Moodle offers a number of blocks that can enhance the student experience in a course. Some, like the RSS feeds, are covered elsewhere in this Moodle Teacher Guide. Below is a list of blocks along with a brief explanation. Where suitable, a link to how to use the block is available. Also, where applicable, a suitable alternative is also provided. In some cases, the block may be appropriate for your home course page (or dashboard) and not an individual course page. This guide illustrates only those blocks that are not currently placed on the default home page. As a side note, when adding Blocks to the Moodle page, the screen pops the user back up to the top of the course page. Scroll back down to the bottom right to see the added block. Blocks can be moved around by clicking on the 4-arrow symbol and dragging the block to where you want it to be.
Click on the links below to a short description.
- The Activity block is very useful for students to see at a click and a glance what activities they need to complete or the grade they've received on an activity. It also includes a complete list of resources in the course.
- This block is for administrative use only
- Add this block to record appointments with your students and have the option to notify them. The appointment appears on the Calendar and Upcoming events of both your Moodle account and that of your student.
- Currently we do not utilize Blackboard Collaborate.
- Blogging must be added through the Activity. Once the Blog activity is active, Moodle will add Blogging blocks to the side bar of the Blog. The Block cannot be used in the front page of the course.
- The Census Report block is used by an institution that needs to generate a report of student enrollment and completion status. At the course level, the report simply produces the last known assignment by the students.
- The comment block is available on the sidebar to both instructor and students in the course. When either posts a comment, all can see. Comment is very similar to back channel programs like TodaysMeet, but the screen needs to be refreshed before the comments appear. TodaysMeet can be linked using HTML and will automatically refresh. The downside to TodaysMeet is that the stream has a limited life. The free account is limited to one month.
- Community Finder taps into the greater Moodle community. A search engine appears that allow options for finding courses on Moodle to enroll in or download.
Course completion status:
- Course Completion must be turned on in the Course Administration >Edit Settings. Once on, each assignment has space to mark how the assignment will be completed.
Additionally, a gear will appear under Course Administration that allows you indicate which assignments must be completed in order to have the course marked as completed.
- In the Course Administration>Edit Settings>Course summary, the Description section will be revealed when this block is activated.
- Course categories is a block that can be added to the course page that lists all the courses in which the user is enrolled.
- Grade Me lists the ungraded assignments and is visible to the instructor only. Clicking on the red check mark opens a window to grade the assignment.
- The HTML block opens up the course page to a world of online possibilities. In short, it reads any html code. An offshoot of this capability is that many interactive functions come with the ability to embed using iframe. This places a document, video, and other features directly onto the Moodle course page.
For example, a Skype connection can be placed in the block enabling your students to skype during your office hours.
After adding the block, click on the gear icon>configure html block. The Configure window will open. Click on the Expand icon:
Then click on the html editor icon. Be sure the rest of the icons are grayed out.
Paste the iframe code into the Content box, click Save Changes, returning to the course home page. The newly configured html block will appear on the bottom right.
Logged in user:
- Activating this block allows the logged in user to view his/her log in information. This is different from Online users which shows all users online at one time.
- The Messages block exists on the Home page of Moodle. The block can also be added to the course page as well. When activated, messages can be sent through the Moodle message system. The message will appear on the recipient's home page as well as generate an email to the recipient.
My latest badges:
- Badges are not enabled at this time.
My private files:
- Unlike the Online users block in the Moodle home page which includes all users online, adding this block to your Moodle course home page allows you and course participants to see who is online in your course at the same time you are online..
- The People Block places a link to the Participants. When clicking on the link, a list of the course participants appears.
- Quiz results displays the students' scores in the block. The scores are available to all students enrolled in the course.
Random glossary entry:
- In order for the Random glossary entry to work, the instructor must first create a Glossary in the Activity module. Once created, the Block can be configured to show random entries. The Block also allows a link for students and the instructor to add a new entry.
- When enabled, the Recent Activity block shows all activity within the course. For example, if the instructor changes an assignment, the activity will appear in this block. This block appears on the student page as well/
Recent blog entries:
Remote RSS feeds:
- Section links appear in the Block enabling the student to click directly on a section. This can be useful if a course has a number of sections. The block does not distinguish between topics and calendar settings, but uses a default numbering system. Week 1 or topic 1 is listed as 1
- The self completion block is used in conjunction with the Completion Tracking on the EDIT course settings page. This feature is used during a self-guided course. All activities within the course must be tied to completion dates.