6.4 Moodle Small Group Appointments

One of the most fundamental features of any course is the ability to offer students specific office hours where they can sign up for additional help from their instructor and or from any teaching assistants. Thankfully, there is a Moodle plugin which provide this Signup Sheet function to allow students to create online appointments.

Go to this page to download the latest version of the Signup Sheets plugin (which is also called tutorial booking):


Then install it with the Moodle Installer. The installation ends at the Signup Sheet New Settings screen. Change the number of participants from 30 to 4. Change live service emails from No to Yes. Then click Save changes. Skip the Notification screen. Click My Courses and then the template course.

Maximum course size of 12 students.

Click on Week 1 Add Activity to add the Signup Sheet activity to that week. Wed, Thurs Fri 10 to 11 am

Calculating the Number small group appointments needed and the number of students per small group appointments

The purpose of the 1 hour small group video conference appointments is to help students complete their 4 weekly projects and prepare for their 4 weekly quizzes. Assuming you are teaching a full load of four 4 credit classes (two on Monday -Wednesday and two on Tuesday Thursday) with 12 students per course, you might have a maximum of 48 students.

With a maximum of 4 students per small group and each group meeting for 60 minutes, you will need 12 small group sessions. We will set up our template course for Course 1 small group appointments and then change the descriptions for the other three courses when we make them from the course template.

Here is the Name and Description for the template and for Course 1:

6.3 Add a Moodle Calendar

Whether you are an instructor or a student, after you log into your account, you can click on the hamburger menu in the upper left corner of the Home page and then click on the Dashboard menu item to go to your personal dashboard page. The student or teacher Dashboard features their personal calendar of events.


A student can click on New Event and add what Moodle calls a User Event – which is an event that only the user who created it can see.


The personal Dashboard page Calendar provides users with links to their courses and activities within their courses, such as upcoming assignments.

6.2 Create a Lesson with Moodle

We previously created a Moodle Category called Course templates. We then created a 12 week course in that category called Flexible Sections Course Template. We divided this course into 3 parts with each part taking 4 weeks. The first Week in Part 1 was divided into four topics each of which we will call a sub section or a lesson.

Different meanings of the word Lesson
We will use the term Lesson to mean an individual hour long class session with its associated Activities – including a reading assignment, a video watching assignment, a video conference class session and a quiz. We will use use Lesson 1.1 as an example of how to use various Moodle tools to create a lesson.


Unfortunately, Moodle calls each Lesson a Topic or a Section and assumes that we will only be covering one topic or section per week. In addition, Moodle has an Activity called Lesson which is actually a complex series of flow charts. Moodle’s use of the word Lesson to describe their complex flow chart is unfortunate because it can be extremely confusing for both students and teachers.

We will not be using the Moodle Activity called Lesson. But we will use other Moodle Activities to create each of our lessons and we will plan four of these lessons for each week!

6.1 Moodle Course Planning

In this article, we will provide a process for setting up a Moodle course as well as an annual and quarterly course schedule. Previously, in Article 3.1, we divided our first course, called Better Word Processing, into an Introduction followed by 3 Parts.


Each Part, when clicked on, displays 3 to 4 chapters – which Moodle calls Sections:


Each chapter when clicked on displays 4 sub-sections:


Each of our 12 courses at College in the Clouds is designed to be taught as a College level 5 credit course. The assumption of a 5 credit course is that the class will meet for 5 hours per week. This can be 1 hour each day Monday through Friday or for two hours twice a week (for example, 1 to 3 pm on Mondays and Wednesdays) with a one hour small group session after the large group video conference sessions. In addition, students are expected to spend at least 10 hours per week preparing for their class sessions and or completing projects and quizzes after their class sessions. It is also assumed that a full time schedule would be 3 five credit courses or 15 credits. Multiply 3 times 15 hours per course results in a full time commitment of 45 hours per week.