What is Moodle?

Moodle is a course management system developed by educators with a “learning-centric” perspective. It allows faculty to easily set up interactive online spaces for their courses without having to know how to create web pages. You will be able to upload syllabi, host discussions, accept assignments electronically, send email to your class, offer online quizzes, and more.

Why might I use Moodle?

Consider using Moodle to:

  • Organize and deliver materials to students in your course (e.g., web links, resources, syllabi, short readings).
  • Capitalize on learning opportunities outside of class time. For example:
    • Student review of class materials/content covered in class (e.g., PowerPoint presentations, short videos, lecture notes, short quizzes)
    • Student preparation for the next class session
  • Encourage peer interaction and discussion
    • Threaded discussion using Forums
    • Peer-review of written assignments using Workshop
    • Development of a class glossary
  • Manage class logistics
    • Use “Announcements” to make important class announcements.
    • Add the calendar block to highlight events, due dates, etc.
    • Use Quickmail to email individuals or the entire class.
    • Accept assignments online and choose to add them to the course gradebook.
    • Use the Choice activity to allow students to pick research topics.
    • Use the Feedback activity to solicit anonymous, mid-semester reviews from students.

Getting Started

  1. Access your Moodle course site either through My Lafayette at my.lafayette.edu or moodle.lafayette.edu.
  2. Click the course from the “My courses” tab. If you do not see your course, you can open the filter drop-down to select All, In Progress, Future, Past, Starred, or Hidden courses.
  3. Select the “Edit mode” toggle in the upper right to begin editing the course site.
  4. The sidebar on each course will help you stay oriented as you move throughout Moodle.

Course Settings

To edit your course settings, select the “Settings” tab at the top of your course page. You can change a number of settings about your course such as:

  • Showing the course site to students since course sites are created hidden by default.
  • Including a course description.
  • Selecting the format of the course site (e.g., Grid, Weekly, and Topic).
  • Upload a cover image to be displayed in the Course Overview block

Course Format

Course format will determine the basic layout of your course.

  • Grid format: a more visually focused layout, Grid allows a feature image for each topic. Topics are not automatically labeled, and are not restricted to any time limit. Topics can be used to organize material more thematically.
  • Topics format (the default course format): is not automatically labeled, and is not restricted to any time limit. Topics can be used to organize material more thematically.
  • Weekly format: organizes the content blocks in seven-day increments from the start date to the finish date of the course. Activities and Resources can be arranged according to the week.
  • Single activity format (rarely used): oriented around a single activity, this format displays discussion topics as the central content of the course.
  • Social format (rarely used): oriented around a single forum, this format displays discussion topics as the central content of the course.


All Moodle course sites are created with their visibility set to “Hide” so the course will not appear on any course listings, except to teachers of the course and administrators.

To make your course site available to students:

  1. Select the “Settings” tab from the main course page.
  2. In the first section named “General”, change Course visibility from “Hide” to “Show.”
  3. Click the [Save and display] button.

Adding Files

Existing content can be added to your course by uploading files. Audio files, video files, PDF files, and Word documents are examples of files that can be uploaded to your course. You can move, rename, replace, or delete them.

Dragging and dropping files into Moodle

You can drag and drop your files directly into a Topic block on your course page by following these steps:

  1. Select the “Edit mode” toggle in the upper right.
  2. Locate the file on your computer you want to add and drag it into a topic block.
  3. Be sure you see the “Drop files here” message appear on the topic block before releasing your mouse button.

Note: if your content resides on the Web, you can link directly to it using the URL Resource.

Setting Up Activities or Resources

Building a course involves adding course activity modules to the main page in a logical order. You can change the order any time you like.

  1. Select the “Edit mode” toggle in the upper right.
  2. To add a new activity go to the topic section or week where you want to add the activity and click Add an activity or resource.
  3. After adding your activities, you can move them around in your course layout by clicking and dragging the activity using the Move icon ( ) and dragging it to the topic block you want it in.
  4. You can delete an activity or edit it by clicking the three vertical dots (vertical ellipsis) to the right of it.

Standard Moodle activities


An assignment is where you set a task with a due date and a maximum grade. Depending on the type of assignment, students will be able to upload one file to satisfy the requirements. The date a student uploads a file is recorded. Afterward, you will have a single page on which you can view each file (and how late or early it was), and then record a grade and a comment. Half an hour after you grade a student’s assignment, Moodle will automatically email that student a notification.


A Choice activity is very simple – you ask a question and specify a choice of responses. Students can make their choice, and you have a report screen where you can see the results. It is ideal for quick polls and class votes.


This is the module where the discussion takes place. When you add a new forum, you can choose one of five different types: a single simple discussion, each person posts one discussion, a question-and-answer forum, a standard forum displayed in a blog-like format, or a standard forum for general use.

Under “Subscription and Tracking”, you can control subscription to the forum and make the forum act like a list server, in that posting a message to the forum automatically sends an email to everyone who is subscribed.

Forums may also be used as graded assignments.

For additional information, see Adding and Using Forums in Moodle.


This module allows you to design and present quizzes consisting of multiple-choice, true-false, and short-answer questions. Your questions are kept in a categorized database and can be re-used within courses and between courses. Quizzes can allow multiple attempts. Each attempt is automatically marked, and the teacher can choose whether to give feedback or to show correct answers. This module includes grading facilities.

Text & Media Area (formerly Labels)

The”Text & Media Area” Activity allows you to insert arbitrary text and/or graphics on the course page.

Adding students

Visit adding users to Moodle.

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