Moodle goes to version 4 with a new look

Moodle will be updated to Moodle 4.1 on June 28th, 2023, from 8 AM to 5 PM. During this time, it is not possible to log into Moodle or create new Moodle areas on the course pages. The update may not take the whole day, but the time is reserved as a precaution to prepare for potential update issues and fixes.

Dashboard and My courses

Demo video: Dashboard and My courses, English subtitles (video in Finnish)

The Dashboard and My courses replace the old Dashboard. Moodle’s start page is the Dashboard, but you can change it in your settings. On these tabs you can see what courses you have, the calendar, etc. You can also add blocks to the Dashboard.

Layout and editing of the course

Demo video: Layout and editing of the course (video and subtitles in Finnish)

Editing and managing the Moodle area has been made easier in the new user interface. In the future, the functions that were behind the function menu can be found in the tabs immediately below the course name. The Grades and Participants tabs, which were previously in the table of contents (formerly the navigation menu), have also been moved to tabs. In the future, the table of contents will show not only the names of the topics, but also the activities and resources found within the topics, thus making it easier to navigate the area. The table of contents can still be turned on and off from the “hamburger menu” in the upper left corner.

The biggest usability improvements can be found in the new location of the Edit Mode button. In the future, the editing mode, i.e. the editing button, can be found in the upper right corner, and it is constantly available to the teacher. This makes editing smoother and easier. In addition, in the future, activities and sections can also be moved to another place in the course within the table of contents.

Blocks in Moodle areas will not automatically be visible to students in the future. They can still be found on the right side, but they are behind a drawer.

Question bank and Grader report

Demo video: Question bank and Grade report (video in Finnish)

The tabs in the gradebook view will be replaced by a dropdown menu with the upcoming version update. Under the dropdown menu, you will find all the same contents that were previously displayed as tabs. Editing individual assessments for students will be streamlined as you can make individual edits directly in the grader report by enabling the editing mode.

In the question bank, learning analytics will be introduced in the form of new data columns. With this new information, teachers will be able to analyze the questions posed: assessing their effectiveness and difficulty. Additionally, question-specific editing will be made easier within the question bank view.

Other activities

Demo video: Rest of the new features, English subtitles (video in Finnish)

The database activity has several improvements: It has a new start page where you can choose a template for the database, or load the structure of an old database. The database now has four different templates: an image gallery, a research or reflection diary, a proposal or research project template, and a resource template that can be used to create, for example, a book review or link collection. In addition, it is now easier to track and manage the approval of database records.

In activity completion, there is a new option “require a passing grade”. Previously, the only option was “receive a grade”.

A time limit can now be set for assignments. During the assignment, a counter is displayed, showing how much time is left.

Language selection can now be enforced for individual activities, whereas previously this was only possible at the course level.

Training and support

Subscribe the new Moodle-News mailing list

The Moodle-News mailing list will be renewed and everyone will have to subscribe to the news again.  As of August 2021, we will only communicate through the new mailing list.

How do I subscribe the mailing list?

  • Send an email to
  • Enter the command subscribe moodle-news in the text section of the e-mail. (The subject field of the message can be left blank.)
  • See more detailed instructions on the Helpdesk website

Problems? Please contact

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:


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.

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