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Moodle Quick Help Guide

Adding an RSS feed

RSS stands for Rich Site Summary or often Really Simple Syndication. An RSS feed can be used to provide news headline links, blog postings, and much more and are especially useful if you wanted your students to be up-to-date with news or events that are relevant to your course. To show RSS feeds within your Moodle course, you need to add an RSS block and configure it to show a news feed that has already been saved.
Steps:
Locating the source of the RSS feed:
  • Open the webpage of the site you wish to link to the your moodle page. For example, The New York Times.
  • Search the page for a link to the RSS feed, recognized by the following orange icon:  Alternatively, search for "RSS feed" on the search engine provided by the webpage, and follow till you see the page you want, marked by the orange RSS icon.
  • Right click on the icon to obtain the URL for the RSS feed (alternatively copy the URL address from the browser) and copy this link to your clipboard. Make sure you double check to see that the link is not invalid and leads you to the right page (the link should end in '.xml').
     
Adding the RSS feed to Moodle:
 
  • Login at moodle.mtholyoke.edu and enter your course site
  • Click the "Turn editing on" button near the top right of the page
  • In the Blocks area in the bottom of the left navigation pane, select "Remote RSS Feeds" from the "Add" drop-down menu     


     
  • A new block, titled Remote News Feed, appears above Blocks.
  • To configure your RSS Feed, click on the configuration icon that looks like this:  
  • From the options below, select the page headed with "Configuring a Remote RSS Feed block"


     
  • That should take you to the next page, where you add the link for your RSS feed (this is the link that you saved on to your clipboard at the start of this process).


     
  • Once you have established the correct link, enter an option "Title for the block" (this will be displayed as the header for the block)
  • Additional configuration items refer to how the RSS feed is displayed on the home page.
    • Set the "Display each link's description?" option to "Yes" in order to have a short description for each link (usually the first few sentences of a post).
    • Set the Max number of entries option. "Less than 5" is recommended to conserve space on the course page.
    • Check the boxes beside the feeds that you want students to see, in order to make them "available"
  • You can go to the "Manage all my feeds" tab to add, update, or delete your own RSS feeds to experiment or continue to add your own feeds
  • Click on the "Save changes" button.

Depending on your settings, the following is an example of how the RSS feed could show up on the home page:

      

 
Troubleshooting: 
 
If the RSS feed block is empty after returning to the main course page:
  • Go back to the configuration settings to ensure that the feed has been selected as available.
  • Ensure the URL is valid.
If further assistance is required, please contact your LITS liaison

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