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Setting up your Moodle Course

Last updated: July 18, 2023, 8:57 a.m.

This page has been updated to reflect the Moodle 3.9 upgrade

Moodle offers a variety of functionality for instructors to display content such as documents and media. However, it has much more to offer than being a repository for content. Instructors can also use the space to facilitate a number of course activities including, assignment submission and grading, discussion forums, peer editing, and collaborative spaces, such as wikis.

Setting up your Moodle Course

The following Video is a recording of a webinar that introduces users to Moodle. It is a walk through of the following features:

  • how to access your Moodle Course
  • how to add files
  • how to add links to web sites and videos
  • How to send announcements to students
  • how to show and hide elements of your course
  • how to switch to a student view to see what they see
  • how to "activate" your course so students have access


This video is for moodle 3.5

Watch full screen version of this video

By default, all courses are assigned a Moodle course page at the beginning of the term that can be accessed at any time. It remains inactive until you activate it; therefore, students will not see your course or its content until you change the setting to make the course visible to students.

1. Go to  and use your Concordia netname and password to login to Moodle.

  • Once logged in, you will see a list of courses in the grey sidebar on the right.
  • If you have already activated your course, it will appear under the heading MY CONCORDIA COURSES in the sidebar.
  • If you have not activated your course, it will appear under the heading More courses (including new courses).  The courses under this heading appear as grey links, which signifies that they are not visible to students. Steps for making your course available to students can be found further down this page.
Moodle 2020 Course sites

2. Click the course for which you would like to access.

  • Understanding your Moodle Course Name
  • To locate the appropriate course for this term, you will need to understand the Moodle name. It consists of the course code, section, year and term. For example, if we take the Moodle Course Name: ENGR 201 A 2204
  • Course code: ENGR 201
    Section: A
    Year: 220 The year codes are designated as follows: 2020 (220), 2019 (219), 2021(221)
    Term: (4) The term codes are designated as follows: Summer (1), Fall (2), Fall/Winter (3), Winter (4)

The course Moodle page appears. [Note that the page is divided into weekly sections, and that the current week is highlighted with a blue background.]

3. In order to add any content, you will need to click Turn editing on in the top right-hand corner.

  • You will notice that more options appear on the page to manage content.
  • Important: In order to add or edit any content in Moodle Editing needs to be turned on [click the Turn Editing on button in the top right-hand corner if it is off]
The Moodle home page appears and there is an arrow pointing to the Turn Editing on button in the top right-hand corner

You can now add content to your course.

Although Moodle has many features available, below are some of the basic tasks you will need to do in order to get your course page ready for students.

By default, your course is not visible to students until you make it so. Once you have you have the course the way you want it and are ready for students to access the course, you will need to make the course available by following these steps:

1. Navigate to your Moodle course home page.

2. In the top right-hand corner, click the Actions menu (gear icon) and, click Edit settings.

  • The Edit Course Settings page appears.
Click on the gear icon, in the drop down menu select edit settings

3. Under General, change the Course visibility setting to Show.

Under course visibility setting, select show

4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save and display.

The course is now available to students.

The How to Enrol Users in Moodle page in the Concordia Help for Instructors  (Moodle login required)

Once you have accessed your course, you will want to start populating and organizing it with files, links and other content. The typical way to organize content in Moodle is by adding materials to the associated weekly section. The syllabus and other important documents not related to a specific week are typically in top section under Announcements.


The Step-by-step instructions on adding links and sharing Hyperlinks on Moodle page in the Concordia Help for Instructors  (Moodle login required)

Once your course is visible to students, you will undoubtedly be adding content as you. Many instructors work on a week-by-week basis for adding content as time allows. Therefore, you may want to hide any sections or activities in progress, or you may simply want to prevent students from jumping ahead. Either way, Moodle offers options to control what students see at every level. 

Blocks are the grey squares on the right side of your Moodle homepage. By default, there are several blocks already included on your page, but it is possible to customize your home page by moving blocks around, deleting unused blocks and adding some from a selection of available blocks.

Screenshot of 4 blocks located on the left side of the screen

The following blocks may be useful for instructors for managing their course:


The calendar block displays the current month in the block. Any day that has scheduled course activities (including quizzes and assignments that have an assigned due date and Zoom meetings) is highlighted in the calendar. Students can hover over the date to see the activity due that day.


The activities block automatically creates a way of navigating to a list of all the activities of a certain type. For example, if you use the assignment feature in Moodle to create assignments, a list of all assignments will automatically be generated by clicking the 'Assignment' link on the Activities block. 

This provides students (and instructors!) a quick way to locate course activities that might be buried on the course homepage.


The HTML block is the most versatile of all the blocks. It is a blank block where you can use a text box to add any content you want (including images and embedded content). The most popular way of using this is to create an Instructor information block or a list of Resources.

Related resources

Embedding HTML content into your Moodle Course*** (step-by-step video)

***Please note that this video is based on Moodle 3.5 though much of the explanations relate to the updated 3.9 version. Updated video coming soon

You may want to send a message to students to notify them that you have activated the course and/or that you have posted the links to access the virtual course meetings. You can use the announcement feature to push out messages to students via email. Follow the steps below to send an announcement to students.

1. Navigate to your Moodle home page.

2. Click Announcements in the top section of the course page.

3. Click the Add a new topic button.

  • The Announcements Editing window appears.

4. In the Subject line, write the topic of your message.

  • For example, if you are writing to let students know that the links for the live virtual classes are available, you can write: Live virtual class links available
  • Note: When students receive the message, the subject line always contains the Moodle course code at the beginning. For example, the message subject line would read: ABCD-201-A-2194>>Forums>>Announcements>>Live virtual class links available.

5. In the Message box, type the message for students.

  • Note: It is possible to add attachments to your message, but students will need to log into Moodle to view these, so it is not recommended.

6. If you want students to receive the message immediately, select the Send forum post notifications with no editing-time delay.

  • If this box is not checked, there is a 30-minute delivery delay period wherein you can make edits to the message.

7. Click Post to forum to send the message.

  • The message will also be available to students by clicking on the Announcements link on the Moodle course homepage.

Further resources

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