Tag Archives: Moodle

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 brynmawr.edu or haverford.edu 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.

View Moodle Site as a Student (for Teachers)

If at any time you wish to see the course the way a student or TA sees it, you have the option to switch your role.

Click on your name in the upper right-hand corner of Moodle. You should see an option at the bottom of the drop-down menu that says “Switch role to…“. Click this to see a list of roles that you may select (see this post on Add/Remove Users in a Moodle Site for a list of roles and their meanings in Moodle). Please note that this only works inside a course page and is not available on the Dashboard.

Once you select a different role, you may view your course this way, but it won’t let you participate in activities as if you were a student (e.g. take a quiz, submit an assignment, etc.).

When you’re ready to switch back to your regular role, just click on your name again and choose “Return to my normal role“.

Organize a Moodle Site: Topics vs. Weeks

Moodle gives you the option of setting up your course by topic/theme or by week. This allows you to customize the layout so that it is tailored to your course.

1) To change this setting, look to Settings (gear icon) on the right-hand side of the page and click the “Edit Settings” link.

2) Look for the “Course Format” underneath “Description.” Click on the drop-down menu that will allow you to choose from “Topics Format” and “Weekly Format.” If you choose the ‘”Weekly Format,” your course will be organized according to week. Note: You should make sure that your course start date is correct if you choose this option (these settings will also be found on this page). For the “Topics Format,” you should make sure to set the amount of topics you will need. With both formats, you should set the number of weeks/topics to the correct number for your course.

3) When you are done, click the “Save Changes” button at the bottom of the page. Now when you return to your course, your page should be organized in the format you have chosen. If you make a mistake or wish to change something later, you can always go back and make the change in the “Edit Settings” page.

Create and Manage Assignments in Moodle

Use a Moodle Assignment activity to:

  • Receive papers or problem sets electronically. Moodle is more secure and private than e-mail, is available to all students, collects all files into a single place, and time-stamps submissions. You can download all submissions for an Assignment at once for printing and/or electronic annotation.
  • Grade blind. If you choose this option, Moodle identifies submissions with codes, and only reveals students’ names after you’ve assigned grades. (Note: if students are uploading files, you will need to warn them NOT to include their name in the filename or on the pages of the file.)
  • Create an item in your Moodle Gradebook. Moodle Assignment isn’t only for receiving electronic submissions. You can also create Assignment activities for “offline” assignments, such as attending a colloquium, so that you and your students can track completion and any points awarded.
  • Place assignment deadlines on the Moodle course calendar. Students can subscribe to reminders and “push” the calendar to other calendar programs (Office365, Google, iCal, etc).

How to Create an Assignment

  1. Turn editing on.
  2. Click Add an activity or resource at the bottom of a course block.
  3. Select Assignment from the menu and click Add. This opens an Adding a new Assignment page.
  4. Enter an Assignment name.
    • Tip: Include the date the Assignment is due in name, so it is visible on the main course page.
  5. Add a Description, which students will see when they click on the Assignment link.
    • If your instructions are short, you can put them here.
    • If your instructions are long and/or you want students to print them out, upload an assignment sheet under Additional files, and use this space to direct students to it.
    • See Guidelines for Electronic File Submission, below, for things to include in instructions for this type of assignment.
  1. Under Availability, check Enable next to the following and set the date and time to specify:
    • Allow submissions from — the earliest date/time a student can submit
    • Due date — the date/time after which submissions will be marked as late
    • Cut-off date — the date/time Moodle stops accepting submissions (not visible to students).
  1. Under Submission Type, check Online text (if you want students to enter text in a text box) and/or File submissions (if you want students to upload a file) as applicable. Depending on your choice, you can set Word limit (online text) or the max number and size of uploaded files. Note that many of your students come from a GoogleDocs type workflow, where they shared links to online files with teachers, rather than emailing copies or handing in printouts. If you don’t want links, uncheck Online text and explain this to students in your instructions.

The remaining settings, including Grade, are optional, and are shown collapsed by default. Expand them to adjust as needed. Please refer to the inline Moodle documentation (click the question mark icons) for more information and email help@brynmawr.edu for a consultation if you have any questions.

Tips for Electronic File Submission Assignments

If you want students to submit files to you electronically, here is info you can include in the assignment instructions to make the process go more smoothly:

  • Preferred file format. If you need files to be in a certain format (e.g., Word docx or PDF) for your grading workflow, be sure to tell students this. Students who shared links to online documents with teachers and classmates in high school, may not be very familiar with the concept of a “file format,” but all document-editing tools, including online-only ones like GoogleDocs, can save documents in Word (doc/docx), PDF and .rtf formats. Students can search their program’s help docs or LinkedIn Learning for step-by-step instructions. PDFs generally preserve formatting best across different platforms.
  • Preferred file naming conventions. Anyone who is sharing files should consider about whether their filenames make sense for recipients. “Paper1.pdf” may make sense to students, but having 40 files in your Download folder with that name won’t help you. Tell your students what info to include (i.e., course number, their last name) in the filename to make it easier for you to identify files. If you’re grading blind, tell them what info NOT to include. Hint: avoid accents and special characters, as some file systems don’t accept them.
  • Header/footer information. What should students include or not include in page headers or footers? If you plan to print submissions, page numbers and last names might be essential, but if you are grading blind, you may not want names visible anywhere. If students need instructions on how to add page numbers and/or edit headers and footers in a document they can search their program’s help docs or LinkedIn Learning.
  • Citation conventions. Do you want students to use footnotes, endnotes or parenthetical citations? Is there a particular style guide (MLA, APA, etc.) they should follow? Should URLs in citations be hyperlinks you can follow? Should they spelled out in visible text or? (For example, papers published online often adopt the accessibility best practice of making the title of a work in a bibliography a link, and let viewers hover over or click on the link to see the URL, but if you plan to print the files, you may need the full URL to be visible.)

Note about Microsoft Track Changes. If you use Microsoft’s Track Changes to annotate student work while grading, please note that it is only available in the full desktop version of Word (rather than Word online). All students can access this version on public lab computers, and Bryn Mawr students can download it to their personal devices through their Office365 accounts. If you want to ensure students can view the Track Changes mark-up anywhere, you can export the Word doc as a PDF with the mark-up showing.

Assignment FAQs

Can students submit group work through a Moodle Assignment?

Yes! You will first need to set up the Groups (see Groups in Moodle). Go to the Assignment, click Edit settings, and scroll down to the Group submission settings. Set Student submit in groups to turn on group submissions, and select which groups should be used under Grouping for student groups. It’s generally a good idea to test activities using groups with multiple “students” so you can see how the settings will work. Educational Technology Services would be glad to set up a sandbox for you, and serve as “students” for these tests. E-mail help@brynmawr.edu for a consultation.

How do I grade blindly in Moodle?

Go to the Assignment, click Edit Settings and scroll down to Grade. Set Blind marking? to Yes. Moodle will display assignment submissions to Teachers using participant numbers in place of names. Once you’ve finished grading the assignments, go the Assignment, click on Edit settings, and select Reveal student identities.

How do I download all files submitted for an Assignment at once?

Go to the assignment, and click Download all submissions in the list under Assignment Administration in the Administration block.

How do I give students an extension or make exceptions to a deadline?

To give extensions or make exceptions in advance, go to the Assignment and click User overrides (or Group overrides for a group) under Assignment administration. See the Assignment overrides screencast for a demo. To give an extension after a Cut-off date has passed (and users can no longer submit), go to the Assignment, click View all submissions, find the student’s name, and click Edit, then choose Grant extension from the drop-down menu.

Viewing and Submitting Assignments in Moodle

Faculty create Assignments in Moodle for a number of reasons: to place assignment due dates on the Moodle course calendar, to make a graded item for an assignment in the course Gradebook, and/or to receive electronic paper submissions.

Viewing Assignment Details and Submitting

  1. Click on the title of course in your Dashboard to open it.
  2. Click on the Assignment.
  3. Any instructions your professor has provided for the assignment will be at the top of the page under the title. If there are documents (e.g., an assignment sheet, readings, rubric, etc.) associated with the assignment that you may need to download, they will appear beneath this description.
  4. If the assignment is set up for online submissions, the Submission Status section (shown below) will list information about your submission, whether it has been graded, and the due date.

Screen Shot of Moodle's Submission Status block

  1. Click the Add Submission to submit your assignment.
  2. Depending on the Assignment settings, you will either see a text box where you should type in your answer, a file upload window, or both.
  3. After adding your response or your file, click on Save changes.

IMPORTANT: If your professor has set up the Assignment so that you can make changes to your submission up until the due date (for example, if you realize if you uploaded the wrong file), you will see an Edit submission button. To indicate that your submission is final and ready to be graded, click Submit assignment

Viewing Assignment Feedback

If your professor provides a grade and feedback on the assignment through Moodle, you can view this information on the Assignment page once it has been posted.  There will be a new Feedback section under Submission Status, which lists the grade, when the assignment was graded, the grader’s name and any comments provided.

Screenshot of Feedback section on Moodle Assignment page

Tips for Online Submissions

Here are some things to think about when submitting electronic files:

  • Use filenames that mean something to the receiver. You may know what “Essay 1” is, but imagine you are professor with fourteen copies of “Essay 1” in her Downloads folder. Consider including the course number and your name.
  • Use the file format (e.g., Word doc, PDF, etc.) your professor requests. (If no format is specified, ask!) Most programs will let you convert your files to different formats; see the online documentation for your program or LinkedIn Learning for help.
  • Back up your file as you are working! Crashes happen and files get corrupted, so make sure you protect yourself. It is a very good idea to save a new version of your document whenever you make major changes. This way, if you later decide you really liked that paragraph you deleted, you can go back to an old version and resurrect. Add version numbers to the filename (e.g., v1, v2, etc.) to help track which is the latest.

Here are some things to think about when submitting text in a text window:

  • Moodle does not save as you type. We strongly recommend composing your essay in your preferred word processing program (Word, Google Docs, etc.) where you can save as you go, and the cut-and-paste the finished text into Moodle.
  • Keep an archival copy — either save the document you used to compose your essay or, if you composed in Moodle, cut-and-paste the text into a document before you submit and save that. You may want to refer back to the essay later, submit it as writing samples, or share it with someone who is writing a recommendation for you, and you won’t have permanent access to the copy in Moodle.