Get to Know a Moodle Course: Blocks and the Outline Section
A Moodle course is made up of blocks and an outline.
Blocks can contain useful information for your class.
- The Course Information block at the top of your course lists information about the teachers and TAs, the class description, and other details. (Read the instructions here to update your office hours.)
- The Filtered Course List block shows all the courses that you participate in
- The Library block provides quick reference information for your students to connect with library resources on campus.
- The Study Tools block contains links that students may find useful while working on assignments and readings.
Editing Which Blocks Appear
- Add Blocks Some faculty like to add additional blocks, like the Calendar block, or the Latest News block. To do so, turn editing on for your page, and scroll down to find the "Add a block" option at the end of the list of blocks.
- Reorder Blocks You can also reorder the blocks that appear on your page. Turn editing on for your page, and use the crosshairs icon to drag-and-drop blocks up or down the column.
- Hide or Delete Blocks Hiding a block prevents your students from seeing it. Deleting a block removes it from your course entirely. Both options can be found, with editing turned on for your page, by clicking on the block's gear menu.
Dock your blocks
You can customize your view of Moodle by minimizing or docking any of the blocks that appear in your course. Minimizing lets you pop each block open and shut in place, and docking sends them over to the extreme left of the screen, where you can hover over with your mouse to view them. You can click on the icons pictured below for each block to minimize or dock it.
We strongly recommend that everyone dock or minimize their Navigation, Administration, and Course Information blocks! These appear at the top of every course site and can cause a lot of unnecessary scrolling.
Docking and minimizing only affect your personal view of Moodle, and won't affect how your students see the Moodle course for your class. However, if you delete or hide a block, or rearrange the order of blocks on the page, that will indeed affect how students see your course.
The outline is broken up into sections that let you organize the content that your add to your course.
To start editing content, you use the "Turn Editing On" button in the upper right corner of the course.
These are the two broad categories of content you can add to your course.
- Activities are interactive. The most commonly used options are Assignments and Forums, but you also have access to other activities like Attendance, Workshops, Quizzes, and Wikis. Click on the "+ Add an Activity or Resource" link in the bottom corner of the section where you'd like to place an activity.
- Resources are static. They can be documents, text, or other information. To add a file (like a PDF, Word document, or PowerPoint) to your course, you can drag and drop it into the course outline, releasing your mouse while hovering over the section you would like it to appear in. You can also use the "+ Add an Activity or Resource" button and scroll down to pick one of the Resource options there.
You can see a full list of activities and resources available to add (and short descriptions of how they work) by clicking on the "+ Add an Activity or Resource" link in the bottom corner of each outline section.
The default format gives you a section for each class meeting date (called Class-By-Date), but you can choose alternate formats if you like in the course settings. Other formats include:
- Weekly Format (one section per week),
- Topics Format (organization by topic heading).
See our instructions on changing your course format for more information.