All posts by Helen Chang

Helen Chang is a Bryn Mawr alum of 2011 and has been working at Bryn Mawr College since graduation. She has had a variety of staff roles on campus before settling into the Moodle Administrator and Educational Technologist role.

Copy Content from a Course on the Same Moodle Site

There are two ways to copy content between courses on the same Moodle site:

  • Import is best if you are copying all or most of a course or want to preserve course layout and formatting.
  • Sharing Cart works best if you are only copying a few activities or resources at a time.

If you need to copy materials from a different Moodle site (e.g., see Copy Materials from Old to New Moodle.

Prerequisites: A Teacher role in both courses.


  1. Log in to the destination course (i.e., the course you are importing to)
  2. Click the gear icon (Actions menu) and select Import (as shown below).

  1. Select your source course (i.e, the course that contains the material you want to import) under Find a course to import data from.
    • Moodle only lists 10 courses at a time; to narrow down the list, type part of the short or full name in box below and click Search.
    • If a course doesn’t show up when you search, check that you’ve typed the name correctly and that you have a Teacher role in the course.
    • Once you’ve selected a course, click Continue

  1. If you want to import all of the content from the source course, click Jump to Final Step to start the import and skip to step 7 below. Otherwise, click Next.

  1. On the Schema Settings page, check boxes next to items you want to include (and uncheck items you want to exclude) and click Next.

  1. The Confirmation and Review page summarizes what you selected; click Perform import to start the import or Previous, if you need to make changes.
  2. After you click Perform import, you will see a progress bar and an estimate of how long the import will take.
  3. Once the import is finished, click Continue to return to the destination course.

Sharing Cart

[note: you will need to add the Sharing Cart block to both the course you want to transfer the material from and the course you want to transfer the material to.]

  1. Go to the course that contains items you want to move. Turn editing on in your course (use the button located at the top right of your course’s main page). Turn Editing On
  2. Click Add a block at the bottom of the left side bar. Screenshot of a Moodle course page highlighting the Add a Block button in the lower left corner
  3. Choose Sharing Cart from the list of available blocks.
  4. The Sharing Cart block will now appear on the right side of your course page (if you have other blocks installed, such as the Panopto block, you may need to scroll to the bottom of the page). Moodle Sharing Cart block
  5. Go to an item you want to move and click the shopping basket icon to the right of the item title. This will copy the item into the sharing cart. You can also select entire sections to copy, but please note that larger amounts of material may take longer to copy.
  6. The item will now appear in the Sharing Cart block on the right side of your course page.
  7. Now, go to the course page you want to add the copied items to, and repeat steps 1-4 to add the Sharing Cart block to this page.
  8. Click the Copy to course button (the two squares icon to the right of the item name) for the item you want to place on this course page.
  9. A box will appear at the end of each section of the course page. Click on the arrow in the section where you want the item to be placed.
  10. The item will now appear in that section. You can then use the directional arrow to move it to a different position if desired.

Enroll/Unenroll Participants in Moodle

If you have a Teacher role in a Moodle course, you can enroll other participants in it to give them access. The role you give them determines what they can do in the course. See Which Role Should I Use? below for a list of roles and what they are permitted to do.

Prefer video? See the Enrolling Learners video tutorial for Moodle 3.8

Table of Contents:

Enrolling Participants

  1. Open your course, and select Participants in the left sidebar menu. (Don’t see the sidebar? Click the (Site navigation bars) in the top menu to display it.)

Moodle sidebar with Participants selected

  1. Click the ENROLL USERS button.
  2. Start typing the name, email address or ID number of a person you want to add in the search box beneath Select users. When the right person appears in the drop-down menu below the search box, click on that person to select them.
  3. Repeat step 3 until you have selected all of the people you want to enroll and added them to the Select users area of the dialog window. (Click the x next to a name to remove it from this section.)

  1. Under Assign role, choose the role you want to give the selected users.
  2. Click Enroll Selected Users and Cohorts.

Pro tip: Many community members have similar names or go by different forms of their names. Search for email addresses or ID numbers (which are unique) to be sure you have the right person. 

Removing Participants

  1. Repeat step 1 above to display the Participants list for your course.
  2. Find the user you wish to remove, go to the Status column, and click the trashcan (Delete) icon.
  3. Click Unenroll on the confirmation page to approve the change.

Note: You won’t be able to manually remove participants with the role of Registered Student, since these users were added through Bionic. They will be marked as suspended when they are dropped from the official Bionic course roster. To hide students who have dropped, use the Filter option above the participants list to show only Active users

Which Role Should I Use?

  • Use Auditor to give a participant permission to view course resources, participate in course activities, and receive grades.
  • Use Non-editing Teacher to give a participant permission to view and grade student coursework, and view students’ grades.
  • Only give a Teacher role to participants who need to do everything non-editing teachers can do AND upload, copy, edit and delete course materials and activities (Quizzes, etc.). Anyone with a Teacher role could accidentally delete or reconfigure parts of your course!

Auditors vs. Registered Students

These two roles have exactly the same capabilities: Auditors can do and see everything that Registered Students can do and see. The only difference between the roles is that Registered Students were enrolled by Bionic and Auditors were enrolled by a human.

Bionic feeds enrollment data to Moodle, but Moodle does not feed anything back to Bionic. This means that a participant’s role in a Moodle course has absolutely no effect on their registration status in Bionic. In other words:

  • Teachers can enroll a student in a Moodle course as an Auditor to give the student access while registration is being finalized.
  • That student must also officially register for the course in Bionic to receive academic credit for it.

Self-Enrollment and Bulk Enrollment Options

The enrollment methods above work best when you are only enrolling a few people at a time. If you need to enroll many participants in a non-academic course, Moodle admin can help.

  • We can bulk enroll many participants at once if you can provide us with an Excel or CSV file containing first name, last name, and college email address. Email this file to with the name of the course you want them to be enrolled in and the role they should be assigned.
  • We can also enable Self-enrollment for any non-academic course to enable Moodle users to enroll and unenroll themselves in it. Once this is turned on you can configure different options, such enrollment duration limit or a welcome email. Email for more information.

These options are not available for academic courses, where registration is controlled by Bionic.

Hide/Show Entire Moodle Course

By default, all participants (e.g., Teachers, Non-editing teachers, Registered students and Auditors) can see and enter a course as soon as they are enrolled in it.

To hide an entire course from Registered students and Auditors:

  1. Click on the gear icon (Actions menu) in the top right corner of the course site.
  2. Choose Edit Settings.
  3. Under General, click on the Course Visibility drop-down menu and choose Hide.
  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Save and Display.

To unhide the course, follow the steps above, but set Course Visibility back to Show.

If you hide an academic course, be sure to unhide it again when students need to access it. Moodle does not do this automatically!)

If you just need to hide parts of a course see Hide/Show Sections and Items in Moodle Courses.

Hide/Show Sections and Items in Moodle Courses

Moodle lets Teachers hide sections, activities, and resources, so that they are invisible to students, but still visible to any one with a Teacher or Non-editing Teacher role. If a course is guest-accessible, hidden items will be also be hidden from guests.

Manually Hiding/Showing Course Elements

To hide sections, activities or resources on a course page from all students until you manually choose to unhide them:

  1. Turn editing on in your course (use the button located at the top right of your course’s main page).
  2. Click the Edit link next to a visible item, and choose Hide to hide it.
    • Moodle places a “hidden from students” message beneath hidden items to remind teachers that they are invisible to students, as show below.

    • The message is not visible to students; click on your user name at the top of the screen, choose Switch role to … and choose Auditor to view the page as a student.
  1. When you are ready to unhide the item, turn editing on, click the Edit link next to that item and choose Show.

Setting Course Elements to Auto-Hide/Unhide at a Specified Time

You can use the Restrict Access settings to hide sections, activities, or resources invisible for a limited period of time and automatically unhide them outside of that period. For example, you might wish to hide later sections of a course until the dates when they become relevant or hide a study guide until the weeks before an exam.

To do this:

  1. Turn editing on if it isn’t already. (Click the gear icon (Actions menu) and choosing Turn editing on.)
  2. Click the Edit link next to a visible item, and choose Edit Settings (if the item is an Activity or Resource) or Edit Section/Topic/Week (if the item is a section within a course).
  3. Scroll down and click Restrict Access to expand it.
  4. Click Add Restriction

  1. Click Date.
  2. Use the drop-down menus to configure the date restriction parameters:
    1. Leave the first phrase to state “Student must match the following”
    2. The eye icon determines whether you are creating a parameter for when the item will be visible (eye open) or hidden (eye with line through it).
    3. The from/until menu determines whether the date that follows is the date on which that visibility setting starts (from) or ends (until).
    4. So in example, if you wanted a course item to be visible starting at midnight on November 5, 2020, you set the visibility to “show” (eye open) “from” 5 November 2020 00:00 as depicted below.

  1. Click Add Restriction if you need to set additional parameters; in the example above, to re-hide the item on a certain date, you would add a restriction with parameters set to “show” “until” that date.
  2. Don’t forget to click Save at the bottom of the page to finalize your settings.

When you use Restrict Access to hide elements from students, Teachers will see a Restricted message beneath that item with a summary of the restriction parameters. Students and guests do not see this message.

Add or Change Your Photo in Moodle

1) Look for your name in the upper right-hand corner of Moodle. (You should be able to see this from any page on the Moodle site.) Click on “Profile” and then “Edit Profile” near the top on the left side under “User Details“.

3) Scroll down to  “User Picture” towards the bottom of the page and use the new drag-and-drop feature to drag a photo from your computer.

If there’s already a picture there, the first thing you’ll have to do is check the box labeled “Delete.” You will then need to scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the button that says “Update Profile.” This will take you back to your profile and your picture should be gone. (If it isn’t, you may need to wait a few moments and/or refresh the page.) Now, go back to the “Edit Profile” link and scroll back down to the “User Picture” section. After it says: “Current Picture: none” drag-and-drop a file to add your picture.

4) Once you’re finished, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the “Update profile” button.

Now, you should be brought back to your profile page and your picture should be there. (If it isn’t, you may need to wait a few moments and/or refresh the page.)

If there are any problems with the picture, such as the top of your head being cut off or the picture is centered in the wrong way, you may have to edit the picture itself and re-upload it. (Sometimes the best solution is to crop an image the way you want it before uploading it, since you won’t be able to re-center the thumbnail how you wish after it is uploaded to Moodle.)

Creating a Moodle Quiz

The Quiz is a great assessment tool provided by Moodle that can be used to test and evaluate students online. All of the results and grades will be recorded automatically into the course Gradebook, making it a very easy and versatile activity to use.

Creating a Quiz

  1. On your Moodle course page, make sure you have turned editing on. Then, select Quiz from the +Add an activity or resource and click Add.
  2. Give your Quiz a name and a description so your students can identify it.

It is possible to customize your Quiz using the different settings that are listed below the Quiz name and description in your setup page. Note that setting up your quiz is different from adding questions and editing your quiz. Below are instructions for setting up your quiz. When you’re finished customizing your settings, click Save and Display to start adding questions.

Choosing When Students Can Take the Quiz

To determine when students can begin to take the quiz:

  1. Under Timing, choose Open Quiz.
  2. Check the Enable box to set the date and time on which students can begin to take the Quiz.

Note: When using the Open Quiz setting, students will always be able to see the listed item on your course page  as long as the item is not hidden. However, students won’t be able to take the Quiz until the open date and time.

To determine when the quiz will close:

  1. Under Timing, choose Close the Quiz.
  2. Check the Enable box to set the last possible time at which students can begin taking the Quiz.

Note: After the closing time, students will not be able to start new attempts. Answers that the student submits after the quiz closing date will be saved but they will not be marked. We recommend students begin taking the quiz with enough time before the close time.

To determine how much time students will have to attempt the quiz:

  1. Under Timing, choose Time Limit.
  2. Check the Enable box and enter how much time students will have to take the quiz.

Note: It is possible to override timing settings (open close, time limit) for individual users as well as for groups of students. For instructions on how to do this, see Extensions and Overrides for Moodle Activities.

To determine how many times students can take the Quiz:

  1. Under Grades, choose Attempts allowed.
  2. Select an option between 1-10 or unlimited.

Adding Quiz Questions

Once you have set up your Quiz, you can start adding questions. Note that editing your Quiz settings (above) is different from editing your Quiz content. To begin adding questions:

  • From the Quiz settings page > click Save and Display to begin adding items.
  • From your Moodle course page > click on the title of the Quiz (do NOT click on Edit or Edit settings!)
  1. On the next screen, click Edit Quiz.
  2. Select the highest grade possible for the quiz by typing the number into the maximum grade box.
  3. To create a new question, click Add > +A new question. You can also add a question from an existing question bank or a random question.
  4. A box will appear with a list of question types that you can add. Options include multiple choice, true/false, matching, short answer, numerical, essay, calculated, calculated multichoice/simple, drag and drop into text/marker/onto image, embedded answers (also cloze/fill in the blanks), random short-answer matching, and select missing words.
  5. Click Add. Note that you can choose a different type of question for each question item you add to the quiz.
  6. Fill in the question form and make sure to give points for the correct answer.
    Note: More information about how different question types work is available here. EAST is also happy to consult with you about question types and how to set them up for a Quiz.

Guest Access to Moodle Courses

Guest access is the mechanism for allowing people who are not enrolled in a Moodle course the ability to see what is posted in that course. For academic courses, the College recommends:

  • Enabling guest access during pre-registration and shopping periods so that interested students can view the syllabus and get a sense of readings and course assignments
  • Disabling guest access after registration has closed unless there are pedagogical reasons to leave a course open.


What Guests Can and Can’t Do

  • Guests can see everything you have posted to the course (including readings, videos, forum posts, etc.),
  • Guests cannot participate in course activities such as Quizzes.*
  • Guests do not need to have or credentials.
  • Guests can be prompted to enter password if you want to limit access.

*If students need to submit assignments or take quizzes in Moodle before they have officially registered a course, please enroll them in the course as Auditors. Remind the students that they still need to register — they cannot get academic credit for the course unless they officially register for it through Bionic and/or the Registrar’s Office.

Enabling/Disabling Guest Access for a Course

You must have a Teacher role in the course to do this.

  1. Log in to your course and click Participants in the left side bar (see below).

Screenshot with Participants Link

  1. Click the gear icon in the top right and choose Enrollment Methods from the drop-down menu (see below).

Screen shot showing gear menu and Enrollment Method

  1. If  Guest access is grayed out as shown below, it has been disabled. Click the Enable/Disable button (looks like an eye) to toggle Guest access on and off.

Screen shot showing enable/disable

  1. If you want to restrict guest access to specific people, click the Edit (gear) button next to the eye and add a Password, and give this password to people who need to enter the course. We strongly recommend creating a password for courses that will be permanently guest-accessible. 
  2. When you are finished, click Save changes.

The instructions below explain how to find guest-accessible courses on Moodle. You can also copy the URL of your course from your web browser’s address bar and share it (and the course password, if you set one) with your guests. If they aren’t already logged into Moodle, they will be prompted to do so when they click on your link — people without BMC or Haverford credentials can use the Log in as guest option.

Finding and Entering Guest-Accessible Courses

The Course Overview section on your Moodle Dashboard will only show courses you are enrolled in. To find and enter guest-accessible courses that you aren’t enrolled in:

  1. Log in to Moodle. (If you do not have an account on Bryn Mawr’s Moodle site, use the Log in as guest option.)
  2. In the Course Categories block at the bottom of your dashboard, you can:
    • Browse for courses in particular categories by clicking through the links/menus.
    • Search for a course by clicking All courses and typing keywords from the full or short name in the search box.
  3. Guest-accessible courses will have an Guest access icon (looks like an open padlock) next to the title.
  4. Click on the course title to enter. If you are prompted for a password, enter the course password the instructor or course organizer gave you (not your BMC password). If you don’t know the password or the password you were given isn’t working, contact the instructor/course organizer.

Adding Folders in Moodle

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to add folders to your courses:

Method 1: Drag-and-drop

1) After logging in and going to your course in Moodle, make sure to click “Turn editing on” in the upper right-hand corner.

2) Choose the folder you want to add to Moodle on your computer. (Note: if the folder is not already compressed, this will not work. To compress a folder, right click and choose “Send to -> compressed (zipped) folder.” On a Mac, press control+click and then select “Compress (folder name here).“) Locate the zipped folder on your computer and drag it to your course into the section you want it to appear.

3) Once you drag it onto your course, Moodle will ask if you would like to: “create file resource, add a SCORM package, or unzip it” and have it as a folder. In most cases, you will want to choose “

The folder should now show up on your Moodle course with all of its files as a resource for your students.

Method 2: Create an empty folder and add files separately

1) After logging in and going to your course in Moodle, make sure to click “Turn editing on” in the upper right-hand corner.

2) Click on “Add an activity or resource” and choose “Folder” from the suite of icons.

3)  Put in a Name and Description for the folder. If you just want an empty folder for now, you can scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Save and return to course.” If you want to add files to the folder now, continue with Step 4.

4) You can either drag and drop files into the Content box with the blue arrow, or click the Add button in order to choose and upload files from your computer.

5) After you have all the files you want in the folder, scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Save and return to course.” Once the folder is on your site, you can edit the contents at any time by clicking on the Update icon.

Group Settings for Moodle Activities

In some Activities you will find, midway in the setup page, a section called “Common module settings.” Here you will find the options to include Group settings. Depending on how you want to set up your activity, you can choose to organize the activity to Separate or Visible Groups.

Group Settings:

  • Separate Groups: By selecting Separate Groups, your activity will be organized into a separate section for each group. Groups will not be able to see the sections of other groups. It creates a private space for group work.
  • Visible Groups: By selecting Visible Groups, your activity will be organized into separate sections for each group, but groups will be able to see the sections of other groups. This is useful if you want groups to hand in their own assignment, but want the whole class to collaborate and work together.

Groups in Moodle

Groups are a really useful feature of Moodle that allow an instructor to create any number of groups, personally or auto-created, with certain parameters from their list of enrolled students. Groups can be used to set up lab sections, make project groups, or closely utilize features within Moodle activities (such as OU tools).

Making a Group
This guide will show you how to make your own groups. To auto-create groups, see the instructions below.

  1. To begin, select Participants on the Administration block, and select Groups from the settings (gear icon) on the upper right-hand side of the page to navigate to the page where you will create and configure your groups.
  2. Click Create Group to create a new group, and enter the group name.
    1. You may optionally enter a description of the group, include a picture to identify the group, or enter an enrollment key for students to self-enroll into groups.
  3. Click Save Changes when finished. This will bring you back to the Groups page.
  4. To add users to your group, select the group you’ve created and click the Add/Remove Users button.
    1. Add users by selecting their names in the right column labeled Potential Members, then click the Add button in the center.
  5. When you are finished adding users, click Back to Groups in the bottom left of the page to return to the menu.

Auto-Creating Groups

  1. To create groups automatically, click the Auto-Create Groups button on the Groups page.
  2. Set a naming scheme, e.g. Group @ will create Group A, Group B, Group C, etc., whereas Group # will create Group 1, Group 2, Group 3, etc.
  3. Select whether you want to specify the number of groups or the number of members per group and enter the number of groups or number of members as necessary.
  4. Select the role from which to create the members (e.g. Auditor or Registered Student)
  5. Choose how to allocate the group members. Because these groups are being automatically created, you can choose to allocate them in the following ways:
    1. Randomly
    2. Alphabetically
      1. First name, last name
      2. Last name, first name
      3. ID number
  6. Optionally, you can choose the grouping you would like these groups to be created in. Then, click Submit when finished.