Getting Started with Moodle



Moodle is software designed for use in online courses.  Students can chat, upload assignments, read the course calendar, check their grades, participate in polls, download readings and many other activiites.

Moodle is used for nearly all of the online courses taught here at Capilano University. Occasionally instructors who are teaching face-to-face courses will also use Moodle as a teaching and learning resource for marking or for submitting assignments.



STEP ONE: Finding and Getting Started with Moodle

1. go to the Capilano main website here (or use the QUICK LINK above)

2. click the link ‘Current Students’ (top left)

3. click the link to ‘Moodle’ (on the left navigation menu about half way down, under the “Log In” heading)

4. enter your username and password (webmail ID and PIN) in the login area or click on “Log In” on upper right to bring up the login screen.

STEP TWO: Troubleshooting Problems with the First Login

If you CANNOT log in successfully to Moodle:

  1. Are you logging in with the correct username and password? 
    Your username should be in the format firstnamelastname (e.g., johnsmith)
    Your password was initially set to your 6-digit PIN which is your birthdate in the format MMDDYY.  You may have changed this.

  2. You have the correct username and password and still cannot log in to Moodle.
    Log into the Student Web Services and reset your password (click for instructions on how to reset)
  • If you cannot login to Student Web Services or Moodle, or the password reset did not work, your password may have expired.
    Please contact IT Services for help with your account


STEP THREE: Finding Your Course in Moodle

1.After logging into Moodle you will need to enroll yourself in your course Moodle website. Your instructor should have given you an “Enrollment Key”–a password that allows you to enroll. Search for your course by clicking on “All courses” on the lower left of the front Moodle page.

2. Find your course searching by prefix (ENGL, for example), course number (100, for example), and section number (30, for example).

3. Click on the class and enter the Enrollment Key when prompted.

4.You are now registered for your course. All of the Moodle courses for which you have successfully registered should appear in the left column of our course Moodle page.

STEP FOUR: Orienting Yourself in Moodle

When you arrive at the front page of our Moodle course site you’ll notice that there are three columns: left, centre, and right.

Different instructors will set up their Moodle course pages differently. However, there are some general standards for each column.

LEFT COLUMN: displays all of the Moodle courses you are enrolled in as well as your current profile (information about yourself seen by your instructor and other students)

CENTRE COLUMN: this column often contains a welcome message and usually the title of the class. Scrolling down the page you will see information about the course, that may vary from instructor to instructor.  Some common items might include the course calendar, a listing of dates, readings, and assignments, or areas for downloading and uploading assignments.

RIGHT COLUMN: displays upcoming events, assignment due dates, and recent changes to the Moodle site, whether new conversations or new assignments.  Its easy to see who is currently on the site with you or who has recently been on the site using the boxes and tools in this column.  You can also edit your profile using tools in this column.

STEP FIVE: Setting Up Your Profile

The first thing you’ll need to do is set up your profile: basic information about yourself, including an identifying picture or image.

1. On the right column of the front page click on “My Profile Settings”

2. Directly underneath it click on the “Edit Profile” link.

3.  Fill in those boxes with a red asterisk/star next to them. These are the only required parts of your profile. The other information is optional. There are several Moodle sites on campus but ours is only available to our class. The general public cannot access our course Moodle site. With that in mind fill in as much of your profile as you are comfortable sharing with others in our course. Fill in the e-mail address you will check most frequently thoughout the term. It does not have to be your Capilanou U. e-mail account, but it must contain your last name in some way.  For instance, “”, if “Smith” is your last name, would be acceptable. However, “” would not be acceptable.

5. Click on the “Forum auto-subscribe” window. Change it to: “No: don’t automatically subscribe me to forums”

6. Scroll down to “User Picture.” Upload an image  that you would like to use throughout the term.  This can be a portrait or any image we can associate with you.  No brand names allowed, thanks.

7. When finished click “Update Profile” at the bottom of the page.

STEP SIX: First-Day Assignments

1. On the front Moodle page for our course, complete the “Student Information Sheet Assignment”.  Click on the link for details about how to complete the assignment and where to upload it on Moodle.

2. If there is a “Digital Classroom Questionnaire” assignment on the Moodle page, you should go ahead and complete that as well.  This is a short survey about your use of technology as a student.




The remainder of this tutorial is for students enrolled in mixed-mode (on-line) courses. If this is you, continue on. However, if you are enrolled in a regular “classroom-meet” course, then please STOP HERE.





STEP SEVEN: Navigating Through Moodle

One moves from page to page through Moodle the same way one uses an Internet brower: with the forward and backward arrows on the upper left corner. Moodle, however, offers an additional option for moving around the site on the upper left hand of every page (see red arrow on the image below). Clicking on the different “steps” moves you backwards and forwards through the site.

Finally as you move around the site, particularly the middle column, make note of the small icons or images directly to the left of the written text (see below).

Each icon/image represents a different kind of actvity or bit of information, from conversational spaces (what Moodle terms “forums,” represented by an icon of two small people, as in the above) to folder files (where you will retrieve documents needed for a given class assignment) to real-time chat windows.

STEP EIGHT: Useful Locations and Links inside Moodle

“Participants” (left column): shows who is present in Moodle at any given time and when they last logged in

“Student Forum” (centre column, top): “A forum for students to post general class announcements, ask questions or post comments about the course, or to make others aware of their Moodle comings and goings.”

“Course Materials” (centre column, top): a file that contains an electronic version of the course outline and, on occasion, other important course documents

“Course Assignments” (centre column, top): a file that contains documents needed to complete assignments

“Course Readings” (centre column, top): a file that contains longer essays and readings

“Calendar” + “Upcoming Events” (right column): keep track of upcoming due dates or projects


STEP NINE: Uses of Moodle and Class Format

If you are enrolled in a regular course, Moodle can be a good resource for uploading + downloading documents, readings, and other materials. It’s also a place to pose questions or get information between class meetings.

If you are enrolled in a “mixed mode” course, that is scheduled to meet online from time-to-time, you will also have class meetings in Moodle. On days class meetings are scheduled you should plan to meet in Moodle (that is be on a computer) during the entire scheuled class time. Moodle work is not done on your own schedule, but according to the schedule alloted for our class in the university course calendar. Please make arrangements as needed (find an available computer, etc.) to be present at those times. Moodle absences count as class absences.

Please feel free to contact me with any other questions or comments you may have about Moodle.

For additional Moodle support students can contact the Computer Learning Centre: Room LB128, Phone: 604.986.1911 local 3459, Email: