5 Awesome Moodle Features You Didn’t Know Existed

Posted on: March 14, 2018 | By: Elizabeth Kirkhorn | Filed under: Instructional Technologies, Tech Tips

After the Moodle renovation this winter, the interface has more features than ever, geared to make your online classroom interactive and convenient. Want to learn how to get the most out of Moodle? You’re in the right place – here are five hidden features you may not have known Moodle offers.


1. Use Moodle’s user-friendly editing tools to make frequent changes in your courses.

As an instructor using Moodle, it’s easier than you may think to adapt and edit your courses.  You can use the “Turn Editing On” link to make editing icons visible and customize your course. Moodle also makes it simple to organize modules even in the most content-heavy courses. Click and hold the crosshairs icon beside a course header and Moodle will display all headers uploaded to the page. Then, you can click and drag where you want each activity to fall.  

If you’re on the move and don’t have time to reconstruct a course, you can shift things around on the Moodle mobile app without having the go into editing mode. Navigate to an existing activity and use the gear icon to access useful editing tools on-the-go.

2. Track your students’ progress using the activity completion function.

Activity tracking on Moodle lets students see their progress in a course through the use of checkboxes in the margins of activities. There are two types of checkboxes you, as the professor, can embed in a course. Dotted lined checkboxes are automatically ticked by Moodle once a student completes an activity, like a quiz or a video viewing. Solid lined checkboxes are ticked by the student to signal their own progress.

Professors can access activity reports to monitor the progress of students, and can also mark an activity complete on behalf of students using the “override activity completion” feature if needed.

You can set up the activity completion tools in just a few clicks. First, navigate to “Edit Settings” on the gear icon. Scroll to completion tracking, and enable it by checking the “Yes” option. By clicking “Save and Display,” you unlock the ability to go into an activity and view completion tracking data. Anytime, you can edit whether Moodle will indicate that an action has been completed manually when entered by the student, or automatically. For each course or activity to which you want to add the completion tracking feature, edit the settings for said activity and choose “Selection.”

3. Maintain a customized glossary for your class terms using the Glossary feature.

Much like a dictionary, a glossary can help students find definitions to terms relevant in your course. Entries can be searched, browsed, and categorized when you create a glossary tailored to your course on Moodle. You have the choice of making a collaborative glossary, allowing students to add terms, or restricting it so only you can build entries.

Seeking inspiration for your own glossary? Click here to browse a word bank related to studying Shakespeare, or here to see how a glossary could help science students learn the parts of a cell. Ready to add one to your own Moodle course? Use the steps below to design a glossary for your online course:

  1. Turn editing on.
  2. Choose the section where you want your glossary to fall and select the link “Add an Activity or Resource.”
  3. You will be able to customize your glossary by adding a name, choosing the appearance, linking entries, and deciding who will contribute.
  4. Once you are satisfied with the learning bank you’ve created, click “Save and Display.

New terms can be added to the glossary whenever you please, and they can be supported by images, attachments, and links.

Moodle’s tools make it easy to build and edit your custom glossary.


4. Gauge opinions and needs by polling your students on Moodle.

The choice activity element on Moodle enables you to set up voting options, so that students can be polled. This feature can be used to test a student’s understanding of a subject, gauge needs, or get students thinking about a discussion question. Then, you will be able to view responses.

Setting up a choice activity is simple in editing mode. Select “Add an Activity or Resource” where you would like the poll to appear, and launch the “Choice” option.  Select display options, how many answers each user can select, whether you would like to limit the number of responses, and more. Finally, click “Save and Return to Course.”


Use the “choice” tool to gauge whether students understand class concepts.


5. Save and back up your Moodle course for future use.

After you’ve created the perfect Moodle page, you’ll want to save your work to reuse in courses to come.  In the case of a glitch, courses you’ve backed up will remain unscathed.

To back-up your Moodle course:

  1. Click the gear menu. Select “Backup.”
  2. Follow the dialogue to decide what you would like to save in a copy of the course.
  3. You will be prompted to either click “Next,” or “Jump to the Final Step.” If you’ve never backed up a course before, you are advised to select “Next.”
  4. For those who continue by pressing “Next,” you will be able to view a confirmation and review page. Here, you can edit the file name and check that the settings for your saved Moodle site are correct. If you spot a mistake, you can return to previous screens.
  5. Once you’re satisfied, select “Confirm Backup.”
  6. Continue to be redirected and see where you can get a copy of the backup file to download and save offline.

When you’re ready to select “confirm backup,” you should be redirected to a loading screen like this.



Want to learn more Moodle tips or just need a few Moodle questions answered? Visit the Teaching and Learning Technologies office in Belk Library 115 or chat with an e.l.i.t.e. student at the library circulation desk. Stay tuned for more Moodle tips coming soon!





Comments are closed.