Moodle Quick Start Guide

For assistance with your Moodle courses, email T&I Moodle Support at

You may also book a consultation with Holly White, Instructional Designer, to discuss your course design, set up your gradebook, or implement advanced strategies like rubrics and alternative grading practices.

Navigate and Customize Your Dashboard


Dashboard: the landing page when you log into Moodle.

My courses: your list of courses

Filter by:

  • Start date (Future, In Progress, Past)
  • Starred courses only
  • All (except removed from view) and Removed from view

Click the three dots next to a course to (1) star the course or (2) remove it from view.

If you are teaching multiple sections of the same course, request a merged course by emailing with the subject "Merged Course Request" and include the sections to be merged.

Navigate Your Course

Use the Participants tab to see your course roster.
Groups are visible to all students in the course. Do not use groups for confidential info like accommodations.

To view your course as a student: use Student view

Change Course Settings and Customize Your Course


Find in the Settings tab at the top of your course.

  • Course visibility: change to Show when you are ready to open your course to students
    You must make your course visible at the beginning of the term if you want your students to see it. Courses do not automatically turn on.
  • Course start date: determines when the course is In Progress on the dashboard; also determines the first day of each week for formats that automatically fill in week dates (change to Monday before the official start date if the semester starts on a non-Monday)
  • Course image: image that appears in the course card on lists of courses
  • Course format: format of the main course page
    • Collapsed topics: default; customize colors and text that appears for each topic
    • Weekly format: topic section names automatically adjusted to dates; depends on the start date of your course
    • Flexible sections format: allows you to create subsections and build hierarchies
  • Course completion: enabled by default. Turn off if you don’t plan to use these features.


In Edit mode, open the block drawer by clicking on the arrow on the right side of your course.

Recommended blocks to add:

  • Mass actions (edit multiple items at once)
  • Sharing cart (share activities/resources between different Moodle courses)
  • Activities (see all of the same activities)
Communicate with Your Students
Announcements forum: All students are subscribed and cannot unsubscribe. Use it to send emails and retain a record that is visible to your class.

Important notes:
If your course is hidden from students, they will not receive Announcements emails.
Students can decide when they will receive email notifications: immediately or once a day in a digest.

Create Activities and Resources

To edit your course, toggle on the Edit mode button in the upper right corner.


  • Assignment: Students upload files or online text.
  • Google Assignment: Any file in a student's Google Drive can be submitted. Grade, comment, and suggest text using the Google interface. Grades will then pass back to Moodle.
  • Forum: Have asynchronous discussions.
  • Quiz: Design and set quiz tests, which may be automatically graded.
    • Enter overrides: extend the time limit or adjust the opening and closing date(s) for individual students.
    • Question types: an overview of each Moodle assessment question type and comparison of their features and use cases
    • Respondus LockDown Browser: enable for additional security


  • Text and Media Area: Create a text box to add content to your main course page.
  • Page: Create a new page for your course to add multiple links to files and the web.
    Recommendation: expand the Appearance section >> change Display to Open.
  • File: Upload files like your syllabus or course readings.
  • URL: Add web links.
Develop Your Gradebook

Click the Grades tab to administer your grades.

Grader Report

Shows all students and all grades for the course.

  • Hidden activities do not factor into the calculations of the grades that the students see, but they do factor into the grades that you see. To accurately see what your students see, view their User report.
  • EMPTY GRADES DO NOT COUNT TOWARD COURSE TOTALS. You must enter zeros for incomplete work. If you do not do this, student grades will be inflated and inaccurate.

To see percentages in your Grader report, adjust the Course grade settings.
Note that you need to turn off Edit mode to see those percentages after enabled.

When you grade activities, those grades will automatically appear in your gradebook. To enter grades directly in the Grader report,

  • Click the pencil at the top of the column to enter Single view. Be sure to toggle on Edit mode. If you have already entered grades, you may need to tick the Override box to enter a grade override.
  • You can enter grades directly in the Grader report table by enabling Edit mode while in the Grader report. The solid boxes are for grades and the dashed boxes are for feedback.

Gradebook Setup

Where you set up your gradebook and apply percentages, weights, etc.

Aggregation Styles: Determines how grades are calculated.
Use one aggregation for the course and all categories. Mixing aggregation styles in the same course will cause errors in grade calculations.

  • Simple weighted mean (default): The weight of each item is its Maximum grade. Do not use this aggregation style if you plan to weight categories or items.
  • Natural (recommended): The sum of all grade values, scaled by their relative weights. The Maximum grade of the category is the sum of the maximums of all aggregated items.
  • Weighted Mean of Grades: Each grade item can be given a weight to change its importance in the overall mean. In simple terms, the category "total" will be equal to the sum of the scores in each grade item each multiplied by its grade weight, and that sum being finally divided by the sum of all weights.

Add grade item: Creates a column in the gradebook for you to enter a grade that is not associated with an activity in your Moodle course (e.g. paper quiz).

Add category: Create categories in your gradebook, like Papers, Participation, etc. Activities and grade items can be placed within these categories.

User Report

This is what your students will see when they view their grades in your course.

View this report periodically, or when a student has a question about their grade.

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