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Moodle Tutorials: FAQs

Helpful tutorials for getting started with and working on Moodle

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Moodle Course Setup

Why can't the students access the Moodle course?

Moodle course are, by default, closed to students until the instructor manually makes them available (visible).  Instructors can make their course available by going to the Administration block on the left, under Course Administration, click on Edit Settings.  On the Edit Course settings page under the General heading, on the Visible option, select Show.  Click Save and display.  For step-by-step directions:

Do I have to be on-campus to use Moodle?

As long as you have Internet access, you can get to Moodle. Go to the Defiance College website , click Jacket Links and click the Moodlelink.

How do I access (log in) Moodle?

Directly or from , click Jacket Links in the top navigation bar, click the Moodle link under the Academic heading.

Can I use Moodle on my mobile device (iPhone, iPad, Android)?

Yes, you can use the official Moodle Mobile app on your iPhone/iPad or Android mobile device.  (Keep in mind, you may not be able to open documents created in Word etc.) For step-by-step directions:

How do I tie together multiple sections of my course or courses that are cross listed on Moodle?

Contact DC Moodle support by email ( with the name and sections of the classes to be combined.

How does my Moodle course look to my students?

Navigate to the top right, next to your profile picture.  Select the drop down menu and at the bottom, choose Switch role to…  Now, select Student and you will see your course from the student’s perspective.  When finished, go back to the drop down menu and select Return to my normal role.

Switching roles is not perfect because you remain the same user, and your user may not have things like grades, which will make some student views look different than a real student might see. For step-by-step directions:

How can I copy resources and activities from one Moodle course to another?

Every semester you teach a course in Moodle, even for classes you've taught before, your newly created Moodle course will initially be empty.

You cannot copy content from another instructor’s course.  You must be the teacher for both courses that you plan to export and import content.

Copied items will include settings such as due dates and grade settings, but will not include student submissions to activities, such as Forum posts.

Use the Import function to quickly copy content from a previous Moodle course and reuse the content for the current term.  For step-by-step directions:


How do I copy text from a Word document into a Moodle description box?

Formatting in Word can cause problems when you copy and paste text into Moodle. The Moodle text editor has the option to paste and simultaneously clean up text copied from Microsoft Word and other text editors.

  1. In Word, copy the text.
  2. In the Moodle text editor, click the Paste from Word icon.
  3. In the Paste from Word window, paste the text and click Insert.

The window closes and the text displays in the text editor. Check that it is formatted the way you want.


How can I change the way my course title displays in Moodle?

  1. In the Administration block on the left, under Course administration, click Edit Settings.
  2. On the Edit course settings page, you will see a list of options for your course. Under the General section heading, you will see the option for Course full name.
  3. Edit the Course full name (The full name of the course is displayed at the top of each page in the course and in the list of courses.)
  4. The short name of the course is displayed in the navigation and is used in the subject line of course email messages.
  5. Scroll to bottom, click Save and display.

Moodle Course Gradebook

Why can't the students see their grades in the Moodle course?

The visibility of student grades on Moodle is controlled by the instructor of the course. To show the grade book to students (each student only sees his/her own grades, not the grades of others) faculty can: 

In the Administration Box on the left, under Course administration, click Edit Settings. Scroll down to the Appearance heading, on the Show gradebook to students option, select Yes from the dropdown. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Save changes button.


Why Can't I See the Total Column in the Moodle Gradebook?

If you’re reviewing the Moodle Grader report, but do not see all grades, or some grade columns seem to be missing, it is most likely because of collapsed categories. Whenever items are grouped together in a category, you have the option to collapse and expand the category. Click the Expand/Contract category button that appears next to the category name at the top of the table to cycle through three states:

  • Click to show only the category total
  • Click to show category items without the category total
  • Click to show category items and total


How can I use Moodle to collect papers from my students rather than having them email their work?

How do I create assignments using Moodle?

The Assignment activity lets instructors communicate tasks, collect work, set due dates, and provide feedback and grades. When reviewing assignment submissions, instructors can leave feedback comments or upload files such as marked-up student submissions, documents with comments, or spoken audio feedback. Assignments can be graded using points, a custom scale, or a rubric or grading guide. For step-by-step directions:


How do I increase the size of a file my students can upload for an assignment?

When you create an assignment on Moodle, you are prompted to select the maximum document size your students will be able to upload for submission. Many professors chose to select smaller sizes if they want to prevent their students from submitting a 20-page document for an assignment that was designed to be a 2 page essay. Moodle will also slow down if you allow massive submissions in classes with a lot of students, so it is best to choose wisely what size file you'd like your students to submit.

The average research paper is usually 15-25KB. The average PowerPoint presentation may be a few hundred or a few thousand KB. However; images tend to take up a lot of space, so if you're requiring your students to upload a file that includes images, you may want to be sure the Submission Size option is set to a larger one.

If your students are having a hard time submitting their documents because their files exceed the limit, and you do not mind the files being big, you may want to increase the upload limit on your assignment by simply selecting another size in the dropdown box under Maximum submission size.

  1. On your course page, click Turn editing on (top right).
  2. Locate the course section where you added the assignment.
  3. Click on the Assignment Link
  4. In the Administration block on the left, under Assignment administration, click Edit settings.
  5. Scroll down to the Submission types section.
  6. Confirm File submissions is checked.
  7. On the Maximum submission size, click the drop down and select a larger size.
  8. Scroll to bottom, click Save and display.

How do students turn in assignments using Moodle?

Students may submit digital files (such as word-processed documents, spreadsheets, images, or audio and video clips), or type text directly into a text submission box. Assignment activities can also be used to describe and grade work students will complete offline, such as art work, performances, or classroom presentations.

  1. Click the link to the assignment
  2. Click Add submission
  3. To enter online text, type directly into the online text box.
  4. To submit a file using drag and drop: arrange your computer desktop windows to you can see both your Moodle page and the files on your computer.  Drag files from your computer and release them on top of the big blue arrow in the Files area.
  5. To browse for a file: Under file submissions at the top-left of the file area, click the Add… icon.  Select a file from your computer or from Google Drive.  Click Upload this file.
  6. Once your file(s) appear in the Files submission area, click Save changes.

Moodle Basics

How do I send an email to my class?

One solution is to use Moodle’s Announcements Forum. All students are subscribed to this Forum, so anything posted to this forum by the instructor is automatically emailed to all members of the class. Students cannot opt out of this subscription. For step-by-step directions:


I tried to have my students respond to one of my announcements, and none of them did. Are they even able to reply? Also, do students get an e-mail when I send an announcement?

The Announcements forum is a special forum that acts as an announcements tool for your Moodle course. Only instructors and TAs can post to Announcements, and by default, posts made to Announcements are emailed to class members. Students cannot leave replies to the posts; it is a one-way tool.  

How do I create a discussion forum in a Moodle course?

Instructors and students can communicate and collaborate using Moodle Forums. Instructors can create discussion topics or, depending on the forum type, allow students to originate topics. Course members can then post replies, and subscribe if they want to receive an email copy of each post made to a particular forum.

  1. On your course page, click Turn editing on (top right).
  2. Locate the course Section where you will add the forum.
  3. At the bottom-right of the Section, click + Add an activity or resource.
  4. In the Activity chooser, select Forum and then click Add.
  5. Configure settings for the forum.
  6. Click Save and return to course to return to your main course page.

How do I add files to my Moodle course? (Instructor)

One of the ways to share a file with your students on Moodle is to add it to your course page as a Resource. File types you can add to Moodle include PDF, Word and other text documents, PowerPoint presentations, spreadsheets, zip files, and media such as image, video, and audio files.

It is recommended that you use PDF when adding course materials such as readings or handouts.

The fastest way to add files to Moodle is using drag and drop, which lets you drag files from your computer directly into a Section, Topic or Weekly Section of a Moodle course.

Add a File using the Add an activity or resource Link:

  1. On your main course page, click Turn editing on (top right).
  2. Locate the Topic or Weekly Section where you will add the file.
  3. At the bottom right of the section, click + Add an activity or resource.
  4. In the Activity chooser, scroll down to the Resources heading and select File. Then click Add.
  5. On the Adding a new File page, enter a title for your file in the Name field.  The name you enter will display as a link to the file on your main course page.
  6. Under the Content heading, in the Select files area, click the Add ...  icon or the Blue Arrow.
  7. To search for a file on your computer, select Upload a file (at left), then click Browse or Choose File (depending on your browser).
  8. In the File picker window, leave the Save as field blank and click Upload this file.
  9. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Save and return to course.
  10. Click the file link to make certain the file opens properly.

Moodle Miscellaneous Questions

Can a student see the contact information of their classmates enrolled in the same Moodle Course?

Your Moodle Profile page can be viewed only by certain other individuals. For example, students cannot view each other's profiles, but an instructor or TA can view the profiles of the students enrolled in a course they are teaching.


Moodle Quizzes

How can you change quiz time limit for one student with accommodations?

You can easily reset a quiz or assignment for an individual or a group using Moodle’s User Override or Group Override function. This function can be helpful when working with students requiring special accommodations.

The function allows you to:

  • Extend the time limit for a quiz or assignment
  • Change the dates and time a quiz or assignment is available
  • Add more attempts for a quiz
  • Set a time limit for the quiz

For step-by-step directions:

Pilgrim Library:   
  Click the purple "Ask Us" side tab above