Book Image

Moodle 1.9 Multimedia

Book Image

Moodle 1.9 Multimedia

Overview of this book

In today's world, multimedia can provide a more engaging experience for learners. You can embed your own audio, link to pages off-site, or pull a YouTube video into your course. You can use feature-rich quizzes that allow you to assess your students, or provide them with tools and feedback to test their own knowledge. All these require standard procedures and cutting-edge tools. Selecting tools to make multimedia integration in Moodle faster, simpler, and more precise is not child's play. This book provides you with everything you need to include sound, video, animation, and more in your Moodle courses. You'll develop Moodle courses that you are proud of, and that your students enjoy. This book covers integration of multimedia into Moodle, covering major multimedia elements such as images, audio, and video. It will take you through these elements in detail where you will learn how to create, edit, and integrate these elements into Moodle. The book is written around the design of an online course called "Music for Everyday Life" using Moodle, where teachers and students create, share, and discuss multimedia elements. You will also learn how to use Web 2.0 tools to create images, audio, and video and then we will take a look at the web applications that allow easy creation, collaboration, and sharing of multimedia elements. Finally, you will learn how to interact with students in real-time using a particular online phone service and a desktop sharing application.
Table of Contents (13 chapters)
Moodle 1.9 Multimedia
About the author
About the reviewers

Chapter 1. Getting Ready for Multimedia in Moodle

Multimedia is a very old human endeavor. And curiously, it all started with images, more than 30,000 years ago, painted by pre-historic humans on cave walls. The Chauvet caves and Lascaux caves, in France have the oldest paintings known to man (refer to the following image).

Source: Sacred destinations (2009).Lascaux cave painting. Retrieved April 14, 2009, from (Public domain)

This was the first technology invented to express and capture not only the world we experienced through our senses, but also our imagination and creativity in a medium that could be shared with others.

When compared to these paintings, written text is quite recent, and it marks the beginning of History, more than 9,000 years ago (that's the reason we call the period before it the pre-History). After stone, papyrus was used in ancient Egypt, then parchment, and later paper, invented in China and brought to Europe in the 12th Century.

The 19th Century saw great developments in multimedia. From photography to motion pictures, from mass production of paper to the new process of printing images and text on the same page, all of it was invented during this time.

Ironically, it took mankind almost all of the 30,000 years since the paintings on cave walls to get a combination of text, image, sound, and video, all working in the same medium. The first motion pictures articulating all of these elements were first watched in the 1920's, with soundtracks, subtitles, and of course, pictures—still or moving.

The real revolution started with the advent of computers and the Internet, and later on the World Wide Web in the beginning of the 90's, and economically-accessible technology for the masses. And finally, after thousands of years of human history, we (not just an elite few) can now create multimedia easily, and share it without great effort. In a way, it's a new era for human imagination, creativity, and expression.

This book is about exploring these new possibilities for not only we teachers and educators, but also we students and learners, for teaching, learning, and imagining in new ways, in our everyday life. And of course, we will be using Moodle for all of this.

By the end of this chapter we will:

  • Know a little bit about the history of multimedia

  • Understand some reasons for using multimedia in Moodle

  • Attach a sound file to a Moodle forum post

  • Embed an online video in a Moodle forum post

  • Insert an image in a Moodle forum post

  • Choose equipment and software with which to start creating multimedia

Multimedia in Moodle

Moodle was built around an idea of learning that happens when a group of people constructs things for one another, creating, collaboratively, a small culture of shared artifacts with shared meanings.

Moodle makes available many resources (web pages, books, files, links, and so on) and activities (forums, assignments, quizzes, lessons, databases, glossaries, and so on) to support teaching and learning, but what can distinguish working with these from paper and pencil work is the way we explore the possibilities of computers and the Web to articulate multimedia elements with text. Creating these multimedia elements, a very powerful concept too, is not possible using Moodle (it is not in its scope either), so when I am talking about using multimedia in Moodle I am mainly referring to the creation of multimedia using other kind of tools, particularly by students, and guided and later integrated, discussed, and assessed through Moodle.

Using multimedia in this way can provide more opportunities, to a group of teachers and students, for the construction of, in this case, multimedia artifacts. We will try to use multimedia not only as a product for better delivery, but also to improve the ways in which students can construct.

It is usually said that multimedia can be beneficial for learning, as it can approach diverse learning styles, add interactivity and learner control, and reduce the time required to learn or extend the information presented through different channels. When we talk about multimedia elements, we are talking about content; however, I would say that pedagogy is even more important. That is why we should also value diverse classroom practices around multimedia rather than just using it exclusively for delivery.

I would like to quote the words of Seymour Papert (1993):

Across the world children have entered a passionate and enduring love affair with the computer


Papert, Seymour: Preface to The Children's Machine: Rethinking School in the Age of the Computer. Retrieved 14 August, 2008, from

I believe that this also applies to multimedia—using multimedia in Moodle is a way of engaging our students and making subjects more interesting to them.

This book was written around the design of an online course called Music for an everyday life using Moodle, which is available at This course is open to everyone (no enrolment key is needed; it has a guest access), so you can share it with colleagues as it is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license. This gives you a lot of freedom in using and remixing the course's content in your own course.

You might ask, why music? Music, besides being fun and horizontal to all cultures, is a subject that can easily gather contributions from areas such as Science (for example, Waves and Sound), Geography (with instruments from around the world, such as the Ukelele), Languages (music in itself is a language), World History (from medieval music to jazz), or even Social Sciences (the law around creative works). This book was not made for musicians in particular, and one of its main challenges was to reach different educators from different subjects. Music is simply the way to get all of these perspectives working together.