Learn Moodle Basics

Are you a new teacher at the University of Helsinki? Or do you need to recap and rehearse Moodle activities? You can get familiar with Moodle in many different ways, including:

Moodle Basics MOOC 

Learn Moodle Basics 3.9 starts on Mon 5th October and lasts for four weeks. If you are interested, please sign up here: learn.moodle.org. You will receive a reminder before the course begins.

The completion of the course is optional, so you can also participate to see the content of the course, and complete the assignments at your own pace.

The course Learn Moodle 3.9 Basics is a MOOC which means:

M = Massive – allows access to a very large number of participants.
O = Open to everyone.
O = Online – you can study remotely via the Internet.
C = Course – the course has a beginning and an end (a given period of time), it includes assignments, there are defined learning objectives, and there is some interaction between the course participants.

The Learn Moodle 3.9 Basics offers

  • ideas for how to use Moodle in a more versatile way in your teaching.
  • experience in studying with a MOOC.
  • a great opportunity to connect with a global Moodle community and share your ideas with other teachers who are using Moodle all around the world.
  • an introduction to the new Moodle version 3.9 (which the University of Helsinki will most likely introduce in January 2021).

The self-study course Moodle Basics (in Finnish)

The online material Moodlen perusteet is within Moodle. If you are a teacher at the University of Helsinki and know some Finnish, please register for the course.

Moodle: Basics (in Finnish)

Location: Central campus
Time: Tue 18th August, 2020 at 2.15 – 5 PM.
Enrollment and more information in SAP Suffeli Learning.


NB. If you wish to have training in some other topic, or in English, please feel free to contact us at moodle@helsinki.fi. We are happy to provide customized consultations and trainings!






The new version of Moodle brings innovations to the Forum

Moodle will be upgraded from June 23rd to 24th, 2020. During this time, Moodle is closed and cannot be logged into.

The new version 3.8 of Moodle will be launched on June 24, 2020. The update brings a number of new features, especially to the Forum activity.


The summary report provides an overview of all the participants and their activities in the forum area. You’ll find, for example, the number of discussions posted, the number of replies, the number of views, and the number of word and character count for each student. The view can be filtered for a limited time period or by groups.

Through the whole forum grading, the teacher can grade each student’s performance on the forum as a whole in addition to individual posts. The user interface is largely similar to the grading of Moodle assignment.

The new export function allows you to download the entire or more limited content of the forum in different formats.

Record audio & video

Moodle has new features that enable recording of video and audio directly in Moodle which enables, for example, an easy way of giving feedback to students and submission of assignments by students. These features are available everywhere in Moodle where the text editor is in use. Recording length has been limited to 2 minutes. The purpose of the limitation is to avoid filling up Moodle’s storage capacity and direct storing of longer recordings to dedicated services such as Unitube or OneDrive. The recorders use your device’s microphone or camera and work, for example, with a smartphone’s browser.


In addition, you can now add emoijs to all content. The Emoji icon can be found both next to the message field and in the default Atto editor.

Contact us

  • You can ask questions and give feedback about the update at moodle@helsinki.fi
  • More Moodle guides: MoodleDocs
  • See upcoming Moodle trainings in SAP Suffeli.

Join us in Moodle cleaning!

The storage of our Moodle server is filling up, but a new server is set to arrive in June 24th, 2020. With our course cleaning effort, we ensure that our current server remains operational and any unnecessary bits do not transfer needlessly to Moodle’s new home. Storage space is filled up mainly by courses, course backups, large file attachments and videos.

Course areas

Quickest way to do cleaning is to remove unnecessary course areas. You can inform us about unnecessary course areas at moodle@helsinki.fi. Add to your message the address of the course area, after which we will start the removal process of the course. You can get the address of your course area by going to the course front page and copying the address from your browser’s address bar.

Course backups

We recommend doing backups of your courses and storing these externally from Moodle. For example, at a password protected hard drive: instructions on how to backup. When you have successfully done a backup and saved it externally from Moodle, remove the backup so that it will not unnecessarily take space from Moodle. Instructions on how to remove backups:

  1. Click on the cogwheel (Actions menu) at the course front page.
  2. Click ‘Restore’.
  3. Go trough the ‘Course backup area’ and ‘User private backup area’.
  4. Click the button ‘Manage backup files’ under the backup area where you want to remove a backup file.
  5. Click the name of the backup file.
  6. Make sure that the file can be removed and click ‘Download’ to download the file.
  7. Click ‘Delete’.
  8. Click ‘OK’.
  9. Click ‘Save changes’.

Large file attachments

You can delete large attachments and file folders mainly directly from the front page of your course. Instructions for deleting files and folders:

  1. Make sure the edit mode is on from the course front page gear (Actions menu).
  2. Click ‘Edit’ for the item you want to delete.
  3. Select ‘Delete’.
  4. Click ‘Yes’.

You can also shrink files before importing them into Moodle. This speeds up the user experience and reduces the size of the course. For example, saving presentations in PDF format and reducing the size of large images. An easy way to reduce multiple images at once in Windows is to send the images to yourself using the Windows e-mail feature: right-click the image, select send, and then e-mail. Windows will provide you with different size options appropriate for online use.


Video files should be stored in the University of Helsinki’s own Unitube-Lataamo service (lataamo.helsinki.fi) or in another dedicated cloud environment. Videos from these services can be linked directly to Moodle or other services. Instructions for linking videos to Moodle from Unitube: Publishing Unitube videos on a Moodle course.

Using Moodle to support your online teaching

The impact of the Corona virus situation for teaching through Moodle

The Moodle support team will monitor Moodle’s capacity and server usage in order to ensure that all teaching in Moodle goes as planned and without technical interruptions. If you are planning to give an exam in Moodle for a large group of over 100 students, please let us know well in advance by sending a message to this email: moodle@helsinki.fi. Moreover, if your exam has typically utilised the exam services personnel’s help (tenttipalvelu), please inform the exam services at least 5 working days ahead of time about any changes to your exam processes. Thank you for your consideration!

Moodle as a Learning Management System (LMS) and an elearning environment

Moodle is a versatile elearning environment that can be adapted for a wide variety of online teaching purposes. Within Moodle, the teacher can create assignments for the students as well as receive and grade the assignment submissions. A number of elearning tools are available within Moodle, and the selection of a particular activity type or tool depends on the learning goals and the teaching and learning methods of your course.

What is Moodle?

If you are not familiar with the elearning environment Moodle, please see the following introduction video: What is Moodle?

You may also consider familiarizing with these Moodle self-study modules. 

How to create a Moodle area for your course

You can order a new Moodle area in two different ways:

  1. With the course area request form, which you can find at moodle.helsinki.fi  (before you login) —> instructions for teachers —> Request a new course area. After your Moodle course area has been created, you will receive an automatic notification in your email, which includes a link to your Moodle course as well as instructions for how to open the course to students.
  2. Or, you can create a Moodle Course area at the Course pages site (courses.helsinki.fi). If you create a Moodle course area through the Course page, your students will be automatically added to Moodle if they have registered for the course in Weboodi. Cf. guidelines: Creating a Moodle area that is automatically connected to your Weboodi roster

Lecture teaching

Contact teaching lectures can be substituted for example by providing the students with e-materials, articles and other learning assignments, for example assignments in which the students are looking for materials themselves. The students can also share materials with each other through Moodle, for example on the discussion boards through the Forum or Glossary tools.

Teacher’s Moodle guide:

Other guidelines:

Sharing videos

The recommendation is that any lecture and instructional videos that you have created yourself, can be shared to Moodle from Unitube, which is the University of Helsinki’s video publishing platform.

Cf. teacher’s Moodle guide:

  • Linking Unitube videos to Moodle
  • Linking Youtube-videos to Moodle: Navigate to the Moodle editor, write the placeholder word (e.g. “video”), highlight this word, click the link-icon on the editor, and copy-paste the selected URL from either Youtube of Vimeo. (We recommend Vimeo Pro since it does not have ads, but also a private Youtube or Vimeo basic account is also OK.)

Assignments, e.g. literature reviews and essays

With the Assignment-tool within Moodle, the teacher can give the students assignments and the students can submit those through Moodle for the teacher to be graded. The teacher can grade the assignments and give feedback through Moodle, as well.

Teacher’s guide: Assignment quick guideAssignment activity guide


Consider whether you could substitute an exam with a final essay or a so-called home exam/materials exam, in which the students could utilise materials such as literature and the Internet to answer the questions. In this case, try to create questions that utilise tasks of applying and processing knowledge, instead of mostly memorising knowledge. An exam in Moodle can be created in two ways:  with the Quiz and the Assignment tools.

Assignment tool

Essay final papers and exams and other forms of assignment submissions in which the student submits an assignment in writing is recommended to be done with the Moodle Assignment-tool, from which it is also possible to send the submissions to the Urkund plagiarism detection program.

Teacher’s guide:

Quiz tool

When you would like to randomise or vary the questions that the individual students receive to be answered in the quiz/exam, the best way is to utilise the Moodle Quiz tool. First, create the questions in their relevant category within the Moodle area’s question bank. Then, you can create the Quiz activity itself, and draw questions from the question bank. The Quiz questions can be randomized for each student to vary the questions they receive. With the Quiz tool, you can also create many other types of questions to be automatically graded, including multiple choice questions, word match, or cloze questions. Typically, the exams are time restricted so that after the exam time is over, the questions will close and thus not be visible to the students anymore. If possible, consider setting the exam submission time to be flexible so that the exam itself allows for example a 2 hour time period to be answered, but this exam time can be started anytime within – for example – a 6 hour time period.

Exams for over 100 students

  • Please let us know about the date and time of large exams in Moodle, preferably three days in advance, through the email address moodle@helsinki.fi. Please include a link to the exam in Moodle. Moodle support can then help you and monitor the servers during your exam in order to ensure that Moodle server has enough available capacity.
  • Inform the students that as they start the quiz or exam, there may be a traffic jam in Moodle. In this event, the student should wait a few moments and then refresh the browser to reload the quiz page.
  • If possible, set the exam to be available for multiple hours and then restrict the timeframe of the exam answering.
  • Inform the students that they should prioritize doing the exam with a laptop rather than a mobile device.

Other exam options

Communication and online discussions in Moodle

You can use the Announcements forum in Moodle when you need to communicate something to the students urgently and you need to be able to reach the students immediately. The Announcements forum will send a push notification to the students’ emails. Please note that the students cannot respond to Announcements. If you would like to send a message to your students through Moodle, which allows them to respond, as well, you may use the Forum tool.

Teacher’s guide:

Group work in Moodle

To utilise the tools in Moodle that function with the group settings, you need to first create the groups in Moodle. After this, you may utilise the created groups with for example:

  • Group discussion boards
  • Chat
  • Submitting a group assignment through the Assignment tool
  • Wiki for example to create a group work, but note that only one person can edit at any once time

Teacher’s Moodle guide:

Other possibilities:

More information


Moodle trainings in spring 2020

Welcome to Moodle trainings and clinics!

In English:

More trainings and advanced courses are in Finnish, see here.

Enrollment and more information in SAP Suffeli Learning.

NB. If you wish to have training in English or in some other topic please contact moodle@helsinki.fi.