Getting Started

PolyLearn (Moodle)

The PolyLearn (Moodle) service is specifically designed to house and manage all course content and activities on-line. For further information about PolyLearn, please see the web site: http://www.polylearnsupport.calpoly.edu/

Don't want to learn the intricacies of HTML or Dreamweaver to place your course content on the web? Don't want to hassle with UNIX permissions and maintaining a web site? Don't want the entire world on the World Wide Web to see your course materials? Don't have enough room in your Cal Poly email account to receive students' digital assignments? Do you want to have a location to post important links on the web that relate to your discipline? Do you want to have more time outside of class for discussion or collaborative learning by implementing group/team projects? Consider using the learning management system, PolyLearn!

What is a Learning Management System or LMS?

A learning management system stores and manages course content and activities online. At Cal Poly, the primary learning management system (LMS) is PolyLearn.

What is PolyLearn?

PolyLearn is Cal Poly's branded version of the Moodle learning management system software. Moodle was originally developed by Martin Dougiamas, an educator and computer scientist. Moodle is an open source (free - no license fee), open standards learning management system. Open source applications are more customizable than proprietary systems and have no licensing fees. Developers can extend Moodle's modular construction by creating plugins for specific new functionality, and many free third-party Moodle plugins are available. As of August 2011, Moodle had a user base of 55,110 registered and verified sites, serving over 44 million users in 4.7 million courses in 214 countries and in more than 75 languages. (moodle.org). (Wikipedia, 2011). Plug-ins include:

Activities (including word and math games)
Resource types to enhance course content (files, folders, labels, URL's)
Question types (multiple choice, true and false, fill in the blank, etc)
Various application development and system integration resources
If you would like to learn more about the component structure of Moodle, you may wish to view a YouTube video created by Tomaz Lasic, who is an Education Researcher at Moodle headquarters in Perth, Australia.

PolyLearn is a comprehensive and flexible e-Learning software platform developed for educators to enhance their teaching and learning environments by means of the Internet. PolyLearn allows you to place ALL or just PART of your course content online without ever hassling with learning all the intricacies of HTML (the programming language used to create web pages on the Internet). PolyLearn includes course development and management tools, communication and collaborative tools, personal information management, and academic web resources for faculty and students.

PolyLearn's Features:

  • User Authentication - Only Cal Poly faculty, staff, and students can login to PolyLearn through the My Cal Poly Portal.
  • Automatic Course Creation for All Cal Poly Courses - All Cal Poly courses listed in SIS will have a course shell in PolyLearn each quarter at the time that Open Enrollment begins.
  • Automatic Student Enrollment - All students enrolled in a Cal Poly course through POWER/CAPTURE will be enrolled into the PolyLearn course shell beginning on the first day of Open Enrollment.
  • Form-based Content Entry - You don't need to know HTML to create your web page. Fill out the PolyLearn forms and your content is instantly online.
  • Upload Files to Share with Your Students - Cal Poly faculty, staff, and students have unlimited space in which to upload files. It is convenient to have your web page, handouts, tests, and more all in one location.
  • Time/Date Release of Content/Assessments - As an instructor you can add content now and have it viewable at a future date/time.
  • Assignment Tools - PolyLearn's Assignment Tool allows for file assignment submission from the student directly to the instructor. This provides unlimited space for Cal Poly faculty, staff, and student to exchange files.
  • Asynchronous and Synchronous Communication/Collaboration Tools - Asynchronous tools include email correspondence, threaded discussions via the Forums, and the Blog Tool. Synchronous tools include the Chat Tool for real-time online chat. Group tools such as the Wiki allow for collaboration among student groups for special projects.
  • Online Assessments (Quizzes, Questionnaires, and Choice Activity Module with a Synchronized Grade Book) - As an instructor, you can create assessments through forms provided in PolyLearn. You have the option of placing grades online through your PolyLearn online grade book. Students have the option of viewing their grades online 24/7.

All current Cal Poly faculty, staff and students have a username and password for PolyLearn. For specific help or more information about Cal Poly's PolyLearn, please refer to: