Many usability improvements in the new Moodle version

Moodle will be upgraded to version 3.9 on January 5th, 2021, from 8 AM to 5 PM. During this time, Moodle is closed and cannot be logged into. The update may not take the whole day, but the time is reserved as a precaution to prepare for potential update issues and fixes.

“Turn editing on”/”Turn editing off” on the Moodle home course page

The long-awaited update is now available: the edit mode can now be switched on directly from the Moodle course home page with the button “Turn editing on”.


The new appearance of the “Activity chooser”

Although the look of the activity selection tool is different, you can still find all the familiar activities and resources there. Now, you can also select only resources or activities or the tools that you have marked as your favorites.
See more: Activity chooser.


Attendance Plug in

The Attendance activity allows teachers to maintain a record of attendance, replacing or supplementing a paper-based attendance register.
See more: Attendance activity

Help with navigation

If the Moodle page is lengthy, the “Go to top” button will appear on the Moodle page, which you can click to jump to the top of the Moodle area.

Atto editor

The Atto editor has useful new features. Images can be added directly to the editor from the clipboard or by dragging from files. The text field for image description is now larger and includes a character length counter. The editor also now has an option to mark individual paragraphs to be read from right to left.


  • Teachers will now be able to view the summary report for just one forum or all forums in a course.
  • The name of the grader is visible to the student in the whole forum grading.

Safe Exam Browser (SEB)

The quiz activity can now easily be configured to use SEB, which is a special browser application that the student has to download and install first (Windows, Mac OS X or iOS is supported). The SEB-application restricts the use of other software and prevents navigating outside the Moodle quiz. The required SEB-configuration file for safe exams can now be configured and distributed from the quiz settings inside Moodle without having to use the SEB-configuration utility.

NB. It is recommended to consult the Exam services before using the SEB feature – SEB has so far been used in a few faculties with supervised BYOD-exams. SEB is not a tool for remote monitoring of exams.

Contact us

  • You can ask questions and give feedback about the update at
  • More Moodle guides: MoodleDocs
  • Book Moodle trainings through SAP Suffeli.

Create Zoom meetings directly within Moodle

Zoom is an online webinar service that is recommended for teachers to use in real-time online teaching, as well as when recording and streaming lectures. In Zoom, the teacher may give a mass lecture or assign students to small groups for collaborative work and discussions. The students may participate in Zoom through writing in the chat, or streaming their own audio, video, and PowerPoint presentations to the meeting. Zoom is a suitable tool also for creating pre-recorded teaching materials, such as PowerPoint lectures, shorter videos, or demo videos.

With the latest update, teachers can create the Zoom meetings for their courses through the Moodle area of the course! This way, the student – and teacher – finds all the course Zoom links from the same activity within Moodle. The Zoom meetings created through Moodle are also visible in the teacher’s account’s meetings listing, and within their Zoom desktop app.


The following directions present the simplest way to create a Zoom meeting. In most cases, the default settings in Moodle provide the most suitable settings already and thus usually don’t need to be changed.

If you are creating the Zoom meetings through Moodle, please note that it is advisable to place all the Zoom meetings of the same Moodle area under one Zoom-activity in Moodle, visible on the Moodle course area’s front page.

Moreover, instead of multiple links per course, we recommend to create one Zoom activity in Moodle, and only one link for participation in the course – which you add to your Moodle area.

NB. Before you create the Zoom meetings in Moodle, please sign into Zoom at least once with your University of Helsinki login credentials, at

Adding a Zoom activity

  1. Navigate to your Moodle area within which you would like to create the Zoom meeting(s).
  2. Make sure that the editing mode is on in your Moodle area (gear icon dropdown on the right hand side corner of the page).
  3. Click Add an activity or resource and select Zoom video conferencingZoom Button



4. Provide a name for your Zoom session, for example “Join Zoom meetings on Tuesdays 1.10.-30.10.2020 between 10:15-11 AM”.

5. Save and display.

Create a Zoom room within a Zoom activity 

The example below describes how to create Zoom meeting(s) that can be used within the Zoom activity. These meetings are created similarly to how you would create meetings in

a) Open the Zoom activity that you created in Moodle.

b) Click Schedule a New Meeting.

Schedule a New Meeting Button



c) Change the topic if needed, as an example: “Introduction to university studies”.

If needed, you might also utilize the advanced settings, e.g. the Description is visible to the student as they wait to enter the Zoom room.

d) Select Recurring meeting.

e) Select Recurrance = NoFixed Time (the course schedule varies or if you do not wish to indicate a particular time).Select Recurrinf meeting & No Fixed Time

f) Click Save.

If you need to create more Zoom rooms for the course, navigate to the Zoom activity in Moodle and click Schedule a New Meeting. In other words, at this stage, there is no need to add another “New activity” in Moodle, rather just add another meeting into the already existing Zoom activity you created in the Moodle area.

When it is time to start the meeting, open the Zoom activity and as a teacher you start the meeting by clicking the Start button. Students join the meeting by clicking the Join button.

In the Zoom activity, a teacher can remove meetings by clicking the Delete button. A teacher can also edit the already created meetings by clicking the topic of the room and then clicking the Edit this Meeting button.


Further advice and links to use Zoom
    • The person who creates the Zoom meeting, is automatically assigned as the host of the meeting.
    • As a host, you can create break-out rooms and polls before the meeting starts. When you want to use the pre-assigned break-out rooms (groups) and polls, they need to be created through
    • If you are a host and have created multiple Zoom sessions at the same time, Zoom will not work. Typically this can be avoided, if the teacher creates the Zoom meetings that they will be teaching in.
    • If there are multiple lecturers in your course, think about the best solution for your course with Zoom. For example, the lecturer or course assistant, who is able to attend every lecture, should create and host the Zoom meeting for the course. The host can add visiting lecturers or technical support as co-hosts during the Zoom session. It’s also a good idea to add them as alternative hosts for the Zoom meeting in the Zoom settings in Moodle.
    • You can see a tab for Cloud Recordings in Moodle. At this time, the cloud recording function is not in use at the University of Helsinki. The Zoom files will be saved onto the recording person’s computer (typically host/co-host), if the recording is on. When the Zoom meeting ends, Zoom converts the file to .mp4 and after this, it is usable. For example, the video file can be uploaded to Unitube and from thereon, to Moodle. Cf. Guide for linking Unitube videos to Moodle.
    • The regular Zoom meeting function enables accepting up to 300 people to the Zoom meetings. If you need a larger meeting, please reserve it from Helpdesk.

More guidelines for Zoom

For support and Zoom training:


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: 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: Online (Zoom Webinar) 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 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
  • 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 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 ( 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.