Getting Started with Moodle – Posting #2

I now have a Moodle learning site set up through and chose a site name:

I chose a theme by clicking on Appearance → Themes → Theme Selector,

and a fully functional Moodle site was ready!


My next stop was browsing through the Moodle documentation for teachers, located here:

You can also experiment on the Moodle demonstration site, which is wiped clean and restored back to normal every hour on the hour:

I found that the next step was to Turn Editing On, and Add a New Course.  This takes you to the course settings page where you can define yourself as an administrator and name your course.

Jacbird Test Course

    • Click on the course name, and you will see the administrator settings at the left. Administration area_left
    • Click on the Settings link to edit the course settings, and use the top navigation bar to navigate back to the main course page. Top Navigation Bar

In order to add or alter course activities, you have to Turn Editing On which is a button located at the top right.  Then use the drop-down menus in the centre window to add a resource or activity:

  • Add an activity such as a Forum, Chat, Wiki, Glossary, or Survey
  • Add a resource such as a Text Page or Web Page

Getting Started with Moodle – Posting #1

This posting is meant to be the first in a series, as I learn how to work with Moodle.

Moodle is a free open-source content management system (CMS) or also known as an LMS or Learning Management System.

I am interested in setting up and learning Moodle to use in a corporate setting, but Moodle is also used widely in academic settings, and by independent educators.


I work at a company where the software product is made up of various modules.  One of those modules, which is electronic health records (EHRs), is quite complex in nature for a novice user to learn.  So, in order for the trainers who work at this company to become experts themselves, they need a general place to view training videos and be able to discuss ideas in open forums.  With an LMS, I feel this can be accomplished easier, and what is great about Moodle is that you can learn it for free!

These postings aren’t meant to re-create the existing Moodle documentation, as they have their own extensive documentation which can be found here:

Instead, I plan to describe my personal experience in getting up & running with this program.

If you are like me, and you don’t want to install Moodle on your own web server, then you can turn to the various free hosting services that are available out there in cyberspace.

This site compares some of them:

I chose mainly because I had already tried Key To School in the past, and was having trouble reactivating my learning site.  So the first step for me was to register with and create my learning site, which you will see in the next posting.

The Puppy Dog Close

Puppy DogEarlier this year, I was reading a book called “The 4-hour Workweek” (by Timothy Ferriss), and I came across an interesting sales technique called “The Puppy Dog Close”.

Basically, this sales technique is used if someone wants to buy something, but they are hesitant.  An example of this would be when the salesperson at a pet store offers to let the customer take a puppy home with them, and just bring it back if they don’t want it.  Of course, in most cases the customer will want to keep the puppy!

The characteristics of this technique appear to be that the deal is a reversible trial (the customer can always bring the puppy back), and the product should be something that can easily sell itself.


Timothy Ferriss speaks of this example in terms of convincing your boss to agree to let you skip meetings at work, by demonstrating that you can complete more work as a result.  In this situation, he is adapting the puppy dog close technique slightly.  What he is suggesting is that you can convince people to accept a situation by offering them a one-time “let’s just try this once” type deal.  And of course, by offering some sort of of benefit that would result from the situation, and would be hard to refuse.

I’m sure there are many more situations where this technique is being used.  For example, free trial gym memberships, sample foods at the grocery store, new car test drives at the dealership, free makeovers at the cosmetics counter, etc.  In all of these examples, it is products that are being offered to a customer.  However, instead of products, you could be offering an idea that you want someone to accept, or a lifestyle change, or any other type of situation.

The trick is, that once the customer tries out the product (or idea, or activity etc.), that they become hooked and as a result, they buy into that product or situation.  A little bit manipulative sounding?  But then again, it’s probably a good way to get people to try out new things that they would otherwise be too trepid to try.  What are your thoughts on this technique?


Find me on Twitter:  @jacbird and @masitblog


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