Skip to main content D. Hiden Ramsey Library, University of North Carolina at Asheville

Moodle Teacher Guide: Add Assignments and Activities

This guide offers information, advice and resources on how to create an effective online course.

Add Activities

Add activities to your course through the Activity Chooser. Click the links below to view instructions on how to add and use activities.

If you create many activities and assignments in your Moodle course, you can add an Activities Block on one of the sidebars that enables students to see them at a glance and click on each category. To do this, click on Add a Block, and select Activities.

The block will appear like the one below - note: only the categories you have used in your Moodle course will show up in the block, and the student view is different from the instructor view. Activities and assignments that are hidden do not show up in the student view.

 

Create an Assignment

Create an Assignment:

  • On the course homepage > click Turn Editing on
  • In the section where you want the assignment to appear > click Add an activity or resource
  • Click the radio button beside Assignment
  • Click Add

Configure these settings:

  • Add a Name and Description
    • The description should contain instructions for completing and submitting the assignment
  • Availability section > set submission dates
  • Submission types section: *
    • Mahara portfolio – students will submit a Mahara portfolio page
    • File submissions – students will upload a file(s)
    • Online text – students will type or paste their submission directly on the Moodle submission page
  • Feedback types section > configure feedback
    • Feedback comments - leave comments for students
    • Offline grading worksheet - download grading worksheet in spreadsheet format for offline grading
      • Can not use with Advanced Grading (Marking guides and Rubrics)
    • Feedback files - enable the uploading of feedback files such as Word documents with comments
  • Submission settings section > configure submission settings including a student’s ability to resubmit
  • Group submission settings section > set options for group submissions
  • Notifications section > configure how you will be notified of student submissions
  • Grade section > set the assignment's maximum grade and options for the grading method which includes options for direct grading, marking guide, or rubric
  • Common module settings section > set assignment visibility to students and groups
  • Click Save and return to course

*Assignments automatically create a column in the course gradebook.  To create an assignment that adds a column, but students will not submit anything (Offiline Assignment), remove all checkmarks in the Submission types section.

 

 

Return to Add Activities Menu

Discussion Forums

Online discussion forums can be used to get students communicating and interacting.  They can also be used for peer reviews and assessment of student learning.  Well-posed questions and active facilitation is at the heart of meaningful discussion forums. For more information about how to manage a discussion forum, click the following links:

Questions that Promote Critical Thinking

How to Get Students to Participate in Online Discussions

How to Facilitate Robust Online Discussions


To create a Moodle Discussion Forum:

  • On the course homepage > click Turn Editing on
  • In the section where you want the assignment to appear > click Add an activity or resource
  • Click the radio button beside Forum
  • Click Add


Set up the Forum:

  • Add a Forum Name and Description
    • The description should contain instructions for how students can participate in the forum and your netiquette expectations.
  • Select a Forum Type
    • A single simple discussion - Discussion of a single topic
    • Each person posts one discussion - Each participant can post only one new discussion topic. This is a good forum type for peer reviews
    • Q and A forum - Students don't see other replies until after they have posted their own reply
    • Standard forum displayed in a blog-like format - Any participant can start a new discussion topic and topics are displayed on one page with "Discuss this topic" links
    • Standard forum for general use - Open forum in which any participant can start a new discussion topic at any time
  • Attachments and word count section > configure number and size of file attachments per post, and whether to display word counts
  • Subscription and tracking section > configure subscription (who gets notified when new discussion items get posted) and tracking
  • Post threshold for blocking section > set the number of times a participant can post to the forum
  • Grade section > add forum grade to a grade category
  • Ratings section > configure forum grading
  • Common module settings section > set forum visibility to students and groups
  • Restrict access > configure when students can access the forum
  • Click Save and display

Start a New Discussion Topic:

  • Click Add a new discussion topic
  • Add a Subject (the topic of the discussion)
  • Add a Message (the prompt you want participants to respond to)
  • Mail now check box forces Moodle to send subscribed forum participants an email immediately (within 30 minutes) instead of waiting until the end of the day
  • Click Post to forum

 

Return to Add Activities Menu

Wikis

Wikis allow collaborative creation of web documents. Wikis do not automatically create a column in the gradebook. To assign a grade to a wiki, use the Add a grade item feature in the gradebook.

Ideas for using Wikis:

  • Collaboratively create a study resource for exams
  • Post group project-related documents research, drafts, outlines, etc.
  • Create a course encyclopedia (wikipedia)
  • Brainstorm ideas
  • Collaborative story-telling

Create a Wiki:

  • On the course homepage > click Turn Editing on
  • In the section where you want the wiki to appear > click Add an activity or resource
  • Click the radio button beside Wiki
  • Click Add

Configure these settings:

  • Add a Name and Description
    • Explain the purpose of your wiki in the description
  • Select a Wiki mode
    • Individual - each student gets their own wiki (Only the instructor can see all wikis)
    • Collaborative - students work together on a single wiki
  • Enter a First page name - the title of the wiki's first page
  • Click Save and return to course

Use a Wiki:

  • Create the first entry
    • Open the wiki
    • The first participant must click Create page
    • Type or copy & paste information in the text editor window
      • If pasting from Microsoft Word, use the Paste from Word button Paste from word button
  • Click Save
  • Add information to the wiki page *
    • Open the Wiki
    • Click the Edit tab
    • Add to the information in the text editor window
    • Click Save

* Only one person can edit a wiki page at a time and the page does not distinguish between different individuals' contributions
 


Create Additional Wiki pages

  • Open the Wiki
  • Navigation block > Current Course > Section Name > Wiki name > Click New

New Wiki Page Link

  • Enter a name for the page in the New page title window
  • Click Create page
  • Link pages
    • Add the page name in double brackets [[ ]] to other wiki pages (in edit mode)

  image of wiki page link

 

  • See all pages in a wiki
    • Click the Map tab > Page list or Page index

 

Return to the activities menu

Glossaries

Use glossaries to collaboratively create searchable dictionaries of course-related terms. 

Ideas for using Glossaries:

  • Have students create a glossary of unfamiliar terms and their definitions for the course
  • Students create bio entries in a "get to know you" glossary
  • Create a "thought for the day" or "news story of the day" glossary
  • Add a Random glossary block to the course sidebar to display specific or random glossary entries

Create a Glossary

  • On the course homepage > click Turn Editing on
  • In the section where you want the glossary to appear > click Add an activity or resource
  • Click the radio button beside Glossary
  • Click Add

Configure these settings

  • Add a Name and Description
    • Explain the purpose and instructions on how to use the glossary in the description
  • Select a Glossary type
    • Main glossary - only one per course
    • Secondary glossary - one or more per course, export entries to main glossary
  • Entries - configure entry approval by instructor prior to posting and the ability to edit or comment on entries
  • Appearance - configure how the glossary will appear in Moodle
  • Ratings - configure whether or not the glossary entries will be graded
  • Click Save and return to course

Add an Entry

  • Open the glossary
  • Click Add a new entry
  • Enter a Concept (term) and the Definition
  • Click Save changes

 

Return to Add Activities Menu

Create a Database

Ideas for using Databases:

  • Collaboratively create a collection of images, documents, videos, geographic locations, dates, etc.
  • Peer review of student work
  • Post lecture notes for absent students or as a class study resource 

Create a Database

  • On the course homepage > click Turn Editing on
  • In the section where you want the database to appear > click Add an activity or resource
  • Click the radio button beside Database
  • Click Add

Configure these settings

  • Add a Name and Description
    • Explain the purpose and instructions for how to use the database in the description
  • Configure settings if needed
  • Click Save and display

Set up the Database

  • Create fields (for data input)
  • Define the Database Templates (visual layout of database) *
    • Click the Templates tab > List template
    • To use the default layout, click Save template
      • Repeat the above steps for Single template and Advanced search template
    • To create a custom layout:
      • Add header and footer information
      • It is possible to display internally-generated information (Available tags) with database entries, such as a timestamp of when the entry was added or who created the entry.
        • Position the cursor in the Repeated entry text editor window where you want to see the information displayed
        • Click on the appropriate tag in the Available tags window

image showing database template tags

* If fields are added to a database after the template has been defined, you must reset and resave the template before users can see the new field


Add Database Entries

  • Open the database
  • Click the Add entry tab
  • Enter information in the appropriate fields
  • Click Save

 

Return to Add Activities Menu

Attendance

Add the attendance activity as a place to record student attendance.  Students will be able to see their recorded attendance record unless you hide the activity by clicking on the Attendance link's eye button while in edit mode.

Set up Attendance

  • On the course homepage > click Turn Editing on
  • In the section where you want the attendance link to appear > click Add an activity or resource
  • Click the radio button beside Attendance
  • Click Add

Configure Attendance Module

  • Add a Name
  • If you don't want Attendance to be graded or add a new column in the gradebook, select No grade from the Grade drop down list 
  • If necessary, configure Group mode (see Note below) under the Common module settings section
  • Click Save and display

Create Sessions*

  • Click the Add tab
  • Add a checkmark to the Create multiple sessions checkbox
  • Use the drop down lists or click on the calendar icon to configure the Session (start) Date and time
    • the Session (start) Date is usually the first day of the semester
    • The is in military time, e.g. 14:55 means the class starts at 2:55
  • Configure the Duration - how long the class lasts in hours and minutes
  • Configure the Session end date
    • This is usually the last day of the semester
  • Add checkmarks beside the days of the week the class meets in the Session Days section
  • Configure the Frequency - how often the class meets
    • every week = 1, every other week = 2, every third week = 3, etc.
  • Click Add session

* NOTE: if you are using groups, you must create (add) sessions for each group


Take Attendance**

  • Open the Attendance link
  • Click on the appropriate timeframe button attendance timeframe buttons
  • Click the green dot under the Actions column beside the attendance session you wish to record
  • Select an attendance status (P,L,E,A) by clicking on the appropriate radio button beside each student's name*
    • P = present, L = late, E = excused, A = absent
  • Click Save attendance

** To select one status for all students, click on the letter at the top of the list 

 

 

Return to Add Activitites Menu

Choices and Questionnaires

Choices and questionnaires are used to gather input from students.  Use choices when you want to pose a single question and offer a selection of answer choices.  Use questionnaires to construct a survey containing a variety of question types.

Ideas for using Choices:

  • Have students help choose the direction of the course, for example vote for their choice of next topics
  • Poll students on items such as their preference for test reviews, class make up options, etc.
  • Quickly assess student understanding of a selected topic
  • Allow students to choose which project group they would like to join *
  • Let students to select a student-teacher conference time **

Create a Choice

  • On the course homepage > click Turn Editing on
  • In the section where you want the choice to appear > click Add an activity or resource
  • Click the radio button beside Choice
  • Click Add

Configure these settings

  • Add a Name
  • Add a Description - the question or prompt
  • Configure Options *
    • Set Limits - whether or not responses can be changed and the number of responses allowed per participant
    • add answer choices to the Option text boxes
  • Configure Availability - restrict time period for collecting responses
  • Configure Results - retrict visability of the response results
  • Click Save and return to course

* To allow students to arrange themselves into groups, limit the number of responses to the number of students you want in each group, and then enter the name of each group in the Option text boxes.  

** To have students select a conference time, limit the number of responses = 1, and enter the different conference times in the Option text boxes.

 


Create a Questionnaire

  • On the course homepage > click Turn Editing on
  • In the section where you want the questionnaire to appear > click Add an activity or resource
  • Click the radio button beside Questionnaire
  • Click Add

Configure these settings

  • Add a Name
  • Configure Timing - set date and time for when the questionnaire is available for responses
  • Response options - how often a student can respond, allow anonymous responses, whether or not a student can view responses, etc
  • Content options - configure if this is a new questionnaire or one previously created
  • Click Save and display

Add questions

View Responses ***

  • Open the questionnaire
  • Click View All Responses tab

*** Click the Show nonrespondents tab to see students who have not yet responded to the questionnaire and send them a reminder message.

 

 

Return to Add Activities Menu

 

Contact Information

Contact:

John Myers
Director of TLTR,
Instructional Technology Consultant 
250-3885, jmyers@unca.edu

Laurie Miles
Instructional Technology Specialist 
251-6630, lmiles@unca.edu

Anne Ogg,
Instructional Designer
251-6635, aogg@unca.edu

Instructional Technology main ph: 251-6540
Center for Teaching and Learning
CPO 1540 Ramsey Library
One University Heights
Asheville, NC 28804

CPO 1510052 Ramsey Library
One University Heights
Asheville, NC 28804
Office: 828.251.6540