Teaching with Technology

Information Technology


Moodle is Reed’s learning management system, and provides a good centralized location to store all the information and activities students need for your class.

When you are working on your Moodle page, remember to turn editing on to see all the options.

Request a Moodle page | Questions? moodle@reed.edu

Reed-specific Moodle options

E-reserves - Electronic course reserves requested through the Reed Library are linked to your Moodle course page and provide an easy way for students to access course readings. The Library takes care of all scanning and copyright clearance for requested reserves. When requesting a Moodle page, please be sure to let us know if you plan to use e-reserves, and reach out to the reserves team in the library with your requests. E-reserves can be edited throughout the semester if your reading lists change.

Media library - If you are creating videos for your course that you would like accessible through Moodle, let us know when you request your Moodle course page. We will provision a media library for your course on our media server, Panopto. For the best student experience, please do not store large media files in Moodle.

Organizing your Moodle course page

Structure - Moodle course pages can be organized by week or by topic. For either type, you can rename the sections. In a weekly format, Moodle will highlight the current week. Add another week or topic by scrolling down to the last section and selecting “add weeks/topics.”

Hiding materials - You can hide individual resources/activities or entire sections from students. This can be useful if you are still editing content, or if you want content to be visible to students later.

Descriptions - Every resource or activity has an optional description. You can choose to have this description appear on the course page to provide further information about resources and activities.

Labels - Use labels to add stand-alone text or media to your course page. Labels can be as simple as a horizontal line to break up a section, or you can use them to embed images or short videos students will see as soon as they open your course page.

Pages - If you have a lot of text or links to organize, you can create a separate page to store the information.

Blocks - Blocks are special content areas. You can add a variety of blocks, such as a list of recent announcements or upcoming events, to your course. You also have the option of adding an HTML block with useful links or text. Because blocks appear at the bottom of small screens, we recommend including only supplementary, non-essential information in blocks.

Course Visibility - In general, your course is made available the Friday before classes start, or you can arrange a time with us to make it visible before or after this date. You are also welcome to make the course visible when it's ready for your students. To do so:

  1. On the main page of your course, go to the left navigation menu. Under "Course administration," click on the “Edit settings” option.
  2. On the Course Settings page that opens up, change the “Course visibility” option from “Hide” to “Show.”
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page, and click the “Save and display” button.

Commonly used resources and activities

Announcements - By default, every Moodle course page has an Announcements forum, which provides an easy way to communicate with students. Messages added in the Announcements forum are automatically sent to enrolled students via email, and past announcements are always accessible to students in the forum.

Assignments - Use the assignments activity to collect files from students. The Moodle Assignment documentation can help you to get started; contact us with any questions.

Collaborative annotation - We have enabled Hypothesis, a tool for collaboratively annotating PDFs, in Moodle. Reed faculty who have used Hypothesis report that collaborative annotation supports close reading, helps with comprehension, and allows for rich asynchronous discussions of texts.

Files - To share files with students, drag and drop files from your computer into any section on your Moodle page. You can also organize files into folders for easier download.

Forums - Use forums to facilitate asynchronous discussions among students. For more on forums, visit the Moodle forum documentation to get started; contact us with any questions.

Quizzes - Moodle quizzes allow a variety of question types and automatic grading. Check out the Moodle quiz documentation to get started, and contact us with any questions.

URL - You can add links using the Moodle text editor; if you want to highlight a particular external resource, such as a Google Drive folder, use the URL resource.

H5P Content - With the H5P plugin added to your Moodle page you are able to add a variety of interactive content to your Moodle pages beyond what is offered on a basic Moodle page. Read more information on how to create H5P content.

Groups in Moodle

If you have content you want to make available to specific groups of students, our staff can create Groups in Moodle and restrict access to materials based on group membership. The most common use of Groups is to separate students into sections, if you are teaching multiple sections of the same course. (In this case, membership is initially defined by the registrar’s records, but can also be manually edited if needed).

Media in Moodle

Large media files can be stored in our media server, Panopto, and linked or embedded in your Moodle course page. We can help you create and embed a playlist of videos or set up a  video assignment (dropbox) for students to submit media assignments.

You or your students can also record and post short (two-minute) video and audio within Moodle using the Atto text editor.

Questions about using Moodle? Contact Instructional Technology Services at moodle@reed.edu .