10 key Moodle terms explained by Moodle.com
Since some of the key terms in Moodle terminology can be intimidating for a new Moodler, so Moodle.com has published a quick list for the key terms to help newbies learn Moodle easily.
Front page or Dashboard?
The page you see when not logged in is the Front page of your Moodle site. The dashboard is what users will see once logged in, and it’s a customisable page specific to each person. The admin can decide whether to force display of the dashboard or the front page once logged in, or give users the choice.
Enrolment or Authentication?
These two terms are often misunderstood and so it’s useful to know the difference. In order to take a course on your Moodle site, a user must first log in or be logged in, and then be allowed access to the course they need to take. The process of getting an account and logging into the Moodle site is called Authentication & Once on the site, users then need to get into the chosen course and that is Enrolment.
In Moodle terminology, a Course is the online area where a teacher/instructor/educator adds the learning content for their students.
Themes provide a “skin” to completely change the look and feel of your site (or even an individual course).
Resources, Activities or Blocks?
A Resource is a static item that a teacher can use to support learning, such as a file or link, whereas an Activity requires the student to get involved (active) in the course, taking a quiz or uploading an assignment for example. Alongside resources and activities, are Blocks, which can be added to the left or right of any course page. They may also be added to the centre of the dashboard.
Moodle is provided freely as Open Source software, under the GNU General Public License. However, some people might prefer to hand over the hassle of installing and maintaining Moodle to an official Moodle services provider, known as a Partner.
In Moodle 2.9, logged in users can access essential areas of the site from a user menu accessed top right of the screen next to their profile picture.
Atto or TinyMCE?
If the admin allows, every Moodle user has a choice of editor to use when adding text to Moodle. Moodle’s default – and recommended – editor is Atto, a responsive and accessible editor which allows for image drag and drop and auto-saving.
The concept of roles is something which can be puzzling to Moodle newbies who presume that, if they are a teacher or student offline, they’ll automatically be a teacher or student in Moodle.
Cohorts, groups or groupings?
A cohort is a site or category-wide group which allows for easy enrolment of large numbers of students into courses. A group is course or activity specific. You might have a cohort of 100 Economics students and once in a course, you might wish to divide them into groups of 20 according to the tutor they have. A grouping is typically a collection of groups, although you could in theory have a grouping of only one member just as you could have a group of only one member.
A very sophisticated and powerful Moodle activity, it allows you to personalise the learning path of your students, testing them along the way, with time restrictions if needed.
Moodle.org or Moodle.com?
Moodle.org is our community site where people can download Moodle and additional plugins for free and get 24/7 support from Moodlers around the world in many languages. If you’re looking for hosting, customisation or paid support then Moodle.com is our commercial site, listing over 60 Moodle Partner companies globally.