Help and Support (Staff)

This is one of many help and support pages that are available about the University of Nottingham's Moodle online learning environment. If you have any questions or queries concerning Moodle then contact information is at the bottom of this one-page sheet. Please browse or use the SEARCH box below.

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Moodle Help & Support 

This refers to Moodle 2.7 from July 2015 onward

A glossary can be used in the obvious way to give a term and a definition. It can also be used as an FAQ. Example uses include:

  • students create the terms and definitions, adding terms as they come across them
  • as an FAQ - students ask questions and the teacher answers them - can often be started off from a series of known frequently asked questions from teacher emails or a course forum
  • create a collaborative encyclopedia on any topic relevant to your module
  • collect tips and tricks, recipes, book reviews

How to create a glossary

  • In your Moodle module click on the Turn editing on button (top right) 
  • Click on the + Add an activity or resource hyperlink in the appropriate section
  • Select Glossary 
  • Give it a Name and a Description and, under the heading Appearance, choose the number of Entries shown per page (default 10)
  • Check other settings (normally defaults are fine except that I prefer NOT to Automatically link glossary entries)
  • Click on the Save and return to module or Save and display buttons.

 One of the settings you can choose under the Appearance heading is Display format. This is useful if you are using the tool as an FAQ or would like to show a really simple dictionary style entry or a fuller one with names of the students who contributed the items.

 There are 7 display formats: 

  • Simple, dictionary style - No authors are displayed and attachments are shown as links
  • Continuous without author - Entries are displayed one after another without any separation apart from the editing icons
  • Full with author - A forum-like display format showing the author's data and with attachments shown as links
  • Full without author - A forum-like display format without authors and with attachments shown as links
  • Encyclopedia - As for "Full with author" but attached images are shown inline
  • Entry list - Concepts are listed as links
  • FAQ - The words QUESTION and ANSWER are appended to the concept and definition respectively

Once the Glossary has been created you can start adding entries.

To add an entry

  • Enter the glossary instance
  • Click on the Add a new entry button

  • Type Concept and Definition
  • Add a file or keywords if you wish
  • Click Save changes

How to add categories

You can divide your glossary entries into categories

  • Enter the glossary instance
  • Click Browse by category
  • Click Edit categories
  • Click Add category
  • Type the category Name (e.g., Moodle terms)

Importing a glossary into Moodle

You can create a glossary outside Moodle and import it to save time

This is a bit complicated as it has to be an XML file. However, there is a tool available to convert an .xls file into xml for import: MoodleGlossary.xls

Create your glossary in excel using this file: MoodleGlossary.xls. The minimum required is concept and definition: the macro tells you what to do. Note: there seems to be a bug which ignores the last entry, so put a fake entry on the last line.

  1. Make sure macros are enabled
  2. Run the macro, which produces an xml file, which you save.

To import glossary entries via an XML file:

  1. Create a glossary: Click Save and display OR Edit a glossary
  2. Within the glossary, in Administration on the left hand side, follow the "Import entries" link.
  3. Browse for the XML file on your computer.
  4. Select the destination for the new entries, either the current glossary or a new one.
  5. If you want to import category information, click the checkbox.
  6. Click the "Save changes" button. You'll then see a report of the entries and categories added to the glossary. If you enabled duplicate entries when you created the glossary, the import process will add all of the new definitions. Otherwise, it will not allow you to import any duplicate entries.

Note that Glossaries are Activities not Resources: i.e. it is intended that students are able to add their own definitions to the glossary, not just that the glossary is a static teacher-created resource.

Queries, comments or questions?

Please contact your local elearning support team.

Phone: (0115 95) 16677
or email:

Phone: (0574) 8818 0000 (ext. 8915)

or email:

Phone: (03) 8924 81 99
or email:


If you have any comments on how you think this help can be improved then please email