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Tighter Integration Between Moodle and Google Apps for Education


  1. What Morsle is
    1. A block
    2. A mod
    3. A repository
  2. How Morsle works
    1. Teacher entering their Moodle course instantiates Morsle for the course
    2. Morsle creates a Google user using the course shortname (unique)
      1. That user is automatically assigned a calendar
      2. All course users are assigned permissions to the calendar, teacher=writer, student=reader
      3. All course events (anything with a date assigned) get synced to the Morsle calendar for the course
      4. Teacher can add events directly to the Google calendar and it is available to students
    3. Morsle creates a Google group named <course shortname>-group
      1. Morsle adds all course users to the group with read and write permissions
    4. Morsle creates two Google Drive folders
      1. <course shortname>-read
      2. <course shortname>-write
      3. Morsle assigns write permissions to both folders to course teachers
      4. Morsle assigns write permissions to the write folder for students in the course and read-only permissions to the read folder
    5. Morsle creates a Google Site for the course using the Google Site wiki template
      1. Morsle assigns write permissions to the course Google site for all course users
  3. A typical use case for Morsle folders
    1. Read: 
      1. Teacher creates a folder for this course in their Google Drive
      2. Teacher links files and/or folders from their Google Drive to this folder 
        1. This provides for easy re-use of the materials if the course is taught again
      3. Teacher links this course folder to the read folder and they automatically become available to the students to view through the Morsle block
      4. Teacher links files and/or folders to the course page using the file picker and Morsle repository
  4. A typical use case for Morsle calendar
    1. All course events get synced to the Morsle calendar
    2. Students can view Morsle calendar events and get notifications on any device
  5. A typical use case for Morsle groups
    1. Teacher sends group email from Morsle block and a copy is sent to their Gmail account providing audit trail
  6. A typical use case for Morsle sites
    1. Course users collaborate on building out a course wiki site
  7. How Morsle outdistances the Google repository in Moodle
    1. Maintains permissions for documents from the repository
      1. It isn't enough to just create a group with the students and share to the group because Google doesn't update document permissions when a group's members change
    2. Provides easier sharing of Google Drive documents
    3. Provides path for easy re-use of documents in subsequent terms
    4. Allows students good access to documents on any device through Google Drive mobile
    5. Provides students a collaboration area in Google Drive
    6. Provides a course Google calendar and maintains permissions
    7. Provides a course Google group and maintains permissions
    8. Provides a course Google wiki site and maintains permissions

Long outline but a fast-paced session.

Presented by...

Bob Puffer
Robert Puffer
Moodle admin, Developer
Luther College

Bob Puffer has thirty-five years of information technology experience, in software development, networks and systems, and IT management. Employed in the retail, manufacturing, and supply chain management industries Bob came to higher education twelve years ago to manage the LMS for Luther College. Bob guided Luther College away from Blackboard onto Moodle in Fall, 2004. He presented on Moodle at the 2005 Educause event at a time when few had even heard of Moodle and has gone onto present on Moodle across numerous venues. He was a founding member of CLAMP (Collaborative Liberal Arts Moodle Project) and was chosen by the NITLE Foundation as their ‘Moodle Fellow’ providing assistance to other higher education institutions around North America. Bob has consulted with numerous organizations including many colleges, K12, Iowa Public Broadcasting, and venture capitalists seeking to enter the LMS marketplace.

In 2009 Bob developed his own alternative gradebook (LAE Grader Report) which has had over 25,000 downloads and is used by schools all over the world. In June, 2014 he co-chaired the very successful Moodle Gradebook Workshop in Long Beach, California with Mark McKay of UMN.

Bob continues to innovate with many add-ons to Moodle including a tight integration to Google Apps for Education (Morsle), an internal course evaluations module utilizing Google Apps for reporting and an incoming student pre-registration and placement Moodle course, also utilizing Google Apps for reporting. His next area of focus is learning analytics based off from the work done at Purdue.


User account:
Bob Puffer
Last modified Wednesday, December 2, 2015, 6:10 PM
Presentation slides: PDF document Morsle at MoodleMootUS.pdf
Slides visiblity: Make my slides public
Your educational sector: College/University
Roles in which you usually use Moodle: Moodle Administrator
Systems Engineer
T-shirt: Mens - L
Type of presentation: Innovative development (30 min)
Relevant to audience from which sectors: K-12
Workplace (Corporate, Govt.)
Armed Forces
Relevant to audience in which roles: Teacher
Instructional Designer
Course needed: Yes
Permission: I give permission for my photo, slides and recording to be published in relation to this presentation.
Committment: Should my proposed presentation be accepted, I commit to attend the MoodleMoot to present it.
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