Picture of Suzanne Yonesaka
User IDS & Enabling Japanese
by Suzanne Yonesaka - Tuesday, 15 September 2009, 06:55 PM

Its that time of year to clean up the Moodles and get ready for the Fall semester...What? I know, I should've done this months ago, but....I was busy sending my daughter off to college in the US!

I thought I'd ask the moodle forum two questions. I've spent a couple hours in the official Moodle forum and docs, but couldn't find an answer, although I did find a lot of other interesting information.

Question #1:
Getting userIDs. I set up gradebook so that it can sort by "userID" number, which is great. But where do you input the ID number to begin with? I'm assuming "userID" would be the same as student number. Student numbers are such an important part of schools that it seems odd that there's no place to input them. Or have I missed something really basic? Do I have to add a user profile field? (Until now, I've simply told students to set up their profiles like this: firstname =school ID, lastname=Yonesaka_Suzanne.)

Question #2:
Enabling Japanese. I want to
allow students to write to forums in Japanese. I’ve enabled Japanese language pack and have turned on the multilanguage filter. I can type into the forum in Japanese, but it appears as question marks when it is sent. (Obviously, its not that simple!) I remember ages ago when attended the first workshop, and someone said the setting of the Moodle has to be set to UTF-8 (I think). How do I do that? Is there something else I need to do?

I would love to be able to work in Unicode so I could include phonetic symbols, too, but that might be asking way too much. For now, just enabling Japanese would be great.

BTW, I'm running Moodle 1.9.4 on BobPalmer's wonderful BlueSkyHost with Cpanel. I've never opened or touched the databases and don't know php, just a bit of html, so if I have to change any coding, I would need REALLY specific information and a bit of hand-holding.

I would appreciate any help, ideas, suggestions....

Best regards,
Suzanne Yonesaka

work: suzanne@jin.hokkai-s-u.ac.jp
home: syonesaka@gmail.com
Picture of Eric Hagley
Re: User IDS & Enabling Japanese
by Eric Hagley - Tuesday, 15 September 2009, 08:53 PM
Suzanne, glad to see you are still plugging away! Student ID's can be input by:
1, clicking on student name
2. clicking on "edit profile"
3. scrolling down to below "interests". On the right of the page you should see a button that says "show advanced". Click it.
4. In "ID number" input student number.

Of course that is a little difficult.
I ask my students to put in their profile their first name in the usual place and for their surname I ask them to write their student number prior to their surname hence "Hana" "1234567Tanaka". Works well for me.

As to entering Japanese text....
You say you are running 1.9.4...

I suspect you started off with a version way prior to that and just did updates? If so, somewhere along the way you would have had to do a shift to utf8. This would have been quite a big deal. If you didn't do it, you would be experiencing the problems you are.

Unfortunately, if this is the case, my advice would be: do backups of all your courses, download them to your computer, delete your old site completely (databases and all) and do a clean install. It would be easier than trying to backdate all your data to utf8. It really doesn't take that long to delete everything and do a clean install. If you have set backups to automatic, it is just the process of downloading them...

If you are using a "clean install" of 1.9.4 and you have added the language packs then you probably have a browser problem. You should go to the view menu and look at how your browser is doing character encoding. It should be on "Automatic detect Japanese" or something along those lines.

Hope to see you at the workshops.

All the best
Picture of Don Hinkelman
Re: User IDS & Enabling Japanese
by Don Hinkelman - Wednesday, 16 September 2009, 08:20 AM
Hi Suzanne,

At SGU, we put the student ID in the 'firstname' field, and their full name in the 'lastname' field. Everything sorts nicely. You can do it in reverse order and in your admin settings make a universal site setting to put lastname in the first position (this was an option for Asian nations).

Because we enroll 5000 students into Moodle, we do this via bulk upload, and turn on "single sign-on" so students can use the same UserID and Password as the SGU network. But if you have less than 100 students, you can have students do themselves as an easier strategy.

Remember, there is a "Reset" function in your course admin that empties the course of student data for a new term. I make a backup first and store it in case I want to access the student data later.

For Japanese language use, for three years, since version 1.6 of Moodle, all data is Japanese-enabled. I don't think you have to do any special upgrade procedure. So I am fairly certain you have a browser or keyboard input problem.


P.S. Can you present at the CALL Workshop? October 17th? Tim Grose has a few open spots.

Kawana sensei will be doing a keynote on the latest online tools for teaching reading and TOEIC.