FAQs

Also check the Known Issues page for identified problems and workarounds if your question is not listed below.

Table of Contents


Course Copy Wizard Doesn't Work

The Course Copy Wizard doesn't work, but the Backup and Restore tools do. First Backup the original course, then Restore the the file into the current course.

Problem requiring data from server

If PolyDATA is down, then courses will not appear in the My Classes portlet on the Portal. People can still access their PolyLearn courses by clicking on the PolyLearn Home link.
screen image of PolyDATA My Classes

Can't Drag and Drop

Use Firefox, Safari or Chrome. IE is not a good browser for PolyLearn. Many of the tools do not work in IE.

Recommended minimum browser:

  • Firefox 4
  • Internet Explorer 10 - Really should use a different browser than IE (required for drag and drop of files from outside the browser into Moodle)
  • Safari 5
  • Google Chrome 11

PolyLearn courses not appearing in the Portal (My Classes)

If you can not access your PolyLearn courses via the Portal > My Classes link, then go to the PolyLearn Home. You will be required to login with your Cal Poly username and password.

screen image of Portal Home
...once in PolyLearn, click on the My Courses link in the Info Block. The page will display a page with your courses listed by quarter in a tab format.

Info Block, My Courses

Orphaned Activities

After you have copied content from another course into your current course, you may have Orphaned Activities on each Content block. Also the Edit Summary would be missing from the Content block as well. You can fix this by going into the Edit Settings and changing the Number of Sections to a larger number than the default 10, will bring back your Content blocks and the text.

The Portal doesn't show that my course is ON

When you turn on the course in PolyLearn, it will take a while before the icon in the Portal will change. Students will not see the "P PolyLearn" next to their course right away. It may take 4 hours for the Portal displays the P PolyLearn.
Portal, PL on

In the mean time, students can always access PolyLearn via the PolyLearn Home link.

Instructors can tell that the course is on via their PolyLearn Navigation block...
screen image of Nav bar
...when the course ID is not greyed out anymore when the course is ON.

Students are unable to submit exams after "submitted before time" expires

If the "Close the quiz" time is set, the option for "When time expires" was defaulted to "Attempts must be submitted before time expires, or they are not counted". With this setting, students will not be able to submit their quiz after the time has expired and there will not be any questions to grade. Please make sure to use other options when the Quiz settings. Please see your tutorials for more information.

When using the File resource only one file displays

The File resourse only is set up to allow one file to be viewed, no matter how many files you upload into the tool. If you would like to have multiple files available, try using the Folder resource. In addition, files can be dragged and dropped into any content section, this can speed up your course development process by not using the file tool.

How do you merge course sections?

You can now merge your own course sections. After the course is merged, students who are not enrolled in the main course will see the "P" link in the the PolyLean Access - You are NOT officially enrolled in these classes, space.

screen image of Portal My Classes
student view of the My Classes for merged courses

Students are unable to use QuickMail

After our last update to Moodle 2.3.6, the QuickMail tool is not allowing students to email outside of their groups. This is being worked on, but in the mean time the Instructor can create a group for the whole class (including the instructor) to allow the students to use the QuickMail tool fully. To create a group for the whole class, please see the support page for groups.

My Private Files are missing in PolyLearn

The My Private Files information is located in the PolyLearn system AY 2011-2012 (last academic year). Private files in the AY 2011-2012 (Fall 2011 - Summer 2012) system can be exported and imported into the AY 2012-2013 (Fall 2012 - Summer 2013) systems. BUT, before you import all your files over, you may be interested in the NEW PolyLearn (Moodle 2.3) tools that allow you to drag and drop your files into your course as well as the My Private Files tool.

The File Picker and Private Files tools look different

The NEW PolyLearn (Moodle 2.3) sytem allows you to drag and drop files into the course and into the Private Files. The File picker for the course and Private Files is also different.

Students not enrolled in my class are in Groups and Grades

When a student drops from your course in PASS, they are suspended from the PolyLearn course. Suspended students cannot access the PolyLearn course, but their names are still listed in the downloaded gradebook file and placed into groups.

The instructor can delete these suspended students if the students has been suspended for 72 consecutive hours. Deleting these students will remove them from the course.

To learn more about this tool, please view the Users tutorial.

Downloaded Grades only shows 10 students, why?

Please view the online tutorial. If you try to open an OpenDocument Spreadsheet (ODS) file in Excel, you will only see 10 students. If you download the Grades as an Excel Spreadsheet file (CSV), you will see all the students' grades.

I can't find a block that was previously on my course page, how do I get it back?

The Settings and Navigation blocks cannot be deleted. If you can't find either of these blocks, you most likely "docked" them (other blocks can be docked and/or deleted). For more information, please see the Blocks page.

Images are SLOW to load

When placing an image on a web page your image should be only as large as it needs to be to display correctly on the page. If your image is too large (800 x 600) and you resize it on the web page editor (using something like PolyLearn), the file size is not reduced, just the image size. If you reduce the image size in Photoshop to display the correct size on the web page you can save file space/size and allow the viewers to view the image quicker. Please see the Photo Optimization page for more information.

Files can't be opened from my students

It may be that your student has uploaded a file that has an incorrect file name, such as; "l1.2 Research Document.pdf". In this case the extra period in the file name confuses the computer system and so then the computer is unsure of the file type (i.e., in this case, PDF). This problem may cause the file not to open. People sharing files outside of their own computers can prevent these types of problems by following the naming conventions as shown under the "Correct" column below:

CORRECT

  • Dog.doc
  • theDogRan.doc
  • thedogran.doc
  • Dog1.doc
  • Dog_1.doc
  • Dog Ran.doc

INCORRECT

  • dog-ran.doc
  • dog&ran.doc
  • Dog#1.doc
  • dog/ran.doc
  • dog.ran.doc
  • the dog ran over the road to a field and chased the cat to the park.doc

How do I add more topic blocks/sections to my course?

By default, your course shell has 10 topic sections on the main course page. For more information, please view the Edit Settings page.

How do I add a course banner to my course?

A course banner is simply an image you insert into the first content section within the Edit Summary section of the course. To do this, follow the guide on the Support page.

I want to display the description next to the link on the main course page

This feature will be available in Moodle 2.2. We are currently running Moodle 2.1 and will update to Moodle 2.2 in the future (TBD).

How do I drop the lowest score in Grades?

You must have your gradebook set up with categories (accomplished through the Categories and items tab, see Grades). Once you have categories set up, you can drop the lowest 1-20 grades in each category. For more information, please see the Grade page.

Grades are overridden or excluded which effect the grade totals

The instructor can chose to exclude a student grade so it doesn't count against their total, but sometimes this "exclude" setting is picked on accident and effects the grade totals (less than earned). The instructor can fix the setting, please see the support page on excluded grades. It is also possible to override grades and it can also effect the grade total (less than earned). Please see the support page on overridden grades.

I can't enter grades for a category I've created in Grades

Categories are only used for organizing and weighting your PolyLearn gradebook - they cannot have grades entered into them in the Grader report. You must add a grade item to the category to enter grades into in the Grader report. For more information, please view the Grades page.

Can I upload Quiz/Survey questions from Excel into PolyLearn?

At this time it is NOT possible to create Quiz/Survey questions outside of PolyLearn using a program like Excel. Questions must be created in the Question bank or Quiz/Survey. Though questions from the Question bank can be exported in various formats (i.e., GIFT, Moodle XML, etc.), these formats are only intended for transferring questions to another PolyLearn course where they can be imported. The export formats cannot be edited outside of PolyLearn.

Students can't view PDFs on their iPad or iPhone

If you would like your students to view your PDF files on their iPad or iPhone, make sure to set the "Display" option of the file to OPEN. The Display pull-down menu can be found in the Appearance area of the "Update File" page. With editing turned on, click on the edit/update icon (little hand with a pencil) next to the file to get to this page.
screen image of the options area of update a file

iClicker: Can't use the PolyLearn roster

You go to Grades, then Export. Select a plain text file with tabs and download. Change the "First Name" to "Surname". Follow the iClicker guide provided by the vender.

I can't see PolyLearn courses in the My Classes channel

If you are using the IE 9 browser, you may not be able to see the PolyLearn courses in the My Classes channel on the Portal. In order to see these courses, the user can enable the compatibility mode of the browser. To do this, follow the guide on the Tech Requirements page to activate the compatibility view for PolyLearn.

I can't find the Settings block

Blocks can be docked and appear to be missing from your course page. You can undock the block so it will appear on the right or left of the course content. See the Add Blocks page for more information.

I can't upload file in my browser

Some browsers are not fully supported by Moodle. Most features will work in all browsers but if your browser is failing for any reason, click on the Browser Checker link to see if your browser is supported for PolyLearn (Moodle) 2.1. Also, view the Tech Requirements page to see a full breakdown on supported platforms and how to get PolyLearn working in the various browsers.

The file picker in Safari will not load files

While using Safari on your MAC, you may find that the loading wheel will spin and the file doesn't ever load. If this happens you can either pick the Creative Commons in the Choose License pull-down list or use Firefox to download the file. See File Management for more information.

Students can't view my file on their iPad

The Display option for the file can prevent your students from viewing the whole file on their iPad or other mobile device. Instructors can change their file Display to allow mobile users to view the file. See Add File for more information.

Quiz: Immediate Feedback

A student can "check" their answer during the quiz attempt. Checking an answer is the same as submitting only that answer for grading. When the quiz is set to only one attempt, the student can't go back and change the answer. When there are multiple attempts, they can just attempt the quiz again knowing the right answer or at least that their answer was wrong. Even though there is a message at the end of the quiz that you can review and change your answers, checked questions cannot be changed.

Quiz check button

File upload error using Firefox on Android

When uploading a file from Firefox Mobile, the file names will be wrong. The instructor will need to rename the file after uploading it by clicking the page icon next to the file and choosing Rename. The file extension will also need to be changed as it will currently be null. Change the extension to whatever it was in the original file, such as .docx, .xlsx, or .ppt. Click Rename once the correct file name is input.

Trouble moving items while using Internet Explorer 9

Some have experienced problems while trying to move an item within a course while using Internet Explorer 9. The boxes will not appear for the instructor to click while moving items. In order to get these boxes to appear, the instructor should enable compatibility mode for viewing the page. To do this, follow the guide on the Tech Requirements page to activate the compatibility view for PolyLearn.

Students can't access my course

PolyLearn course shells are automatically created and unavailable for students to view. To turn the course on for students to view, set the Availability option in the Edit Settings tutorial.

I can't access my PolyLearn Course

PolyLearn is only available for a small group of Fall pilot faculty. If you did not request a PolyLearn pilot course for Fall by August 2011, you will not be able to use PolyLearn for Fall 2011. All faculty will be able to access their PolyLearn course shells in October for Winter 2012 courses. Please view the How to Login tutorial for additional information.

I forgot my password

All users (Cal Poly faculty, staff, and students) login to PolyLearn through the My CalPoly Portal (http://my.calpoly.edu).

  • Visit the Cal Poly Password Manager if you have forgotten your My Cal Poly Password.
  • If this doesn't work, visit Password Help.
  • Cal Poly Passwords expire annually. If your password has expired, visit Password Help.

How to login

All users (Cal Poly faculty, staff, and students) login to PolyLearn through the My CalPoly Portal. Please view the How to Login tutorial for additional information.

Latest news always sends email to students

When posting to the News forum, remember that the content is immediately emailed to the student, regardless of what time frame it is addressing, so try to include a date in the topic in order to lessen the confusion over news. Since the Latest News / News forum will send email that day to students, due dates in the message will help to avoid misunderstandings on deadlines.

Forum doesn't send emails to students

Forums subscriptions will send an email for each forum post. The Instructor can set the forum to allow students to choose if they want emails or force the email subscription.
NOTE: Only Standard forum for general use: Optional or Forced subscriptions works. This bug is being addressed.

I can't delete a page from a Wiki

To delete a wiki page created by an instructor or a student, click on the Wiki activity. Then, click on the Administration tab, and an "X" beside the name of the wiki page will appear. Clicking the "X" will remove that page. See Deleting a Wiki Page for more information.
NOTE: You can only delete the page if you are currently not on the page you are trying to delete.

Assignment won't let me add an attachment

The assignments in PolyLearn do not allow attachments as they did in Blackboard. This problem can be solved by instead adding the attachment as a resource in the course. By following the steps in the file or folder resource guides, the instructor can easily add the attachment below the assignment itself. Make certain though to either label the resource, or include a note in the assignment so that the students will understand that the file/folder is connected to the assignment.

I can't find a file that I uploaded previously

The easiest way to find a file within your course is through the file picker. Although unconventional, the file picker will display all the files currently on the site, separated into folders according to the activity or resource that each file was added to. The downside is that you will have to blindly search through folders if you have no idea where the file is. In future versions of PolyLearn, a search function for the file picker is planned; however, at this time there is no date for when it will be implemented.

To find files via the file picker:

  1. Click Turn editing on.
  2. Click the Add a resource pull-down menu, and select File.
  3. Note: There are many ways to access the file picker; this is just one example.
  4. In the Content section, click the Add... button.
  5. On the left side of the file picker window, select Server files.
  6. Notice there are folders for each activity and resource in your site. Click the folder that you think would most likely contain the file, and navigate through any subfolders if necessary. Repeat until the file is found.
  7. screen image of course folders in file picker
  8. Once the file is found, make note of where the file is located. This is easily done via the breadcrumb trail:
  9. Screen image of a file in the file picker
    Note: The breadcrumb trail provides a "path" to the file. Using the image above as an example, the path to the Kiwi.jpg file is as follows: System, current academic term (Miscellaneous), name of the course (Dennis-Test-Course), name of the activity/resource (Wiki Kiwi), name of the section in the activity/resource (Description).
  10. If it is necessary to download the file, go to the file location (through the course site, not through the file picker) and select to edit the activity/resource. There should be an option to download the file.

Note: If the file still cannot be found, check if you uploaded it to My Private Files, as these personal files do not appear in the Server files section of the file picker. If the file is not in My Private Files, you may have accidentally deleted it, or did not confirm (clicked "Save changes") the file upload.

Students can't see my syllabus

When adding content to a resource, it is important to remember that there is a text box that is designated for resource content. If the instructor accidentally adds the content to the description text box, the students will not be able to easily see this. Therefore, make certain to add the content to the correct location in order to make it as easy as possible for the students to make use of the resource.

Import added extra content

When importing in PolyLearn, the instructor has the ability to select what is being imported. If the instructor chooses to simply import all the content, there will be some duplicate items being added. In order to clean up that content, look at the tutorial for cleaning up imported content.

Quiz results are not displayed in the gradebook

If student quiz scores are not displaying in the gradebook, it may be caused by the fact that the quiz has its maximum points set to zero. To check if this is the case, perform the following check:

  1. Click on the quiz activity.
  2. In the Administration block, click on Edit Quiz.
  3. Screen image for editing quiz through settings block
  4. A Maximum grade category is shown. If it is set to zero, change it to the maximum possible points for the quiz, and click Save.
  5. Screen image of setting the quiz maximum grade
  6. Go back to the main page, and click on the quiz activity again.
  7. Click on the Attempts: ## link.
  8. Click the Regrade all button.
    Screen image of the regrade all button for quiz
  9. Go to the gradebook. There should now be a column for the quiz, as well as the student scores.

I can't find a past course for import

Within the Import tool, the instructor chooses the course to copy content from. If the course doesn't appear in the list provided, the instructor can use the Search tool to find the course.

To learn more about this tool, please view the Import tutorial.