Moodle Options for Course with Multiple Sections: Combined Courses

Academic courses are typically named COURSEID – CourseName.  However, if you teach a course with multiple sections, you should see all your sections, plus a course named, COURSEID – CourseName (section1+section2 Combined). You will see the combined course, even if you are only teaching one of the sections.

If you teach a course with multiple sections, you have the option of using the individual sections, the combined course, or both. Students will only see the courses that you make available. Thus, if you want students in all sections to have the same material, use only the “combined” course and make that available. Likewise, if each section will have different materials, make only the sections available. Finally, you can have some materials for individual sections and some materials for all sections. In that case, you can use both the individual section(s) and the combined section–making both the individual section(s) and the combined section available.

Any course that is not available will not be visible to students.

For example, in Fall 2013, there are three sections of Introduction to Economics (Econ105) in Fall 2013, each taught by different instructors. Then Moodle would have the course shells ECONH105A01.F13 – Introduction to Economics taught by Professor #1, ECONH105A02.F13 – Introduction to Economics taught by Professor #2, and ECONH105A03.F13 – Introduction to Economics also taught by Professor #3. In addition, there is a course ECONH105.F13 – Introduction to Economics (A01+A02+A03 Combined)  taught by Professor #1, Professor #2, and Professor #3–and students from all three sections combined. The instructors can either collaborate and use the combined shell, or work independently, using their individual section shells–or take advantage of a number of other combinations.

Please contact if you have any questions about combined courses.

Moodle Roster Report

Moodle has photos of most users; individuals may opt to change or remove their Moodle photo. (Learn more about Moodle photos.) While you can get a photo roster of your class via the Moodle participants list, the Moodle Roster Report will help you learn student names, and also generate a printout of your photo roster.

Access the Roster Report

You will find the Roster Report in your Course Administration Block.

  1. Find and open the desired Moodle course shell.
  2. Find the Course Administration. This is usual the gear icon (Gear icon, indicating settings menu) on the upper right corner of your course. However, in some themes, it is a course block on the side of your course.
  3. If using the gear icon (Gear icon, indicating settings menu), select More… from the drop-down menu. Otherwise, skip to step 5.
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    Illustration of "More..." option in course administration menuwhite space
  4. You see a new menu with all the course administration options. Select Roster.
    Illustration of all roster report in "more..." course administration menu
  5. If your theme shows the course administration block on the side, click on Reports and then the Roster Report.
    Illustration of Roster report link when course administration is on a block on the side of the screen.

Roster Report Options

You have a few simple, but useful options with the Roster Report.

Learning mode off

By default, you will see all photos of your students, with their names under the photo.

Moodle_Roster_report-learning off

Learning mode on

Turn Learning mode on, and you will see faces without the names.

Moodle_Roster_report-learning on

Get a Printout

You can easily get a printout of your photo roster.

    1. Select the Display mode  Printable.
    2. Print from your browser, as usual. Your roster will print in a very paper friendly format.

Name Pronunciation Help Through Moodle

The President’s Office worked with IITS to help your learn the correct name pronunciations of students and faculty enrolled in a course. Each course shell has a “Record your name/Learn other names” link to help students and faculty learn each other’s correct name pronounciations and preferred pronouns.

  • Students: Record your name for this class
  • Access all recorded name pronunciations for this class

tools for learning name pronunciation

The tool is pretty straightforward. Class members can record their names. Then, anyone in the class can listen to those recordings to hear and practice those pronunciations.

Pronouncing names correctly is an important aspect of making all feel welcome in the classroom. Please make use of this tool, and encourage others in the class to do so too.

Self Enrollments in Moodle Courses

At Haverford, academic courses default to the following self enrollment schedule:

  • 14 day self enrollment is ON by default during drop/add period.
  • 14 day self enrollment is OFF by default after drop/add period.

Bryn Mawr and Haverford students will be able to self enroll in your course, even if they are not yet enrolled through Bionic. Swarthmore students can also self enroll, but they may need to  contact IITS to request Moodle access (via a form button on the moodle home page) before they can log onto Moodle. These self enrollments will expire after 14 days. At that time, students that are not formally enrolled after drop/add will lose access to your course.

This allows students to participate fully in Moodle course activities during the drop/add period. This policy was put into effect as of Spring 2020. It replaces the previous policy of opening courses to guest access at the start of each semester, which only allowed access to course readings and other passive resources.

NOTE: Swarthmore students may first need to contact IITS to request Moodle access via a form button on the moodle home page before they can log onto Moodle.

Turn self enrollment on and off

IITS will notify you when the self enrollment access default is changed before and after drop/add ends.

Although IITS will set self enrollment access according to the rules listed above, you can change your guest access setting at any time.

  1. Open the Participant list using the People block or the Navigation drawer.
    illustration of People block
  2. Select the gear setting drop-down menu in the upper right. Then select Enrollment methods.

3.You will get another menu with enrollment options. Turn self enrollments on or off by clicking to toggle the eye icon to show or hide.

NOTE: The guest access setting will NOT effect whether your course is visible to students. You must make your courses visible before any students will be able to see it.

Getting Help with Moodle

General Questions – Problems Logging In, Finding Courses, Using an Existing Course Site, etc.

Moodle is a popular, open-source program, and hundreds of people around the world have created instructions and videos that can help you. If you have a question about Moodle, you can often find an answer quickly by searching the web.

Check our web site for answers to questions about Haverford’s Moodle implementation. In addition to information posted on the web, you get personalized help from IITS and the library.

IITS ProDesk

Stokes 204, 610-896-1480,

Magill Library

Magill Library Reference Desk, 610-896-1356

When requesting help, please provide the following information:

  • your full name
  • your email user name
  • the name or course ID of any courses involved
  • any error messages verbatim
  • the operating system(s) you are using
  • the browser version(s) you are using
  • the time(s) the problem occurred

Help Designing, Developing, or Maintaining a Course Site

Quick Guide to Using Moodle

Many Haverford College academic courses, committees, student groups, and other organizations use Moodle to share materials, discuss ideas, and collaborate on projects. Moodle can also be used to administer assignments, quizzes, and other types of assessments. Haverford’s Moodle system links in with similar Moodle systems at Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore.

About Haverford’s Moodle Servers

Haverford has several different Moodle systems. The main system,, has academic courses for the current academic year. We have an additional Moodle system,, that houses sites for departments, student groups, searches, and other adhoc groups.

Access to older academic courses is available for reference only from our Moodle archive servers.

Log into Haverford’s Moodle Servers

Anyone with a Haverford or Bryn Mawr email address, as well as Swarthmore users that are formally enrolled in a Haverford course, can log into and Others can gain access, as explained below.

  1. Go to or
  2. Click on the log in link in the upper right corner.
    white space
    illustration of login link in upper right corner
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  3. Select your school on the Tri-Co Service Authentication page.
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    Illustration of TriCo service authentication page
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  4. Enter your username, using just the first part of your username. Do not include the,, or

Special instruction for Swarthmore users

Swarthmore users automatically get access to our Moodle servers only after they are officially registered for a Haverford course. However, we will create accounts to any Swarthmore user upon request. To get access before the registration process is complete, or just to view courses without formally registering, scroll to the bottom of the home page and submit a  Swarthmore Moodle account request form.

Access for people without a Haverford, Bryn Mawr, or Swarthmore account

We cannot typically allow access for off-campus users. However, if you teach a course on the Moodle system, and need to grant access to anybody that does not already have a Tri-college account, email with your request. We will see if there is an option that works in your situation.

Your Moodle Home Page

Once in the system, you will see your courses in the main area and some menus on the side of the screen. This is your Moodle home page, with your own courses listed. If you are a student, you will only see those courses that faculty have made available for you to view.

If you teach courses, or support faculty that teach courses, you will all courses that have been assigned to you. In the illustration below, we see two courses–one red in color and one grey in color. Red colored courses are visible to students. Grey courses are not visible to students. By default, course are NOT invisible. Faculty must make a course visible for students to see it. Students will only see courses that faculty have made visible.

Illustration of Moodle home page after logging in

Notice the Navigation menu drawer button Illustration of navigation drawer icon on top left of screenon the upper left side of your screen. This will be available from almost anywhere in Moodle.

The button toggles the navigation menu open and closed. When the navigation menu drawer is open, as illustrated, you have a quick way to jump around your courses. When the menu drawer is closed, you have more screen space for course content.

Illustration of navigation drawer toggle

Log out

Since Moodle contains personal information, including grades, be sure to log out when you are not using the system. To log out, click on your profile menu in the upper-right to get a drop down menu. Click the “logout” link.

illustration of Moodle logout link

Learn More

Plenty of help is available if you are having trouble finding your courses, or looking for additional information about this system.

Copy content from one course in Moodle to another in Moodle

Moodle – Backup, Restore, and Import

This page contains instructions on how to transfer information from a previous course to a new one. Previously taught course are available from IITS in accordance with our Moodle Long Term Archive/Retention Policy.

  • Moodle courses taught in the previous three years will be available for you to review, backup, and restore into your current courses–although they may not be on the current Moodle server.
  • Course materials on Moodle taught four to eight years ago will be available upon request from IITS, but may take up to a week to restore.
  • Courses taught more than eight years ago will be deleted and no longer available from IITS. We recommend you keep your own archives of any materials you want to keep, in addition to the materials kept by IITS.

If the course is from a previous term of the same academic year, skip to the instructions below for Importing a Course.

If the course is from a previous academic year, follow the instructions to backup and restore the course.  Note:  This requires uploading your backup to the new course.  As with all uploads in Moodle, there is a file size limit of 250 MB**.  If your file size is larger than that, please contact

A Note to Off Campus Users

To review or copy Moodle materials from courses taught between Fall 2014 and Spring 2017, you must now either be physically on the Haverford, Bryn Mawr, or Swarthmore campuses OR use VPN software for your network access. IITS is limits access to these servers because they are no longer eligible for security updates.

VPN is software that allows your remote network connection to emulate being on campus. If you have any questions about VPN, please see our VPN instructions or contact the ProDesk.

To backup the original course information

  1. Select the course you want to archive or copy into your new course site. If the course was taught within the previous three years, you will need to look on the Moodle archive server to find your course. These are accessible from the Moodle archives link at the top of the current Moodle course site.
  2. Log into the Moodle server for the appropriate academic year and open the course you wish to backup or copy.
  3. Choose Backup from the Course Administration menu. Depending on the Moodle version and theme of your course, you will either find this by clicking on the gear icon (Gear icon, indicating settings menu) in the top right corner of your course, or you will find it in the Settings menu below the Navigation block.Illustration of course backup menu Course backup menu location–Option 1: Illustration of course backup menu in courses where the course administration menu is on the top right corner of the course.

    Course backup menu location–Option 2: Illustration of course backup menu in courses where the Course Administration menu is under the Navigation block.
  4. You will be prompted to select what you want to include in the backup or just keep the defaults and click Continue. NOTE: User data and grades will NOT be included in the backup. If you need to keep grade information, you can export grades via the grade book.
  5. Click Continue. Note: The default file name includes the name of your course and the time and date of the backup.
  6. Click Perform this backup at the bottom of the page.
  7. The next page will say “The backup file was successfully created.”  Click Continue again.
  8. You should now see the back-up in your private backup area. (If you do not see a screen similar to the one illustrated below, click on the Restore link in the course administration block.)
    Click the link to download and save as desired in your local files.

To restore course information from a backup .mbz file

  1. In Moodle, select the course to which you want to restore or materials from the archived course.
  2. Click Restore from the Course Administration menu. Depending on the Moodle version and theme of your course, you will either find this by clicking on the gear icon (Gear icon, indicating settings menu) in the top right corner of your course, or you will find it in the Settings menu below the Navigation block.white space

    Course restore menu location–Option 1: Illustration of course restore menu in courses where the course administration menu is on the top right corner of the course.

    Course restore menu location–Option 2: Illustration of course restore menu is in courses where the Course Administration menu is under the Navigation block.
  3. Upload or select the .mbz backup of the course from which you want to restore material. If your file is larger than 250mb, contact hc-techlearn for help.

  4. Click Restore. You will see a series of screens, starting with a verification of the items in your backup file. Scroll down and continue.
  5. Select  the restore options you want–usually to merge your content into the current course–and continue.
  6. You will be prompted with several more screens. Select desired options, and click next until your restore is complete.

To import course information from a previous course in the same academic year

Note: You must have the role of course builder, course support, or teacher in both the original and destination course sites to do this.

  1. In Moodle, select the course to which you want to add the information.
  2. Click Import from the Course Administration menu. Depending on the Moodle version and theme of your course, you will either find this by clicking on the gear icon (Gear icon, indicating settings menu) in the top right corner of your course, or you will find it in the Settings menu below the Navigation block.
    Course import menu location–Option 1: Illustration of course import menu in courses where the course administration menu is on the top right corner of the course.

    Course import menu location–Option 2: Illustration of course import menu is in courses where the Course Administration menu is under the Navigation block.
  3. Select the course from which you want to get materials and click Continue.
  4. You will see several screens asking what you want to backup and then import. Check the desired items and click next.
  5. Click the import button.
  6. You should now see the imported materials in the new course.

Use Moodle to Communicate with Your Students

Use Moodle to Communicate with Your Students

Moodle provides many options for instructors to communicate with their students electronically. Using various tools you can:

  • Send email announcements to the entire class (Announcements or Quickmail)
  • Send email to the entire class or to select students (Quickmail)

Use the Announcements Forum to Send a Message to an Entire Class

By default, every course has an Announcements forum and all students are subscribed to this forum, meaning that they are emailed whenever a new announcement is posted to the forum. In addition to getting announcements via email, students can check their Moodle course and see the same Announcements there.

Post an announcement, which is also emailed to students:

  1. Click the Announcements forum link in your main course content area or the Add a new topic link in your Latest News block .

  2. Click the Add a new topic
    1. Enter a Subject
    2. Type your message in the Message
    3. OPTIONAL: Check the Mail now check box to send the message immediately, otherwise the message can be edited for up to 30 minutes before it’s sent to everyone.
    4. Click the Post to forum

Use Quickmail to Send a Message to the Entire Class or Select Students

The Quickmail block allows instructors to email students from their Moodle course site. Messages can include attachments and can also be distributed to Moodle groups. Students in your class can also use Quickmail to contact you or other students.

  1. In the Quickmail block, click the Compose Course Message
  2. You should see a new window where you can compose your message.

    In the to: line, select the people in your class that should get the message. You can either identify individual class participants or everyone with a particular class role (i.e. registered students, graders, course builders, etc.). If you set up groups in your class, those will show up as an option.
    To send the message to all your students, select the “registered student” role.

  3. If desired, you can exclude individuals or groups from your to: list.
  4. Enter a Subject line and Message.
  5. Attach files, create a signature, or specify a specific time to send your message. Once the message is ready, click the Send Email
  6. You can see your drafts, scheduled emails, and sent messages by selecting the appropriate option in the Quickmail block.

Creating Courses with Moodle: 6. Understanding Course Enrollments

Student enrollments and unenrollments happen automatically, based upon the Bionic registration system.

Any Haverford or Bryn Mawr student should appear in your course roster within 15 minutes of when that student registers on Bionic.

Swarthmore students may take a few days to appear in your roster, because the Registrar needs to first add them into our system. Swarthmore users can request a Moodle account via our web form, if they need access before they are enrolled via the usual automated system.

You can use Moodle to get a photo roster of your course.  You may also grant course viewing, editing, or grading privileges to members of the tri-college community.

WARNING: Even though students are enrolled in your courses, students will ONLY SEE YOUR COURSE if you make your course visible via the Settings menu.

Automated Enrollments/Unenrollments

Your Moodle course roster will be generated from our BIONIC registration system and automatically updated every 15 minutes. Your Moodle course roster should match your official roster. You are not able to change the enrollments sent from the BIONIC system.

Enrollment list

You can find out who is in your course by looking at the participant list located in the People menu, as well as the Navigation menu. Click the participants link for a list of students enrolled in your course.

illustration of People block

This lists your students, as well as other instructors and any AAs or other support staff that have access to the course. Most students will have photos–although some students may opt out of posting a photo. (Learn more about Moodle photos and Photo Rosters.)

 illustration of Moodle participant list

Within the participant list, you have several options for finding and viewing those enrolled in your class. These options are marked on the illustration above as follows:

  1. Select just those with the name or user role you want. For example, to see only those students officially enrolled in your class, from the drop down menu, select “Register Student
  2. You can narrow down the list, by selecting the first letter of the first or last name.
  3. You can sort according to First name (as illustrated above), Last name , Email addressGroups, or Last access to course.

Student Access to Courses

Moodle assigns privileges according to Moodle roles. Students sent from the BIONIC system are given a Moodle role called registered student. (We’ll talk more about roles shortly.) If you do not see students in your roster, you will need to follow up directly with the students or the Registrar to have the problem resolved in the BIONIC database.

As explained earlier, you must Make your Course Visible to Students before students will see your course site.

There are some quick ways to see if a course is already visible or available to students.  Courses that are not available to students are in a dimmed text font. Your courses appear in several locations: on your home page, in your navigation menu, and in your profile.

Adding/Removing Course Access

When students add or drop courses via the BIONIC registration system, they are almost immediately enrolled or unenrolled in your Moodle site. You can see your roster via the participants list–including photos (small or large sized).

So, what about when the participant list differs from the students that are sitting in your course? During the drop/add period there is–by default–guest access to your course site. In most cases, this will provide sufficient access for students until they officially register for your  course. If you give online assignments, discussions, quizzes, or other Moodle activities — as opposed to the readings, web sites, and similar resources discussed Adding Course Content — during the first couple of weeks of class, contact the ProDesk for help making your site available to students that are not yet formally enrolled.

Moodle will let you add or drop “auditing students” to your course via the enroll user tab. However, students coming from the BIONIC system are enrolled as “registered students”. Registered students and auditing students are very similar in terms of their access privileges. However, you cannot change “registered students” yourself; changes to students with the “registered student” role must be done via the registrar and the BIONIC system.

To add or remove “auditing students” from your course site:

  1. Open the Participant list using the People block or the Navigation drawer.
    illustration of People block
  2. Click the enroll user button.
    illustration of Moodle enroll user button
  3. Find the and select people you wish to enroll. Assign the appropriate role/privileges.
    illustration of window for select and enrolling users
  4. By default, any user you enroll will be given the “auditing student” role. If you want to assign a different role, such the “TA” role, change the role select before finding the person to whom you are giving that role. The available roles, and their associated privileges, are listed at the bottom of this page.
    illustration of selecting user role/priviledges
  5. You can select one or more users at a time. To find a user, just enter a name or email address. It works best to enter just part of a first name or last name. Moodle will find only names containing the exact character string you type, and people’s names might be listed slightly differently than expected. In the illustration below, we searched for “John” and found many name matches. One “John” is selected, and we are about to select another.
    Illustration of matches to enroll "John"
  6. Once you have enrolled the people you want, click the enroll user button.
  7. You will now see your newly enrolled users in your participant list. From here, you can assign them a different role (pencil icon, illustrated below as “1′), change details of their enrollment (gear settings icon, illustrated below as “2”), or delete them altogether (trash icon, also illustrated below as “2”).
    illustration of newly enrolled users, and addition user edit options
    Note: A user may be enrolled, but have no assigned role. That user will be able to see the course, but will not be able to participate in forums, submit assignments, or participate in other course activities.

Enable Self Enrollment

If desired, you can let users self enroll into your course as auditing students. By default, self enrollments expire after 14 days and the self enrolled user will be dropped from your Moodle participant list. To enable self enrollment:

  1. Open the Participant list using the People block or the Navigation drawer.
    illustration of People block
  2. Select the gear setting drop-down menu in the upper rightThen select Enrollment methods.
    illustration of moodle enrollment methods
  3. You will get another menu with enrollment options. Enable self-enable self-enrollments by clicking to toggle the eye icon to show.
    Illustration of where to toggle self-enrollment on

What Types of Access Rights Can you Assign? Moodle Access Roles

The table below explains the Moodle roles may be assigned using the method described above.

Teacher Teachers can do anything within a course, including changing the activities and grading students.
Non-editing teacher Non-editing teachers can teach in courses and grade students, but may not alter activities.
Course Builder Similar to teacher role, but no access to grades. Those with the Teacher role can assign this role. Teachers can assign someone a Grader role, on top of the Course Builder role, to allow grading and content editing.
Grader Allows grading, but no other special access. Those with the Teacher role can assign this role. Teachers can assign someone a Course Builder role, in addition to the Grader role, to allow grading and content editing.
TA The TA role has similar privileges to registered student, but does not show up in the grade book. Those with the Teacher or Course Builder role can assign this role. Teachers who want to give TAs extra privileges, can add the the roles of Course Builder and/or Grader.
Registered Student Registered students sent via the automated registration system. Such students are formally registered for your course and cannot be manually added or deleted.
Auditing Student Auditing Students have the same Moodle course privileges as Registered Students, but may not be formally registered for your course. Teachers and Course Builders can add and removed auditing students in courses.
Guest Guests have minimal privileges and usually can not enter text anywhere.
Unlimited test time Can be layered on top of student roles to allow unlimited time for tests. Teachers and Course Builders can add and removed Unlimited test time rights in courses.

Creating Courses with Moodle: 5. Make your Course Visible to Students

In the next unit, Understanding Course Enrollments, you will learn how students are enrolled into your Moodle course automatically via the BIONIC registration system. However, by default, Haverford courses are NOT VISIBLE to students–even those that are registered for your course.

   Students will NOT be able to see your course until you make it visible by following these directions!


  1. In course administration, go to Edit settings
    Illustration of "edit settings" in course adminstration
  2. Change Visible to Show.
    illustration of Moodle course visibility setting
  3. Scroll to the bottom and click the Save and display button.
    Illustration of "save and display" button

There are some quick ways to see if a course is available to students. Courses that are visible to students appear in redtext on your Moodle home page; courses that not visible to students are dimmed grey text font.