Monday, February 16, 2009

Create Moodle Courses Easily with EditGrid + XSL

As I'm making more use of online teaching tools, I've noticed how cumbersome and time consuming it is to create courses on Moodle. There is no easy way to repeat an assignment multiple times or edit them without a lot of waiting for page-loads. To make my life easier, I've devised a way to create courses outside of the Moodle interface and import them using the "Restore" option.
  1. Create the course using my EditGrid template (you need to create an account and then File > Save As before you can make changes).
  2. In your browser's navigation bar, append .moodle.xml to the template page's URL -->
    Alternatively, you can use the EditGrid menu: Data > My Data Format > moodle.xml Either approach will apply an XSL stylesheet to the spreadsheet that you can also download here.
  3. Use your browser to save the resulting page as moodle.xml
  4. Compress moodle.xml as a .zip file (once zipped it can be renamed something sensible like so that you can tell your zipped courses apart).
  5. Upload your zipped file to your Moodle filespace or email it to an administrator.
  6. In a Moodle course, click the restore option, select your uploaded file, and use it to create a new course. If you can't find the menu, ask an administrator to do it for you.
Both the template and the stylesheet are licensed Creative Commons Attribution. If you find it useful, please let me know. It's currently still under development (current version: 0.8) and may have a few bugs. One upcoming feature is the ability to author an entire quiz in a spreadsheet.