A Moodle Quick Guide for Students

Moodle is our Learning Management System (LMS) that we use to organize courses at Kalamazoo College. Lately we’ve been using Moodle as a complement with Microsoft Teams.  Moodle is an open-source tool which means that the software is free to the College.  We host our own Moodle servers so we have more protection against exposing student data in places where it shouldn’t be. Here are a few topics that you’re likely to encounter while using Moodle at the College.

Instructors Utilize Moodle at Their Discretion

We’ve offered a few models to instructors, so how instructors decide to use Moodle will be up to them.  They should provide clear instructions to you on how they’re using Moodle and other platforms for course elements like readings, assignment submission, collaboration, and more.

Locating and Enrolling in Your Classes

Being a member of your Moodle course is separate from registration. Some instructors will send you a link to the specific location of their Moodle page. Some courses will require an Enrollment Key (password) for you to access them. If you haven’t received a link or a key, you can navigate on the Moodle Site Home to the appropriate department category for the quarter (Psychology, Biology, English, etc.) and find your particular course.  If you cannot find it, that may be because the instructor has not opened the course site yet.

Using Your Calendar

Moodle has a calendar feature that can help you stay organized.  If instructors have entered due dates for assignments and other activities, they will appear there.  You can sort to view individual classes and follow links to the activity inside the course.  Be careful – not all instructors use the electronic due dates so this won’t necessarily include every assignment, quiz, or forum discussion that might be due. Check the syllabus, Moodle page, or wherever all the due dates are displayed.


If you are participating in forums on Moodle, you might get email notifications about posts and replies to your posts. If you’re overwhelmed with all the communication, turn off some of your notifications. You can subscribe and unsubscribe to entire forums and threads. If you would like the full story, watch this video about Subscriptions and Notification in Moodle Forums.

Submitting Assignments

A common activity in Moodle is submitting your assignments online.  If your instructor has added a Moodle assignment dropbox,

  1. Click into the Assignment link on the Moodle page.
  2. Click on the Add Submission box.
  3. Either drag-and-drop or browse to find your file on your computer and add the file.
  4. Select “Save Changes.”

Some instructors may include a setting to finalize your work to move it from draft mode to submission for grading. If you’ve followed the process all the way, check your Kzoo email. You should receive a confirmation email that the assignment is submitted.

Finding Your Instructors’ Feedback

If you’re submitting work on Moodle, you’ll want to find your instructors’ feedback. To see your feedback:

  1. Navigate back to the assignment activity and click in again.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen past your submission to find any feedback material supplied by the instructor.  This is easy to miss!

Depending on how the instructor left feedback, you might find a file to download, a box with comments, or other options.

Grades in Moodle

There is no requirement that instructors keep their grades on Moodle. They are not official. Final grades are posted in HornetHQ. If you are trying to check grades for assignments submitted to Moodle, you can click Grades in the menu on the left. This will show you the User Report of your individual assignment grades plus whatever categories and totals an instructor might have added.

Keep in mind that not all instructors using Moodle will be using the grade calculations. They might just be entering grades and performing their own math. If you are not sure how your instructors are calculating grades, check each course syllabus or ask the instructor.

We hope this helps you navigate Moodle at K! If you’re finding other challenges or frequently asked questions, let us know and we’ll look into adding them to the page.