Add Blocks

Blocks are items that may be added to the left or right column in CourseSpaces.  Blocks add extra funtions to a course, such as a calender, a remote news (RSS) feed, or a Twitter feed.

Adding a block to a page

Blocks can be added to a page by turning editing on then using the 'Add a block' drop-down menu. Once they have been added they can be dragged and dropped to the appropriate location in the course sideblocks. A block can be set to only appear within a resource or activity as well.

Available blocks include:

Activities

The Activities block lists and allows navigation between the different activities available in your course (Forums, Quizzes, Assignments, Lesson module and so forth). The activities list will grow as you add activities to your course. Therefore, the first time you enter your course, the only category that is listed is Forums. This is because one forum exists by default – the news forum.

Whenever you add a different activity or resource to your course, an icon will appear in this block representing the specific Moodle module. These icons will link to a list of all instances of that module's activity that appear throughout the course.

Calendar

The Calendar block displays the following events:

      • Site (event viewable in all courses - created by admin users)
      • Course (event viewable only to course members - created by teachers)
      • Groups (event viewable only by members of a group - created by teachers)
      • User (personal event a student user can create - viewable only by the user)

Comments

The comments block can be added to any page to allow users to add comments.

Course Menu

The comments block can be added to any page to allow users to add comments.

Course/site summary

The course/site summary block provides a summary and/or description for your course as contained in the summary text of the course settings.

Courses

The Courses block lists and allows navigation between all of the courses in which the logged in user is enrolled in. The block title shows as "My courses" and allows one-click access to a course's home page.

Feedback

The Feedback block may be added to courses to provide a quick link to global feedback activities which have been set up from the front page.

HTML

A HTML block is a standard block used to add text, multimedia, widgets etc to a site front page or course page. The title bar may be left blank if desired.

The block is flexible and can incorporate a variety of functions and uses in the content area. It has the standard Moodle Text editor for formatting text, adding images or creating links, switching to code view and allows any valid HTML mark-up to be used. This enables embedding video, audio, and other files which can add unique elements to a course.

Latest news

Recent posts made in the News forum are displayed in the Latest news block, along with a link to older archived news.

By default, the Latest news block displays 3 news items. This may be changed in Settings > Course administration > Edit settings

Logged in user

The logged in user block displays certain information about the user who is currently logged in to the course. The information which is displayed can be selected by the course teacher by clicking on the "configure" icon of the block. A number of dropdown boxes then appear for the teacher to choose which items will appear.

Messages

The message block displays a list of new messages you have received, with a link to your Messages window.

Online users

The Online users block shows a list of users who have been logged into the current course. The list is updated every 5 minutes but it does not necessarily mean that this user is still online.

      • If you hold the cursor over somebody's name, you will see how long ago that person was last "seen" in the course
      • If you click on the envelope icon next to somebody's name, you will be able to send a private message to that person (using the messaging system)

Note: If separate groups are enabled in a course and this block is added onto the course page, only members of the group will be displayed in the list.

People

The People Block contains a link to the list of participants associated with that course area in various roles.

The participants' profiles are available by clicking on their name or picture. It's possible that some participants may be uncomfortable with that (or that staff may be uncomfortable on their behalf). As well as emphasising the benefits of social presence, it may reassure them to know that, if they prefer, they can configure their profiles to hide their email address.

The list of participants can be sorted by first name, surname, city, country and last access. There is a pull-down menu which can filter the list for a specific role.

Quiz results

The quiz results block displays the highest and/or lowest grades achieved on a quiz within a course. There must be a quiz in the course to correctly configure this block.

The edit icon link allows the teacher to choose a quiz from a drop down menu which will display the results.

There are other options such as the number of the lowest and highest grades displayed. If both the highest and lowest grades are set to zero then no results will be displayed. To display all grades, set either of these to the number of participants in the course.

Grades can be displayed as percentages, fractions or absolute numbers.

If the quiz supports groups you can also show group results instead of students.

Random glossary entry

The random glossary block can be used to display random entries from a glossary, which usually take the form of dictionary style definitions. However the flexibility of Moodle's HTML editor allow users to adapt this block for other purposes such as 'Quote of the Day' or a random picture gallery that changes each time the page is refreshed.

Before using the random glossary entry block you have to configure it using the edit icon.

Remote RSS feeds

The RSS feeds block enables RSS feeds from external websites to be displayed within the course. As the information on the other site (for example, news headlines or recently added documents) is changed the block will update to show the latest information.

One or more RSS feeds can be added to a course by selecting them from an existing list. Site and course home pages are common places to place an RSS feed block(s).

Search forums

The Search forum block allows you to search the course forums for a word or phrase. Type the word or phrase you want to find in the text field space.

For basic searching of one or more words anywhere in the texts, just type them separated by spaces. All words longer than two characters are used. If you want to use advanced search options you can move to the Advanced Search page by clicking Advanced Search in the Search Forums block.

Self completion

The self completion block provides a link for students to declare that they have completed the course. This maybe part of the Course completion requirements.

When a student believes they have completed the course, they click on the "Complete course" link in this block

Upcoming events

The Upcoming events block displays future events in a summarized list. Events are generated directly from the calendar and/or activity deadlines, providing a link to full details or directly to the activity.

There are also links to Go to calendar... and add a New Event....

If you click on a date, you will go to the day-view calendar for that day. If the title of the event is a link, and you click on it, you will be taken to that event.