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

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.


For further help and tutorials, go to

Task 1—Adding images to forums

  1. 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 any restrictions, except for needing to cite the author—we will have a look at copyright issues in Chapter 8).

  2. 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 CTRL key on the keyboard), and save the picture to your computer.

  3. 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:

  • Share photos and report study visits

  • Share and discuss a painting, a drawing, or a cartoon

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

  • Share screen captures of works made with software

Task 2—Adding sound to forums

  1. 1. Select a song from the Wired CD (

  2. 2. Download it to your computer, again by right-clicking on the link to the music, and saving the target of the link to your computer.

  3. 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 non-commercial sharing).

  4. 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.

    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 Shockwave Player installed, that's not a problem). Flash Player allows the playing of multimedia content, such as audio, video, or animations inside browsers and nowadays it has become almost a standard on the Web.

We should also have the necessary players for file formats such as Quicktime Movie (*.mov files) and Windows Media Video (*.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 for audio in other Moodle activities (such as the quiz or the assignment), but we'll just focus on the forum for now. We could:

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

  • Make a class selection of music themes

  • Do a roleplay activity in which each student plays a character

  • Ask for a poetry selection and declamation by students

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

  • Generate a podcast through the conversion of the forum's RSS Feed

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

  • Use a text-to-speech tool to create fictitious dialogues

  • Do some ear training exercises

  • Do a show-and-tell exercise

Task 3—Adding videos to forums

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

  2. 2. Copy the URL shown in the Embeddable w/out Video Search field that you will see to the right of the video.

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

  4. 4. In the HTML editor, use the Enter key after the source and then click on the< > button to switch to HTML mode. Paste the code after the HTML tag<br /> (which corresponds to a line break in the text), as shown in the following screenshot:

  5. 5. 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. 1. Copy the embed code.

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

  3. 3. Paste the embed code.

In a post, the size of the video (width and height) will fit well in the screen, but if we were embedding it in a Moodle block, we will 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:

  • Comment on a video excerpt

  • Create a collaborative video selection

  • Broadcast a live event

  • Post a video to add subtitles and comments

  • Post a silent video for students to submit a soundtrack

  • Post 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; but 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:

  • Add short audio clips and voice recordings to forums

  • Produce video tutorials explaining some tasks in music software and exploring some web sites

  • Add a soundtrack and remix a video

  • Broadcast a live video through Moodle

  • Create an interactive timeline of the history of music

  • Create a collective world map with multimedia place marks of world instruments

  • Design a music studio floor plan

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

  • Direct a stop-motion animation

  • Create a collaborative multimedia music styles glossary

  • Create interactive diagrams and charts

  • Use multimedia Moodle quizzes, lessons, and assignments with multimedia

  • And many other such exciting activities!