New Student Orientation - Online Education

Log in and Log out of Moodle
play ipad
  • In the Login block, click Log in with your account. (The login button will show at the top-right of on a large screen, but on your phone, you may have to scroll down to find it.)
  • Enter your username and password and press enter/return on your keyboard. You should see your name and Moodle avatar in the user menu at the top-right of the page.
    Note: Links to help with passwords are on the Web Login page. Students and TAs who cannot log in to Moodle should contact Dr. Shih at

  • To log out of Moodle, in the user menu at the top-right of the page click Log out.
    Note: Be sure to quit your browser after you log out, especially if you are using a public or shared computer. This will ensure that no one else can access your Moodle account.
Find Your Courses

Moodle course pages are hidden from students by default and will not be visible to students until the instructor makes the course page available.

  • All courses will be available from your Moodle Dashboard, or in the My Courses menu at the left navigation of every page.
  • Customize your Dashboard by clicking the "Customize this page" link in the upper right corner of the page. You can add, remove and move blocks to suit your preferences.

moodle dashboard

If you log in and don't see your course in this block:

  • The course may not yet be open to students, so be sure to check again after the first day of class, or ask your instructor.
  • If you are still having problems, notify your instructor so that we can help you and keep track of Moodle issues.
Typical Course Layouts
  • Courses in Moodle are usually organized in two or three columns. These columns may contain blocks that are often customizable and topics where your instructor will post content and assignments for your course. 

Two-Column Layout

  • In most courses on a laptop or desktop computer, you will see a course page with a two column layout. This works exactly the same as a three column layout except that all Blocks are on one side of your screen.

Moodle layout

Three-Column Layout

  • On occasion, you may see a three-column layout. The center column is where your instructor will post information about the course, links to resources and assignments, and other activities you'll be doing on Moodle. This main course content is contained in expandable Sections which may be organized by week, or by topic.
  • On either side are Blocks you can use to navigate in Moodle, see upcoming assignments, see a calendar, link to library resources, and more, depending on what your instructor has added to the course.

Docking Blocks

To provide more screen space for the main course content, you can tuck Blocks to the side of the screen. 

  • To dock a block, click the Dock icon [ dock icon ] at the top right of any block. The block will collapse to a tab at the left side of the page. (If you are trying to create screen space, you'll probably want to collapse all the blocks in a column.)

  • To view what's in a collapsed block, simply hover your cursor over the tab for the block. The block will temporarily expand and you can click the links within it.

  • To expand a block, hover over its collapsed tab and click the Undock icon [ undock icon ] at the top right of the block. 

Mobile Layout

Moodle mobile app

  • On smaller screens such as a phone or small tablet, the page layout will rearrange for easier viewing: Blocks (NavigationActivitiesCalendar, etc.) will move to the bottom of the screen below the main course content.
Tips on Submitting Assignment
  • Submit assignments on time. In Moodle your instructor may close assignments and not allow late submissions, so don't expect to be able to electronically submit an assignment past the deadline.
  • Look for a confirmation screen to make sure your assignment is submitted. (This might look different depending on the kind of assignment.)
  • Know which file formats your instructor will accept (.pdf and .doc are usually preferred).
Uploading Assignment Submissions
  • Moodle can accept most document types, although you may need to package executable files in a zip package. Your Instructor may restrict the types of files they will accept, please read the instructions carefully. You can drag your file on the Drag-n-drop area to upload to Moodle as long as it is less than 600 MB.
  • If your instructor set a cut-off date for the assignment, you will no longer be able to add your submission to the assignment. In that case, please contact the professor about how to turn in your assignment late.

upload file in assignment

Assignment Submission

Finding Grades
  • Instructors have the option of returning grades and feedback to you through Moodle. There are a number of different places you will find your grades depending what kind of assignments you complete on Moodle.
View Grades
  • Once activities have been graded and released to students, you can access grades via the User menu. Click the name of the course you wish to view grades for. 
  • Some activities, such as Assignments, also display released grades on the activity page.
Assignment Grades & Feedback
  • Assignment grades and feedback will generally be found in the assignment itself. Scroll down past your original submission to find it. You may get a notification email from Moodle when your instructor uploads your grades or feedback, but not always.
Quiz Grades & Attempts
  • If the instructor allows you to review you your quiz attempts and grades, they will be available to you when you open the Quiz. Instructors can configure a quiz to not show you grades or feedback, and they can control when you would see this information. So if you do not see your previous quiz attempts, please ask your instructor about it.

unit 1 quiz

Quiz Attempts

View course grades

Course Grades
  • The full course gradebook is not available to students unless the instructor reveals it. If you cannot see your grades links, please contact your instructor to ask if they will make it available to you.
Sending and Receiving Messages

In order to send messages via Moodle to your instructor and other classmates, under the heading click on “participants” and then simply click on the name of the person to whom you would like to send your message. Find the small icon and 'Message" beside the name on top and click on it. Type your messages. Finally, click on the button that says “send message.” Please note, if both of you are logged into Moodle at the same time then it will act as an instant message service.

Reflection on the Meaning of Your Learning Experience Individually and with Others
  • What am I learning?
  • What is the value of what I am learning?
  • How am I learning?
  • What else do I need to learn?
  • learning experience

    Online Discussion Guidelines for Students

    Your postings should be thorough and thoughtful. Just posting an “I agree to disagree with your comment” or an “I think the same” to someone else’s thoughts is not considered to be an adequate response.

    • Participate regularly in class discussions. This is a simple tip, but a crucial one. It takes some time for discussions about building up momentum, so you'll need to return to a discussion frequently to track and channel its development.
    • Don't disappear after posting your comment. A discussion should be more than a series of e-mail postings. Someone may reply to your comment, asking for clarification or presenting a difference of opinion. Check the discussion's progress a day or two after you've posted your comments, and address other participants' response to your initial post.
    • Stick to one topic at a time. If you have several different ideas to bring into a discussion, start a new thread for each idea,
    • and give each thread a clear descriptive title. This way, other classmates can engage with each idea in depth, and participants can easily find the topics that most interest them.
    • Engage directly with the ideas of other participants. If each participant in the discussion makes a special effort to relate ideas to those voiced by other participants, the discussion will maintain a sense of coherence. Whenever possible, briefly mention which points of a previous posting you are responding to.
    • Choose provocative, informative subject lines for your posts. Which would you be more inclined to read: a message called "Thoughts" or one called "My biased opinion on Question 2"? Which title is more informative: "Re: Re: initial post" or "My disagreement with Thesis X"?
    • Take time to organize your thoughts before posting. You want everyone to read and understand your comment, so present it in an organized, easy-to-read manner. Provide only the most essential information in your post. If people want further details,
    • they'll ask for them in a reply. When your comment contains a lot of material, try to break up the information into short chunks.
    • Avoid discussion posts that offer little more than "I agree." Each discussion posting should offer some new content, aimed to foster continued exploration of the topic. Stating "I agree" or "I disagree" alone will not add much to the discussion, and if a number of people post such statements, the discussion may quickly come to a halt. Raise new questions, and keep track of issues that have not been fully investigated in previous posts.
    • Remember that discussion is an exchange, not a lecture. Solicit feedback from your classmates. You should take a clear position in your post, but it is a good idea to invite alternative perspectives. What new questions or problems arise from the position you're taking? How does your position relate to the position taken by other participants?

    Writing Tips

    • Font size

    Click the little icon at the top-left corner of the discussion board and then you can pick up the font size from the drop-down menu.

    top-left icon

    • Spell check

    Grammarly offers a free browser extension that checks for critical spelling and grammar errors.

    Mark Your Progress

    If you see a box next to an activity, that means you need to manually tick the box when you finish or complete the activity. It will affect the progress tracking of activity completion. Tick boxes on the side of activities:

    • the boxes with dotted lines are ticked automatically when students meet certain criteria; (for example, Introduce yourself; Choose your project)
    • the boxes with solid lines students must click to manually complete them.  (for example, Course welcome; Tutoring video)

    tick box

    tick box 2

    Reset Your Moodle Password
    1. Log in the Moodle site
    2. Click the User menu (your user name at the up-right corner), choose Preferences, and then select Change password. You can also set your Preferred language, Notification preferences, etc.

    change password

    Other Resources

    Common Mistakes to Avoid As a New Online Student

    10 Myths About Online Learning

    Meet the Technical requirements

    Need Additional Support

    Please submit a ticket for support
    or contact Dr. Edward Shih
    Phone: 1(626)677-3370.