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Blocks display information such as navigation menus, calendar information, latest newsannouncements, who else is current online users etc.

Blocks can be added to the right side of the Moodle course homepage, where the main course content appears

Why use them?

Blocks contain supplementary information to what's contained in the centre of the page (e.g. you might add contact details) and some blocks help your students to navigate the materials more easily. 


Students can view some blocks - to check what blocks they see, switch click your profile initials and select 'Switch role to... student mode (available from the settings menu' and select 'Student'. And you can switch back when you're done using the same method but instead, select 'Return to my normal role').

Before I start...

Note, that the blocks will appear at the bottom of the drawer will start off collapsed (minimised) on the right-hand side of the course page on smaller devices and also when the browser window is reduced in width but can be opened by clicking the left-facing chevron icon [<]. Therefore, you might like to minimise the number of blocks you include on your page.

You Depending on the Moodle theme, you can choose to add blocks to the left, right or both sides of your Moodle course homepage and also on some activities and resources.

Meeting the baseline

The UCL E-Connected Learning Baseline suggests the following for  Structure : 

  • 1.3 Include navigation aids - Suggested blocks to add to your Moodle course include Activities, Latest News, include Latest Announcements, Recent Activity, Library Resources, and Library Search and People.

How do I add them?

  1. Switch editing Turn edit mode on.
  2. In edit mode, the last block on the right will be the upper right-hand corner, click '+ Add a block', which contains a drop-down list of all the blocks you can add to your page. Any that are missing from this list may already be on your pagecourse
  3. The new block should appear at the bottom of (you selected) will then appear in the right-hand columnblock drawer.
  4. Click the cog icon to configure the right of the block, choose the configuration link then from the drop-down menu to load the configuration page.
    • Note: Blocks that cannot be configured will not have this icon.

    • Example: 
      • When you configure the HTML block you can enter a Block Title or leave this blank to hide the title (e.g. if you want an untitled graphic).
      • In the content section, you can add text, graphics, links etc. as we have seen before.
    select the link to configure the block to open the configuration settings window (which is overlaid on top of the Moodle course).
  5. Once you have finished configuring the block click Save changes at at the bottom of the page and you will be returned to the course homepageconfiguration settings window.
  6. To move the block, click and drag the four-way arrow icon to move the block to another place in the right columnblock drawer.
    1. Alternatively, you can click
    and release this same move
    1. the four-way arrow icon to see a list of locations the block can be moved to
    . Click on one of these options to move the block below it
    1. (you can move it after existing blocks in your course).
  7. To delete a block, click the cog icon and from icon and from the drop-down menu choose to remove to delete it.

    • Note:  If If you delete a HTML the 'Contact Details' block you may want to copy the text to HTML into a text file before deleting it, so you can easily add it back again in the future. All other blocks can be brought by simply re- adding them again.

Organising Blocks

  • Place navigation items to in the top-right.
  • Cluster similar blocks together e.g. Calendar with Upcoming Events Search forums with Library Search.
  • Remove any blocks you will not be using as they clutter the screen and may confuse students.

titleFurther help

Further guidance on Blocks is available from moodledocsMoodle Docs..

If you find any inaccurate or missing information you can even update this yourself (it's a communal wiki).

If you have a specific question about the tool please contact the Digital Education team.


At timesDue to web browser size or device, it may seem that your blocks have 'disappeared' . In most instances, the blocks have been docked. Refer to the section above for information on docking and undocking blocks.

Display all course sections in the navigation block (off by default)

The navigation block doesn't display course sections by default. It is recommended that course editors modify the navigation block settings, so it displays course sections to students and staff alike.

To display all course sections in the navigation block:


from the right-hand side, in this case, open the block drawer by clicking the chevron icon [<] from the upper right-hand corner of a course page. You can click this icon anytime to see more or less of the main course homepage. 

The Calendar blockcan be accessed in the Upcoming events block by clicking 'Go to calendar...', or by clicking the calendar icon at the very top of the Moodle page.

The HTML block - is now called the Text... block


Examples and case studies


  • Latest Announcements - displays the top η latest announcements
  • Common Timetable - links to students' timetables
  • Library Resources - links to the ReadingList@UCL for this course
  • Library Search - searches the Library catalogue
  • Recent Activity - lists recent changes that have occurred on the course
  • Quickmail - a staff only service for emailing individuals and groups enrolled on the course.

Some blocks that we recommended in the past have been made redundant by tabs and drop-down menus that now appear at the top of the screen when you're in Moodle. These include:

  • Activities - replaced by This course
  • People - replaced by This courseCalendar and Upcoming events - replaced by Events tabthe Participants tab (which you can find in the top portion of the course main page).
  • Administration block - replaced by the course navigation tabs on the top of a course page.

Also, see: 

Children Display