Campus Pack tools and how to add them to Moodle

Posted June 1st, 2011 at 5:00 pm.

Campus Pack is a set of add-ons to Moodle that provide social media tools (such as wikis, blogs and podcasts) which can be used in highly customizable ways, allowing instructors to create anything from private journals to open Wikis. The tools available here can use varying levels of privacy, and permissions can be set to control what users can do within the Campus Pack tool. They also provide instructors with a content tool where they can track contributions and activity within Campus Pack. This document will provide an overview of Campus Pack activities, with information on how to best utilize them for your course.

Blog

The blog can be used as a space for students to collaborate on projects and comment on each other’s work. Even though a blog contains individual entries by each person, the collaboration is centered around the commenting, instructor feedback, rating or voting widgets. Students can comment on each other’s entries but cannot edit them. For example, students might be asked by their professor to turn in the first draft of a paper for peer review before handing in a final draft. By posting their paper to the blog, students can get feedback from their peers and professor through comments and keep track of everything because it’s all in one place.

Wiki
The wiki can be used as a way for students to collaborate on group projects or for creating public course content that can be used in class and in future classes. Unless the permissions are changed, the wiki is automatically set to allow all Users to view and all Students to author. This means that all students can see each other’s work and they can edit it as well. Changes and edits can be tracked to make sure that important pieces of information are not lost. For example, students might be asked to work on group projects where they are expected to collaborate and present to the en-tire class, or even assimilate their project with other groups to make one all-inclusive class project. By using the wiki, students can be set into groups or as a class to collaborate and combine information.

Journal
The journal exists as a way for individual students to keep portfolios or logs of their own progress in the course, accessible only to themselves and the instructor. For that reason, the journal is useful for keeping personal reflections or portfolios of work in one place for the student to review and the instructor (or TAs) to grade. For example, in some courses, students keep all of their reflections, assignments and other work in the journal. Not only does this allow the instructor to easily review their work and progress over time while keeping it private from the other students in the course, but TAs can also go through and assign grades and provide personalized feedback for each student (if TAs are given the right permissions).

Podcast
The podcast activity gives you the ability to create a set of podcasts (audio or video files) and link them to your course. You are able to upload a podcast, link to a podcast or even record a podcast straight into your activity. The podcast is a great tool for posting procedural or how-to videos, as well as explanations for material within a course that is still confusing to students. For example, students in a lab course might find the lab manual confusing or sparse when it comes to explaining the lab. A podcast could be created (or could link to a pre-existing one) that goes through the steps of the lab and addresses any issues the students have. Or, the podcast could be set to students can create audio or video to compile into a digital media project.

Settings
In Settings, you can edit the title and description of your activity, toggle the Availability of your activity to the users set in Permissions (see below), include a small icon picture that will be shown in your activity in the top left corner of the site, and alter the theme of your activity, changing the colors of your blog, journal, podcast or wiki. Remember to save any changes you make!

Permissions
In Permissions, you can alter privacy and editing settings for different types of users in your course. The roles vary for each activity as specified below:

  • Viewers: Viewers can read the activity, but can’t participate (Blog, Podcast, Wiki)
  • Authors: Authors are participants who can make new entries and edit content (Blog, Podcast, Wiki)
  • Owners: Owners have complete control over the activity (Blog, Podcast, Wiki)
  • For Journals:
    • Authors: Authors can create journal entries and read the instructor’s entries, but can’t read each other’s entries.
    • Owners: Owners have complete control over the journal and can read any entry.

To add anyone to any of these roles, navigate to their name or class enrollment type (such as All Students, All Instructors, etc.) in the Permissions window and double-click on it. It will then appear in the top box, labeled The Authors, The Viewers, etc. Be sure to save, and click Finish when you are done!

Adding a Campus Pack Activity

  1. After turning editing on, go to the week/topic where you would like the activity to appear.
  2. Click on the Add an activity or resource link and select the Campus Pack activity you would like to add from the menu.
  3. Add a title and description, set deployment to Single copy and include the information for a graded assignment (if applicable).
  4. Click Add when finished.

Your Campus Pack Activity has now been created. After clicking Add, you will be taken to the new front page of your blog, journal, wiki, etc., and you can get started by adding a New Entry (or New Episode for the Podcast), or you can change the settings, permissions, or other many tabs available at the top right corner of the page.

Filed under: Moodle Tags: , by Helen Chang

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