LEO Guides

Blocks

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screenshot of the Administration Block within LEO Blocks are a key element of the LEO interface, and function as shortcuts to the common features of LEO.

Some Blocks come as standard within LEO units and can't be deleted, such as the 'Navigation' and 'Administration' blocks.  However there are other blocks you can add yourself such as ePortfolio, HTML, and Latest Badges.

Blocks can be 'configured' to appear where and when you want them to within LEO. You can select which page types they display on (for example 'Any type of unit main page', 'Any page', or 'Any unit page'), whether they default to the left or right hand side of the screen, and the block's default weight. Put simply, the weight you give your block will dictate how high or low it appears on the side of the page you have selected it to appear.

Blocks can be 'docked' (minimised and hidden from view), or remain on display as required.

Blocks are a way of adding additional functionality to your LEO unit.

While the Block functionality cannot be used for the purposes of assessing your students, it can still provide useful functionality around assessment, or provide information to your students.

For example, the 'Activities' block functions as a shortcut list to all of the activities within your LEO unit. Every time you add an Assignment, Choice, Forum, Lesson, Quiz, or Resource, these will also be accessible via the links in the Activities block. Adding an Activities block is a way of providing additional points of entry to the activities and resources housed within your LEO unit.

The 'Unit completion' Block can also be a useful way of helping students track their progress through all of the activities housed in your unit. Both teaching staff and students can see this Block, although what it displays will vary according to the role you have within the LEO unit. Students are able to track their own progress through the Block, whereas teaching staff are able to see a list of all students within the unit, and their corresponding unit completion status. The 'Unit completion' Block will allow your students to see at a glance how they are tracking in your LEO unit.

NOTE: The unit completion block will only appear if you have enabled the completion tracking criteria. To turn completion tracking you need to:

  1. Navigate to the 'Administration' Block
  2. Under 'Unit administration' 'click on 'Edit settings'
  3. Scroll down to the section 'Completion tracking' and then click on the heading to expand the section
  4. Select 'Yes' from the dropdown next to 'Enable completion tracking'
  5. Click 'Save and display' when you are done.

Similarly, the 'HTML' Block can be used to display instructions to students around assessment tasks.

Blocks are a way of displaying useful information for your students, or contain LEO navigation links.

Blocks can be open (displayed) which is the default, or they can be 'docked', meaning they are hidden from view. All users within LEO are able to 'dock' blocks within LEO. Docking blocks reduces clutter on the page, and enlarges the centre section of the LEO unit.

There are two main benefits to Blocks: the way they signpost to useful and frequently used links and resources (for example the 'Navigation' and 'Administration' Blocks), and the way they can be used to present information to your students. There are a number of different Blocks you can add to your LEO units for a variety of purposes.

One of the most versatile blocks is the HTML block.  This block can be used to display text, images, YouTube videos, and social media Feeds.

screenshot of a HTML block, being used to display an RSS Feed from ABC News The 'Block' is a versatile tool, which can allow you to 'bring in' external web-based content for your students!

Using the HTML Block for example, you can embed a YouTube or Vimeo video, a social media feed, or embed any other content from the web.

Similarly, you can use a 'Remote RSS feeds' block to add a RSS feed to your LEO unit.

Every time your students log in, the HTML Block will have changed. Adding a HTML Block to your LEO unit will make it a dynamic, engaging, digital learning space.

The 'Latest Badges' Block will display all of the badges a student has earned within that LEO unit. Put simply, a badge is a digital representation of an activity completed within LEO. Badges are a way of extrinsically motivating your students to complete activities within your LEO unit, in a theory known as 'gamification'. Badges can function as a reward for the student upon completing particular tasks or series of tasks, and some students may be motivated to engage with additional activities within your LEO unit in order to collect all of the available badges.

This case study reports the results of an experiment at The University of Hong Kong, which sought to examine the effects of gamification on students’ engagement and learning. Gamification strategies, which included the use of digital badges, were found to be effective in motivating students to view and post more within the Moodle environment. Students in the gamified group were more likely to engage with extra-curricular activities in the Moodle site (LEO unit) then students who were a part of the control group. The authors suggest that "in tertiary education, educators and practitioners may consider using gamification strategies, at least in the short term, to scaffold out-of-class learning" (2015, 280).

Huang, B., Hew, KF (2015) Do points, badges and leaderboard increase learning and activity: A quasi-experiment on the effects of gamification. In:The 23rd International Conference on Computers in Education. [online] Hanszhou, China: The 23rd International Conference on Computers in Education, pp.275 - 280. Retrieved from: http://www.apsce.net/uploaded/filemanager/efa21a04-e88c-45fd-9bd7-1e57a8168934.pdf [Accessed 7 Jun. 2016].

Huang, B., Hew, KF (2015) Do points, badges and leaderboard increase learning and activity: A quasi-experiment on the effects of gamification. In:The 23rd International Conference on Computers in Education. [online] Hanszhou, China: The 23rd International Conference on Computers in Education, pp.275 - 280. Retrieved from: http://www.apsce.net/uploaded/filemanager/efa21a04-e88c-45fd-9bd7-1e57a8168934.pdf [Accessed 7 Jun. 2016].