Teaching with Moodle

Best reference for describing a metacourse

 
Picture of James Gates
Best reference for describing a metacourse
 
I'm trying to get my mind around the concept of a metacourse. I've created a course, stipulating that it was a metacourse, but I'm still missing the spark of understanding about what it is and what it will allow me to do. On the moodledocs page (http://docs.moodle.org/en/Metacourses) were the diagrams that showed a metacourse as being both the "parent" of a group of courses, and the "child" of some courses. Just when I thought I was "getting it".... <poof!> smile

Can anyone suggest some good reading that will help me to get a handle on the concept(s) of a metacourse? I think I'm going to LOVE the idea once I get my mind around it.

Thanks in advance.
 
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Picture of Darren Smith
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
 

The mantra is "Metacourses take their enrollments from other courses."

You can use use this to populate many courses from one enrollment or one course from many enrollents - that's when is starts to get confusing I agree. I don't think the name helps and I begged for something more meaningful at the time of creation but it looks like we are stuck with it sad

Darren

 
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Picture of Brent Schlenker
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
 
Yes. I agree. I do understand the concept but not the details of implementation. When I click the metacourse checkbox...then that's it. I don't understand how the connection is made. How does the course that I just checked its box to true know which course it is a metacourse of, or feeding into (i.e. how does it know if its a parent or a child?)
Thanks,
Brent
 
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Anthony Borrow
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
Core developersMoodle HQPlugin developersPlugins guardiansTesters
When you indicate that a course is a metacourse then generally it is the parent. You enroll other course into the metacourse using the child courses link in the administration block. I hope this helps to clarify. Peace.
 
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Picture of Robin Mudge
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
 
I have been looking for a way to use the metacourse function to enroll a single group of students in 24 separate courses (each course being a single weeks module of a 24 week course.) I had added all 24 courses to a single metacourse, thinking that each child course took the student enrollment from the parent metacourse. Now I have realized that the opposite is true, the metacourse takes the student enrollment from the child courses!

My problem is how to turn the child courses into metacourses. I have deleted the single metacourse but the option to change the child courses into metacourses is not available, I get the following message:

Is this a meta course? No - This course already has normal enrolments.

The message still appears even after I have removed all users. I do not want to start adding courses from scratch again, so does anybody know of a way to change the child courses into metacourses please?
 
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Picture of Lucy Brock
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
 
i believe if you backup your metacourse without users, selecting no in the dropdown ? Metacourse.  then restore it as a new course. Go back to your metacourse and back up your users... restore to the course you just created.  then do the same thing with your once child courses... backup without users, restore to new... and so on.  good luck smile 
 
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Picture of Robin Mudge
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
 
Hi Lucy,

I apologize for missing your reply! Even trying this method, the metacourse yes/no box does not allow me to change it. Anyhow, I have now gone through the tedious process of re-writing them, I won't make that mistake again.

Robin
 
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Picture of Lucy Brock
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
 

Hi Robin,

Wow... so sorry for your trouble.  I am still using 1.6 and the process worked for me.  We are in the process of upgrading to 1.9 so maybe I should not count on this not working in the future. 

Lucy 

 
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Picture of Lou Rosenberg
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
 
I strongly suggest NOT updating to 1.9.  Moodle is confusing enough, and 1.9 has many changes that I don't particularly like.
 
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Picture of Randy Orwin
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
 
Here is how we use metacourses for our district. Lets take a math teacher for example who teaches algebra 1, algebra 2 and geometry. This teacher wants a space (Moodle course) for each of their main subject areas. But they also want a generic space where they can post things for all of the students in all of their classes. This is where a meta course comes into play. We create a Moodle course for algebra 1, another course for algebra 2 and a 3rd course for geometry. Now we enroll all of the appropriate students into each of these courses. Next we create a meta course and to the meta course we assign the first three courses created. Now by default, all of the students in the first three courses are automatically enrolled in the meta course. Now anything posted in the metacourse is available to all the students in the other three courses. Does this make sense?
 
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Picture of John Isner
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
 
Good explanation. I just wanted to clarify the meaning of "available to" in your last sentence. This availability is not transparent. That is, the resources and activities of the metacourse do not magically appear in the child courses. Students must enter the metacourse to see metacourse resources. Metacourses give you automatic enrollment, nothing more.
 
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Picture of Amy Groshek
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
Core developersTesters
These two practical explanations are so helpful. Excellent!
 
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Picture of Randy Orwin
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
 
True. I should have clarified that a bit better.
 
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Picture of John Isner
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
 
This is interesting (possibly a bug in 1.8?). In my gmail Inbox, Randy's last post looks like it came from Inaki Arenaza! Did anyone else notice this?


 
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Picture of John Isner
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
 
It WAS a bug, but it should be fixed now (see this discussion).
 
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Picture of Joan Cichon
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
 

Hi John,

We created a metacourse thinking that this could be a repository for all the resources we want students to have access to in our other courses, rather than having to upload the same materials into each course that desired them.  The thought was that we could then "bring in" or link to those materials we wanted in one course from the metacourse.  From what you are saying, I now think that the metacourse is just a big room that students can enter and shop around for materials in, but that we can't link to materials uploaded to that metacourse.  If that is correct, is there a way to create some kind of main repository for shared materials where all courses can go to create links to specific materials for their own courses?  We want each course to be self-contained, but to have a "library" of materials from which to draw!

Thanks, Joan

 
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Picture of John Isner
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
 
Yes, a metacourse is just another room (I like your analogy), and students have to walk over to that room to access its resources.

Unfortunately there is at the moment no single user-friendly solution for sharing resources (not just files) across courses in Moodle. Please vote for MDL-9134
 
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Picture of Irmgard Willcockson
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
 
I'm all for solving this problem, unfortunately, I have not figured out yet how to vote for this. Any ideas?
 
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Picture of John Isner
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
 
Click on MDL-9134 and read the issue

At right top of page, click log in

Sign up for a new account if you don't already have one

Then click the Vote link in the left column of MDL-9134.
 
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Picture of Kiril Ilarionov
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
 
Can the child course of a metacourse be a metacourse?


 
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Picture of John Isner
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
 
No.
 
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Picture of Richard Palmer
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse....
 
Hi

I have a two year unitised course comprising yr1 and yr2. In each respective year students will study 3 units. Structure is as follows:

Nat Cert.

Nat Cert Yr1--------------------Nat. Cert Yr2
Unit 1 ----------------------------Unit 4
Unit 2 ----------------------------Unit 5
Unit 3-----------------------------Unit 6

I want to make Nat Cert a "parent" and both Nat cert Yr1 and Nat Cert yr2 a "parent" and each of the 3 x units in each respective year a "child". I want information from each set of units to ripple up to their respective "parent" and then to the "parent" of the "parent" the Nat Cert .... if you get what I mean! Is this possible or is there a better way?

Thanks Rick


 
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Picture of Matt Hackney
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
 

What a confusing concept these metacourses are!  We are setting up different certifications and have "child" courses which need to be assigned to the parents.

Though - with the wacky system Moodle uses - each child is the metacourse.  We then make each overall certification a moodle-child course.  And then log into the meta course & make each certification a child of it that is needed.

This allows us to have duplicate classes all using the same meta.  So confusing to even write to you guys.  There is a reason this is open-source - has a bunch of nimwits programming for it.

 

But the real reason for my post is to let you know I have integrated a library with Moodle for incredible resource sharing.  It is called ResourceSpace - www.resourcespace.org - and I have the two programs running seamlessly together.

Check our site out for an example: www.themov.org

 
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Just wondering . . .
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
 

Hey Matt, your post reminded me of the famous book writen by Dale Carnegie.  "If you want to influence people and make a contribution, first tell them they are nimwits"

Here are the main ideas from the book, unashamedly snagged from Wikipedia.

  1. Get you out of a mental rut, give you new thoughts, new visions, new ambitions.
  2. Enable you to make friends quickly and easily.
  3. Increase your popularity.
  4. Help you to win people to your way of thinking.
  5. Increase your influence, your prestige, your ability to get things done.
  6. Enable you to win new clients, new customers.
  7. Increase your earning power.
  8. Make you a better salesman, a better executive.
  9. Help you to handle complaints, avoid arguments, keep your human contacts smooth and pleasant.
  10. Make you a better speaker, a more entertaining conversationalist.
  11. Make the principles of psychology easy for you to apply in your daily contacts.
  12. Help you to arouse enthusiasm among your associates.
 
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Picture of John Holmes
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
 

Hi Matt, 

I'd love to know more about your integration of Resource Space and Moodle.

It is not clear to me what is integrated.  I've checked out www.themove.org but don't really have a sense of what is Moodle and what is Resource Space.

Could you elaborate?

 
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Harold Kime
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
 

I teach 4 sections of the same course and use a metacourse as the respository for materials used in the 4 sections.  What I did was create the resource in the metacourse and then link that resource to the sections.  For instance, I created a web page in the metacourse that included course notes.  These course notes are in the form of 17 pdf files.  The web page has links to the 17 files that were uploaded to the metacourse.  Thus, the files and the web page that students will use to get to the files all exist in the metacourse.

Next I created a link to the web page in my normal courses.  To do this I had to execute the web page in the metacourse and copy the address from my browser into the link I created in the normal course.

When the student is in the normal section course, they simply click on the link and the web page in the metacourse appears.  The only minor problem is that the student navigation might leave them in the metacourse instead of the normal section course.  To lessen this effect, I always launch links to the metacourse in a new window.  Normally students understand that they need to close the popup window when they are finished with it.

There are several advantages to using metacourses in this way.  First, it saves having to upload the same materials more than once.  I can change a file in the metacourse and know that it is changed in all section courses.  Second, it saves storage space.  Third, it provides the possibility of developing learning objects or mini courses that can be quickly linked to create a new course.  Finally, it would allows several teachers to pick and choose what materials to include in their section courses.

One hint, I put all activities (assignments, forums, journals, etc) in the child course, not in the metacourse.  This keeps grading segregated and allows me to adjust assignments for a particular section (child).

 
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Picture of John Isner
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
 
Harold,
Excellent advice!
 
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Picture of James Gates
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
 
This latest bit of discussion regarding the uses and visibility of metacourses has been VERY helpful. At last, I think I've got my mind around it. The only thing that isn't real friendly for your Joe Average teacher is finding the addresses for the links, as you've described. But, if it saves uploading files multiple times, then I think I can convince the teachers that it's worth it.

Thanks so much to those of you who took the time to explain your processes so well.
 
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Picture of Thomas Eibel
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
 
I'd like to use Meta-Courses in this way:
I have one group of students, that all have to attend the same courses - say Alfa1, Beta2, Gamma3 - with different teachers in each course.

I created a course CLASS, in which all students are registered.
Alfa1, Beta2 and Gamma3 are Meta-Courses - each one is linked to CLASS. All students of course CLASS now show up in Alfa1, Beta2 and Gamma3. Adding or deleting a student is only done in CLASS and all other courses (Alfa1, Beta2 and Gamma3) are effected.
This is perfect - less work for administrating our students.

But not only the students show up in the courses, but also teachers are linked. I can not add a teacher to Alfa1 (since it is a Meta-Course), but only add a teacher to CLASS - but then he is showing up in all three linked courses. What is not the requirement.

Is there a possibility for only linking students, but not teachers?
Maybe using roles and rights?
Thomas
 
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Picture of Max Wild
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
 
In 1.8 this is controlled under Admin/Users/User Policies second from the bottom of the page. Just highlight those that you want not to be synchronised ie leaving students clear and save. It works!
But there is a bug - if you have a course with normal enrollments that you subsequently want to make meta even if you unenroll all participants it still will not allow conversion to metacourse in Settings.
It would be very useful if this was cured!!
Regards
Maxwell Wild
Manchester High School for Girls
 
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Picture of jeff sherk
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
 

Can you add a "chain" of courses that would have some classes and then a metacourse under them, and then more classes under that metacourse?

Like this example?

  Regular Courses->  Class 1  &  Class 2  &  Class 3

  Meta Course-> Meta 1 is a child course of say Class 1 & 2

  More Regular Courses-> Class 4 & Class 5 are child courses of Meta 1

  Another Meta Course-> Meta 2 is a child course of Class 4

 
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Picture of Sarka Vavreckova
Redirecting of materials and students without metacourses
 

Hi,

we have some courses with the identical object matter in various blocks. Teachers don't want to copy materials, actions and students, so I solved it as follows:

  • one course is "main", it contains all materials, actions, students and so on,
  • the second course(-s) is almost empty - only the header part of the course (the first part that the teachers can edit) is modified. In the edit mode I clicked to the icon with "hand" and switched to the HTML mode (the icon [<>]). Then I wrote
<meta http-equiv="Refresh" content="0;url=http://xxxx.xxxx.xx">

where http://xxx.xxx.xx is the address of the main course (if that course is open, this address is upwards at the address line).

I know, it is rather dirty solution, but I did not find any other one. The redirecting is a bit slow (a few seconds).

Sarka

 
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Picture of jennifer southcombe
Re: Redirecting of materials and students without metacourses
 

Hi all,

I have been searching for a way to organize my topics into units and stumbled on metacourses.  I am brand spanking new to Moodle and would really like to be creating my course properly before I get to far gone.

I have my course set up in topics by each topic is a day.  I will have 80 days - and this is going to get very messy.  Is there a way I can at least split my 80 days into Units?  So at least not all 80 days will show up on the screen?

I was wondering if a Metacourse for biology and child courses for each unit would be the way to go? 

Any help would be very appreciated.

 
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Tabitha - Cave, Stewart Island, NZ
Re: Redirecting of materials and students without metacourses
Moodle Course Creator Certificate holders
Have you thought of using accordion course format?

Try it here: http://chameleon-theme.unodo.de/



 
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Picture of jennifer southcombe
Re: Redirecting of materials and students without metacourses
 
Thanks soooo much, I've not seen the accordion before, but it looks like what I need!
 
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Picture of Robin Mudge
Re: Redirecting of materials and students without metacourses
 
Tabitha, the chamelion theme looks very nice indeed! Does it work with version 1.8 yet please?
 
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Tabitha - Cave, Stewart Island, NZ
Re: Redirecting of materials and students without metacourses
Moodle Course Creator Certificate holders
Hello Robin
I don't actually know. I heard about accordion course format from Julian Ridden and he has demo in his playpen which is using 1.9 alpha code.
Tabitha
 
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Picture of Robin Mudge
Re: Redirecting of materials and students without metacourses
 
Hi Tabitha,

Thanks for the information, I love the way the theme works on that site!

R

 
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Albert
Re: Redirecting of materials and students without metacourses
 
Hi Jeniffer,
I you are "brand spanking new to Moodle" then I would try keep it simple. I would go by week and inside each week plans your five days. This stuff can be really time consuming smile.
Albert
 
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Picture of jennifer southcombe
Re: Redirecting of materials and students without metacourses
 

Thanks Albert,

That's funny because I just decided yesterday to put an entire unit in a topic.  In each topic I used labels to indicate each "days" work.  That way students will just keep the unit we are in open to view and hide the other units until the time is needed.  Much simpler and uses ALOT less space then using a topic for each days work.  A nice simple fix!

Jenn

 
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Picture of Tim Florian
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
 

If you assign a quiz in a meta-course, then will its grade be sent to the child course? We have linked Moodle to Infinate Campus so that grades flow from Moodle course to IC, but I want to manage one course of the same content and not 5 seperate ones. My concern is around assessment and where they get sent.

 
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Mary Cooch
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
Documentation writersMoodle Course Creator Certificate holdersMoodle HQParticularly helpful MoodlersTestersTranslators
No - the grades in metacourses and child courses are separate.
 
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Picture of Jerome Di Pietro
Using one course as a central enrolment point for several meta courses (screencast)
 
Like a lot of other people I've been struggling to get my head around the counter-intuitive names given to "meta courses" and "child courses".

The following illustrates Scenario 2 from the Moodle docs page for Meta Courses [http://docs.moodle.org/en/Meta_course#Scenario_2]

We're running a foundation degree in Health Informatics, here's a simplified list of our courses and course categories in Moodle:

Foundation Degree (2009 intake) [course category]

Course Noticeboard (uses LDAP to enrol 2009 students)

Year 1 [course category]

Module 1

Module 2

Module 3

etc.


Foundation Degree (2010 intake) [course category]

Course Noticeboard (uses LDAP to enrol 2010 students)

Year 1 [course category]

Module 1

Module 2

Module 3

etc.


Following Scenario 2, we're using LDAP to enrol each year's intake of students onto that year's 'Course Noticeboard'. Then by making each of the Modules meta courses, and assigning their 'child' as that year's 'Course Noticeboard', the learners are automatically enrolled on all of the necessary modules.

see: http://screencast.com/t/Mzc2YTc0Nj


This is how Scenario2 appears in Moodle docs (Course Y is our 'Course Noticeboard' moodle course)

Upsidedown Meta course Usage

 
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Picture of Thomas Hanley
Re: Using one course as a central enrolment point for several meta courses (screencast)
 
Hi Jerome,

Many thanks for taking the time to share this. Both your explanation and your screencast are very helpful and useful. So many people find the naming of meta courses and child courses confusing (including me!).

Hopefully someone with common sense will re-evaluate the current bizarre naming when Moodle 2.0 comes around.

~thomas
 
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Picture of Jerome Di Pietro
Re: Using one course as a central enrolment point for several meta courses (screencast)
 
My pleasure - I'm glad it's useful as it definitely came out of frustration! Fingers crossed for a better naming strategy in Moodle 2.0 smile
 
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Think I am older now :)
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
Documentation writersTesters
Hi all,
I copies some of these great examples to Metacourse_examples_of_use in MoodleDocs. There are some other examples there that are more business related that teaching smile Please feel free to add more examples.

There is also the Teaching and Learning course, which is another place to put or find examples.

BTW: This particular forum thread really opened my eyes to what a Metacourse is all about and that I was not the only one slightly confused by "children". Thanks. Chris
 
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Me!
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
 
Hi,

Great thanks people, for this enlightening thread! It sure saved me a lot of trouble as I was just going to create a metacourse for sharing things.

Keeping my fingers crossed for early release of version 2 smile
 
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Picture of Paul Doherty
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
 
Hi Chris
Could you please tell me if meta course relationships allow for single logon when accessing a meta course from a child course?
Paul
 
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me at a FIRST robotics competition
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
Testers
Hi Paul,

Yes. Once a person logs into the site they don't have to login again. They can then access all courses in which they are enrolled (meta and normal courses) and any courses which allow them to visit as a guest.
 
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Picture of Paul Doherty
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
 
Thanks Colin
I've set up my main and sub courses and it works well. Thanks for replying.
Paul
 
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Picture of Roselane Santana
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
 

Good Day,
I read this forum and really was very clear. But I still have a doubt:

I notice all disciplines of the course are the main and only Meta Course (Mathematics) can receive applications from office, but when I created the new disciplines they have inherited the participants of Mathematics, but not inherited user groups.
The groups of new disciplines are empty.
Help me please.

 
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Mary Cooch
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
Documentation writersMoodle Course Creator Certificate holdersMoodle HQParticularly helpful MoodlersTestersTranslators

The short answer is that groups do not work with metacourses, sorry.

 
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Picture of Roselane Santana
Import / Export group
 

Which way to import / export groups?

I know it can be through the management of the database, but do not know the SQL commands.
Can anyone help me? = S
Thanks

 
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me at a FIRST robotics competition
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
Testers

I don't need groups to transfer, but I would like to be able to track users by child course within a meta course. (So a teacher can go to a meta course and choose to filter activity to see just the students enrolled in her child course? Does anyone know if this is possible?

 
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Picture of Carol Glanville
Metacourse grades
 

Hello all... Thanks to your great discussion, I think I get the basic relationship and setup of meta / child coursres. The one thing I'm trying to understand how grades work in that set up. Here's the scenario:

We have 4 high schools in our district. Each has 3 sections of US History. I'm thinking US History is the meta course and there are 12 child courses attached to it.

I'm confused as to how grades are separated out. If a student from child course #1 completes a graded assignment in the metacourse, how does the work get submitted to the proper course and recorded in the proper gradebook? Is the gradebook automatically populated with assignments from the meta course and student enrolment from the corresponding child course?

thanks!

 
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Mary Cooch
Re: Metacourse grades
Documentation writersMoodle Course Creator Certificate holdersMoodle HQParticularly helpful MoodlersTestersTranslators

Hi there. No -if a student completes an assignment in the metacourse then that is graded in the metacourse and doesn't get sent back to the child course. Would there be any mileage in your using groups for your separate schools and having them all together in the one course? Just wondering?

 
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Picture of Mike Algozzine
Re: Best reference for describing a metacourse
 

To my knowledge, this isn't possible, but it's something our users have requested. You could use groups for this purpose, but the teacher would have to manually build a group for each child course in the metacourse. Once they've added students to the appropriate group, they can filter by group in the gradebook, participants list, and probably other places.

If you want groups to be automatically created in the metacourse, vote for MDL-17929.

If you want similar functionality without groups, vote for MDL-27176.

 
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