Friday, 1 December 2023, 4:22 PM
Site: Unitec Online
Course: Guide to Moodle (Guide to Moodle)
Glossary: Guide to Moodle

Course settings - Appearance

course settings appearance

Force theme - If set to "Do not force" then the default theme (which you see on the front page of Moodle) will be used. Otherwise you can choose from a list of themes.

Force language - we recommend leaving this to "Do not force". This way students can choose their own language from the language drop-down menu in the menu bar.

News items to show - if you are using the "recent news" block, then this determines how many items it will display.

Show gradebook to students - determines whether students can see the Moodle gradebook for their own grades.

Show activity reports - determines whether students can see their own activity reports in the course. Teachers can always see activity reports, no matter what this is set to.

Course settings - Completion tracking

course settings completion tracking

Once enabled, the completion tracking settings are displayed in the completion tracking page, and in the activity settings.

Course settings - Course format

course settings format


  • Topics - numbered topics appear in the middle of the page.
  • Weekly - each week (topic box) is dated based on course start date in general settings.
  • Social - the course becomes just one big discussion forum.
  • SCORM - only use this if you know what a SCORM package is and want to have your entire course just be this single scorm package.
  • OneTopic - gives tabs across the top

Number of sections - if you chose Topics or Weekly as your format, this determines the number of section/topic/week boxes you have on your page.

Hidden sections

  • Hidden sections are shown in collapsed form - sections you hide using the eye will show only the section heading to the students, they cannot see the contents of the section.
  • Hidden sections are completely hidden - sections you hide using the eye will not display at all on the course page for students.

Course layout

  • Show all sections on one page - All your topics show stacked on top of each other, with all unhidden resources visible.
  • Show one section per page - When students get to the course, they see the summary box, and each topic/week collapsed down to just the heading and anything written in the summary. Clicking any of these headings will take them directly to that topic, with forward and back arrows to get to the next/previous topics.

Course settings - Description

course description

Course summary should provide a general idea of what your course covers.

Course summary files - here you can upload a picture or some files and they will display on the course listing page.

Note - neither of these fields are required and can be left blank!

Course settings - Files and uploads

You can increase or decrease the file upload size by: Turn editing on> Administration>Edit settings>Files and Uploads

Maximum upload size - determines the largest size of file that can be uploaded to the course.  Activity modules also include a maximum upload size setting for determining the file size.

Course settings - General

general settings

Course full name is the full name of the course that will be displayed in the "My Courses" menu and block. They should follow this format:

PeopleSoftID - Course full name

eg ETEC3821 - Electrical Fundamentals A

Course short name is displayed in the navigation/breadcrumb menu. This should be your PeopleSoftID code.

Category should be the programme or department your course is in.

Visible should be set to "show" if you wish students to see, "hide" if you wish only teachers in the course to see it (ie it is under maintenance).

Course start date - ignore this, it doesn't affect anything.

PeopleSoft ID - if you want your students to be automatically enrolled into your course, make sure your correct course PeopleSoft ID code is entered here.

Course settings - Groups

You can create Groups, and add specific students to it. The purpose of this might be to give feedback to groups of students working together which is only relevant to that group.

To create Groups, first go to the Administration Block>Edit Settings>Groups. Then fill in fields. Then you can go back to Users>Groups>Create groups. After that click add/remove users to add students to your Groups.

course settings groups

We generally recommend leaving these settings as you see above.

Group mode

The group mode defined at course level is the default mode for all activities within the course. Each activity that supports groups can also define its own group mode, though if the group mode is forced at course level, the group mode setting for each activity is ignored.

Force group mode

If group mode is forced, then the course group mode is applied to every activity in the course. Group mode settings in each activity are then ignored.

Default grouping

You can choose a default grouping for all activities in the course to be available for.

Email notifications

Adjusting all email notifications from Moodle

  1. Log into Moodle
  2. Hover your cursor over your name in the top right
  3. Preferences> Message

Then you will see a long list of events that Moodle can send email notifications for. Choose which of them you wish (or don't wish) to receive by email, by using the check boxes.

When you are done, click "Save"

About email notifications from Moodle

Moodle is not an email platform. If you wish to email your students, please email them! Moodle does sometimes send email notifications of events that happen on Moodle such as:

  • a Moodle message has been received while the user is offline
  • a forum post to a subscribed forum (such as a news forum)
  • an upcoming event

These notifications sometimes fail, so they are not a reliable way of emailing your students. To email your students, send them an actual email.

Adjusting forum email digest settings

  1. Log into Moodle
  2. Click on your name "You are logged in as Firstname Lastname" in the top right
  3. Administration block > My profile settings > Edit profile
  4. Email digest type:
    • No digest (single email per forum post) - you will be emailed a separate email notification for every single forum post to a forum you are subscribed to. This can spam your email if you are subscribed to a busy forum, or many forums.
    • Complete (daily email with full posts) - you will receive one email per day with all that day's forum posts compiled on it, in full.
    • Subjects (daily email with subjects only) - you will receive one email per day with all that day's forum posts compiled on it in list format, showing only the subject lines. Click the subject lines to go to that forum post to read it (you may be required to log into Moodle to see the forum).
  5. Click "Update profile" at the bottom.

Enable JavaScript on browsers

Google Chrome

  1. On the web browser menu click on "Customize and control Google Chrome" and select "Settings".
  2. In the "Settings" section click on "Show advanced settings..."
  3. Under "Privacy" click on "Content settings..."
  4. When the dialog window opens, look for the "JavaScript" section and select "Allow all sites to run JavaScript (recommended)".
  5. Click on the "OK" button to close it.
  6. Close the "Settings" tab.
  7. Click on the "Reload this page" button of the web browser to refresh the page.


Internet Explorer

  1. On web browser menu click the "Tools" icon and select "Internet Options".
  2. In the "Internet Options" window select the "Security" tab.
  3. In the "Security" tab click on the "Custom level..." button.
  4. When the "Security Settings - Internet Zone" dialog window opens, look for the "Scripting" section.
  5. In the "Active Scripting" item select "Enable".
  6. When the "Warning!" window pops out asking "Are you sure you want to change the settings for this zone?" select "Yes".
  7. In the "Internet Options" window click on the "OK" button to close it.
  8. Click on the "Refresh" button of the web browser to refresh the page.


Mozilla Firefox

  1. In the address bar, type about:config and press Enter.
  2. Click "I'll be careful, I promise" if a warning message appears.
  3. In the search box, search for javascript.enabled
  4. Toggle the "javascript.enabled" preference (right-click and select "Toggle" or double-click the preference) to change the value from "false" to "true".
  5. Click on the "Reload current page" button of the web browser to refresh the page.


Apple Safari

  1. On the web browser menu click on "Edit" and select "Preferences".
  2. In the "Preferences" window select the "Security" tab.
  3. In the "Security" tab section "Web content" mark the "Enable JavaScript" checkbox.
  4. Click on the "Reload the current page" button of the web browser to refresh the page.

Hide my email from other students

If you don't want other students in Moodle to see your email address, you can hide it:

1. Click on your profile photo at the top-right corner, then, click the "Profile" option from the drop-down menu.  

2. Click the "Edit profile" link.

3. Select the "Hide my email address from non-privileged users" option from the "Email display" drop-down menu. (non-privileged users means students, guests, visitors. Privileged users, such as teachers and managers, will always be able to see your email address.)

4. Save your changes by scrolling down the page and clicking the "Update profile" button.

Tame your Google Gmail filter

Why I didn't receive any email from Moodle?

Unfortunately, there's no easy way for you to ensure your emails don't hit the Promotions tab. It's also unclear how Gmail decides whether an email is "promotional" or not.

Below is how to "teach" a gmail account to treat your emails as primary. 

This can be done by clicking on the email (without opening it) & dragging it to the "primary tab". You will then see a message that says:

 "The conversation has been moved to "primary".  UndoDo this for future messages from "email address x"?Yes"

If you click yes, all future emails from that address will go to the primary tab.

This will certainly work for each individual who does it, I.e.. Each person who does it, their gmail account will always send your emails to the primary tab.

Why am I not getting emails from Moodle?

If you are a teacher, but your Moodle profile email is not the one you are using now, then you should change it to the right one. 

If you are a student, our Moodle updates your profile every day according to your Unitec Student Portal data. you should NOT change your email in Moodle, because of the change will be overwritten by PeopleSoft overnight. So please change your email here:, then wait for the next day to see your Moodle email updated.

If it is the right email but you didn’t get any email from Moodle, they might land into your Junk mails or Spam folder. Follow the link below to the guide of how to tame Gmail. Hotmail and other Email Apps should be similar.

Another possibility (unlikely) is that you had turned off the Moodle notification at some stage. Follow the link below to the guide of how to turn it back on: