Moodle Tips Archive

These tips address a wide range of common Moodle features used by instructors, including General Moodle information, Moodle Gradebook, activities in Moodle, and quizzes in Moodle.

General Moodle Information

Logging In – To log into Moodle, go to moodle.latech.edu. If you do not know your username, you can locate it by accessing the Directory Lookup for Louisiana Tech. If you are a new user or need to change your password, you will need to select “Forgot password” and fill in your username, BOSS Pin, CWID, and Birth Date. If you do not have this information, contact the Registrar Office at 2176.

Accessing Your Courses – To access your course(s) in Moodle, open the “My Courses” menu in the top menu bar. Courses should be categorized as follows: Quarter > College > Course. [Ex. Fall 2016 > Liberal Arts > ENGL 101 001.] Courses can also be accessed by selecting “My Moodle” on the blue bar at the top of the page.

Changing Your Course Format – In Moodle, courses can have a topic or weekly format. To change your format, click on the Administration wheel in the upper-right corner and  “Edit settings” in the “Administration” block and select a new format from the “Format” drop down menu. [NOTE: The only other features that you are allowed to change in the course settings is the “Description” and “Groups”. Changing any other features may cause issues within your course.]

Quickmail – Instructors can send students messages through their courses in Moodle by accessing Quickmail. This can be especially helpful when trying to contact all of the students enrolled in a course at once. To add Quickmail to your course, open your course from the “My Courses” menu and then click the “Course Dashboard” link below the Table of Contents. On the Course Dashboard page, click the “Edit blocks” button beneath the icons at the top of the page and locate the “Add a block” feature at the bottom of the page. Open the drop-down menu and select “Quickmail”. Once the page refreshes, a Quickmail block should appear. [NOTE: This will not apply to all of your courses in Moodle. You will have to add a Quickmail block to each course.]

Seeing Your Course in Student View – To see the course as your students do, click on the “My courses” menu and click the “Switch role to” link in the blue header underneath your name. From the menu, select “Student”. You will be now be viewing your course as a student. To switch back to your instructor role, open the “My courses” menu and click “Return to my normal role” in the blue header underneath your name.

Importing Courses – In Moodle, copying course is known as “import”. To import files from an old course to a new one, enter your new course and select “Import” from the Administration menu. Select a course listed or search for your course if it is not listed. [NOTE: Only type in your course name and number. If you are too specific, Moodle may not be able to locate your course.] After selecting your course, select “Next” until the content listed in your course appears. Select all that you want to appear in your new course, click “Next”, review the information, and then select “Perform Import” at the bottom. [NOTE: This may take a few minutes, depending on how much content you have copied over. If you have too much content in your previous course, it may not import. You will have to import different sections of your courses at a time.]

Moodle Gradebook

Accessing the Gradebook – To access your Gradebook in Moodle, log in and enter your course. Once you are in your course, click on “Gradebook” in the “Course Dashboard”.

Using the Gradebook Scroll Bar – In the Grader Report, inputting student grades is easier when using the “gradebook scroll bar”. This scroll bar keeps the student names static as you scroll through the gradebook columns. This feature should appear at the bottom of your “Grader Report”. [NOTE: The scroll bar only shows once you have more grade item columns than can be shown at once.]

Select/Change Your Aggregation Method – To change your aggregation method (how Moodle calculates your grades), go to your Grades and select “Gradebook setup” under the drop down menu at the top left or under “Setup” on your Administration block on the left. Locate the blue bar where it lists your course name. To the right, under “Actions”, select “Edit” and then “Edit Settings”. Locate the “Aggregation” item, select your aggregation method, and “Save changes”.

Adding a Grade Item – To add a grade item that is not connected to an activity in Moodle, go to your gradebook and select “Gradebook setup” in your drop down menu or on the left under “Setup”. At the bottom, select “Add grade item”.

Adding a Category (Gradebook) – Adding a category in Moodle can help you organize your grades and allow you to set a weight to individual categories (such as exams, portfolios, projects, etc.). To add a category, go to “Gradebook setup” located in the dropdown menu in Grades or under “Setup” at the left side of the screen. At the bottom, you can select “Add a category” to create your category and set the aggregation method, grade, and/or weight for this individual category. Grade items can be added to a category by selecting the arrows to the left of the item in “Gradebook setup” and then selecting the desired location. You can also change the location of an activity by changing its “Grade category” under “Grade” in the individual activity settings.

Exporting the Gradebook to Excel – Exporting your gradebook to Excel can allow you a convenient backup/printable copy of your grades. To export to Excel, go to “Export” under the dropdown menu at the top or under “Grade administration” on the left and choose “Excel spreadsheet”. Select what you would like to include in the spreadsheet and select “Download”. A dialog box should appear, allowing you to save or open your Excel gradebook spreadsheet. These grades can be imported back into Moodle as long as they maintain the same features they had when exported.

Overriding Grades – Grades given by Moodle can be overridden, whether on purpose or by accident. If a grade has been overridden, the cell containing the student’s grade will appear in tan in the Grader Report. To override a grade, click “Turn editing on” at the top right and enter in the grade in the desired box and click “Save changes” at the bottom left. If you would like to reset an overridden grade, select the “edit/update icon” (paper and pencil icon) and deselect the “Overridden” option. Make sure to save your changes.

Hiding the Course Total – In Moodle, professors can turn off the course total in their gradebook, allowing students to see their grades for individual assignments but not their grade for the course. In Grader Report, “Turn editing on” and select the paper and pencil icon located next to the course name in the gradebook. Select the “Hidden” box and “Save changes”. [NOTE: The eye can also be closed under “Actions” at the “Course Total” in “Gradebook setup”, but this may hide ALL of the grades listed for the course. Use only ONE of these features.]

Changing the Grade Display Type – Moodle allows you to change how your grades are displayed to students. Grades can be in letter, real (points/number), percentage, and/or a combination of the styles (e.g. letter and percentage). To change your grade display type, select “Course grade settings” under the dropdown box at the top or under “Setup” on the left. Change your “Grade display type” under “Grade item settings” and “Save changes”. [NOTE: If you choose an option containing “letter”, be sure to go to the “Letter” settings under “Scales” and edit your grading scale.]

Curving Moodle Generated Grades – It is easy to “curve” a quiz, assignment, etc. that is automatically graded by Moodle. This can be set up in the gradebook, enabling Moodle to automatically add the selected number of points to each student’s score. To access this feature, select “Gradebook setup” under the drop down menu at the top or under “Setup” to the left in your Grades. Under “Actions”, select “Edit Settings” and then “+ Show More” under “Grade item”. Here, you should see a box where you can enter the offset value. Make sure to save changes. [NOTE: You should be able to edit the offset under each individual activity in its original settings.]

Activities in Moodle

Adding a Turnitin Assignment – Turnitin assignments can be easily set up in Moodle. To set up a Turnitin assignment, go to your course page and click on “Create learning activity”. Next, select “Turnitin Assignment 2” from the “Activities” menu. Fill in the necessary information and click “Save and return to course”. To upload a file, students will click on the assignment name in Moodle. Then, they will click on the “Submit Paper” tab and follow the steps to submit their assignment.

To learn more about using Turnitin, view the Turnitin v2 training video presented by Turnitin.

Taking Attendance in Moodle – Moodle includes an attendance feature that allows instructors to easily track attendance in their courses. The attendance feature can be graded or non-graded and will automatically generate a gradebook column in the gradebook. To set up this feature, click on “Create learning activity” on your course page and select “Attendance”. Select the “Add” tab at the top to add attendance dates. If you want to add multiple attendance dates at the top, make sure to select “Create multiple sessions” and set the dates and frequency of the course. You can add your own set of statuses (Present, Late, Excused) by going to the “Settings” tab and selecting “New set of statuses”. Make sure to select the correct status set when adding/editing your attendance sessions.

Adding Media to Your Course – Moodle allows you to add photo and video media to your course. You can link to or embed a video, as well as add photos and lightbox galleries (photo galleries). To add these and other instructional resources, click on “Create learning activity” and then click open the “Resources” tab in the menu. You can choose from a lightbox gallery, file folders, or other resource types.

Adding Interactive Content – Interactive content can be easily created using the H5P activity in Moodle. To add an H5P activity, click on “Create learning activity” and then click the “Interactive Content” option on the “Activities” tab. Enter your description and then use the H5P editor to create your activity. Commonly used activity types are the “Find the Hotspot” (to identify areas of interest in an image) and the “Interactive Video” (allows knowledge checks embedded into existing videos, particular from YouTube). You can learn more about H5P content types from the H5P website.

Quizzes in Moodle

Deleting Quiz Attempts – On your course page, click on the quiz name. Click on “Attempts: [#]” above “Attempt quiz now” under the description of the quiz. To the left of each student’s picture should be a check box in which you can select student quizzes to delete. After all attempts to be deleted have been selected, click on “Delete selected attempts”. The next page may ask you to confirm your decision; select “Yes” or “Okay”.

Automatically Submitting Quiz Attempts – If you have created a timed quiz in Moodle, Moodle will set the default to “Attempts must be submitted before time expires, or they are not counted” when the quiz time expires for a student. If this happens, Moodle may not grade any questions that are automatically graded. To avoid this, you can change this setting to “Open attempts are submitted automatically” under “Timing” in the quiz settings.

Adding a Password to a Quiz – In Moodle, quizzes/exams can be opened with a password in order to give specific students a make-up quiz, an extra attempt, special accommodations, etc. To add a password to a quiz, click on the activity and then “Edit Settings” on the left. If the quiz has already closed, set new dates/times so that the quiz will open for your students entering with a password. If a student does not have the password, then he/she will not be able to access the quiz. Set the password for the quiz by entering a password under “Extra restriction on attempts and “Save and return to course”. [NOTE: For extra accommodations for an individual student, an instructor can copy the exam, change the settings, and/or add a password. An instructor can also create a “User Override”, which is listed below.

User Override – If a student requires special accommodations, needs to make up a quiz, needs to be given an extra attempt, etc., an instructor can add a user override for the individual student. Open the quiz, click the Administration wheel in the top-right corner, and then select the “User overrides” from the Quiz administration menu. On the next screen, click the “Add user override” button. Select the student, which will be highlighted, and change the settings for this student. A password can be added, if required for proctoring (see “Adding a Password to a Quiz” above). [NOTE: Only one student can be added at a time, for multiple students requiring the same accommodations consider using a group override. [view video tutorial]