FAQ's (How to?) - General Design

Most teachers are too busy with students to get into this level of online development.   Given that, if you want to build an otherwise unavailable course, or just really like learning more about technology on your weekends, you may wish to try this out.

FAQ's (click question to jump to answer):

How to:  Navigate in Developer Mode?

Using the above image, here are the parts of a typical course homepage. It is possible to move and hide parts of the page and different themes display blocks in different regions, so not all courses will look like this.

Column left Course sections - Center Column right
1 Course full name 6 Section header & News topic 9 Login information
2 Navigation bar 7 Current week - First section 10 Turn editing on button
4 Navigation block 8 Future week - Second section 11 Latest news
5 Settings block 14 "Show only this section" 12 Upcoming events
15 "Switch role to" 13 Recent activity
16 User profile settings
17 Site Administration

some materials sourced from moodle.org

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How to: Switch to Editing Mode?

Once you switch "editing on," you'll see a variety of new icons and options.

First, let's clarify that each course is broken down into topics/units. Let's look at the options available within each topic.

Editing Tools

A. If you want to move the entire unit to another position in the course, click or drag this icon.

B. This is the title of the unit - see G. to change it.

C. If you wish to highlight a particular unit for your students (eg, current one).

D. Clicking the eye to make the unit visible/invisible to students.

E. If you wish to delete an entire unit, click this.

F. Unit introduction - see G. to change it. Often a unit banner image is popular here.

G. This is the button for changing B & C.

H. Want to move a particular item (eg. lesson) to another point in the course?

I. Quick change of the item title (remember to click enter to save this).

J. Your editing options for any individual item (eg. lesson page).

K. To insert another unit below this one.

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How to: Use the Built-in Editor?

Your Moodle site has a built-in editor.    There are 2 common types of editors within Moodle, but they're pretty similar.   Getting familiar with your editor is a good way to get development started.

Here's a summary of some common buttons found in the editors.



Font and paragraph buttons Select:
  • Font family (Times New Roman, Arial etc.)
  • Font size
  • Font style (Paragraph, Heading 1 etc.) The default is Paragraph style. Click the down arrow to see the effect of the different choices on the text.
Undo and redo buttons Undo and redo actions
Find and Find/Replace buttons Find, or find-and-replace text
Fullscreen mode toggle button Switch fullscreen mode on or off
Font styling buttons Format font
Text alignment buttons Align text on left, at centre or on right
Text formatting buttons Format painter, format remover, paste as plain text, paste from Microsoft Word
Text colour and highlight buttons Select a colour for text or text-highlighting
Text direction buttons Text direction (left to right, or right to left)
List and indent buttons Set as bullet list, numbered list; decrease indent, increase indent
Link function buttons Insert or edit a link, remove a link, prevent automatic linking
Insert media buttons

Insert media: image, emoticon, embedded media (sound, video or applet), manage embedded files, equation, media gallery, non-breaking-space character, custom character.

When embedding audio, use MP3 files for the best performance.
Insert a table
Toggle HTML source mode

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How to: Add Resources and Activities?


A resource is an item that a teacher can use to support learning, such as a file or link. Moodle supports a range of resource types which teachers can add to their courses. In edit mode, a teacher can add resources via the 'Add an activity or resource' link. Resources appear as a single link with an icon in front of it that represents the type of resource.

    • Book - Multi-page resources with a book-like format
    • File - A picture, a pdf document, a spreadsheet, a sound file, a video file
    • Folder - For helping organize files and one folder may contain other folders
    • IMS content package - Add static material from other sources in the standard IMS content package format
    • Label - Can be a few displayed words or an image used to separate resources and activities in a topic section, or can be a lengthy description or instructions
    • Page - The student sees a single, scrollable screen that a teacher creates with the robust HTML editor
    • URL - You can send the student to any place they can reach on their web browser, for example Wikipedia

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An activity is a general name for a group of features in a Moodle course. Usually an activity is something that a student will do that interacts with other students and or the teacher.

    • Assignments - Enable teachers to grade and give comments on uploaded files and assignments created on and off line
    • Chat - Allows participants to have a real-time synchronous discussion
    • Choice - A teacher asks a question and specifies a choice of multiple responses
    • Database - Enables participants to create, maintain and search a bank of record entries
    • External tool - Allows participants to interact with LTI compliant learning resources and activities on other web sites.
    • Feedback - For creating and conducting surveys to collect feedback
    • Forum - Allows participants to have asynchronous discussions
    • Glossary - Enables participants to create and maintain a list of definitions, like a dictionary
    • Lesson - For delivering content in flexible ways
    • Quiz - Allows the teacher to design and set quiz tests, which may be automatically marked and feedback and/or to correct answers shown
    • SCORM - Enables SCORM packages to be included as course content
    • Survey - For gathering data from students to help teachers learn about their class and reflect on their own teaching
    • Wiki - A collection of web pages that anyone can add to or edit
    • Workshop - Enables peer assessment

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How to: Do Some Other Things?

Thank you to Megan and SD91 for the following handy help-sheets for Moodle design:

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Last modified: Sunday, 29 August 2021, 11:35 AM