Getting Started

Read this section to get a quick overview of how a Moodle course is formatted and what the system has to offer.  Browse the other areas of this site ("Ho​w to...", "Moodle FAQs") to get more in-depth information about Moodle.

Type​ into your broswer's URL field to access the Moodle Login page.  Enter your Trinity College user credentials to gain entry.  Upon entry you will see the courses available to you as hyperlinks.  (e.g. MUSC-101-01-F10​)  Click the links to enter the course site you wish to visit.

The Layout​
Course homepage formats
 are broken into course sections (often by week or topic).  Resources and activities are added to each section.  Blocks occupy the areas on the right and left-hand sides of the course content.

The illustration below shows a new course set up with "weekly" sections in the middle course content area. In the right and left columns are a few of Moodle's many blocks such as "Latest News" or "Administration".​

Editing a Course
To add or alter activities or resources a teacher must use the "Turn editing on" button on the course homepage. The same button will also turn editing off.  (Located in the upper right hand corner of the screen)

Similarly, the "Turn student view on" button allows the teacher to see the course page as a student would see it.
To add items to a section, you will use the pull down boxes for Activities and Resources.  (Shown below)

When editing has been turned on, a variety of editing icons appear next to all editable objects in the course. Below is a brief list of the most common icons and what they mean.

Activity Modules
There are a number of robust interactive learning activity modules that you may add to your course with the "Add an activity" drop down menu. If you wish, some or all of these activities can push information to a gradebook.  Communication and collaboration may take place using live Chats or asynchronous discussion Forums for conversational activities. You can also useChoices to gain group feedback. Adding Wikis to your courses is an excellent way to allow students to work together on a collaboratively-authored project.  Work can be uploaded and submitted by students and scored by teachers usingAssignments or Workshops. These modules have several assessment options, including instructor-assessment, self-assessment, and even peer-assessment. Online Quizzes offer several options for automatic and manual scoring. You can even integrate your Hot Potato quizzes by adding a Hotpot activity. Lessons deliver content and offer ways of individualizing your presentation based upon a student's choices. Glossaries of keywords can be set up by the instructor, and can be configured to allow students to edit, add, or rate entries.
Surveys and Databases are also very powerful additions to any course.

Moodle supports a range of different resource types that allow you to include almost any kind of digital content into your courses. These can be added by using the add a resource dropdown box when editing is turned on.  A Text page is a simple page written using plain text from a link in the course. Text pages aren't pretty, but they're a good place to put some information or instructions. If you are after more options for your new page then you should be thinking about adding a Web page and making use of Moodle's WYSIWYG editor.
Of course the resource may already exist in electronic form so you may want to link to an uploaded file or external website or simply display the complete contents of a directory in your course files and let your students pick the file themselves. If you have an IMS content package then this can be easily added to your course.
Labels allow you to add more information between activity or resource links in your course.

Each course homepage generally contains blocks on the left and right with the centre column containing the course content. Blocks may be added, hidden, deleted, and moved up, down and left/right when editing is turned on. Examples of blocks can be seen in the Getting Started image above. "Latest News", "Blogs", "Upcoming Events", and "Recent Activity" are a few examples.
A wide range of over 16 different block types can provide additional information or functionality to the learner by the teacher. The standard blocks that come with Moodle are shown on the right. There are also many contributed developed by Moodlers that an administrator can add to this list.

Course Administration Block
A teacher with editing rights will also have a course administration block. This is an important tool for a teacher. It has sub menus for course: backup, restore, Assign roles,grades, activity logs/reports, Files and the useful Course settings.
A student's course administration block typically lists only Grades and Profile options.

**Tips and Advice**
Subscribe yourself to all of the forums in your course so that you can keep in touch with your class activity. 
Encourage all of the students to fill out their user profile (including photos) and read them all - this will help provide some context to their later writings and help you to respond in ways that are tailored to their own needs.

Use many reports. Reports in the Administration block, Activity Reports (next to each name in the list of all people, or from any user profile page). These provide a great way to see what any particular person has been up to in the course.

Don't be afraid to experiment!  Feel free to poke around and make changes. It's hard to break anything in a Moodle course, and even if you do it's usually easy to fix it.