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 every page.

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Moodle Help & Support 


This refers to Moodle 3.11 from August 2022 onwards

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.

Viewing messages

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').

    Finding messages in personal menu
  • 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.

To send a message to an individual

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

Personal menu

2. Select Contacts to message one of your contact or use the search bar to find someone at the bottom left of the message window (use their full name, with % as a wildcard if necessary) You can also search for a course and pick a person on that course.

Message page

Once a person's name comes up you can view your message history with them.

3. To send a message click the person's name.

4. Type the message in the 'Write a message' box at the bottom of the screen and click the 'Send' (paper airplane) button.

Writing a message

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 'Block contact' or 'Add as a contact'/'Remove from contacts' depending whether they are a contact or not.

Clicking a contact in a message

To read and reply to a message

If you can see a message popping up:

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

Replying to a message

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

  1. Drop down your personal menu from your name or icon on the top right of the Moodle page and select 'Messages' from the menu.
  2. Click on the messages and they will appear on the right of the screen. Click on the message you want to read to open it up.
    A list of messages will appear ordered by date and listing name of sender/recipient.

Message on the messages page

Alternatively: 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' (paper airplane) icon.

Sending a reply

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

  1. In your module drop down the 'Hamburger menu' and click Participants.
  2. Select participants from the list (using the tick boxes) or use the "Select all users" button at the top of the list.

Selecting users

3. At the bottom of the list, click "Choose..." and select 'Send a message'

Choose... dropdown list with Send a message highlighted

  • Type the message.
  • Assuming you are satisfied with the message, click the 'Send message to XXX users' button.

Sending a message from Participants

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:

  1. Select from personal dropdown menu: 'Preferences' 
  2. Then Message preferences.

Finding Message Preferences

3. This will open the Message preferences page and and a side menu. In the side menu you can restrict who can message you and whether you receive an email notification. You can also enable clicking on the 'Enter' key on your keyboard to send. 

Messaging preferences sidebar