • Make changes AND manage sharing (individuals can share the calendar with their groups)




Sending Invitations

  • Click on the event, or create a new event
  • A pop-up window will appear
  • Click the edit event details link at the bottom of this pop-up
  • Double click the event in the calendar
  • In the Guests box on the right, enter the email addresses of the people you’re inviting
    (I presume there will be something in here to access the colby list?)
  • Select the type of access you would  like your guests to have: (whether they can invite more people to your event, view who else has been invited)
  • Click Save 
  • Guests can respond to the invitation and have the option to leave comments 


Staying Connected

You can access Google Calendar on your mobile device.

  • Enter in your phone’s web browser
  • You can view your agenda, add events, and invite others

You can also stay connected via your mobile device by setting up SMS reminders for your events.
With this feature enabled, Google will send you a text message (you have control over how far in advance) with the name, time, and location of an event.
Click here to learn about setting up and enabling SMS messaging for your Google Calendar.


Google Apps Training Review Page

Google Calendar Quick Ref Guide

Google Calendar Quick Start Page

Introduction to Google Sites