How do students and teachers log in?
Go to Engage.mcpss.com and log in with your MCPSS username and password.
Your username is the part of your email address before the @ symbol. You can log in with your full email address, but not the very first time you log in. The first time you log in, your account is created based on your user name being matched with other district records. That first log in needs just your username in order to find your email address and associate it with your new Engage account. So - after that first login, you can use either your username or your entire email address.
Can I reset or retrieve my Engage/Moodle password?
Moodle just uses your regular MCPSS password.
Moodle does not store passwords - or even have passwords of its own. When you log in, Moodle is really checking with another district server and getting permission from it to let you in or not. The password you use for Moodle is the same password that you use to log into school computers, the school WiFi (midevice), Office 365, Discovery Education, and many other district systems. You can test your password by attempting to sign in at 365.mcpss.com or mcpss.discoveryeducation.com.
If you are certain that you are using the correct password and it is not working - or if you have forgotten it, go to 365.mcpss.com and use the “forgot password” link to try to reset your password.
If you do change your MCPSS password (outside of Moodle), then you can immediately use that new password in Moodle.
For help with password resets during the school closure period, please call 221-7777
This special help line is active between 7:00 AM and 4:30 PM, Monday - Friday.
I have a student who can't log in - what should we do?
Login problems (in Engage and other district systems) are often username and/or password issues. A few things to consider:
Ask the student to use only the username portion of the email address to log in - especially if this is the first time the student is logging into Engage. The username is the part of the email address before the @ symbol.
Ask the student to use the same password as for Office 365, logging into a school computer, Discovery Education, and the school WiFi.
Ask the student to test the password by trying to log into Office 365 (365.mcpss.com) or Discovery Education (mcpss.discoveryeducation.com).
Communicate with the Instructional Technology department (send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org). Provide the student's name, username, and the date and time of the login problem, and the site logs for that day can be examined to determine if the student was using the correct password. It is important to note that the password is not visible to anyone. Moodle does not store passwords and MCPSS passwords are encrypted.
I have a student who can log in but is immediately taken to a profile page to enter her name - but the name fields are grayed out and she can't go any further.
This happens - rarely - when there are some incomplete fields in the student's district directory account. Moodle tries to retrieve the student's name based on its communication with another server, but can't because the information is unavailable. Moodle then tries to allow the student to enter the information, but students aren't allowed to change basic information like names - that is why the name fields are grayed out. We also don't allow anonymous accounts in our site, so Moodle doesn't allow the student to do anything until the profile includes first and last names.
Is it Moodle or Engage?
Both - sort of. Moodle is the software. Engage is the name of our online learning platform - Engage.mcpss.com.
Is it hard to use?
Moodle has a "low floor and a high ceiling". It is very quick and easy to get started - and it has a wide range of learning activities that you can investigate as time allows and you want to do more. You can build a very effective online course using just a few of the basic activities and resources. Some activities take just a minute or two to create
Moodle gives you a wide variety of activities and resources, each with a range of settings that give you the ability and freedom to design highly effective learning opportunities for your students. With that ability and freedom comes a certain level of possible complexity - some things are harder than others. But some things are incredibly quick to create and give big returns.
As an example, consider the Assignment activity. In roughly 30 seconds (4 clicks, type a title, and click one more time), you can create an online "dropbox" for students to easily upload any type of work and for you to view that work, grade it, and give the students actionable feedback. You can also take a few extra minutes to customize the activity - even to include an online rubric for grading and the conversion of the student work to PDF format with markup and commenting tools - and be selective about who in your course can see it.
The Quick Start section of this site includes instructions for setting up a course and adding several activities and resources that can serve immediately as foundations of your online classroom.
How do I get a course and long does it take?
MCPSS teachers can create a new course at any time. When you log in at https://engage.mcpss.com, you'll see a "Create a course" button. Click that, give your course a name and a location, and your course is ready immediately. Roughly 2 minutes total.
Is there a limit on courses?
No - and teachers may set up courses for any reason. Clubs, enrichment, faculty book studies, self-paced instructional courses, school-wide projects, etc.
I am no longer listed as the teacher in my course. What happened and how do I fix it?
One of Moodle's great features is that you can reset your course at the end of the semester or year. This unenrolls all of your old students and removes all of their submitted work - but leaves your course activities and resources in place to use with your new students.
But it also allows you to remove teachers from the course, and you may have accidentally included yourself in the list of people to unenroll. Your course is still there, you just need to be restored as the teacher. This is one of the few times when you need admin help (this is a safeguard so that not just anyone can become a teacher in your course). Email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 221-6208. It can usually be taken care of very quickly.
I used to have a Moodle course, but I haven't used in a long time. I'm not sure it is even still there.
We are hesitant to remove old courses - unless they are really old - so there is a good chance that it might still be there.
Start by clicking the My Courses menu at the top of the page and see if it is there. That would mean that it is still in place and you are still listed as the teacher.
You can also "drill down" into the site by clicking All Courses > Schools > etc. to find your school and grade level or department. If you find your course, but you are not listed as the teacher, email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 221-6208. It can usually be taken care of very quickly.
Why the funny name?
The word Moodle is an acronym for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment, which is mostly useful to programmers and education theorists. It's also a verb (in the bigger English dictionaries) that describes the process of lazily meandering through something, doing things as it occurs to you to do them, an enjoyable tinkering that often leads to insight and creativity. A sort of cross between "muse" and "doodle". As such it applies both to the way Moodle was originally developed, and to the way a student or teacher might approach studying or teaching an online course in an ongoing, iterative way. Anyone who uses Moodle is a Moodler.
You can use the word in everyday conversation by saying things like, "Bob can't come to the phone right now - he's moodling around in the back yard".