Friday, July 25, 2008

Google Docs-Moodle tutorial

Google Docs-Moodle tutorial Google Docs provides an online office system that includes Documents, Spreadsheets, and Presentations. This can be used as an online content system for publishing content in Moodle by following the steps in this tutorial. This tutorial is mainly for folks who currently publish web pages and then link to them from within their Moodle system.
1) To start, sign up for a Gmail account, if you haven't already. Then click on Documents link in your Gmail account. This takes you to the Google Docs screen.
2. If you have not created a document, create a new document in Google Docs by clicking the "New:Document" menu.
3) Save your document by clicking the Save button. Click a saved document to open it.
4) Click the Share document to publish the document. Choose the "Publish as web page..." option. This will publish the document to anyone on the internet, if they know the address of the document.
5) When you click the Publish as web page link, Google Docs brings you to the screen below. Here you have two main options for the purpose of this tutorial:
  1. You can publish the document,
  2. and you can choose to have the published document re-published when you make changes to it.

The last is particularly handy for your course files that you may want to update or correct, such as a syllabus, etc.

5) Click "Publish document" to publish the document.

Now Google Docs shows you the unique link to the document you have just published.
6) To add the file to your Moodle course, you will just link the document to a Moodle resource. To do this you must first copy the link to the document to your clipboard. If you are using Windows, you can right click on the link, and then choose "Copy Shortcut".
7) Now go into your Moodle course (folks who do not yet have Moodle can try this at, you can also download and install Moodle on your computer by using the packages here, click "Turn editing on", go to the section where you would like to add the link to the Google Docs file, and choose "Link to file or web site" from the "Add a resource" drop down menu.
8) Give the resource a name, and then scroll down to the "Location" field. Paste the shortcut into the Location field. On Windows you can right-click and choose "Paste".
9) Once the link has been pasted into the Location field in Moodle,
scroll down to the "Window" dialogue, and for this tutorial choose "New window". This will display a link in your course that your students can click to view the document.
10) Scroll down to the "Save and return to course" button, and click it.
Now you can click the "Google Tutorial" link (the link name will be the name you entered in step 8 above), and view the file. If you have chosen to show the file to students in step 9 above, your students will also be able to see the file.
By following the steps above, you can share a document file from Google documents. In subsequent tutorials, I'll discuss how to add Google Presentations and Spreadsheets to Moodle.
Showing the file later if you chose to hide it above: If the file is not visible to students, the 'eye' icon will be closed and the name of the file will be grayed out.
To make the file visible to students, click the shut eye icon:
Of course you can also choose the edit icon (1) to return to the editing screen, and then choose "Show" from the Visible menu.
Other icons are the Move icon (2), which you can use to move the link to the file to a different position in your course, and the delete icon (3) which will remove the link to the file in your course (but not the file on Google Docs).
There are many Advanced options in Moodle, which you can view by clicking the "Show Advanced" button. A good place to experiment with these settings is on In the "Common module settings" box, make sure "Visible" is set to "Show" if you want your students to see the file (files can be hidden from students in Moodle by choosing "Hide" here, though this won't change the "Publish" settings in Google Docs). Note that Moodle contains numerous "Help" links (the buttons with the ? on them), you can click these to view more information about a particular setting in Moodle.