Students - Getting Started with Moodle

Student's Quick Start Guide to Moodle

This Student Quick Start Guide describes how to log in, find courses, locate and edit user profiles, locate and post to discussion forums, and where to find additional help.

How to log in to Moodle

Go to Gateway and look for the Icon called Moodle on the top right area, once you have logged in. If you have forgotten the password you may be able to reset it using the Password Self Serve Utility. Otherwise, contact the Help Desk by email at, or call 717-245-1000 or stop in to the helpdesk which is located in the lower level of the Library. (Hours 8am till 5pm).
You should see a list of your courses in the My courses box on the left. The box will not show up if you are not enrolled in any courses. If you click on a course and get the message it is unavailable it is because your professor has not made it available yet.

How to Find your Courses

If you are enrolled in any Moodle courses they should appear in the My Courses box on the left side of the Moodle main page when you log in. You will normally be enrolled in a Moodle course site the day after you officially register for a course.

Your profile

Your profile is your identity on Moodle. All Dickinson Moodle users can see it, including your instructors.

To edit your profile

To access your profile, click on your name next to the Logout link at the top of the screen, or anywhere else that your name appears as a link. Then click the Edit profile tab.

Several settings that are accessible from your profile can be customized. Some of the more useful ones are:

Email format: Emails sent from Moodle can be sent in Plain text format or Pretty HTML format. HTML format will include images and the Moodle color scheme in emails, but messages will be slightly larger in size.

Email digest type: You may choose to receive all emails from Moodle in one daily message.

Forum auto-subscribe: If you select the Yes... value you will be subscribed to any forum to which you post a message.

Forum tracking: If set to Yes..., unread forum messages will be highlighted so you can easily see which messages are new.

If you would like to include a user icon with your profile use the Browse button next to the New Picture field to locate a picture. Please use either GIF or JPG format and keep the picture small. Your professors and everyone else will be able to see this icon. The same caution is applicable to any personal description you might include.


If your professor has put a forum in your course, the link on the main page will look like this:

[Forum Name]

To post a new thread in a forum

  • Click the forum's link then click the Add a new discussion topic button at the top of the list of threads.
  • Give the thread a title in the Subject heading.
  • Type your post in the Message section.
  • Check your post for errors then click the Post to forum button at the bottom. You will have 30 minutes to edit your post after posting.
  • Be sure to change the Subscription setting to reflect your preference—if you want to receive emails of every post to the forum, set it to Send me email copies of posts to this forum. If not, set it to I don't want email copies of posts to this forum. Some faculty may have set their forums to force you to be subscribed or to not allow you to be subscribed, in which cases this option will not appear.

    To Reply to a Thread

    Click on the name of the thread in the forum, and click the Reply link at the bottom right of the post to which you want to reply. The fields are the same as they are for making a new thread.

    You can change whether you're subscribed to a given forum at any time by clicking on the name of the forum, then clicking the Subscribe/Unsubscribe me from this forum link in the top right of the window (under the Moodle logo bar).

    Some faculty may use groups. If you want to see the forum posts for a particular group, select the group name from the drop-down menu that will appear on the forum's page. Depending on how your professor has configured the forum, you may be able to see only those posts made by members of your group(s).


    How do I send an email in Moodle?

    Messages is the term used in Moodle. There are four main ways to get in touch with an individual in Moodle:

    • Looks for a Quickmail block & click on Compose, type in the dialog boxes & click the Send email button. Click here for more details.
    • If your course has the Online Users block set and the person you want to contact is currently online their name will have a small envelope icon next to it. Clicking on the icon will allow you to send them a message.

    If you want to know anything more about Moodle, try looking it up on Moodle Doc's at For additional help, contact the Help Desk (x1000) or email

    Additional Tutorials & Helpful Links