Stay on Track with Moodle

Decorative: Moodle Logo in a cloud

In a world full of deadlines, we can always use a reminder or two. With our recent update, Moodle now has new tools to help teachers and students stay organized by tracking what work is due and what has already been submitted and graded.

These tools are available now and include the Timeline block, Upcoming Events block, and additional information in the Collapsed Topics course format.


This new feature provides a way to keep track of activities and deadlines across all of your Moodle courses. Located on the right-hand side of your dashboard (the first screen you see when logging into Moodle), this block allows you to sort by overdue or upcoming due dates (for all courses), or sort by due dates for each course.

Student and faculty view of the timeline block

Upcoming Events

The Upcoming Events block shows deadlines within and specific to a course. The block is located on the right side of the course page and displays activities and assignments that have due dates, as well as other calendar events. Users may click an item to preview details and navigate to the activity to be completed.

Detail of the the upcoming events block

Collapsed Topics: Additional Information

When using the Collapsed topics format (a Moodle course that has sections that you can toggle open and closed), users will now see additional information about the status of many activities, including assignments and quizzes. Directly from the course home page, users can see at a glance the due date, submission details and if feedback is available for a range of activities.

Collapsed topics and additional information

Remind me to Grade by

For faculty and TAs a new assignment option can now remind you when to grade submissions. To add the reminder, under the Assignment Availability settings, set “Remind me to grade by” to a date/time on or after the due date. The notification will display to faculty and TAs in the Timeline and Upcoming Events blocks.

Screenshot of how to set up Remind me to grade by

We hope these changes enhance your ability to better plan and prioritize your work. If you have questions about these or other Moodle features, reach out to your Academic Technology liaison.

Moodle 3.9: New Features, New Look

On December 14th, 2020 Clark University’s Moodle will be updated to version 3.9. The update offers new features and a brand-new look to the Dashboard


After the update, you’ll see some major changes to your dashboard

  • Recently Accessed Items: quick and easy access to your recently accessed resources and activities
  • Course Overview: A new look for your course listing, including the ability to …
    • Filter courses based on In Progress, Future Courses, or Past Courses.
    • Star courses to make them easier to find.
    • Hide courses which are no longer important to you.
    • Sort courses based on name, or last accessed date.
    • Choose how you want to view your courses – in a list, with a short summary, or with a course picture (card view).

a screenshot of moodle 3.9 dashboard

The Discussion Forum activity has lots of new features to make it easier to participate in, read and grade.

  • Individuals can now sort threads for easy reading, or ‘Star’ threads to make it easier to return to specific discussions.
  • Subscribing to individual threads in forums is now available with a quick toggle switch.
  • A basic, in-line editor allows posts to be created directly on the thread page.
  • Grading discussions is now easier than ever. Forums can be added to the gradebook, students can be graded while viewing their posts, and students can check their grades directly in the forum.
  • Forums now allow you to set Due Dates that will be added to the course calendar, and Cut Off Dates after which students can only read, but not add new posts.

screenshot of forum in 3.9

Other Features

There are so many other features in Moodle 3.9 that we can’t cover them all, but some other standouts include…

  • A lock-down browser for quizzes to help reduce distractions during exams. If you’re interested in using this feature, we recommend chatting with your friendly Academic Technologist.
  • A Zoom activity that allows you to create and embed Zoom meetings directly in Moodle.
  • The return of the Turn Editing On button for Faculty and TAs.
  • Also for Faculty and TAs, a new way of choosing activities and resources, by starring those that you use most frequently.

We hope that you love the new Moodle as much as we do, and if you have any other questions about the Moodle update, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

Saying Goodbye to Summer (in Moodle)

Five Adirondack Deck Chair in the sunset

by Flickr user Lawrence Lazare (

To comply with copyright and Fair Use guidelines, student access to Summer 2019 Moodle courses will end on September 30th.

For students, this means that your Summer 19 courses will be hidden on September 30th and that course materials will no longer be accessible. So now is the time to make backups of any assignments or resources that you may need in the future. If you require access to a course beyond September 30th, your faculty member should let ATS know in order to make alternate arrangements.

Faculty access to Summer courses won’t change. However, if you have a student finishing an incomplete that will need continued access to one of your courses, you should reach out to your ATS liaison.(Click here to find the contact information of your departmental liaison.)