Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Help for the Moodle newbie or beginner to get started on's MOOC

Is this you?
Image by Kerr Photography
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
So's Massive Open Online Course on "Teaching With Moodle" is now open for registrations. Come 1st September 2013, the course will start. It's designed for the absolute Moodle rookie. As a beginner to Moodle, how do you start? Where do you begin?

I want to do more than just point my colleagues to the MOOC link. I want them to be guided with baby steps on what to do after clicking on This tutorial is the outcome. Are your new to Moodle? Do you view Moodle as a "Mammoth" with a slight trepidation? Are you nervous or apprehensive at the mention of Moodle? And what's that MOOC thing? Smooch? Mocha? In an online course you do not have a guide or a coach physically by your side. Outwardly, do you tell your colleague, "oh yeah, I should try the MOOC and learn Moodle", but inwardly 'dread' what lies beyond the MOOC's homepage links?
Do you fear what to do next after clicking on the


If this is YOU, then I say "FEAR NOT!".

Monday, August 26, 2013

Facebook-like Wall For Moodle 1.9x and 2.x is now freely available as Open Source to the Community

Image by Troy Tolley. Creative Commons
Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic. See Source.
Facebook-like Wall code for Moodle. I'm releasing the code for free to the Moodle community as GNU General Public License (GPL). That's right, you can use it and modify it feely, but in your code, please credit the main authors, Srinivas Tamada and Frankie Kam.

What's the method to my 'madness' of giving a portion of my hard work away for free? I'm giving the code to the community is to see a better Wall emerge from the Crowd of Moodle developers or students or users. Please take the Wall code to new heights for the benefit of the Moodle worldwide community. Be brave, be gentle, be innovative, be creative. Cheers!

The Wall in action on my Moodle 2.5 site.
There's also a Moodle 1.9 version.
Both are free - NOW.

It's been fun developing the Srinivas' Tamada's original non-Moodlerised Wall script 3.0 to where it is now, but now it's time for the rest to take over with the coding of the Moodle Wall. Please make it jump though hoops. Perhaps you can make the Wall posts update in realtime using AJAX. I couldn't. Perhaps you can improve the GUI of the Wall. I haven't got the time. Please share it back to the Moodle Community.

Have fun!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Learn Geography with Alex Little's Online Users Map block for Moodle 2.x

Source:  PikiWiki - Israel free image collection project
This is one great block to show off to your users! Alex Little's Online Users Map block for Moodle 2.x.

Figure 1. Online Users Map using
OpenStreetMap set to on.

After installing in click on Site Adminisration | Notifications. Then go to Administration | Site Administration | Plugins | Blocks | Online Users Map. Here is a subset of settings:

Monday, August 19, 2013

I joined's "Teaching with Moodle: An introduction" MOOC

The Moodle MOOC homepage

I joined's MOOC today!

A Moodle Massive Open Online Course. Why? Well, why not! Read the overview and course content here.
The course is meant for newcomers to Moodle, but experienced Moodlers are welcome to participate!

The site has a very nice and soothing theme. The font colours are soft and easy on the eyes. I also posted an introduction about myslelf on the "Introduce Yourself" forum.

Me and many others in
the Introduce Yourself forum.

Looking forward to learning in the Moodle MOOC. Can't wait for 1st September 2013.

Where learning never stops.
Frankie Kam

Easily add a learning tool from Edu App's LTI catalog with Nadav Kavalerchik's LTI patch for Moodle 2.5

This has got to be a leading contender for the Moodle patch of the Year! It makes it so simple and easy for me to add an external learning object from's LTI catalog. Thanks to Joseph Thibault for this Moodlenews newsflash which featured this tracker by Nadav Kavalerchik.

Just how useful is this patch? Well, I found the earlier process of adding a learning object from the LTI catalog to be quite unweidly and troublesome. When I read Joseph's post, I saw the value of the patch and I told myself that I had to install the patch on my Moodle 2.5 system. At the end of this post, you will know how easy it is to add learning objects by using Nadav's patch. My assumption is that you already have the /mod/lti module installed on your Moodle 2.5 site.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Spice up your Moodle 2 frontpage by displaying category names as buttons with Alicia Wallace's Renderer

The course categories are nicely laid out as
buttons with text and images.
very nice!
Alicia Wallace of the United Kingdom has created something that changes the look and feel of the frontpage. Her creation is a renderer file with a custom CSS file for Moodle 2. It is based on the Sky High standard theme for Moodle 2.x. The image above shows the renderer in action on the frontpage of Hartpury College's Moodle site.

Wood theme revisited with Julian Ridden's Wood theme for Moodle 2.x

Oak Tree in Ontario August 2011

"A Bootstrap based theme for Moodle 2 recreating the classic 1.9 Wood theme with a modern twist" Source:

I was recently intrigued by this Twitter post. 

I think it was because the image of Julian Ridden's Moodle 2 Wood theme reminded me of my old wooden chessboard, no hang on, .... or was it my bookshelf(?)...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Find out which activities are popular on your Moodle site with the Recommender Block for Moodle 2.3 and above

I love any Moodle plugin that makes the Moodle site more social, more fun, more human-friendly. So, when I stumbled across the Recommender Block, I knew I had to try it out.

The Recommender block was created by Lancaster University Network Services Limited. it allows you to look at the most recent activity by other users of this website. You can view the most popular resources and activities that have been viewed and, if appropriate, participated in within the website.

If you click on the ‘Popular activities and resources’ link below you will see the top three results (you can click on these titles to take you directly to the resource or activity listed) and a ‘more’ link where you can access a page where all the results for this website will be listed. You will be able to filter the results by date range, item type, and by the number of views and participation. Source: Help option on the Recommender Block

In other words, you can now find out at a glance, which Moodle activities or resources are popular on your site. Here's what it looks like on my site.
Here's what the block looks like

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Moodurian Readership survey - stand to win a FREE Moodle 'gift' just by answering 10 simple questions

Take the Moodurian

and get a FREE GIFT!

Free Moodle Wall code
worth USD49.00
given FREE
3 randomly selected survey takers.
Survey ends on 2/9/2013.
Terms and conditions apply.

Hi, I'd like to get to know you better, dear Reader / Random surfer.
Please spend two minutes to take the Moodurian Readership Survey today!

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Friday, August 9, 2013

A professional-looking and Open Source Live Chat with Mibew Messenger for visitors to your Moodle site

Chat the old-school way with Get Smart.

Photo of Don Adams as Maxwell Smart.
Source: eBay item photo
Author: General Artists Corporation-GAC-management.

Have you ever visited a site like Wiziq where you were able to click on a link and instantly was attended to by a sales representative on a chat console? At the end of this blog post, you will be able to setup a similar Instant Messaging (IM) system on your Moodle site. No kidding! In fact, if you own a Drupal or Joomla site, you can easily integrate the IM into your site as well.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

My review of the Ergo theme for Moodle 2.5. It's the best theme I have purchased so far!

I think, ERGO I am!
Ronin's Thinker meets the iPad.

Actually, it's the first theme I've bought so far. Ergo is a Latin word meaning "therefore", "hence" or "consequently". So you could say, "I think, ergo (therefore) I am". It's also the best-selling Moodle 2.5 theme by the husband-and-wife team of Tom Riley and Xiaoying Riley who make up 3rd Wave Media.

Xiaoying is bilingual (speaks English and Mandarin) and Tom's trying hard to get the correct Mandarin intonation. I know how hard it is. I once asked in Cantonese, a storekeeper for a shirt that had lots of holes in it. He smiled widely and pointed to a shirt that had dragon motives in it.

Back to 3rd Wave Media. They specialise in Web Design, with skills spanning all areas of multimedia including audio and video production. Both Tom and Xiaoying have their respective websites where they showcase their work portfolio. You can browse through their galleries. Ah, it makes me wish that I had taken up graphic arts or specialised in Web development when I was in college.

Purpose of this Blog Post
Firstly I will show you what I like about the Ergo theme. I purchased my my own license of the theme and I am not connected in any way to 3rd Wave media. Secondly, I will share with you how I modified the Ergo theme to produce two variants.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

My first experience of FrogOS compared to Moodle - why can't we have Froodle?

Don't sue me.
I'm just dreamin' on.
You may say I'm a dreamer,
but I'm not the only one.

In today's post, I want to talk about my first experience of FrogOS. Previously I had only known about it from the local newspapers. And the only frogs I knew about were Frogger the Atari video game, HipHop from Cheaper By The Dozen, Kermit the Muppet, LeFrog from Flushed Away and Nanette from Gnomeo and Juliet.  I guess that you could say that I was a katak dibawah tempurung (Malay for frog beneath the coconut shell)! In Cantonese, we say mong cha cha (clueless). Now I know more about FrogOS and I want to take the opportunity to share what I know with you. But first, some background.

Ratings and Recommendations by outbrain