Blocks are utilities that live in the left column of our Moodle course pages. By default, each course comes with blocks for Settings, Navigation, Latest news, Recent activity, and Upcoming events. While a number of blocks 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.
My private files — The My private files block provides a quick link to each person's personal file repository. Read more about My private files in this article.
Quickmail — Quickmail allows you to send email messages to all students, some students or to particular groups. Read more about Quickmail in this article.
Add a Block...
To add a block, turn editing on in your course site. Locate the Add a block block at the bottom of the left column. Use the drop-down menu to select the desired block (one block at a time) by clicking on its name. 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 role 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!
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 home 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.
To have a block displayed on every page:
- Turn editing on in your course.
- Add the desired block.
- Pass your mouse over the top border of the block to reveal the editing icons associated with the block.
- Click on the Configure ... block icon highlighted at right.
- Open the drop-down menu for the Display on page types options.
- Select Any page.
- To adjust where the block appears, set the weight number—choose between -10 (top of the column) to 10 (bottom of the column). Reopen the Configure ... block page and change the weight again if the block doesn't display where you want it to.
- Save changes.