Welcome to Moodle
Welcome to Moodle at Texas Tech University's University College (UC). This page is your orientation to Moodle and to the basic layout and components of your course. Additional information specific to each course will be found within individual course documents. If you have any questions or problems with Moodle, please contact the UC Help Desk at 806-742-7202, ext. 309.
Moodle is an open-source course management system (CMS) originally developed in Australia (which is why you may see differences in spelling, capitalization, and vocabulary on some pages). Moodle has large support and development communities. If you'd like more information about Moodle, please visit www.moodle.org
Your Course Home Page
When you click on a course access icon in the UC Course Portal, you are taken to that course's home page in Moodle. It will appear similar to the example below. Use the numbered boxes on the screenshot below and the corresponding explanations in the text that follows to familiarize yourself with this type of Moodle page.
- 1. Breadcrumb navigation - Moodle will display the hierarchy of links that you have clicked on to arrive at a certain page so you can link back to those pages if needed.
- 2. Latest News - Your instructor and UC use this block to display course and system announcements.
- 3. Activities - This block lists activities and assessments in your course by type instead of by lesson (this same information is also available organized by lesson in the center of your home page).
You can click on these links to see your grades, review your answers on completed assessments, and access other course information. Please be aware that not all of the Moodle components or assessment tools outlined below may be represented in your course. The Activities block in each course will only list the components that were used to design/build that course specifically.
The Assignment tool and Quiz tool are the Moodle components you will most often use to complete lesson assignments and upload/submit coursework for grading. Be aware that not all materials that appear in the lists linked from the Activities block will be graded materials. In addition to the Resource documents (explained below), there may be some instances in your course when other Moodle tools (such as Assignments or Quizzes) have been used to deliver ungraded material such as information and instruction documents, practice exercises, etc.
- Assignments - Click on this link to see a list of all assessments in your course that were designed with the Moodle Assignment tool.
- Forums - Follow this link to see postings to Latest News.
- Lessons - In most cases, the Moodle Lesson tool will be used as an information-delivery tool more than as an assessment tool. If your course utilizes this component, you will have access to each instance via this link (in addition to the links in the center of the course home page).
- Quizzes - Click on this link to see a list of all assessments in your course that were designed with the Moodle Quiz tool.
- Resources - This lists any additional materials added to the course (such as links to web pages, information and instruction documents, etc.).
- 4. Administration - Clicking on the Grades link within this block will take you to a listing of all the assessments, lesson assignments, etc. within your course. Click on an assessment or lesson assignment name to be taken to that activity. For assessments/lesson assignments you have already completed, you can click on either the name of the assessment or on the number that represents your grade to view your answers and any comments added by your teacher (you will usually only see comments on teacher-graded assessments).
Note: In some instances, you may be taken to a screen that displays a small table entitled All grades by category. Clicking on the word "Uncategorized" under that title will take you to your listing of assessments and grades.
- 5. My courses - This block contains a list of the Moodle courses in which you are enrolled (it will only list your Moodle courses). Each title is a link to that course's home page.
- 6. Topic Outline - Beneath this heading, you will find the topic boxes (Moodle term) for your course content. The Welcome topic box heads this section of your course home page. It will contain information about course policies and procedures, suggestions and guidelines for completing your coursework, and information about your course author. Below the Welcome topic box, there is a box for each lesson in your course that contains all needed materials for that lesson. Most courses will also have an additional topic box that contains additional resources for your course such as appendices, final exam information, etc. Make sure you read all course materials carefully.
- 7. Collapsing Lesson Blocks to a Single-Lesson View - The course materials (instructions, assignments, resources, etc.) are divided over several large blocks/boxes in the center column of the course homepage. Moodle refers to these divisions as "topics"; (each lesson makes up one topic block). When progressing through the course, you may find that the numerous topic blocks - each containing quite a bit of information - create a long scroll down the course homepage. To eliminate this amount of scrolling, you may choose to collapse the topic list and view only one topic block at a time (the one that contains the lesson you are working on at that time). This can be done by clicking the blue square found in the upper right corner of the topic block.
To restore the screen to where you are able to see the full-course listing of all topic blocks, click the same square (which will now contain a plus sign instead of a minus sign) again and your view will return to the original settings.
When you are in the single-topic view, you can navigate to other topic blocks without having to go back to the original full-course view. Just under the collapsed topic block, you should see a drop-down menu with the words "Jump to" inside. By clicking on the drop-down list, you may choose a topic number and Moodle will automatically display that topic block in a collapsed view instead of the one you were previously viewing. If you wish to refer back to a particular topic, you may use the "Jump to" box at any time to access other topic blocks in the same manner. As stated above, you can choose at any time to restore the screen to its original full-course listing.
- 8. Copyright Statement - This block shows the Texas Tech University copyright statement for UC courses as approved by General Counsel.
- 9. Course Mail - A communication tool for you and your instructor. The tool is very similar to most web-mail programs.
- 10. Helpful Links - This box contains links to Texas Tech websites that may be helpful to you in your distance learning experience. The list contains information on UC, the Texas Tech Libraries (college courses only), tips for academic success, and other useful sites. Also, under Get Software, you'll find links for downloading software that may be required in some Moodle courses.
Good luck on your online course! It might help to print this guide for future reference, as it contains many details and important information about navigating and understanding your course. If you have any questions, please contact University College or your instructor (if applicable) as soon as possible.