Blocks - main entry

Blocks are a navigational tool in your topic and can provide quick links/access points for students. (However, be aware that if a student is using a mobile device to view the topic, the blocks will drop to the bottom of the screen.) Students can also interact with blocks in your topic by docking them.

1. Plan  |  2. Build  ||  Support 

 Blocks appear in the left or right of the topic screen in FLO. 'Topic links' is a standard block, with links to topic information, Library resources, grades, SETs etc. Different kinds of blocks can be added (eg Activity, Topic welcome, Remote RSS feeds), or you can add an HTML block and use it to feature the textbook/s or for some other topic-related purpose.  

Blocks will drop to the bottom of the screen on a mobile device.


1. Plan

Some blocks are standard in topics, as part of the college template. Others you will need to add yourself. You can also move blocks up/down to emphasise important ones. (However, be aware that students can move blocks too, as well as docking them so they are 'out of sight'.)

The Activities block is particularly useful if you have lots of activities and resources in your topic, as it is a navigational tool for students.

Types of blocks
Block name Description
Activities Lists all activities used in the topic, with links to show all activities of each type
Attendance Provides a link to the attendance register. Requires the Attendance activity
Comments Allows students to post comments on the page. Comments will be visible to all users in the topic
Feedback Provides link to provide feedback. Requires the Feedback activity
HTML Allows you to enter custom text, links and images
Lecture recordings Provides a link to the lecture management interface (QStream)
Logged in user Shows the current logged in user (you)
Messages Links to the Messages tool
Module links Provides a table of contents of modules in the topic
People Links to the Participants tool
Quiz results Shows results from quizzes in the topic
Random glossary entry Shows a random glossary entry. Requires the Glossary tool
Recent activity Shows the most recent activity in the topic
Remote RSS feed Allows you to import RSS feeds from external websites
Search forums Provides a tool to search all forums in the topic
Self completion Displays progress on self completion in the topic
Topic completion status Displays progress on topic completion
Upcoming events Shows calendar events for the next 7 days


2. Build

Blocks usually appear in the right-hand side of the topic main page. However, if the FLO site is being viewed on a mobile device the blocks may move to the bottom of the screen. Students can also move blocks around (left/right), hide (dock) or delete them.

Add blocks to your topic
  1. In your topic, click Turn editing on
    turn editing on button
  2. Locate the Add a block menu (usually on the right-hand side)
    add a block menu
  3. Select the type of block you wish to add


Add a Topic welcome block

The welcome block allows you to post an introductory message to students, as well as the names, photos and optionally contact details of the teaching team. Your school may already include a Topic welcome/Welcome block/Contact block in the school’s FLO template which means you will not have to create it yourself. 

Note: To add/alter your profile picture displayed in the Welcome block, see how do I upload a profile photo.

  1. In your topic, click the Turn editing on button

  2. Locate the Add a block dropdown menu (usually on the right-hand side) and select Topic welcome
    select topic welcome from the add a block menu
  3. When the new block appears, click the cog icon to configure the block (see more information below)
    click the configure topic welcome block icon

    Welcome text – enter some introductory text for students here. Try to keep the text short – if you have a lot of content, consider using a page resource instead.

    By default, the welcome text is only shown to students until the end of week 1. After this time it will be collapsed under a Click to expand link. If you want to change how long the full text is displayed, change the Hide course welcome text date.

    By default, topic coordinators are listed, along with their email addresses. To show more teaching team roles, change the Roles to display settings, and to show more contact methods change the Contact methods to display options.

  4. When you have finished configuring the block, click Save changes

Change your user image (via the Topic welcome block)
  1. If you have previously uploaded a profile image, it will automatically display in the welcome block. To add or change your user image, click the edit your profile here link in the block
    follow the 'edit your profile here' link 
  2. Upload your user image clicking the Add button or by dragging and dropping the file into the area indicated
    upload your image
    display of a newly added image

  3. Click Update profile

  4. Your chosen image will now appear in the Welcome block, in addition to many other locations in FLO (eg forum posts)
    a welcome block complete with user image

Add a Clock block

A Clock block is a handy resource for enrolled students from different timezones (eg overseas or interstate). This feature is particularly relevant if the topic is fully online, and important for activities such as live chat, FLO Liveand assignment submission (due date/time).

How it works: when a student accesses your FLO site from another location and timezone, they can immediately see from the clock block what time it is according to the server and according to them. You could highlight this feature when you orient students to the topic. You could also provide a link to the FLO help for students site (> Personalisation) which provides video instructions on how to change their FLO profile (including their timezone, if not South Australian time). That way the clock block will be effectively personalised: 

  1. In your topic, click Turn editing on

  2. Locate the Add a block menu (usually on the right-hand side) and select Clock
    Select 'Clock'
  3. The newly created Clock block will display two clocks; Server Time and You time 

    Clock block

  4. To reposition the block, hover over the move iconmove iconthen click and drag


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