1.3.1 Provide technical guidance

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1. Context

Why should you give technical guidance to your participants?

A new course or work environment can be intimidating. Your participants might use Moodle for the first time and feel uncomfortable at the beginning. Giving them technical guidance could help them feel secure and comfortable within the course. It is necessary to avoid cognitive overload: while they fight with their computer or get upset with the technics, they may not have enough brain processing left available for learning.

Therefore, it is a good habit to have them test their equipment before the course really starts. For example, you could offer them a few files of different formats to check whether their computer can manage them (e.g. a PDF file, a MP3 audio file, an embeded video...).

A technical guide is useful to explain them other technical constraints of the course. For example, depending on the platform and its configuration, this guide could:

— explain them the maximum size and number of files they can attach to a forum post or an assignment;
— make clear the forum subscription choices;
— present the structure of the email received from posts in a forum, and how to answer these properly, or how to get attached files by connecting to the Moodle site;
— show how to drag and drop files to upload them to the platform;
— help them to find useful information using navigation blocks or their MyHome page;
— present external tools used in the course and how they deal with them;
— other technical features unique to your course. 

Once the participants feel safe, they are more likely to forget the technical aspects and put all their efforts in learning.