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.
Current known issues in Moodle, with workarounds
See also Known issues with Turnitin below
FIXED Moodle emails not going out (18 Oct)
The October 2019 problem with intermittent failure of the email servers to respond to Moodle affected the delivery of forum emails and Announcements from Moodle. Some emails from Moodle modules were not being received by students. We worked with IS to fix this and believe the problem is now solved. We are monitoring the situation.
This may have been happening to some but not all emails, since late September through to 15th October. Emails missed during that time can't be resent from Moodle, so please resend any urgent posts that should have been received as emails.
To contact students via a different email route, use, e.g., Campus, or by creating an email list from Moodle.
Here is how to generate an email list from Moodle Participants
"Switch role to student" in Moodle affects Echo/Engage
If you view your module after "Switch role to student" and click into the Engage (Echo360) system,
you will be viewing the Echo as a student and your account in Echo/Engage will be changed to that of a student.
This means you will not be able to use Echo/Engage as a staff member - so you will lose the ability to record captures to, and manage that module in Engage.
When you have viewed Echo lecture captures as a student in Moodle, change your role in Moodle back to normal in that module
and then click into Echo/Engage again to restore your access as a teacher.
Moodle Current version 3.4 Known issues
Error message on creating Assignment
When creating an assignment in Moodle, you get the message "Error writing to database"
Workaround: When you complete the task, press 'Save and return to module' instead of 'Save and display': the message does not appear
Forum posting fails
Symptom: you try to post a message to a forum that contains a smiley and get the message "error writing to database" and no message is posted.
Solution: avoid using emoticons/smileys in forum postings
Error message: Undefined
This is due to the link that you have clicked on being http:// instead of the more secure https:// now used by Moodle and other University systems.
The fix is to edit the URL bar to add the "s". More information:
Difficulty finding users to enrol them on a module
Click the Navigation Menu then Participants to find the new Enrol Users interface.
Some users have found this is slow and fiddly. Here are tips for enrolling users:
- You can still use the wildcard to search (e.g., Emme%Knight).
- You don't have to click return or the down arrow, just wait.
- You may have to wait several second for the names to come up. A message saying "Too many users >100" or similar may come up first. Be very patient!
- If the list of names disappears too quickly, try deleting the last letter and wait again.
- Also, if possible, do it at a quiet time (e.g., first thing in the morning
The alternative way of enrolling users may be easier at present:
We are looking into a fix.
Moodle Assignment PDF Annotation
Annotation of PDFs is no longer available in Moodle.Nottingham
To annotate scripts we recommend use of Turnitin Feedback Studio.
Switch role to
In Moodle 3.2 and 3.4 this has moved to the menu next to your name in the top right of the Moodle screen. This is not a bug.
Link to my category isn't working
If you have favourited, bookmarked, or otherwise saved a link to a category, this will not now work as the path to categories in Moodle 3.2 has changed and 3.4 added extra security.
Please resave bookmarks and edit any personal documents, Moodle pages or blocks to point at the new URL for a category, e.g., https://moodle.nottingham.ac.uk/course/index.php?categoryid=130 (this is for Business School - change the number at the end to suit your category)
NOTE: The https:// is essential as http:// won't work.
Moodle 3.2 Known issues (most of these have been fixed in 3.4)
Due to some changes in the path on the CMS some RSS feeds may no longer work. If you notice this happening please edit the feed to the correct URL or contact us for help.
Link in IE not working
Clicking a direct link in IE results in being taken to the log in screen and then once logged in land on the 'my modules' page. Copy and paste the link into the browser in order to go direct to the module/resource
Formatting and display
Accessibility and display
There are some minor quirks affecting display in some accessible alternative themes.
Changing screen colour to yellow makes text unreadable in footer
If the text is made larger it doesn't increase the size of text in Calendar/Upcoming events
Moving sections in Collapsed Topics format
There is a bug in moving sections in Collapsed topics format. The workaround is to change the format to "Topics", move the sections around, then change back to "Collapsed Topics". (Administration > Edit Settings > Format)
There is a known issue in the CLOZE question type regarding answers being a fractional number. Unfortunately the question type does not recognise fractional numbers and as a result displays the syntax. It is recommended answers are given in whole numbers or another question type used.
It is essential to allow all cookies if you are having problems viewing videos in Moodle. See http://www.wikihow.com/Enable-Cookies-in-Your-Internet-Web-Browser
Viewing videos in Chrome
Recent updates have meant that Chrome now treats ‘small’ flash files as ‘secondary’ content (ie it assumes they are ads) and blocks them by default. We are working to update the embed codes to show videos, but if you are using Chrome and cannot see a video please:
- Let us know what video you are having a problem with - the module/page and as much information about the video as you have. (Send to email@example.com)
- Use a different browser for the time being to view that video
Viewing Videos on Mac devices
Some users are encountering "Access denied" messages when viewing videos from Moodle / Mediaspace on Mac / iPad / iPhone or using browsers with restrictive cookie settings
- Set your Safari browser to 'Always allow' cookies. Once this is done visit the Moodle page to play the video. The video should now appear. If it does then you will be able to play the video, you can also change your cookie settings back to 'Allow from websites I visit' or what was previously used.
- RECOMMENDED: Use Chrome instead of Safari
- You can add https://1355621.kaf.kaltura.com as a trusted site (In Internet Explorer, add it as a 'Trusted Site' (from Tools> Internet Options>Security). In Safari, add it to 'Top Sites'. You can do this by going to: https://1355621.kaf.kaltura.com . Next press, 'Bookmark' from the top menu bar and then select 'Add Bookmark'.
A pop-up window will appear, from the 'Add this page to:' drop-down option, on the right-hand side click the two arrows and select 'Top Sites'. Then press 'Add'.
- In Safari on iPad, if you navigate to https://1355621.kaf.kaltura.com then go back and try accessing the video, you will be able to do so.
There are some issues uploading a video via android Samsung handheld devices. The workaround is simply to turn the handset into landscape mode and upload can continue.
In Internet Explorer only, with compatibility mode switched on, activities that involve uploading media may not work correctly.
There is a certificate error when trying to access echo360 materials when using Firefox. Please simply ignore and continue. This is being followed up with the supplier.
In some computer rooms while using FireFox the Echo360 link in Moodle may display a message saying 'The Connection is Untrusted'.
If this occurs one of the following workarounds can be used until the underlying issue is fixed by Information Services:
1. Use Chrome, Internet Explorer or another browser.
2. If you do not wish to change browser the following steps should resolve it:
* open https://lecturecapture.nottingham.ac.uk:8443 add the certificate by clicking "permanently"
* Open the Echo Moodle link and the recordings will appear
(added 6 August 2015)
Assignments and Gradebook
The Moodle assignment plugin will show that there is a new attempt for grading even if the student does not complete the subsequent resubmission. When grading be aware that this may happen.
I can't import a csv into the gradebook
There is a known issue in Moodle's gradebook when it comes to importing CSVs. This often happens because there are commas within the content of the spreadsheet (e.g., in the feedback) which throws out the comma-separated values in the CSV file.
If you have a problem with this, save the file as a TSV rather than CSV (i.e. selecting the Separator "Tab" option under the CSV import) [TSV files can be generated from Excel]. These can be imported normally.
Students can't see their grades
Sometimes it is possible to do everything right to show students their grades, but they still can't see them.
1. If there is not a Moodle assignment in the module (just Turnitin assignments or uploaded Grade items), try creating one and then hiding or deleting it. This will prompt Moodle to show Grades
2. In the Grader report click the "eye" next to the assignment which should be visible to "close" it, then "open" it again. This can "refresh" Moodle's view and make the assignment grades visible
Assignment with group submission
There is an issue with marks not appearing in the Moodle gradebook for a Moodle assignment with a group submission. The issue appears to be that the With selected… dropdown menu to select the marking workflow state does not push grades to the gradebook when Released is selected. To ensure marks go through to the Moodle gradebook for group assignments, please use the Marking workflow state dropdown menu and ensure Apply grade and feedback to entire group’ is set to Yes on a student’s grading page.
Attendance module user interface
The bullet points are oddly aligned and mean that the user may select the wrong option by mistake in Report > User > Submit Attendance. A fix has been written and will shortly be applied.
JMOL images are not visible if uploaded as a file. It is intended that JMOL animations are uploaded into a label or a page as an attachment then they will be rendered correctly. This is not a bug.
Switch role to student and lose access to hidden module
If you switch role to student while editing a hidden module, then forget to switch back to your usual role, and then go to another page or module, then the original hidden module has disappeared (because it still thinks you're a student). You must return to the module in order to return to your usual role in that module.
Use the BACK button to get back to the module (it won't appear in a search of site home!) or else log out of Moodle and log back in. (added 22/09/14)
PDF files not working on iPad/iPhone with iOS 7
Staff and students who are using devices running the latest version of Apple's iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch operating system, iOS7, are experiencing problems viewing PDF files from Moodle, mostly because they used to be embedded in Moodle web pages by default.
The default in Moodle 2.6 is to Open such files but legacy files imported from previous years may still not open correctly
Spellcheck not working
Google has discontinued support for the spellchecker Moodle uses by default. We are looking into providing an alternative spellchecker.
Meanwhile the workaround is to use the spellchecker within your browser. Spellchecker in browsers. Check the manufacturer's support for the browser you use.
Moodle 2.7 - Upgrade August 2015
- Embedded content can overflow the theme design: if this is a problem for you, try docking the blocks (click the + next to the block title) to give more space - and try the EXPAND CENTRE COLUMN icon
- In some cases content may open filling the whole screen, leaving no space for navigation. In this case use the Back button in your browser to navigate away from this page, dock blocks and try again.
- In some accessibility settings formatting of some text (such as bold) is difficult to distinguish. This is being worked on.
- Acknowledgement emails when students self enrol on a module are sent in the name of alphabetically the first editing teacher on the module. We recommend that the option to send emails is unchecked in the settings for self enrolment.
- Choices group limit can be exceeded: It is possible under specific circumstances to exceed the limit on signups for a choice (e.g., limiting a slot to 2 students and a 3rd signs up). This is a known core Moodle bug which the community is looking into. Use Tutorial Booking instead if this is crucial for you.
- Gradebook: Over-ridden flag in Gradebook seems to reset itself: core Moodle bug. You can go through each user and check that the overridden flag isn’t ticked in the grader report.
- Calendar: Settings prevent Google calendar sync with Moodle calendar. Please use the Export button at the bottom of the Moodle calendar page.
- Jmol filter spacing is not correct: the formula is displayed adjacent to the molecule not below it. Until a fix has been approved by the Moodle community it is possible to edit the page using the HTML editor to add a line break.
- Turnitin submissions cannot be seen unless you have an up to date browser. Please try upgrading your browser to the latest version, e.g., Internet Explorer 11.
Known issues with Turnitin
Turnitin Grade Item Column made visible when assignment is made visible
There is an issue where if a Turnitin assignment is hidden in Moodle and then made visible the grade item column in Moodle Grades becomes visible even if the Post Date has not passed. The bug has been reported to Turnitin.
If you need to hide the Turnitin assignment, please ensure when you make it visible that you re-hide the grade item column in Moodle grades.
Don't change the Post Date to within 24 hours (added February 2018)
Avoid changing the Post Date as much as possible. Never change it to a date and time within 24 hours of the present time, as this can caus issues with marks appearing.
Entering a mark using Feedback Studio
Once you've typed in the mark in Feedback Studio for a student, click away, anywhere on the page. Sometimes the mark does not save if you don't do this.
Marking several students at once
We recommend saving your feedback and marks regularly back to Moodle.
To do this, when you have finshed a student's feedback/mark, close the Feedback Studio window - which saves the feedback and mark.
Move onto the next student in the list within Moodle and click on the blue pencil again.
Editing Feedback Studio with Chrome (added October 2017)
There are intermittent errors with being unable to open, edit or delete bubble comments in Feedback Studio when using the Chrome browser.
We recommend workarounds:
- Use another browser, such as FireFox.
- Double click on the bubble comment and then single click to open it.
Editing Feedback Studio with Internet Explorer (added January 2018)
When creating a QuickMark from a bubble comment the browser will freeze when using Internet Explorer 11. You will no longer be able to type into the bubble comment box and the browser will become unresponsive.
The exact actions that appear to trigger this issue are:
1. Highlight some text
2. Click to create a bubble comment.
3. Convert the comment to a quickmark and save
4. Click to add another bubble comment.
At this point Internet Explorer becomes completely unresponsive. You can try closing the window by hovering over the browser thumbnail in the task bar (bottom of the screen) and then choosing 'Stay on page'.
Our recommended workaround is to create QuickMark comments using the quickmark manager or use another browser if you want to convert a bubble comment into a QuickMark.
Microsoft Edge (added November 2017)
Microsoft Edge is not supported by Turnitin and is not recommended it is used when marking as it may cause display issues. Most Microsoft Surfaces have a Microsoft Edge as the default browser which is pinned on the task bar. It is recommened that another browser is used.
When the marker or student clicks on the paper title (or on the coloured box next to Similarity score) the paper does not appear in the Document Viewer. The error message is
This paper is not available
This is because Turnitin has been unable to process the document properly.
If the due date has not yet passed, either student or staff member can reupload the doument. Check it first against the Turnitin (& Moodle) assignment submission checklist - particularly large graphics - and also save as a PDF if not already a PDF.
An editing teacher, teacher or Learning technologist with access to Turnitinuk.com can reprocess the paper - contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Dates and similarity scores are not rendering properly for some users. If you experience this, please clear your cache and then you will be able to see the table correctly formatted.
XML Response could not be parsed (error received when submitting to a Turnitin Assignment)
This error may result if the filename of the file being submitted to Turnitin is too long (Microsoft Word document).
Solution: Student should rename the file with a shorter name and then resubmit. It may be necessary for the editing teacher or learning technologist to enable resubmissions.
Message "Resubmissions are allowed" when re-entering assignment
If you (or someone else) have graded a student's assignment, then when you re-enter its Turnitin window you may get the message:
"Resubmissions are allowed for this assignment until the due date passes. Any and all marks will be deleted when or if the paper is resubmitted. Would you like to continue?"
If the due date has already passed then first submissions may be allowed (e.g., from student who are late) but re-submissions are not allowed, so there is no danger of a re-submission wiping out your marks. Click OK and carry on as usual.
If the due date has not yet passed and you are already commenting and grading then be aware that the student CAN resubmit and wipe out your comments and marks. Best to start marking after the due date.
For other issues, see Turnitin's own KnowledgeBase
Turnitin in Moodle Assignment
When you set up a Moodle Assignment (especially with Turnitin included) please contact email@example.com for a free check of settings to ensure they meet your requirements.
Using Turnitin plagiarism plugin on Moodle assignment with multiple attempts allowed
There is an issue where a submission will automatically resubmit to Turnitin if a Moodle assignment has been set up with the Tii plagiarism plugin and the set up also allows the student to attempt the assignment again.
The impact is that every time a student goes to either view their attempt or visit the page to submit another attempt and refreshes the page then their assignment is automatically resubmitted to Turnitin.
There is currently no workaround. It is advised that you do not use the Plagiarism plugin in the Moodle assignment if allow multiple attempts.
Attaching a Turnitin rubric to a Moodle assignment using the plagiarism plugin
If a Turnitin rubric is attached via Feedback Studio or in the plagarism plugin settings of a Moodle assignment then when the browser tab is closed the rubric will detach and not be available to markers or students.
Turnitin submission of .xls, .xlsx, .ppt and .pptx files
If assignment setting 'Allow submission of any file type' is set to 'No', currently Turnitin have said that there is an issue with .xls, .xlsx, .ppt and .pptx files being successfully accepted by their system which leaves the student unable to submit. It is recommend that if you expect students to submit in these file types then have 'Allow submission of any file type' is set to 'Yes'.
Turnitin PeerMark within Moodle Assignment
Please do not create a Turnitn PeerMark assignment within a Moodle Assignment as the PeerMark Assignment does not work as expected. If you wish create a PeerMark Assignment, please do so by creating a Turnitin Assignment.
Some times when an editing teacher clicks to view the 'received' reviews of a student they only see 1 review regardless on how many different reviews they click on within PeerMark. If this issue occurs please click on the <> hyperlinks within the PeerMark pop-up window to correctly navigate to the correct PeerMark review.
This will only affect students if the option ‘Allow students to read ALL papers and ALL reviews after Feedback Release Date’ has been selected during the PeerMark assignment set up. The workaround is the same, the student will need to use the ‘<>’ buttons to navigate through to find the correct reviews.
Unable to delete a text comment bubble in Feedback Studio
If you are unable to delete a bubble comment you have written by double-clicking on it then you will need to clear your browser's cache or use another browser.
Once the cache has been cleared you can delete the bubble comment by double-clicking on it and pressing the dustbin icon in the pop-up window.
HTML code is visible in Feedback Studio if grading form or rubric is edited using app on iPad
When entering text into a grading form or rubric using the app on an iPad, then viewing the entry in FeedbackStudio on a computer, in the teacher view html code for certain characters (eg comma) is visible rather than the character itself.
When a student views the feedback, they do see the character rather than the code. Other html codes (eg paragraph <p>) are visible to the student.
- If you can't find your issue here try the Moodle Troubleshooting page
Queries, comments or questions?
Please contact your local elearning support team.
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any comments on how you think this help can be improved then please email Learning-Technologies@nottingham.ac.uk