Moodle FAQ's at Dickinson College

Below are details about Moodle and commonly asked questions by faculty and instructors using Moodle.

How do I login to Moodle?

Go to Gateway and use your Dickinson Username and Active Directory or Network password to login. 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). Once you are logged into the Gateway you will see a Moodle icon on the upper right area.

What browser should I use?

Mozilla Firefox is the recommended browser for both Mac and Windows. Mac users will not see the formatting toolbar if using Safari.

Is every course taught using Moodle?

It is up to the discretions of the instructor if they use Moodle for their courses. Once you are logged in to Moodle look for the list of your courses in Moodle.

A student dropped my class but that student is still listed in my course. Do I need to do anything for the student?

No, Drop/Adds will be processed in the system within 24 hours of a student dropping the course through Banner Self Serve.

How do I find my courses?

After you log in you should see a list of your courses in the middle of the Moodle window. Once you are in the course, you will see the main navigation bar across the top along with three columns below. The navigation bar will show the name of the course, breadcrumbs, and a jump to navigation bar. These should help you move around the course site. As an instructor the arrangement of the blocks on the left and right can be different but the center column should always contain the primary content for the course.

When I log in, my name (or e-mail address) is misspelled; how do I fix that?

Easiest way is to email helpdesk at or call 717-245-1000. For the problem description include the following information: Current (incorrect) spelling as it appears in Moodle and the Correct spelling. Please note that only inaccurate information will be corrected; we will not change proper names to nicknames.

How do I email in Moodle?

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

  • Go into Quickmail block and click on Compose, select the user(s) and type in your subject & message in the boxes provided. Click on Send Message. You have options for Select all/Deselect all and adding an attachment. This block also keeps a History of emails sent so you can resend the message if you want as an instructor. 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 make a more public announcement to all students in your course, you can create a discussion forum (from the Add an activity drop down, choose Forum). Just click in the forum, click Add new topic. Enter your topic and save changes. You will be able to edit the announcement for 30 minutes, after which it will be sent to all the students in your class.

How do I stops emails from a Forum in Moodle?

If a student is receiving an email every time someone posts to a forum in Moodle, it can be turned off by unsubscribing, but only if the instructor has turned on this option. First, log into Moodle and open the course that contains the forum. Then, click on the name of the forum. On the upper right hand side of the page, click the link Unsubscribe to this forum. This will only work if the students are allowed to be un subscribed to the forum. An instructor can do so in the settings of the forum by making sure that Force everyone to be subscribed? is set to No. Click here for more details about emails from Forums.

How do I add a word or pdf file to my course in Moodle?

In the Add a resource... area click on the drop down arrow.

Choose Link to he Link to file or web site to then navigate to your file and add more details if required. Click here for more details.

What does Meta Courses mean in Moodle?

To put it simply, a meta-course is a combination of other courses. Here at Dickinson, we use meta-courses to simplify the management of cross listed courses. For more details click here.

Can I as an Instructor change the name of my course?

The titles in academic courses match the Registrar's titles and are pulled from Banner so the titles can not be changed.

How can I copy documents or folders from one course to another in Moodle?

Find the files or folders in your course files area and select Create Zip Archive. Then upload and unzip that archive to a new course. Otherwise you can do a backup and select the resources you want to backup and add them to the other course.

What does Moodle stand for?

Moodle stands for Modular Object Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment Moodle is a course management system (similar to Blackboard) developed by educators. It allows faculty to easily set up interactive online spaces for their courses. Commonly used to upload syllabi, host discussions, accept assignments electronically, send email to classes, give quizzes, and much more.

Since Moodle is Open Source does that mean that anyone can get into Moodle?

Open source means the software or program itself is free and since we have it installed on our campus, on our server it is protected with a secure authentication that requires your active directory or network password.

How can I get more help?

The Moodle Quick Start Guide for faculty on using various elements of Moodle. You may also contact the Help Desk by email at or call 717-245-1000. Moodle's context help system, accessible via the help button on each page provides help on specific areas. You can also access Moodle Docs. If you have students asking questions you can send them to this Student Quick Start link or the helpdesk located in the lower level of the Library.


Additional Tutorials & Helpful Links

Moodle Step-by-Step Videos - for Faculty

Using Moodle as a Student tutorials :