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Moodle is UCL's virtual learning environment
that allows staff to deliver resources and activities to students online. There are many ways that a Moodle course can be used to support face to face teaching. Apart from meeting the UCL E-Learning Baseline it is up to you and your department how you choose to use the e-learning tools available.

This document has been divided into the key areas where Moodle (and other e-learning tools) are particularly useful.

If you would like help to set up any of these the E-Learning Environments team is available to help and can arrange training for your department on request. 


Files, Links and Electronic Readings
  • Drag and drop files on to the Moodle course homepage. 
    • Provide your PowerPoint slides in notes view before a lecture, so students can print out their notes and bring them to your lecture.
    • You should also provide PDF versions of files, so students don't need specialist software to open them and can view them on mobile devices.
  • Add links to useful resources on to the Moodle course homepage.
  • Use labels to provide headings where you might have lists of similar files and links.
  • Link or embed readings via the Electronic Reading List service, so you don't need to worry about Copyright violations and students can access many of the electronically.
Online content
Delaying the release of resources & activities

Some staff are using the conditional release feature to only reveal material once students have completed a prior activity. This provides further impetus to complete the activity and can help to scaffold the learning experience and stop students becoming overwhelmed with information.

  • Conditional release is available for every resource and activity in Moodle as allows you to reveal items based on prior activity (e.g. completing a quiz) or date and time.


It is important that you provide a communication statement on your Moodle course so students know how to contact you (forum, email etc.) and how often they can expect you to respond to posts.

You should also include this information in the description of each discussion forum, or other communication activity, that you set up, as the details may differ for different types of forums.

  • Important Announcements  (News Forum)
    • Every Moodle course comes with a News forum that only staff can post to. These are used for important announcements and will notify students and staff via a notification email.
  • Discussion Forums
    • Do you find yourself inundated with emails from students, many of whom are asking similar questions? Moodle discussion forums enable students to subscribe to daily email alerts outlining all the discussions, including answers to common questions. 
    • If you want to start using Moodle forums you need to make it clear to your students where they ask coursework related questions and if you receive email queries you need to ask the student to post the question in the forum. In this way students can help each other - and learn in the process of teaching others.

Assessment and feedback

Students often complain they don't receive adequate or timely feedback. The following tools can provide valuable feedback and once they are set up can be used year upon year, providing the material is still relevant.

Moodle Quizzes

Check out these examples in the Moodle Quizzes Training course here: https://moodle.ucl.ac.uk/mod/quiz/attempt.php?attempt=2243679

If you would like to develop some Moodle Quizzes why not consider applying for an E-Learning Development Grant to pay for a student to develop questions over the summer?

  • Quiz students on key learning points throughout the term to help them gauge their progress, providing feedback regardless of whether they answered correctly or not, so students can clarify their understanding
    • Consider using the Certainty Based Marking (CBM) feature to allow students to indicate their level of confidence with each answer, to help them understand their strengths and weakness and target their study time
  • Set up exam practice quizzes to help your students study for their exams, providing feedback in the form of links to documents, websites and embedded videos (e.g. from YouTube, Vimeo, Khan Academy).

You can now create Moodle Quizzes more quickly using the WordTable format quiz import feature. Create your questions in Word using the template and then upload these to Moodle, complete with pictures and LaTeX, when you have written them all.


Check out these examples of Moodle and Turnitin Assignments in the Moodle Features Demo coursehttps://moodle.ucl.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=82#section-7

Some departments have responded to NSS feedback by returning feedback to students in 1-2 weeks, as opposed to the 4 week minimum turnaround expected by UCL. This has been possible through the use of submission and return of grades and feedback via Moodle.

  • Moodle Assignments allow any file type (up to 160MB in size) to be submitted. 
    • It shows when a student submitted and highlights any late submissions in red. 
    • You can bulk download submissions and mark them using Word or PDF annotation tools and then bulk upload the feedback files and grades (via an excel spreadsheet) back into Moodle, where it will be automatically sent back to students.
    • You can use mark quickly using a rubric (grading criteria) to indicate levels of proficiency in pre-determined areas, with generic feedback provided to students depending on the level they obtain.
    • You can use marking guides to provide feedback and grades for particular criteria.
  • Turnitin Assignments allow text-based documents (Word, PDF files) to be submitted.
    • Submissions are checked for plagiarism against websites, journals and other assignments.
    • It shows when a student submitted and highlights any late submissions in red. 
    • You can drag and drop comments (and create new ones) from your personal comment bank, or a shared comment bank (e.g. for your module or department) - SEE DEMO HERE
    • You can use rubrics (grading criteria) to indicate levels of proficiency in pre-determined areas, with generic feedback provided to students depending on the level they obtain.

Tracking progress

Once you have set up some resources and activities in Moodle you will probably want to check how they are being used. You may also want to send reminders to students who have completed tasks.

  • Enabling completion tracking in your Moodle course settings allows students to see ticks appear against activities when they complete them and let them tick off readings and other tasks as they do these.
  • You can access the Moodle course reports to see:
    • Course Participation: see which students have and haven't completed an activity (you can then remind laggards using the message feature) - use the POST filter to check which students have submitted, not just viewed the activity
    • Activity Report: see which resources and activities are most popular (have the most number of clicks)
    • Logs: see how a particular student has been interacting with the course, or see how all students have interacted with a particular activity.

Student contributed materials

One of the benefits of Moodle is that students can easily contribute to the content on your course. Some staff at UCL are engaging students by encouraging to contribute using various activities.

  • Glossaries: students can submit terms and definitions to help build a dictionary that will then automatically link anywhere that word appears in Moodle. You can also display a random glossary item on the Moodle course homepage using the Random Glossary Term block.
  • Wikis: students can share research and ideas on a common, editable wiki page.
  • Databases: once you have established some key fields (e.g. to capture text, images, files or other information) students can create entries that are then viewable and searchable by other students.
  • Useful Resources forum: students can post links to articles, videos and web pages using a Moodle forum.

More ideas

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