Moodle ISU Overview Moodle ISU


This document will give you a brief overview of Moodle ISU.  It will help you to locate information in the Moodle environment and to understand the functions inside of Moodle that you will see frequently.

This guide will help you to understand:

Page Layout

Course Homepage

The course homepage consists of two main parts.  A weekly/topic outline area where you can create links to content and activities occupies of the majority of the screen.  The second part is comprised of blocks along the left and right sides of the homepage.  Blocks can be added or removed from the course depending on your needs.  They can also be collapsed or expanded.

Collapse and Expand

Collapsing and Expanding blocks can help you manage how information is displayed on your screen.

  1. To Collapse a block, Click on the vertical gray strip located in the right corner of the block.


  1. To Expand a block, Click on the perpendicular gray strip located in the right corner of the block.



This option is a user preference and will only affect your screen when you use it. It will not affect the students’ screens, unless they personally choose to expand or collapse a block.

Common Blocks

Here is a common list of blocks:

Block Name:



This block will help you to move from one course to the next, as well as allow you to view your profile, and site pages (blogs, notes, tags, calendar and reports).


(previously titled Settings)

Administration will allow you to edit your course pages through the use of the turn editing on option. The Administration block also allows you to assign users, grades, backup and restore, import, create question banks, and access outcomes.


The people block will allow you to view the participants in your class.


The activities block will allow you to view all the activities that you currently have set up for the course.


The messages block will allow you to view messages that are waiting for you as well as sent messages.

Latest news

The latest news block will allow you to add new topics for the course and view older topics that have been posted.

Upcoming events

The upcoming events block will allow you to add an event to the calendar or to view events that are already scheduled for the class.


The calendar block will allow you to set dates for the class for various activities as well as be able to see upcoming events.

My Private Files

The my private files block will allow you to manage your files, select files to work on, and to view your files in one block.

Recent Activities

The recent activities block will show you who has logged into the courses and what activities they have accessed while they have visited.

Note:  There are other blocks that can be added to your course.  For more information please contact the ITRC.

Course Navigation

There are a couple of things you will need to be aware of when navigating in Moodle ISU.  They are the navigation block and the breadcrumbs.

  1. Navigation Block - The navigation block allows you to find your courses, view your profile and private files, and access your site pages.  For more information please see Navigation.
  2. Breadcrumbs - Breadcrumbs are located at the top of the Moodle ISU page. They are a short list of where you have navigated to from the homepage.  You can click on links in the breadcrumbs to return to previous pages.

Editing the Page

Turn Editing On/Off

Method one:

  1. In the top right corner of the course homepage, Click on the Turn Editing On/Off button.

Method two:

  1. In the Administration block; Click on Course Administration option.
  2. Click on Turn Editing On/Off option.

Note: Clicking Turn Editing On will enable editing and the button and option will change to say Turn Editing Off.  Click Turn Editing Off to disable editing.

Adding a Block to Your Course

  1. From your course list, Access the course you wish to work with.
  2. Turn Editing On.
  3. On the right hand side of the screen, find the Add a Block block and Click on the Add dropdown menu.

  1. Click on the block you would like to add and it will appear above the Add a Block block.

Hot Tip: You can move new blocks to wherever you want by turning on editing and moving your cursor to the top of the block, the arrow will then turn in to the move icon and from there you can move the block wherever you want.

Adding an Activity/Resource to Your Course

  1. Turn Editing On.
  2. Select the Week that you wish to add the activity or resource to your course.
  3. In the selected week Click on either the Add a Resource... or Add an Activity... dropdown menus to select an available option.

Note: For more information on setting up an activity please see Adding an Activity. and on setting up a resource please see Adding a Resource.

Moving an Activity/Resource

  1. Turn Editing On.
  2. Locate the activity or resource that you wish to move.
  3. Select the Move icon  next to the activity.

  1. Keeping your mouse clicked down Drag the selected item to where you want it to be.

Duplicating an Activity

  1. Turn Editing On.
  2. Select the activity that you wish to make a copy of.
  3. Click on the duplicate icon.

  1. A copy of the activity or assignment will appear directly underneath the original.

Frequently Used Icons and Buttons




Use this icon to drag and drop the activity to another place on the page.

Move right

When you click on this icon the title of the activity will be moved slightly to the right. After you have moved an activity to the right you can move it back again by clicking the left arrow that will appear.


You can use this icon to modify the block, activity or resource selected.


This will allow you to make a second copy of the assignment for the same week.


When you click on this icon the activity or block will be deleted from your course.


By clicking on the open eye it will hide the activity on the page from the students.

An open eye also means that the students can see the activity etc.


To reopen an activity, simply click on the closed eye.

A closed eye also means that the students cannot see the activity etc.

No groups

This icon indicates that there are no groups created for a particular activity.

Visible Groups

This icon means that there are assigned groups for an activity.

Assign roles

By assigning a role to a user in a context, you are granting them the permissions contained in that role, for the current context and all lower contexts. For example, if a user is assigned the role of student in a course, they will also have the role of student for all activities and blocks within the course.        

For more information please see Assigning Roles.

Students can manually mark this as complete.

If during the set up of the activity you have elected to allow students to mark the activity as complete, then you will see this check mark next to the activity.


If at any time you need help, look for this icon. When you click it you will see a basic description of the function.


The triangle

Click on the triangle when it is pointed to the right to open up dropdown menus to access more options.

Click on the triangle when it is pointed down to close the additional options.

Show More/Show Less button

Click this button to make the advanced options available for use when setting up activities.   These options can be hiddenby clicking the Hide Advanced button.

Expand all

This option allows you to show or hide sections you are working on when you add an activity or resource to your screen. When you expand all, this will let you see every option that you have when you scroll down

Collapse all

This option will hide sections you are working on, you can open sections up by clicking on arrows or by clicking on the expand all.

Turn Editing On/Off

Located in the Settings block, You can use this icon to either turn editing on or off.

Turn editing on/off

This button will be located at the top right hand corner of your course homepage. You can use this button to turn your editing on/off.

Dropdown Menus

To use the dropdown menus click on the wording or use the arrow located on the right in this picture.

Collapse icon Block         

To merge everything together.

Expand icon Block

To expand all materials in the course.

For more information please visit

This work was done by Instructional Technology Resource Center at Idaho State University and is licensed under the Creative Commons Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit Attribution Noncommercial 3.0 United States or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.