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 


Applies to Moodle 3.6 from July 2019

How to use the instant message system in Moodle  

There is an internal "instant" message system inside Moodle and there are a number of ways in which it can be used.

Message alerts

You can see when you have messages by checking the notifications icon next to your name, top right.

Clicking on the Messages icon shows a list of messages, most recent at the top, unread in bold

To reply to a message, click on the message. See To read and reply to a message, below

Sending messages

You can send a message by using

  • the Messages page (by dropping down your personal menu by clicking on your name at the top right of Moodle and selecting Messages)

  • by clicking on the profile of another user (wherever you can see profiles)

If you are an editing teacher you can also send a message to one or more participants in your module by using the  Participants link.

Sending messages

To send a message to an individual

Drop down your personal menu from your name or icon on the top right of the Moodle page and click Messages

Select Contacts at the bottom left of the message window


  • Type into the Search for a user or course box  button to find a person (use their full name, with % as a wildcard if necessary)
  •  You can also search for a course and pick a person on that course.

Once a person's name comes up you can:

  • view your message history with them

To send a message Click a name:

  • Type the message in the Write a message box at the bottom of the screen and click the Send  button
  • This screen also shows your more recent messages from and to the person

Once you are in the message page for a user, you can click on their name at the top

and you can Send a message, block contact or Add as a contact

To read and reply to a message

If you can see a message popping up:

  • click the notifications icon (with the number of messages)
  • Type your reply into the box and then click on the Send a message button.
  • If you receive a popup notification of a message, click Go to message to read and reply to it.

If you know you have a message, or to check if you have messages:

  • Drop down your personal menu from your name or icon on the top right of the Moodle page
  • Select Messages from the menu
  • Click Messages towards the bottom left 
    A list of messages will appear ordered by date and listing name of sender/recipient

  • OR search for a keyword in the Search messages box
  • Click on the name of the person to see all messages to and from them

To send a message or reply to a message

Type into the Write a message box and click Send

To send a message to selected course participants (for teachers and editing teachers only)

  • In your module drop down the hamburger menu and click Participants.
  • Select participants from the list (using the tick boxes) or use the "Select all XXX users" button at the bottom of the list.
  • Choose "Add/send message" from the "With selected users..." drop-down menu.
  • Type the message.
  • Assuming you are satisfied with the message, click the "Send message to XXX users" button.

Managing contacts

People may be added to your list of contacts (or blocked from contacting you) by clicking Add contact (or Block contact)  available by clicking on their name in the Messages window.

By default the contact list is empty. In order to send a message or to create a shortcut to the person you are sending, search for them in the search box.

Message history

A record of messages sent to/from a person may be obtained by searching for them,

then their messages will be shown in the main window.

When are messages sent via email?

To enable messages to be sent via email:

Select from personal dropdown menu: Preferences 

Then Message preferences

  • For Personal messages between users
    for each of  "Online" and "Offline" you have the choice of
      • Email On or Off
  • You can also  "Prevent non-contacts from messaging me". Your contact list is empty by default.