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How to integrate Moodle and WordPress

 

This article will discuss, individually, the essential characteristics of Moodle and WordPress; it will then describe how the two may be integrated with one another. Both are very new, having been released only within the past ten years.

What is Moodle?

Moodle is a free source e- learning platform (other terms include Course Management System, learning management system, and virtual learning environment) that saw its stable release less than a month ago; though its first version came out some ten years earlier. The name stands for Modular Object- Oriented Design Learning Environment; the original object of its inventor, Martin Dougiamas, was to find our ways in which open source software can be uaed to support a “social constructionist epistemology of teaching and learning in an Internet community of reflective inquiry.” Computer educators throughout the world have been using Moodle to teach their students how to creafe dynamic websites, that is sites that change according to their users. Educational hobbyists and primary educators can use it as well.
Features that form a part of Moodle include online quizes, calendars, news, and announcements; instant messages; file downloads; and a discussion forum. All of these modules are very poplular as a way of setting up an online learning community around a subject of one’s likeness. An unlimited number of Moodle servers can be added, as no license fees need to be paid.

WordPress is a Blogging Platform

WordPress is a blogging tool and content management system (for managing the content of several web pages from a single, central one). It was released in 2003. With it, multiple users can share the stored data and even contribute to it; and data storage and retrieval are themselves much easier, as is page content management. Duplicated inputs are vastly reduced; report writing is simplified; and data can be defined as a movie, a picture, a text file, or almost anything else.

As you can see, both Moodle and WordPress simplify many online activities. Now to the question of how to integrate the two.

An example of such integration may be seen in “Esthetics of the Moving Image,” a project done by Louisa Stein, assistant professor of Film & Media Culture at Middlebury College, as part of a course on that subject. She used WordPress for general course information, the public “face” of the site. Moodle she used as her learning management system, for behind- the- scenes file distribution and for her weekly outline. Both programs came together when Professor Stern set up the formats of assignments such as her television credit sequence close analysis, where in this case a link to those credits is provided. Students can go from there to the place where they are to upload the files outlining their assignments. Students type the texts of their assignments “inline” on the Moodle site, and the professor can give in- text comments.
The WordPress site is also where students can exchange information on their projects via blog and share videos, while the Moodle site is where Professor Stern holds online course discussions, collects her student’s final submissions, and distributes her reading homework. The Professor has also set up “blog collectives” in which students are required to comment on those of other students in the same collective. By doing so, she hopes, she will encourage her students to read one another’s work and thus benefit from mutual learning. And some of the blogs are “dual purpose”—one part in which the student writes a response that integrates the screenings and the readings of the question, and a second part in which “anything goes”—that is, as long as the student makes one post a week by Sunday at midnight (and he also has to have determined at the beginning what he is going to post about).

Imagine what the above courses would be like if only one platform or the other were used. With just Moodle, no site content can be viewed publicly at all; with just WordPress, prospective students and others cannot view the contents of the site, and no elements are protected, except for readings that are hosted on Orca.

To perform the integration, the user first creates the WordPress site and gets it listed by the Academic Computing Liaison. He then creates links from one to the other in both directions.
Moodle and WordPress are one of the pairs of technology systems that work the best when used together. And as each platform evolves on its own, it will add to what the duo can be used for.

VPS Hosting Advice

Juliana is an Online Community Manager businesses based in Los Angeles and is known on Twitter @JulianaPayson and google plus  for her community engagement and Web Hosting advice for people’s website needs. She Promotes InMotion Hosting, well known for their inexpensive web hosting offering the best VPS for moodle communities.

 

 

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The Most Effective Time Management Tips You’ll Ever Find

When you’re a college student, being able to manage your time can mean the difference between success and failure. These tips, many of which seem to fly in the face of logic, can help you reduce your stress and manage your time effectively so the important things get done every day.

Take Charge of Your Schedule

One of my favorite professors once said “If you don’t take charge of your schedule, then your schedule is in charge of you.”

We’ve all had times when our days seemed to be governed by one crisis after another, but that should be the exception rather than the norm.

Before you go to bed each night, take a look at the next day’s schedule. Set aside time for the important things, the things that matter most to you. Sure, unexpected events may crop up, and when they do, you’ll deal with them — but once you’ve put out the fire, you can get right back on track to the schedule you’ve set.

Be Realistic

Figure out how much time it takes you to accomplish a certain task, like reading 10 pages out of a textbook or writing a five-page paper. Keep these findings in mind when you are deciding what to do with your day.

Most people, for instance, can’t dash off a 10-page term paper in half an hour or read a complex, technical document in 15 minutes. If you don’t allot enough time for each of your daily activities, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Don’t Multitask

Multitasking used to be considered the great time management skill. That was before researchers discovered people who were high on marijuana actually performed better on an assignment than people who were trying to switch back and forth between three different tasks.

It’s probably okay to walk and chew gum, but other than that, focus your attention on just one thing, do it and move on to something else.

Take Regular Breaks

Brick-and-mortar universities have breaks built into their schedules when the bell rings, and students have 15 or 20 minutes to get to the next class. Programs that offer online college degrees don’t have such clear break periods. If you’re taking several online classes, it’s possible to work for hours without stopping. It’s also a bad idea.

The brain, like a muscle, gets tired if you demand too much of it. Tired brains are responsible for foolish mistakes as well as errors in judgment. For every hour of studying, set aside 10 to 15 minutes to do something completely different. Put in a load of laundry, wash the breakfast dishes, take the dog for a walk or treat yourself to a few minutes of your favorite magazine.

With a little practice, you can develop time management skills that will help you get through any type of class setting.

CJ contributed this guest post. Passionate about self-improvement, he frequently blogs about time management and how it can factor into online college degrees.

 

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Online or On Campus Learning: Which One Is Best for You?

The choices in online education have exponentially grown over the last decade. In the beginning, there were only a handful of colleges offering a few majors through convoluted and difficult interfaces. At that time, the choice between attending an online school and a brick-and-mortar institution was a clearer choice. Today, however, the field has broadened tremendously, and with it has come an increase in opportunity and resources. Online education is being taken seriously by institutions of higher learning, and students are flocking to the opportunity to achieve their academic goals while continuing to meet their current obligations to family and career. Here are some points to consider when choosing between online and in-class attendance.

Convenience

The biggest advantage that persuades many to choose an online degree program is the element of convenience. The opportunity to be free of rigid class schedules means that many who are attending classes to enhance their current career path are able to do so after work. For parents, online class work and attendance can be scheduled around the obligations of child rearing. The advantage for many students that are recently graduated from high school is that attending online opens up the availability of far away colleges without requiring an expensive and often traumatic relocation.

Degree Choice

Information technology is one of the fastest growing job fields in the world, and online schools offer a wide variety of college degree programs for those interested in joining that market. However, there are still many degrees in the sciences and liberal arts that are not available online. Choosing a major was once a difficult choice that students could put off while fulfilling their core class requirements, but now it has become more critical to make that decision prior to enrollment. Prospective students must make the choice of schools based on the degree they desire, but the reality is that some professions can only be pursued through brick-and-mortar attendance. This is most relevant at the undergraduate level. If you are not sure what major you want to study, it may be best to attend a campus-based university, where you have the time and ability to gain exposure to a greater variety of fields of study.

School Prestige

There are two major opinions related to school prestige that differ on their views of its necessity. Some believe that the content of an education determines its value, while others associate college degree value with the name of the institution one has attended. This is a matter of opinion that has evidence on both sides of the argument, but it is a realistic consequence of one’s school choice. The advantages of a brick-and-mortar institution can most frequently be associated with the alumni support services and the networking that is achieved while in attendance. When physically attending a school, one’s interaction with peers and professors is much more personal and valuable to the future support of one’s academic and professional endeavors. In the online environment, everyone is geographically isolated and there is rarely any additional interaction, which means there is little chance of building friendships and professional contacts.

Deciding to attend college online or at a physical campus can be a difficult choice. Selecting between the two options should be made based on which is most complimentary to one’s individual goals and needs.

Janet Snyder is a freelance blogger, who writes about options in higher education. Herself a student, Janet recommends getting a masters degree in strategic management to help you on your career path.

 

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Five Situations That Require You to be Assertive

For all those demure, shy, intraverts out there, it’s time to take heart and learn to be assertive. There are some things in life that absolutely require that you take a stand. If you don’t, you will end up missing out on a lot of opportunities and getting trampled by other people. So here are some situations that will require you to get a backbone and stand up for yourself a bit!

Family. When it comes to family, you want all of your relationships to be balanced. If you have a sibling or a parent that doesn’t give you the same respect you give them, then that is obviously not a balanced relationship. The point of a family relationship is to support each other in whatever circumstances. So make sure you exert enough effort to make it a balance of give and take.

Dating. If you are a man, you need to pluck up that courage and make the move. There are plenty of girls out there who are perfectly capable of making the move for you, but she doesn’t want to date a man who is a limp noodle. You need to show some initiative to make her feel like you have the capacity to take care of her. And girls, don’t let a man push you around. Have an opinion and contradict him sometimes. You don’t have to fight with him, but express an opinion once in a while and make yourself more than just a plain Jane.

Health. We all know that doctors are busy people. Many of them have so much on their plate that they don’t have time to address all of your health issues unless you specifically ask them to. However, remember that you are paying them and have the freedom to go somewhere else if you don’t like the service you are receiving. Thus, if a doctor isn’t giving you the attention you deserve, then you must ask for it. If you pose your concerns with firm sincerity and a true plea for help, they are going to listen. In the end, you will be glad you flexed your assertiveness muscles in order to help you feel as healthy as possible. If you are needlessly suffering, you only have yourself to blame for not insisting on more help.

Home. When speaking of home, I mean not just the actual structure, but all of your personal items as well as what happens inside and out. Your home is exactly that, “yours.” If you are paying for it then you have the right to dictate what goes on inside and outside of it. That means laying down the law when your kids want to have a wild party. It’s also great to lend things out to neighbors or compromise on having that neighbor’s trees shedding leaves on your freshly cut grass. However, if someone takes advantage of the space that you have purchased for yourself and your family, then you are in your rights to take a stand. It’s ok to say no if someone wants to borrow your lawn mower, but you don’t feel comfortable lending it out to them.

Job. Face it, the people who are more assertive tend to get the jobs. Employers want someone who can express an opinion and show ingenuity. If you want to get the job of your dreams, or any good job for that matter, you need to learn to show assertiveness in the interview and the workplace. You don’t have to overwhelm others with it, but act confident and offer an opinion here and there. This is always hardest in an interview or your first few weeks on the job as you get a handle on things.

As you learn to become more assertive, you will find that a balanced life is very enjoyable. It takes practice to overcome the fear of sharing your opinions. So get started today and take a stand on something small, even if it’s just a restaurant giving you Root Beer instead of Coke!

About the Author

Tiffani Azani is a motivational writer for MyCollegesandCareers.com. My Colleges and Careers gets people to get off the couch, get back to school and get in the career of their dreams. The Colleges and Careers Web site provides a listing online schools are what they are looking for.

 

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It’s Never Too Late

It’s Never Too Late

“Mom! Wake up, it’s time for you to go to school!” Wait, what? That doesn’t sound quite right. Or does it? In today’s world, older people who did not graduate college are finding ways to go back to school and finish their Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. This is the case with Kristine Timson-Bates and Linda Timson, a mother and daughter pair who are getting their Bachelor’s degree together at Rasmussen College in Fort Myers.

Kristine and Linda”s Story

It all began at a local car club. Kristine, the 26-year-old daughter of Linda, had what seemed to be a random conversation with the Dean of Admissions at Rasmussen. The Dean told her that she should go enroll on campus. Linda went and took a look at the campus and enrolled fairly quickly. Linda noticed how easy it could be and followed her daughter’s footsteps. Kristine said this about the situation, “We were both thrilled and a little nervous putting ourselves in the same environment.” Kristine has decided to major in Digital Design and Animation while Linda is getting her degree in Business Management.

Linda who was previously working at Walmart now takes general education classes with her daughter. They meet up on campus to discuss their classes and their schedules. Many college students may be petrified thinking of going to school with their mothers. Kristine, on the other hand, has found that she enjoys the new time spent together. “It’s great because we are both very competitive at heart and both have the desire to learn…We are not only each other’s cheerleaders but toughest critics as well. It really makes me happy seeing my mom succeed in something she didn’t think was an option for her and seeing her make new friends,” Kristine says.

How can I do that?

Linda is not the only mother who has gone back to college after so many years. People are doing it all across the nation. With today’s programs and opportunities, anyone and everyone can go and get their degree. You may be thinking you can’t because you are too old, you have too many kids, there is not enough time, or you don’t have any money. These reasons are all just excuses. There are online programs where you can take classes from home, in your own time frame. There are also lots of scholarships that you can qualify for. In order to go back to college like Linda you need to go through these steps:

1. Decide that you want to go back to school. Once you make the decision don’t go back on it.

2. Choose what you want to major in. Find something you love and that you could see yourself doing for a long time.

3. Meet with a career counselor. These professionals have been trained in colleges and helping people. They can really help you answer any questions you may have.

4. Choose what type of school. For example, decide whether you want to do an online program or go to a physical college campus.

5. Choose your school. After you research your options and have a look around, make a choice that you love and make sure it fits with your schedule.

6. Find a way to get the money you need. Start applying to those scholarships!

7. Start remembering what it’s like to study. Make sure you get yourself into the mindset of a student again. It has probably been a while. This is one of those times when it is acceptable and even encouraged to go to your children for help.

Now that you have all the steps you need. Follow Linda’s example. Don’t let anything scare you out of doing it, or you may always regret it.

About the Author

Meagan Hollman composes pieces for MyCollegesandCareers.com. My Colleges and Careers gets people to start an online education. Once you’ve figured out an online education is right for you, we will help you understand which online colleges and online courses you can choose from to reach your goals.

 

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Do You Know LMS vs. LCMS?

These two terms are so similar that in many instances they are employed to talk about the same thing when in reality they are different systems.

LMS stands for ‘Learning Management System’ and LCMS stands for ‘Learning Content Management System’.

Both systems provide training for employees; but it is important that you understand the differences between both before making the decision to invest in one of them:

  • LMS

This is basically a system that manages learning, and it is normally web-based and referenced as e-learning. With a LMS you can plan, organize, and follow learning from a central platform, and from it you are able to supervise and send training to employees as it is required.

Let’s say an employee needs training on presentation skills and another one has to learn about workplace violence. Through LMS you can send a presentation skills course to the first one and a workplace violence course to the latter.

In both cases, as the employees move forward with the courses, you are able to see their improvement and test results. At the same time, employees can take the training from their desks and go as fast or slow as they need to.

A good LMS will offer a wide variety of courses, allowing you to train your staff on many subjects and according to each employee’s needs.

  • LCMS

This system is centered on supervising content instead of individuals. It focuses on creating content, which is provided by specific instructors and internal content developers.

In this case, you are able to take content that already exists, sections or targets, and mix and match them to create new courses, allowing you to reuse content that already existed instead of creating a completely new course.

So, which one works best for your company?

It all depends on what you need.

If your company has its own trainers or coaches, it could be very valuable to give them the chance to create and supervise content through LCMS.

If you don’t want or need to create and supervise content, but rather prefer to employ courses already created by a third party, you should go for the LMS option.

However, bear in mind that the LMS can’t reuse the content you already have and build another course; it can’t create courses. This is precisely what the LCMS can do. It can build, deliver and manage courses, but also manage all of its individual pieces. These chunks of information, also known as “learning objects”, may be reused and organized to form a different, new and improved course.

 

So, once again, the decision is yours. But now you have what you need to make an informed decision.

Byline:

Mark Doyle is a freelance writer who lives with his dog Smokey in the Pacific Northwest and learns best throughe-learning.

 

 

 

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Is Online Training an Effective Alternative for Your Company?

Online training courses have become a very practical alternative for many companies. Numerous organizations prefer it to live classes; however, it is important that you analyze if it is the right choice for your business.

Below is a list of 4 things you must think about before deciding to offer an elearning program to your staff:

  1. Detect the areas where training is most needed

In order to effectively browse through online corporate training programs you have to know what your business needs.

Do you need your people to learn about office safety? Sharpen their negotiation skills? Learn about sexual harassment?

While some topics, like the above, may be perfect for online training, others may require another method or approach.

Online classes are great for learning about desktop applications, IT concepts, and business skills, among many others.

  1. Establish goals and results

Once you know which areas need training, establish goals and results. You have to know what you want your staff to learn.

Do they have to sharpen their phone negotiation skills, or is it face-to-face negotiation the key?

Make a list of your goals and results, make them quantifiable, and use it to search for the right online training course.

  1. Assess online training suppliers

When you start searching the Internet, you will find numerous suppliers of training courses. Many companies offer free demos to help you understand how a specific e-learning course works and how it can help you.

Take your time to study your options, and contact the suppliers to learn a bit more about their offerings. Some focus on specific topics while others manage a broader spectrum; what you want to make sure is that the course is high quality and that the delivery options work for you and your established goals.

  1. Think about customizing your online course

Some online training suppliers give you the option of customizing courses. This could be a great alternative if your company has developed systems or procedures in-house.

Let’s say your business has created its own system for recycling leftover chemicals from soap production, or that it has designed a new method for assembling a particular engine part… you need your staff to learn about it in an easy an effective way, but you won’t find an online course on the subject. Nevertheless, you can create one!

Actually, you may discover that a blend of already created courses and some custom ones may be what your company needs!

BYLINE:

Mark Doyle is a freelance writer who loves elearning courses.

 

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