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How do I make a permanent Moodle block for online office hours?

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While we recommend using Google Calendar to set up 1-to-1 student drop-ins, you can also add a block in Moodle with a permanent link to Google Meet that your students can use to join your online office hours.

Adding the block

  1. Go to your Moodle course and add an HTML block.
  1. Once the block appears on the left-hand side, click the cog icon on the right and choose Configure (new HTML block) block.
  1. Give a title to the block and click to switch to HTML mode.

If you can’t see the HTML icon , make sure you are using the Atto editor.

  1. Copy the code below and paste it into the HTML field:
<p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://radar.brookes.ac.uk/radar/file/1fadde6c-da9b-42df-9673-d409ba432b8f/1/online-office-hours.svg" alt="Two bubble icons on top each other." width="150" height="111" class="img-responsive atto_image_button_middle"></p>
<p style="text-align: center;">Every Tuesday, 1pm-2pm</p>
<p style="text-align: center;"><a href="paste the google meet link here" class="btn btn-primary" target="_blank">Join</a></p>

After you paste the code above, don’t switch from HTML to text mode yet.

  1. In the code above replace Every Tuesday, 1pm-2pm with the date and time that you are available for office hours.
  1. Open your Brookes Gmail in a new tab, click the grid from the top right and choose Meet. Then click Join or start a meeting.
  1. Click Join now and copy the Google Meet link right above ‘Copy joining info’.
  1. Return to Moodle and paste the Meet link to replace the words paste the google meet link here in the code in step 4.
  1. Click to switch from HTML to text mode and then Save Changes at the bottom of the screen.

Pros and cons of using a block

Pros
1. Easy 1-click access to office hours via the module in Moodle.
2. Skip Google Calendar invites.
3. Fewer emails with students.


Cons
1. No waiting room — other students will be able to join the room when you are already with another student.
2. No reminders — you will have to rely on students to remember to enter the room.

Updated on July 14, 2020

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