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Moodle - Student QuickStart Guide: Moodle - FAQ's

A quickstart guide for students using Moodle

Moodle -FAQs

Moodle: Frequently Asked Questions

Wardman Library Moodle Support

Table of Contents

1. General Information
2. General Moodle Questions
3. Problems with the grade book, assignments, quizzes, etc.
4. Managing email
5. Additional sources of information

1. General Information

1.1. What is Moodle?
Moodle is a Learning Management System (LMS) used to provide a web site where students can download resource materials and interact with activities established by their courses' instructors. Moodle originally was an acronym for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment, but everyone now just calls it "Moodle".

1.2. How do I use Moodle?
Users, both students and faculty, access Moodle via a web browser (Mozilla, Firefox, Netscape, Internet Explorer, etc.) on any platform (PC, Mac, etc.) with Internet access. Login to Moodle using You will need to provide your MyWhittier id as the username and password.

1.3. What if I do not have an Internet Service Provider?
Access to the Internet is provided when you are on campus.

1.4. What is the MyWhittier Account? Where do I find assistance with these services?
The Whittier College Information Technology department provides computing resources to all Whittier College students and departments.  Access requires the activation of a MyWhittier account.

Access the Information Technology Services web site ( for information.

1.5. How do I navigate within Moodle?
Moodle is organized as a web page per course, with a front greeting page. There are generally three columns on a page; the left and right columns generally offer automatically-generated information, with the large middle column used for the course content prepared by your Instructor. When the browser cursor hovers over something clickable, you will often see an informative box pop up to confirm what clicking there will perform.

You enter a course by finding its listing at the left of the screen, under My Courses, and clicking on the name. If you do not see your course listed, ask your instructor if they have made the class available to students.  If you add a class late, there may be a delay of 24 hours.  Also, some cross-listed courses may appear under a different name.

Your browser's forward and back buttons will often work fine, unless you try to resume a form submission! There is a locator sequence (breadcrumb trail) near the top left part of your screen, which begins with Poet Moodle (i.e. the Moodle front page). Any part of this sequence (save the last) is clickable, to get you back to an earlier page.

When you are finished, please click on Logout and, if you want to hide your username from the next user of that browser, exit the browser.

2. General Moodle Questions

2.1. Moodle won't let me log in. What could be the problem?
You must give the same username and password that you give to MyWhittier.  The system is case sensitive. It recognizes the difference between an upper case letter and a lower case letter. Make sure the CAPS LOCK key is off. If your problem persists, please contact Moodle support through Wardman Library or Information Technology Services. Also, see question 2.2 below, which addresses browser settings that can affect your ability to login to Moodle.

2.2. What can I do when my web browser doesn't work right with Moodle?
We recommend using the FireFox browser on both PC and Mac.  

If your problem is that only one topic is being displayed, you might have accidently clicked on the small square icon in the top right of the topic box. This causes the icon to be replaced by a double-square icon, and only that topic to be displayed, even across Moodle sessions! Just click on the double-square icon, and you'll get back to the default display of all topics (the icon will change to a single square).

2.3. Moodle doesn't list any of my classes. What is wrong?
If you logged in successfully (as indicated by your name appearing in the top right corner) but no My Courses listed, it is probable that either none of your instructors have made their courses available on Moodle yet, or your enrollment has not processed yet (should take no longer than 24 hours.)

2.4. Can I bookmark a course and access the course from the bookmark?
Yes, you will be asked to login but then you will be placed at the bookmarked page.

3. Problems with the grade book, assignments, quizzes, etc.

3.1. Are there any restrictions on the names of files that I upload or attach to Moodle?
Mostly no. Moodle does seem to have difficulty with punctuation so we recommend removing apostrophes and similar punctuation. 

3.2. I am getting disconnected while taking a quiz. What is wrong?
Many ISP's drop a user if they detect no activity for a certain amount of time. Unfortunately this can occur when you are taking a quiz, because the time spent without any interaction with the Moodle web server is considered idle time by the ISP. There are several possible work-arounds for this problem.

One work-around is to use a machine with an Ethernet connection such as the Library or Information Technology  workstations in the Library and on the ground floor of the Library.  

Another work-around is to generate network activity at various intervals by pressing the Save without submitting button.

If, however, a disconnect does occur, you may reconnect to Moodle and re-enter the quiz. You will receive a Continue the last attempt? prompt if you have resumed the quiz within the allowed time to complete the quiz.

A third work-around is for you to generate some Internet activity periodically, perhaps by manually initiating a pop-email process (check for new email).

3.3. Can I control the feedback I get while taking an online quiz?
No, because the Instructor chooses when, if, and how to provide feedback when (s)he designs a test.

3.4. How do I check grades?
You should click on Grades to see your grades in the current course, provided that the instructor allowed viewing of grades in the course Settings. Also, email may be sent to you when a grade or comment is applied to your assignment or workshop submission.

3.5. How come my grade is zero for a quiz?
This can happen if you get disconnected and thus are unable to click on Submit all and finish. If you had saved your work periodically by clicking on Save without submitting then your instructor will at least be able to recover some of your answers when the quiz's available-until date has passed, via a regrade.
You should contact your instructor to determine the best way to proceed; (s)he may allow multiple attempts, or may offer to reset your attempt so you can retake the quiz.

4. Managing email

4.1. How do I send email to other students in my course?

You can send email to an individual by clicking on that person's name in the Participants listing. This requires that your browser handle the mailto function.

You can use the Compose mail block on your course page, which will allow you to select which subset of the course participants are to be sent email. This block must have been added to the course by the Instructor.

4.2. Can I check my email from within Moodle?
There is no capability to read email from within Moodle.  At the time you activate your computer account, your Whittier College Gmail account is created. You can read your Gmail using MyWhittier. 
4.3. How can I change my email address for Moodle?
See the Information Technology Services department to learn about forwarding mail from your Gmail account.

4.4. Moodle is sending me too much email! How can I fix this?
Moodle does email forum postings to all subscribers. You can modify this behavior (when permitted by the forum's settings) by editing your user profile. Click on your name, shown at the top right of the screen, then click on the Edit profile tab. Finally, select a different Email digest type, or possibly deactivate email entirely (you then would access forums interactively to find new postings; the Forum tracking setting might be of interest).

4.5. How do I prevent my email information, etc. from being visible to all?
Edit your user profile (see previous (4.4)) to change the Email display setting.

5. Additional sources of information

5.1. What online sources are available?
Research Guides (or LibGuides) have useful pages for students and faculty.  Also, Moodle itself has contextual help popups, indicated by a yellow circled question mark; click on this icon to receive help.

5.2. Who do I contact for local support?
Send email requesting Moodle support to or visit us at Wardman Library.

Please send comments or questions to

Instructional Technologist

Kathy Filatreau's picture
Kathy Filatreau
Wardman Library

Whittier College

Tel: 562-907-4843