Getting started with Moodle
This guide will help you to get started using Moodle and generally familiarise yourself with
the new interface. Use the guide to learn how to:
Log in to Moodle via UEL Direct
Add a photo to your profile
Identify the main components of the Moodle Home screen
Navigate around a course and between different courses
Recognise the key components of the basic module template
1. Log in to Moodle
To log into Moodle, you first need to log into UEL Direct.
To access UEL Direct, navigate to the UEL Homepage (www.uel.ac.uk) and
select the STUDENTS tab. Follow the UEL Direct link in the Quick Links
Enter your university Username and Password as directed.
Once you have logged into UEL Direct, select Moodle from the ‘Learning
Systems’ widget. This will take you through to the Moodle homepage.
If the new widget does not appear on your UEL Direct page, you can apply the widget
using the “Customise your homepage” link at the bottom of your UEL Direct page.
This shows the list of items you can add to, or remove from your UEL Direct page.
Select the “Learning Systems” widget by clicking on the relevant tick-box, and then
click “Save”, on the right-hand side.
2. Identify the main components of the Moodle Home screen
Your Moodle Home page will now appear listing all the courses you are enrolled on
as well as various boxes called blocks on the left and right. See the example below.
Home link –
back to this
you are in
click on any
course title to
contain links to
tools in Moodle
3. Add a photo to your profile
To edit your profile and add a photo/avatar of yourself, click My Profile settings in the
Settings block to your left.
Expand My profile settings (by clicking the dropdown arrow to the left) and select Edit
On the Edit profile page, scroll down to User Picture and select Add… Then follow the
prompts to upload a photo/avatar of yourself. The photo will appear when it is
at the bottom of the window to save it. Your picture should now
appear in the top right corner. If it doesn’t, refresh the browser window to update the
page (the F5 key on a Windows PC is a shortcut for this).
Click Home to return to the Moodle Home page and course list. The Home button
appears in the top left under the UEL Logo or also as a link in the Navigation block.
4. Navigate around and between courses
To enter a course from the Home page, click on the title under My courses.
When you open your module, the main content and activities appear in the central
column. This is usually divided into a number of sections which can represent the
topics or weeks of your module. Each section contains the resources and activities
you need, such as documents, presentations, web pages, quizzes, videos,
discussions, etc. The first section always contains your module and assessment
information, as well as a general discussion forum for news and announcements.
Example course home page
General topic -contains
module and assessment
information and news and
Topics - your
organised here (can
also be divided into
In the example above, the contents of all the sections are displayed on the course
Alternatively, your tutor may use the collapsed topics format, where topics can be
minimised so that you can focus on one topic or week at a time.
Example of a course home page using collapsed topics
General topic – this is
activities – click the links
to open them
Clicking the blue drop
down arrows opens or
closes the topic
To navigate around a Moodle course, you click on links in the topic list or in a block.
This opens the particular resource or feature you have selected, such as a web page
or a discussion forum.
You can also use the Navigation block on the left to link to different parts of a course,
to the Moodle Home page or to another course altogether. This is illustrated below.
Click on My courses to view the list of courses you are enrolled
on. Click on any course in the list to open it.
Click the drop down arrow next to any course to view different parts of
that course. Click on any item in the list to jump to that area.
If you want to go back to previous screens in Moodle, it’s fine to use the browser Back
button. There is also a breadcrumb trail at the top which you can use to navigate
back to previous screens. Note that not all the steps in the breadcrumb trail are live
links, however, so you can only go back to certain screens.
5. Recognise the key components of the basic module template
For consistency, all your modules in Moodle will contain the same core features so that
you know where to find them.These are:
Left hand side blocks:
o Navigation – to move within and between courses
o Activities – links to lists of different kinds of resources, e.g. forums, files etc.
o Settings – to edit your profile
Right hand side blocks:
o Latest news – link to posts on the News forum
o Recent activity – links to the latest activity among participants on the course
General topic (at the top of the page) contains:
o News forum and General discussion forum
o Staff guidance on the module
o Links to mid-module and end of module evaluations
o Link to a guide on submitting to Turnitin
List of topics or weeks
o Containing your course materials and links to activities and other resources
These core features are shown in the example of a blank module template below: