Teaching tips and tricks

Jump to: navigation, search

Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 1.9. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version is available here: Teaching tips and tricks.

Here are some frequently asked questions about courses by teachers with some tips and tricks. Don't forget there are other pages in MoodleDocs that deal with the details of a course. The teacher category at the bottom of this page has a nice index. Forums also have a wealth of tips and tricks.

How can I force automatic course enrollment?

You can link to a course in an HTML block, using the resources drop down or indeed any other method and then use the following URL (where 999 is your course ID):


How can I embed a web page in my course?

Using an iframe in a label allows external or internal web pages to be displayed in the middle of the Moodle screen (instead of just putting a link to them)


  • Create a label
  • Display raw HTML code (use the editor button <>
  • Insert code like: <iframe width="100%" height="200" align="middle" src="http://www.google.com" border="0"></iframe>

Do I need to know a lot of HTML to use Moodle?

No. In fact, outside the above example, you really do not need much, if any, HTML. Moodle is built on the "Black Box" principle, if you do not need to know something, then you probably do not need to learn too much about it. On the other hand, if you want to know, then how far do you want to go? If you ask in the Staff Room, you will probably find two or three people will be able tell you how to do what you want to do, and if you ask nicely, they may even offer to do it for you.

How can I copy my course or part of it?

There are several ways. These methods can be used to store any activity as a template. For example, a teacher might want to duplicate an assignment for different groups that will appear under different weeks in the same course. Or take a Lesson in one course and use it in another course.

Import course data

  • Importing course data is probably the most straightforward. It brings in any other courses material by activity group. For example, you can import all of the lessons from one course you have rights to into another, but not just a single lesson.

Use backup to duplicate or copy

  • Backing up a course. Each version of Moodle has different options for backing up. The basic process in copying a course, is to create a backup and then select "new course" when restoring that backup.
    • Understand what options you DO and DO NOT need to backup, so your copy has just what it needs. For example, you may not want to see any student information or files in your new course, so don't back those up.
    • Version 1.6 backup process has lots of boxes to check or uncheck next to every activity and resource that is in the course. Version 1.5.3 has a list of activity types to select for inclusion in a backup.
    • One of the old tricks in 1.5.3 and earlier version, is to restore the old course to a new course. Then edit down the new course to just the activities you want.
    • Want the same activity in 5 courses you already created? Create a backup of a course that only contains the activity you want. Now restore that course by selecting the option "add to existing course, keep data", repeat it for every one of your 5 courses.

Here is the MoodleDoc page Course Backup that will give you more details.

Use Import or Sharing Cart to duplicate a single item

Creating a course on our website takes too long

Depending upon your connection speed, screen refresh rates can really slow the creation process. As a teacher, you might consider adding a complete install package of Moodle on your desktop as a localhost. Be sure that you have a method of restoring your desktop localhost backup to your web based Moodle. And of course, your localhost version should be the same version as your web based Moodle.

My course looked good then something happened

With the best of software, sometimes strange things just happen. For example, a list of activities does not look right. Or, you can not move things some places. All you really know is that things were working fine and then they only sort of work.

Tip: Try a backup of your course and restore it to a new course to see if that fixes things. If so you might consider restoring the backup to your existing course, deleting data from it first.

See also