Using Moodle to support your online teaching

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. Moodle can be used to support classroom teaching / face to face teaching, blended learning, or as a platform for distance learning.

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  (before you login) —> instructions for teachers —> Request a new course area.
  2. Or, you can create a Moodle Course area at the Course pages site ( 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 Sisu. Cf. guidelines: Creating a Moodle area that is automatically connected to your Sisu roster

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.

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 (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.

It is also possible to send the submissions to the Ouriginal (Urkund) plagiarism detection program.

See also: What makes a good remote examination

Assignment activity

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-activity.

Teacher’s guide:

Quiz activity

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

  • 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 activity.

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 activity
  • 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 is updated on December 27th, 2019

Moodle will be upgraded to version 3.7 on December 27th, 2019, from 8 AM to 4 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.

New features in Moodle 3.7

  • Forum: Inline editing, star and sort discussions.
  • Forum: Teachers can add a private reply in a forum and can manually lock discussions.

  • Messaging: Improved interface and your own private space.
  • Messaging: Teachers can delete conversations in groups.

  • Assignment: Students and teachers can delete assignment file submissions.
  • Quiz: Change your mind and remove your choice in a multiple choice quiz question.
  • Backups: Asynchronous backups in the background while doing other tasks.
  • Read more Moodle 3.7 new features.

Other changes in the default settings

  • Course settings: In new courses hidden sections are completely invisible from students.
  • Grades: By default, the user report will only show grade and feedback columns.
  • Workshop: Students can’t see the names of authors and reviewers, i.e. the reviewing is totally anonymous.

Contact us

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

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2020!

Best regards,
Moodle Team
University of Helsinki

Moodle is updated to version 3.6 on June 26th, 2019

Moodle will be upgraded to version 3.6 on June 26th, 2019, 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.

Improved Course overview function

This improvement has been waited for: the courses on the Course overview on the Dashboard can now be sorted, starred, and hidden. The view can be just a listing, a pictorial “card” format, or a listing with a course description. You can also add new blocks to your page: Recently accessed courses, Starred courses and Recently accessed items (activities and resources). By default, everyone will see their own Recently accessed courses block. The Timeline can now be found in its own block within the right column. Click the “Customise this page” button at the top right of the page to edit your Dashboard’s Course overview. You can add blocks from the “Add a block” button at the end of the left column.

Read more

New messaging interface

There are new options in the inbox message view: Starred, Group and Private. You can mark your contacts as starred, and their posts will appear on your list. New group communications allow group members to send messages to the entire group. This requires that the function is enabled in group settings. The teacher must also be a member of the group if she wants to send group messages.

For teachers

Easily find duplicated items

Duplicated resources are appended with ‘copy’ so you can easily distinguish between the original and copy.

Download the list of course participants

In the Participants page, you can download the list of course participants for example to Excel. The participant list has been changed so that the last name comes first.

Contact us

Welcome to Moodle TrainingS in Autumn 2019

During the autumn term 2019, the Educational technology services’ Moodle Team offers training for Moodle use, including Moodle basics as well as Moodle & MOOC clinics in every campus. The registration is open in Suffeli Learning!

If there is no suitable training available at a time that works for you, please just email us at and we can provide individual consultations and group trainings for you and your colleagues.

Moodle basics

Is Moodle a new program for you? In the Moodle basics course, you will learn the basics and you can start working on your own course.

  • Moodle basics 22nd October at 1-3 PM, Viikki campus (in English)
  • Moodlen perusteet 9th September at 2:15-5 PM, Metsätalo (in Finnish)

Moodle & MOOC Clinics

Come and work on your own courses! The clinics are especially useful for teachers who are about to start a course in the near future. The clinics will focus on building your own course. Our eLearning specialists work around in the classroom to assist and help the participants as needed. It is advisable to take part in the clinic only after you have completed the Moodle basics course or equivalent.

  • Moodle & MOOC Clinic 19th August at 2-4 PM, Aleksandria
  • Moodle & MOOC Clinic 5th September at 1-3 PM, Viikki
  • Moodle & MOOC Clinic 22nd October at 2-4, Meilahti
  • Moodle & MOOC Clinic 4th November at 9-11 AM, Siltavuorenpenger
  • Moodle & MOOC Clinic 3rd December at 1-3 PM, Kumpula

Moodle basics as self-study course

14th August 2019 we are launced a new self-study online course titled “Moodle basics”. In this course, it is possible to learn at your own pace how the initial setup of the course works, how to add materials and how to build and design the most important activities for the course. The course also provides an great opportunity to refresh your knowledge on Moodle. The course is in Finnish. To the course.

Moodle advanced courses

Exams and evaluation are a hot topic at the moment at the university. These trainings are in Finnish, except for the gradebook training, which will be taught in English if needed.

  • Tentit Moodlessa 2nd September at 1-2 PM, Siltavuorenpenger
  • Moodlen Safe Exam Browser -tentin laatiminen 2nd September at 2-4:30 PM, Meilahti
  • Moodle: Itse- ja vertaisarviointi työpaja-aktiviteetilla 30th September at 2-4.30 PM, Metsätalo
  • Tentit Moodlessa 21st October at 1-3 PM, Aleksandria
  • Moodle Gradebook training 24th October at 1-3 PM, Viikki (can be taught in English or Finnish depending on the participants language)
  • Tenttikysymysten kehittäminen Moodlen analytiikan avulla 19th November at 8-10 AM, Meilahti
  • Moodlen Safe Exam Browser -tentin laatiminen 2nd December at 8-10:30 AM, Meilahti

Detailed information and registration at Suffeli Learning. You’ll find “SAP Suffeli” also through the Flamma tools.

If you have any questions about registration or courses please don’t hesitate to contact us at

Best regards, The Moodle Team
Educational Technology Services

Moodle is updated to version 3.5 on January 8, 2019

The University of Helsinki’s Moodle is updated twice a year to a new version. On January 8, 2019, from 8 AM to 5 PM, Moodle is updated to the version 3.5 and during this time you can not log in or access Moodle. With the new version, features have improved and we also bring a new plugin: Group choice.

New in version 3.5

Course images

Images or coloured patterns brighten up the course descriptions on the dashboard Course overview. The image can be set in the course settings under “Course summary files”.

More efficient user management

Search, filter and bulk edit or delete self-enrolled students from the Participants and Enrolments screen.

However, if you want to delete all participants in the course, use the familiar Reset function. Remember that it is advisable to set up a new Moodle area for each course – and not to empty the area from the previous students.

A new link “View all submissions”

An easy return path from the PDF grading view to back to the list of all submissions.

Quiz and choice activity improvements


Other novelties

New plugin – Group choice

With the activity Group choice, students can join the group they want in the course. The teacher can choose which groups the students can enroll and the maximum number of participants. This activity can be used, for example, to divide students into training groups.

Contact us