Blocks are utilities that live in the right column of our Moodle course pages. By default, each course comes with blocks for Calendar, Quickmail, Latest news, Recent activity, and Upcoming events. In addition to these blocks that come pre-loaded in your course, you can add a variety of blocks to your site.
Your course will include these blocks by default:
Activities — Providing links to activities and resources by type, the Activities block is a very useful tool for navigating your course site. Click on Assignments, for instance, to check that all of the due dates are correct.
Calendar — Assignment due dates are automatically posted to the course Calendar. You can also add special events or other key dates to the calendar.
Quickmail — Quickmail allows you to send email messages to all students, some students or to particular groups.
Add a Block...
To add a block, turn editing on in your course. Locate the Add a block link at the bottom of the navigation panel on the left. Select the desired block by clicking on its name. (You can only select one block at a time.) The screen should refresh to display the block you have added.
Here are some of our favorites:
Attendance — The Attendance link offers a shortcut for you to take roll and see attendance reports. Students see an overview of their attendance activity to date and can click on a link to get a full report.
Comments — Adding the Comments block makes it possible for course participants to add an informal note about what they're experiencing in the course.
HTML Block — An HTML block is basically a textbox into which you can enter any information you want: post your office hours and email address, create a link to a special web resource, insert a snappy graphic — you name it!
Private files — The Private files block provides a quick link to each user's personal file repository. You can link these files to your courses: update a file in this repository and the new version will be disseminated wherever you've linked it.
NED Marking Manager — The Marking Manager provides quick access to student submissions for grading and provides an overview of student engagement. Clicking on the links provided shows you which students have not been active and reports when they last logged in. Note: The Marking Manager is not visible to students.
Read more in this guide to blocks.
Random Glossary Entry — If you have a glossary in your course, a random glossary entry block will reach in and display an entry every time a user accesses the course main page or on a schedule that you set. Entries can appear randomly or in sequence.
If you're already using blocks, there may have been times when you were in the gradebook and found that you could open up Quickmail to send a student a message. Or maybe you were looking at one quiz and used the Activities block as a shortcut to a different quiz. In both cases, you didn't have to return to your course main page in order to access the block. If you have wished for access to another block from any page, relief is at hand!
Instructors can configure a block so that it appears in every page of a course site. Blocks that are made to be "sticky" this way are available to all users (well, except the Marking Mangaer which is never available to students).
To have a block displayed on every page:
- Turn editing on in your course.
- Add the desired block.
- Click on the Actions icon in the upper right margin of the block.
- Click on the Configure ... block link.
- In the Where this block appears option area, select Any page from the Display on page types pull-down menu.
- To adjust where the block appears, set the weight number—choose between -10 (top of the column) to 10 (bottom of the column) or drag and drop it where you want it to appear after you Save changes.
- Save changes .