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 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 minus sign located in the right corner of the block.


  1. To Expand a block, Click on the + sign located in the right corner of the block.


 Note: 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

Navigation - 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).

Administration (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.

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

Messages-  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/announcements for the course and view older topics that have been posted through the News Forum activity.

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.

Calendar- 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 course 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, contact ITRC.

Course Navigation

The navigation block and the breadcrumbs will assist you when navigating around Moodle.

  1. Navigation - The Navigation block allows you to find your courses, view your profile and private files, and access your site pages. For more information, 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 Turn editing on/off.

turn editing on.png

Method two:

  1. From the Administration block; Select Course administration.
  2. Select Turn editing on/off.

turn on.png

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, Select the course you wish to work with.
  2. Turn Editing On.
  3. On the left hand side of the screen, find Add a Block and Select a block from the Add Dropdown menu.

add a block.png

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 (4-sided arrow) 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 Add an activity or resource. adddd.png

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

Moving an Activity/Resource

  1. Turn editing on.
  2. Locate the activity or resource that you wish to move.
  3. Hover over the Move icon (4-sided arrow) next to the activity.


  1. Holding the left mouse button down, Drag the selected item to where you want it to be. Once it is in the correct location, let up on your mouse button.

Duplicating an Activity

  1. Turn editing on.
  2. Select the activity that you wish to make a copy of.
  3. Select the Duplicate icon from the Edit Dropdown menu.

duplicate 1.png

Note: A copy of the activity or assignment will appear directly below the original.

Frequently used icons

- Move -  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.

-Configuration/Update/Edit - You can use this icon to modify the block, activity or resource selected.

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

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

-Hide - 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.

- Show - 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.

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

triangle.pngThe 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 hidden by 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.

- Editing Titles - Located in the Administration block, you can use this icon to either turn editing on or off. It could also be used to edit titles on the main page.

- 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, visit Course Homepage.

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.