Problem – While you can easily set up discussion forums in Moodle, you can quickly be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of content flowing out of a forum, whether by email or visiting the forum online. While an RSS feed seems like a natural solution to this overwhelming amount of content, RSS feeds themselves can present problems simply because you get a feed for EACH forum. If I have ONE Moodle course, it can have MANY RSS feeds, one per forum. How do you share just ONE feed with your end users?

Here is what the feeds look like in active course:

Solution – Merge the RSS feeds into ONE, using an RSS feed consolidator.

Moodle forums have RSS feeds–too bad the Resources don’t–but I want to be able to offer subscribers ONE feed to rule them all. How to blend all the feeds into one? And, since I have multiple forums per course, one could easily be overwhelmed trying to subscribe to each.

Lots of tools available, as this blog post will attest…10 Tools to Combine, Mix, Blend Multiple RSS feeds.

Unfortunately, only 8 of the original 10 remain. RSS Mixer, Feedblendr are no longer around.

OPTION #1 – FeedTwister Allows you to Display Content from RSS Feeds and Embed them in HTML Block or Web Page

FeedTwister is one of these that works well; some of its features:

After you registered for your free account at FeedTwister, create a new list…

After you added ONE RSS feed URL (maybe your first forum), you’ll have the option to add additional ones, as shown below:

After you’re done adding feeds, you can display it by pasting the javascript code in an HTML block or web page.

Your content will appear in the block, as shown below:

Option 2 – Use RSSMix to Combine Feeds into One Massive Feed (I like this option)

This option is pretty easy to use…you simply paste in your RSS feeds, one per line, then click CREATE. Once you do that, you’ll be given a new RSS feed you can easily share with other folks or use the Remote RSS feed block in Moodle to display your content.

Here’s what the New RSS feed looks like in my aggregator:

A suggestion…keep all your RSS feed addresses in a text file so you can easily rebuild them at will.

And, be sure to read the following Moodle articles…

  1. Moodle Tips Roundup – a list of tips I’ve picked up in my Moodle journey.
  2. Doing the Moodle Mambo
  3. Moodle Habitudes: Constructing Online Learning Environments
  4. Book Review – Moodle 1.9: E-Learning Course Development by William Rice
  5. Why Moodle? A few reasons culled from around the Web using Google
  6. Moodle-izing Education (due for publication in Education World…find it here in mid-March, 2009)

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