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.

Go to Moodle

Page tree
Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

Moodle Help & Support 


This refers to Moodle 3.8 from September 2020 onward

The Navigation menu (Hamburger menu)

This appears on every page and the content depends on the role of the user. It allows you to quickly move between topics/weeks by selecting the relevant section. 
The default is generally:

  • Site Home - access to a list of all modules in Moodle organised into Campuses, Faculties and Schools. You can only access modules on which you are enrolled (this may be by automatic enrolment or self-enrolment).

  • If you are viewing the menu from within a module, the current module (including a link to the list of Participants, Badges and a Table of Contents allowing a quick link to each section via its title, e.g., FAQ in the secreenshot below)

  • My modules - a list of all your modules depending on context (not always helpful). (For the most comprehensive list of your modules always click on Dashboard)

There will also be:

  • Library search (NUSearch): catalogue search of the library
  • Library locations: Information about the locations of libraries on each campuus
  • Studying effectively: teaching and learning website links to resources for studying effectively;
  • Help: links to support numbers and email addresses on each campus and to the Moodle Help website (this one)
  • Accessibility: a selection of options for those who need a more accessible page
  • Test Your text: link to a module in Moodle (called TurnitinUK, text-matching tool, on which anyone can self-enrol) and in which students can test their assignments for text-matching via Turnitin prior to submission.
  • UNUK online timetable: Access timetables online (UK campus only)

Options that appear in Hamburger menu

Your personal menu

Links to the following appear on the dropdown menu under your name on the top right

  • Dashboard: Link to your dashboard
  • View Profile: view and edit your profile
  • Grades: Access and view your grades
  • Messages: Access to messages where you can send and receive messages
  • Preferences: View and change your preferences on Moodle. This includes how you receive notifications

The Administration ('Cogwheel') menu

This is always visible by default. It shows settings for whatever is being viewed in the main central column.

If you are in a module, as an Editing Teacher, this is where you will find module administration options, such as Reports.

List of blocks

Blocks appear in the right hand column of a Moodle page

They have various configurations depending on what they are and what page(s) they are allowed on.

There are blocks that will always appear in a Moodle module or on your Dashboard (see below) and the University of Nottingham has created some blocks specifically for our own needs.

Year End and Archive (not visible to students)

  • Module hidden from students: Highlights that students cannot see module
  • Status: What kind of module it is
  • Archive date: Click on date to request alternative date
  • Other versions: Searches Moodle for similar modules in another year or campus
  • New version: Allows you to request a new version of the module
  • Import content: Finds similar modules from which you can import content

Year end and archive

Blocks on your Dashboard

The default is for the blocks listed above plus - in the bigger left hand column:

Module Overview

This is what everyone sees in the central column of your My Home. It lists all the modules you are enrolled on. (This is visible by default.) See How to change the order of my modules

You can customise your My Home page by adding and configuring a number of other blocks.

Blocks on Module pages

Latest announcements

Shows the latest post in the 'Announcements' (News Forum). This is where you will see the latest news for the module. Announcements are made to students and other participants. See How do I send messages to students?  It's important to read any news and announcements.

Latest announcements block

Recommended blocks for module pages

Module resources

This provides a link to the Reading List and/or Module Details in the University module catalogue. The new Aspire reading list is currently supported. More information about reading lists.

Upcoming events

Events - including assignment deadlines - that are coming up soon. Even if the Calendar is not used much, it is useful for a reminder of the assignment deadlines.


An alternative to Upcoming events is a full calendar. The calendar within a module shows only events relevant to that module.  It may or may not include lectures and other sessions relating to the module, depending on your School and whether the lecturer has added these events.

Moodle calendar always automatically includes deadlines for assignments that are in Moodle.

Where a School or Programme wants a School-wide or Programme-wide calendar, they may create an umbrella module to which all relevant students/staff have access, and put all events in there. 

The calendar on your My Moodle page collects all the entries in the calendars in the modules in which you are enrolled. Within each module the calendar relates to that module alone. You can use your My Moodle calendar for your own diary entries as well as to see when assignments are due, or other events added by the module convenors.

The calendar is part of Moodle but can be exported to iCal.


This is the most flexible block available: It allows you to create your own block with your own chosen content.  You can create as many of your own blocks as you want.  Some example of uses are:

  • Key links to frequently used websites recommended for students
  • An image to enliven the page
  • A Favourites block on your My home page to help you navigate quickly


Lists all types of items in the module e.g., Resources, Assignments, Databases

You can then click on one and see a list of all instances of that activity that appear throughout the module, e.g., a list of all Resources – the list includes the Title and Description, one of the key places where description is displayed.

This one is useful, perhaps particularly towards the end of a module to provide an alternative view of resources for revision. 


The list of Resources accessed from the Activities block is where the Description comes in useful!

Open Educational Resources (OER)

This block allows staff or students to search the web using the Xpert search engine which provides access to re-usable educational resources (including pictures, videos, audio and text-based resources) that have been made freely available by universities from all over the world.


This block links to a page showing a list of all participants, i.e., everyone enrolled onto the module including staff.  From here you can send messages to students and  navigate to their personal profiles and blog(s).

This is very useful for quick access, for both staff and students.

Remote RSS feeds.  A School or lecturer may have chosen to link to a RSS feed (condensed headlines of new items) for a blog or web page. Typically this may be information on the School website or a University of Nottingham blog or external blog, or a News or Events feed relating to your subject.  The content will update regularly so take a look.

Other blocks

Blog menu

The blog menu block provides links to

  • View all my entries
  • Add a new entry

plus context-sensitive links for adding an entry about the module or a particular activity.

This is of most use of blogs are an integral part of activity in the module. You can associate a blog post with a particular module or a particular activity, but ALL blog posts are public and can be seen by all users (unless you choose to keep them private to yourself only).  By associating a post with an activity or module it's possible to sort and view blog posts for that activity.

Blog tags

Tag cloud of blog tags from across the site

Business School 

This is a Business School block ONLY.  It contains links to administrative systems and tools used only by the Business School and that are relevant to your module


The comments block can be added to any page to allow users to add comments: it shows a list of latest comments and an input box. The Comments block allows users to add comments relating to a particular page in Moodle (such as the page displaying an embedded document. It shows a list of latest comments and an input box.


List of new messages with link to Messages Window

Module completion status

If you are using 'conditional completion tracking' to manage student access to particular activities and resources, this block allows students to see their progress in the module by looking at the content of the block or clicking on the "More details" link to see a report. 

Module description

a summary and/or description for your module as contained in the summary text of the Edit Settings for the module/


The Modules block lists and allows navigation between all of the modules in which the logged in user is a participant (as editing teacher and/or student or other role). We don't recommend My Modules as the primary way to access your modules - always go to My home page.

My private files

Link to private files (always in My Moodle – can be added elsewhere to provide students with this link)

Network servers (Not currently used in moodle.Nottingham)

Open Educational Resources

This block allows you to embed a search box that will find OER associated with the module.  The search is powered by Xpert so it can find any reusable teaching materials, images and videos etc.

Quiz results

Shows results of any quizzes in the module – not really appropriate for HE

Random glossary entry

This can be useful if the glossary is being used – it can be presented like a ToolTip to just show a random definition every time (from the Main glossary if there is more than one in the module). It could alternatively be a quote of the day or a random picture gallery.

Recent blog entries

Used on an activity page where blog entries are associated with the activity.

Search forums

only searches forums however, not resources or other activities so may not be used.  We expect to add a better Search block (to search activities and resources).  Search forums allows you to search the forums in this course.

Section links

Allows navigation to a particular week/topic of the module – but only by number, not by name/title.

Social activities

Enables additional activities to be added to a module in social format. Only used where the whole module is “Social format” i.e. not weekly or topics. There are currently no modules like this in moodle.Nottingham.


Tag cloud for tags in people’s descriptions – not turned on.