Moodle FAQs

Moodle Questions

This page contains the answers to frequently asked questions about using Moodle for teaching at Lake Forest College. To search for specific questions, type your search terms into the box above.

I can't log in to Moodle, I am getting a Microsoft Sign In error.

It may be the case that Microsoft is offline, which prevents you from logging into Moodle. ITS will send out an announcement about the service outage and the expected downtime duration.

If Microsoft appears to be online, confirm that you are logged into webmail at with your Lake Forest account (not a different account). You can then log in to with your Office 365 credentials.

If you cannot get into your Office 365 account, you may need to reset your password. Please contact the IT Help Desk for assistance with resetting your password.

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How can students make appointments with me in Moodle?

The Scheduler module in Moodle helps you in scheduling appointments with your students. Teachers specify time slots for meetings, students then choose one of them on Moodle. Teachers in turn can record the outcome of the meeting - and optionally a grade - within the scheduler.

Group scheduling is supported; that is, each time slot can accommodate several students, and optionally it is possible to schedule appointments for entire groups at the same time.

Video: The Scheduler Activity in Moodle

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How do I link to a Zoom meeting in Moodle?

Turn editing on, select “Add activity or resources,” then select “Zoom meeting.” It will walk you through creating a link on your page.

Here are additional instructions for using Zoom with Moodle:

Faculty Guide to Using Zoom Through Moodle

Create Zoom Meetings From the Zoom App

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How do I link to the same Zoom meeting from two different Moodle courses?

If you want to link to a single Zoom meeting (for example, for virtual office hours) for different courses, create the meeting in Zoom first, and then link to it from each of the Moodle courses. Here is an example.

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How do I add the Quickmail Block to my Moodle course?

Turn editing on, then scroll down to the bottom left and select “add a block.” You should see quickmail in the list. If you don’t see it, it might already be in your course.

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Can I use Quickmail to send messages to everyone in the course at once?

Yes, select the “all in course” option under “Compose course message” in Quickmail.

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I can’t see my courses in Moodle.

Your courses can be viewed from the Dashboard tab. Here is a video explaining how to view your courses.

If a student has followed the steps above and still cannot see the courses, please have them verify their course enrollment and then contact the IT Help Desk.

If you are a new faculty member and cannot see your course, please contact the IT Help Desk for assistance with getting your account set up for the first time.

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How do I change my course visibility settings?

Click Edit Settings in the Course Administration menu. In the course settings, under General settings, you can set the course Visibility options to Hide or Show. Make sure to scroll down and click Save when you have made your selection.

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Why can’t I assign others the Teacher role in Moodle?

This is due to FERPA restrictions about student access to others’ grades and assignments in a course. If you need to add an instructor, please contact the IT Help Desk. Be sure to include the course name, number, and the name of the person who you would like to add as a Teacher.

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Why can’t other faculty import from my course?

In order to import content from an existing Moodle course, you must first be added to that course as a Teacher. You should contact the Help Desk with the course name, number, and the name of the faculty member you would like added in the Teacher role.

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How can I combine multiple Moodle sections into a metacourse?

Faculty now have permission to create Meta courses. Here are the instructions:

  1. Enter a course
  2. Open the Participants page
  3. Click the gear icon in the top-right corner
  4. Select "Enrollment methods"
  5. Click the Add method menu and select "course meta link"
  6. Search for and select a course
  7. Click the Add method button

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How can I create a new Moodle course page?

Please contact the IT Help Desk for assistance with setting this up. Please refer to the contact information on the left side of this page.

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How do I create a custom grading scale in Moodle?

To create a custom scale follow these instructions:

  • Click the "Add a new scale" button click on the Gear icon, go to Gradebook Set up > Scales tab.
  • Scroll to the bottom and "Add a new scale," give your scale a name in the Name box that will identify it among other scales. 'Standard' scale is a scale which can be applied to every course in Moodle. Only those with site permissions such as administrators can make a new scale 'standard'. A regular teacher can only create a scale for their own course.
  • Creating a new scale screen: Name, Scale, Description areas
  • In the Scale box, create your scale. Each item in the scale should be separated by a comma. You can use as many options here as you require. You must order the comma separated elements in increasing order of value. For example, an A,B,C,D scale must be entered as D,C,B,A. or 1,2,3,4
  • Write a detailed description in the Description box to remind you (or other teachers) of how the scale is to be used.
  • Save the changes.

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Can I automatically enter quiz results from Microsoft Forms into the Moodle gradebook?

No, there is no automated way to do this. You will have to enter grades manually.

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Do the answers in a multiple choice quiz have to be one line long at most?

The answers must be true, false, or multiple choice. If you think multiple choice answers will extend beyond one line, use this same procedure as for questions.

Video Instructions for Importing Multiple Choice Questions Into Moodle

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How do I upload files to Moodle?
  • Turn on editing in your course (top right blue button),
  • Click on Add an activity or resource where you want to locate the file,
  • Click on the Resource called "File."
  • Follow the prompts to upload the file
  • Click save and return to course.

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How can I hide certain assignments to make the course page less busy?

There are two options for doing this, “collapsible weeks” and “stealth activities.”

First use the default course format on the site which is "Collapsible Weeks Format". This format is perfect for courses that may have a lot of content because your students are able to collapse the weeks as they wish. Another format that may meet this need is "Weekly format" and then you could set the "course layout" to show one section per page. The benefit of this format is that it will only show one section (or week) to students at a time. This would also cut down on the page seeming overwhelming to students.

A second option is to use "Stealth Activities". Stealth activities would allow you to place all of the Moodle Assignments in a topic at the bottom of the course page. Then, you could hide the Assignments but also make them available to students. This could be done for each Assignment through the settings for the Assignment. This would mean that students would not "see" the Assignments on the course page, but they would still have access to the Assignments. You could then link to the Assignments. Links to the Assignments could be placed within the topic description or within a Label or even a Page.

Stealth activities are a great way to clean up a course page. There is a link below to the documentation on stealth activities. There is also a video on the documentation page that quickly shows you how stealth activities work.

Stealth Activities in Moodle

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How can I view materials from a previous course I’ve taught?

Log in to Moodle and click the Dashboard. You can see all the previous courses you have taught dating back to 2015.

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Is there a way for students to check their answers during a Moodle Quiz?

Yes, you can set up an immediate response for the student in the Review Options on the Quiz settings page.

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Can I add questions to a Question Bank as a batch?

Yes, if they are multiple choice or true/false questions. Here is a tutorial video.

It is recommended that you use part of the question in the file title for the question bank, so that it will be easy to find later.

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How do I view the submissions of only a certain group of students?

  1. On Moodle, go to the course gear, more, Users tab, Groupings tab. Create a group for each subset of students that you need.

    Here is a video that starts explaining groupings at 2:07 minutes.
  2. Set your assignment to “visible groups.” You will be able to filter by group when you are viewing their submissions.

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Why isn’t my attendance event showing on the Upcoming Events calendar?

This may happen if your events are for specific groups of students rather than all participants within the course. The students are still able to see their upcoming sessions. However, you can add one “fake” attendance day that is not set to a group, which will cause all other events to show up in the Upcoming Events block.

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Moodle is creating automatic links to my files, how do I turn it off?

This is a feature called "Activity names auto-linking." You can disable it at the course level by entering into your course and clicking on the gear at the top right and then select Filters.
​ Then from filters select the drop-down menu next to Activity names auto-linking and choose Off.  This may happen if your events are for specific groups of students rather than all participants within the course. The students are still able to see their upcoming sessions. However, you can add one “fake” attendance day that is not set to a group, which will cause all other events to show up in the Upcoming Events block.

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Why can’t I see the “Sections” block in my course?

The Section Links block is incompatible with the Collapsed Weeks course format. You will be able to add the block if you change the format of your course.

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How do I extend time on a Moodle Quiz for just one student?

You can go into both a Quiz and an Assignment and put in a user override. You can learn more about user overrides here.

To re-open a closed quiz for one student, you could use the user override option within a Quiz activity. You can read more about the user override feature here.

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Can Student Assistant Graders access files and folders hidden from students?

The Student Assistant Grader can hide and unhide items in your course. Advise them not to do this.

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How do I add a link to a Panopto video in my Moodle course? Do I need the Panopto block?

For Panopto links that are from videos outside your course, you add it as a URL resource on your Moodle page. The Panopto block in Moodle is an automatic list of any videos you have added to your Course folder in Panopto, so you will not need it for a single link.

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Can I change the title of my course in Moodle?

Yes, you have the ability to change the course title to whatever you want. Just click "edit settings" from the gear icon.

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How can I create a new course in Moodle?

Please contact the IT Help Desk with the name of the course and the name of the person you would like added in the Teacher role.

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Can I upload files to Moodle directly from the U Drive?

Yes, first you will have to connect to the VPN and then to the file server. Directions for connecting to the U Drive are below.

Once you are connected, when you choose to upload a file to Moodle as a resource, you will be able to navigate to your file through the Moodle file browser as you would for a file on your local drive.

Windows Instructions

Mac Instructions

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How do I view my students’ assignment submissions?

If you click on "view submissions" then find a student and click “grade”, you'll see the file. PDFs will show up in the page. If they uploaded something else, you'll have to download it or click on it.

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Is there a way to create a line break within Moodle sections?

If you don't want to create another topic, the simplest way to divide a section would be to turn editing on, then insert the "label" resource. Then just put in a bunch of dashes or underscores and it will show up on the page. You can also move it after that if you like by using the cross hairs on the left.

If you want to create another section, turn editing on. Click 'Add topics/weeks' underneath the bottom section. Select the number of extra sections you wish and press 'Add topics/weeks'
You can then click the cross on the left side to move it up the page.

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Can I delete items from the My Courses list?

No, there is no way to edit the My Courses list.

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How do I edit my Moodle notification preferences?

If you would like to edit the notification, you can do that within your profile. If you navigate to your name in the upper right hand side of Moodle and click on "Preferences", you will see different preferences you can change. Emails from Moodle fall under “Notification preferences.”

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How do I view my course logs in Moodle?

In the new Boost theme, you can get to your class logs with these steps:
1. Click on the gear icon in the upper right corner above the Turn editing on button.
2. Select More… from the dropdown menu.
3. Under the Reports heading of the Course administration window, click on Logs.
4. You can leave everything set to the default settings and click on Get these logs to see everything, or you can filter down to the participant and day.

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How do I hide grades and assignments in Moodle?

You can hide either automatically or hide grades and feedback manually by following the instructions shown here.

If you want to hide the activity altogether, as well as the grades, you can make the activity invisible manually, as well.

You can view all annotated/graded submissions via the View All Submissions page for the assignment to verify the status of submissions made and last modified dates.

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I am trying to import a past course into my current course but I keep getting this error message in Moodle: (error/setting_already_added)

Whenever we see this error it's almost always caused by the Quickmail block. Removing it from the original/source course tends to clear up the issue.

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Can I restore files I’ve deleted on Moodle?

There isn't a way to restore the whole course, but you can restore the files you've deleted. There is a recycling bin under Settings from which you can restore them.

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How do I delay the start time of an Assignment or Quiz?

For Assignments, go to the "Availability" tab in the settings, and enable the "Allow submissions from" date and set it to be when you want the Assignment to open. It is right above the due date setting.  

At the bottom of this section, you should see a box that says "Always show description." Make sure this box is NOT checked, so that students cannot see the instructions prior to the start time. You can test this by switching your role to Student view. 

For a Quiz: Turn editing on and go to the Quiz settings. Click "expand all" and you should see the settings for "Timing" right under the "General" settings for the quiz. Under timing you will see the open and close date for the quiz. 

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I can’t sign in to Moodle, I am getting an “Error in API call: signing key is invalid” message.

This may be related to either a campus internet outage or a Microsoft 365 outage. ITS will send out a message notifying users of any outages that occur and what systems they are affecting.

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How do I show grades to students?

Look in the course's settings, and make sure that the "Show gradebook to students" under the Appearance section is set to “Yes.”

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How do I make "expand all" the default on my course Moodle pages?

Go to Gear, Edit Settings, Course Format, then choose either topics or weeks.

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Is it possible for me to post material for an asynchronous student on Moodle but not allow the rest of the class to view that material?

You could use groups for this. Under "restrict access" for an activity there are lots of choices, groups being one of them. Here is more information on using groups:

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How do I disable the email notification each time a student completes a Moodle quiz?

You can update this in your notification preferences:  

Your name (top-right corner) > Preferences > Notification Preferences (in the User Account box)  

Set both email notification settings for "Notification of quiz submission" to Off. 

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Is the Calendar in Moodle able to sync with iCal, Outlook, or other calendar options?

There is not an automated feature to do this in Moodle. You can export calendar events to your personal calendar manually. If you want to use another calendar service to keep track of your personal calendar, it is possible to export calendar events from Moodle then import them into your personal calendar program. Moodle exports the calendar in iCal format (.ics), which is compatible with Apple’s iCalendar, and can also be imported into Microsoft Outlook and Google Calendar.
Note: Because Moodle requires authentication, it is not possible to subscribe to a Moodle Calendar from an outside calendaring tool such as Outlook, Apple Calendar or Google Calendar. When exporting from a Moodle calendar, only current events will be exported. The calendar will need to be exported again to update new events.

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Can I download my course as a file and import it at a later time?

Yes, follow these steps:

  1. In the Administration Block, Click the gear menu and then select “Backup.”
  2. Use the check boxes to decide what you would like to bring over with your copy of the course. For example, if you want to include blocks but not filters deselect the filter checkbox and leave the blocks checkbox ticked. Click “Next.”
  3. You will be taken to the confirmation and review page. Here, you can change the filename and check that the settings are correct. If you spot a mistake you can simply return to the first stage by clicking the “previous” button.
  4. Once you have confirmed your backup settings are correct, click the “perform backup” button.
  5. You will then be taken to a page which confirms that your backup was successful. Here you can click the “continue” button to be taken to where you can get a copy of the backup file to download it and save it offline on your own computer.
  6. In the user private backup area, click the “download” button and save it. You can then open your course later using course “Restore” from your Administration Block.

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How can I add and configure Polling from Blocks?
  1. With editing turned on, go to “Add a Block” on the left side of your screen.
  2. From the Drop-down menu choose Poll.
  3. Click on the Gear in the Poll block and click on “Configure Poll block.”
  4. Click on “Create/Edit Poll.”
  5. Follow the prompts and give your new poll a name, a question, choose if respondents will be anonymous, choose who is eligible to take your poll, and finally indicate the number of answer choices. Click “Save changes.”
  6. Enter all of the answers from which your class can choose and click on “Save changes.”
  7. Now choose the tab “Configure Block” at the top of the page. Next to “Poll name” choose the poll you just created. Click “Save changes.”
  8. You are now returned to your course page and your poll is active in the Poll Block.  You can direct students there to enter their answers.
  9. When you are ready to view responses to your Poll, click on “Responses” at the bottom of your Poll Block.

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How can I compress files and upload them to Moodle?

You can upload individual files or a ZIP file containing several files on your computer to a Folder. You can update the folder to add additional files, rename files, or move them into sub-folders.

Create a Zip File

To upload multiple files at once using the Moodle File picker, compress the files on your computer into a zip file. A zip file is a file type where multiple files or folders are compressed into a single, smaller file with a “.zip” file extension. Uploading multiple files to Moodle as a ZIP file can save you time and requires less clicking.

Windows Users

In your computer’s file browser, hold down the Control key as you click to select the folders or files you wish to compress. Right click any of the selected files. In the drop-down menu that opens, scroll to the Send To option, and select Compressed (zipped) folder. A new ZIP file will appear in the same directory (folder) as the files you selected. You can rename the ZIP file for easier identification before uploading it to Moodle.

Mac Users

In your computer’s finder, right-click (control+click) on the folder or files and select Compress. A new zip file will appear on your computer in the same directory (folder) as the files you selected. You can rename the zip file for easier identification before uploading it to Moodle.

Once you have a compressed file to upload:

  1. On your course page turn editing on.
  2. + Add an Activity or Resource.
  3. Select Folder.
  4. Click Add.
  5. Give a name to your new folder.
  6. Add the compressed file either by drag-and-drop or by browsing to its location on your computer.
  7. Follow the upload prompts.
  8. To unzip your new folder, Double click on it from Files.
  9. Click unzip.
  10. From the Display folder contents drop-down menu, select how you want the folder contents to be displayed.
  11. Save and return to course.

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How can I adjust the number of Topics and Weeks in my course?
  1. Go to the gear icon in the administration block of the course.
  2. Click “Edit settings.”
  3. Expand the “Course format” section.
  4. Change the Number of weeks setting from the drop-down menu accordingly.
  5. To adjust the number of topics, go to the main topics area of your course. Scroll to the unused topics and delete from there.
  6. To add topics to your course, scroll to the bottom of your topics area and click on the “+Add topics” button and configure from there.
  7. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click “Save and display.”

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How can I choose a different image for my course displayed in the Dashboard?
  1. Go to the Administration Block on the left.
  2. Click open Course Administration.
  3. Click edit Settings.
  4. Navigate to Course summary files in the center of the screen.
  5. Browse to the image you want from your hard drive. Choose something with the following file extensions: gif, jpeg, or png.
  6. Upload the image.
  7. Click on Save & Display at the bottom of the page.

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