Book Image

Moodle 2.5 Multimedia - Second Edition

By : Joao Pedro Soares Fernandes
Book Image

Moodle 2.5 Multimedia - Second Edition

By: Joao Pedro Soares Fernandes

Overview of this book

Multimedia is a very old human endeavor. It has taken mankind almost 30,000 years since painting on cave walls to get a combination of text, image, sound, and video all working in the same medium, that is, in motion pictures. Finally, after thousands of years of human history, we can all (not just an elite few) create multimedia easily using Moodle. Moodle was built around an idea of learning that happens when a group of people construct things for one another, collaboratively creating a small culture of shared artifacts with shared meanings. A tutorial-based guide, with clear illustrations and examples of how to create, convert and add multimedia to Moodle using a range of free e-learning software tools and web applications. This book follows the design of resources and activities for the course “Music for everyday life”. The tasks presented are quick and easy to do for teachers and trainers with busy schedules. Giving readers an insight into the creation and integration of multimedia in Moodle courses. Starting with images you will learn to create photo collages, screenshots and comic strips. Then you will discover audio and how to extract audio from CDs to create a soundtrack for a movie and a podcast. Later, you will use video to produce a trailer for a movie, photo slideshows, online TVs and screencasts. Following that, you will develop an understanding of interactive elements and web communication, such as online maps, interactive timelines or web meetings. Finally, you will look at multimedia quizzes and assessment of multimedia assignments, ending with general issues on copyright, licensing and safety. A focus of the book is to show readers that using multimedia is not just about improving instruction, but also improving the ways in which students can can now create multimedia easily, and share it without great effort.. To make this easier, many of the moodle tutorials in the book will be based on activities designed for students to create, discuss and assess each other's multimedia works.
Table of Contents (15 chapters)
Moodle 2.5 Multimedia
About the Author
About the Reviewers

Three simple things using Moodle and multimedia

After going through these steps, it's a good time to try it out to see if everything is working. Let's start with three simple tasks, involving an image, a sound, and a video on a forum, respectively.

Task 1 – adding images to forums

  1. Go to the Flickr Creative Commons (CC) licensed content at and search for a photo under an Attribution license (when an image is termed as CC attribution it means that we can use these images without many restrictions, except for citing the author. We will have a look at copyright issues in Chapter 8, Common Multimedia Issues in Moodle).

  2. On the results page, choose an image. Next, right-click on the image (if you are a Mac user and have a one-button mouse, click on it while pressing the control key on the keyboard), choose a size and save the picture to your computer.

  3. Finally, upload the image as an attachment to a new forum post, citing the source.

You should be able to see a screenshot similar to the following:

In this case, Moodle has automatically inserted the image for us. It has a width that will fit well in the screen. Sometimes, when the image has a width above say, 800 or 1024 pixels (depending on the monitor on which it is displayed), we will have to resize it, preferably before we upload it to Moodle. You don't have to worry about that for now.

Examples of uses of a forum with pictures

Pictures are sometimes better than a thousand words. We can use them in specific cases of the forum to do the following:

  • Sharing photos and report study visits

  • Sharing and discussing a painting, a drawing, or a cartoon

  • Creating a collaborative photo story, where each post is an element of the story

  • Sharing screen captures of works made with software

Task 2 – adding sound to forums

  1. Select a song from the WIRED CD (

  2. Download it to your computer, again by right-clicking on the link to the music (or by pressing the control key plus the mouse button for Mac users), and saving the target of the link to your computer.

  3. Write a forum post in Moodle citing the source of the music (never forget the sources—the license of the music of this CD allows noncommercial sharing).

  4. Upload the sound file as an attachment on the forum post.


    If you get an error in the upload, the problem may be related to the maximum upload size, site-wide or course-wide. Check your settings.

If everything works as expected you should see a screen similar to the following:

Moodle's multimedia plugin is automatically inserting a flash player for our MP3 file. The multimedia plugin processes the page, looking for links to multimedia files, and when it finds one, it tries to insert a player.


In the case of MP3 files, we should ensure that we have the flash player plugin installed on our browser. We can go to and check this (if we don't have the flash player installed, that's not a problem). The flash player allows the playing of multimedia content, such as audio, video, or animations inside browsers.

We should also have the necessary players for file formats such as MPEG-4 (the *.mp4 files) and Windows Media Video (the *.wmv files) installed on our computer and working inside our browser; for example, a QuickTime player, available at

Examples of uses of a forum with sound attachments

There are many uses of audio in other Moodle activities (such as the quiz or the assignment), but we'll just focus on the forum for now. We could do the following:

  • Sharing an interview or comment, and vote and comment on it

  • Making a class selection of music themes

  • Doing a role-play activity in which each student plays a character

  • Asking for a poetry selection and declamation by students

  • Starting a collaborative and iterative composition of a musical theme, where each new post builds on the one before

  • Generating a podcast through the conversion of the forum's RSS feed

  • Hosting a Q&A session between the teacher, invited experts, and students

  • Using a text-to-speech tool to create fictitious dialogs

  • Doing some ear training exercises

  • Doing a show-and-tell exercise

Task 3 – adding videos to forums

  1. Go to TED ( and search for a video. In the results page, choose one and click on it.

  2. Click on the Embed button below the video.

  3. Copy the code in the form next to Embed this video.

  4. Open a new forum post and write something about it. Do not forget to mention the source of the video.

  5. In the HTML editor, use the Enter key after the source and then click on the HTML button to switch to HTML mode.

  6. Paste the code after the HTML tag <p> (which corresponds to a paragraph in the text), as shown in the following screenshot:

  7. Post your message, and the result will look similar to the following screenshot:

This embed procedure is very helpful, and you should keep these very simple steps in mind:

  1. Copy the embed code.

  2. Click on the HTML button in the HTML editor.

  3. Paste the embed code.

In a post, the size of the video (width and height) will fit well in the screen. However, if we were embedding it in a Moodle block, we would have to change something in the code used as is. We will leave that for later, when it's needed.

Examples of uses of a forum with videos

Using forums with videos is a great way to start a discussion, and it can also be used to do the following:

  • Commenting on a video excerpt

  • Creating a collaborative video selection

  • Broadcasting a live event

  • Posting a video to add subtitles and comments

  • Posting a silent video for students to submit a soundtrack

  • Posting a video tutorial capturing procedures for a software application

We have just tried three simple examples of using content that was not made by us. Creating our own multimedia content is another story; however, nowadays it can be quite easy, with the price of equipment going down, software interfaces getting simpler to use, and a wide variety of free software being available for multimedia editing. We now don't have any excuses for not using it, except for a lack of time. The subsequent chapters in this book will deal with this multimedia production, explaining and showing how to create these resources for delivery and active learning, not just as products but also as activities for your students to participate in.

To give you just a flavor of what the course will be, here is a list of some examples that will be developed either for the course by the teachers, or during the course activities by the students:

  • Adding short audio clips and voice recordings to forums

  • Producing video tutorials explaining some tasks in music software and exploring some websites

  • Adding a soundtrack and remixing a video

  • Creating an interactive timeline of the history of music

  • Creating a collective world map with multimedia placemarks of world instruments

  • Designing a music studio floor plan

  • Drawing a cartoon strip about a scene in the life of a musician

  • Creating a collaborative multimedia music styles glossary

  • Creating interactive diagrams and charts

  • Using multimedia Moodle quizzes, lessons, and assignments with multimedia, and many other such exciting activities