technology tip of the month Moodling
Volume 6 (3)
By: Kevin Johnson, Michael Lindeman,
& Virgil E. Varvel Jr.


Resources and Activities in a Moodle Course

A Moodle course is made up of many different parts. These split into two different general types:

  • Resources
  • Activities

Resources are things that contain information that can be read, viewed, downloaded or used in some way to extract that information.

Activities are things that engage you to do some work based on the resources you have used.

Resources and activities have their own icon so you can directly identify the type of the content: activity or resource. In the section below resources and activities are listed with their icon.

Icons used below are from the Moodle operating system and are not the property of ION.


resource.jpgResources are contents a teacher brings into the course. These can be prepared files uploaded to the course server; pages edited directly in Moodle; or external web pages. The following resource types may be encountered in a Moodle course :

  • Plain Text pages
  • HTML pages
  • References
  • Uploaded files
  • Web Links
  • Web Pages

This page is an example of a resource that is a HTML file.


The following activity types may be found in a Moodle course [NOTE: Some activity types might not be used in a MVCR course]. Activities generally involve some form of grading, whether automatically by the Moodle system or manually by your facilitators.

  • Forums: It is here that most discussion takes place. A forum is a kind of discussion board, where students and staff can have extended conversations, question and answer sessions and so on. Forums can be structured in different ways, and can include peer rating of each posting. The postings can be viewed in a variety for formats, and can include attachments. Forum messages can even be graded by your instructors. By subscribing to a forum, participants will receive copies of each new posting in their email. A teacher can impose subscription on everyone if they want to. Try it.
  • Chats: The Chat module allows participants to have a real-time synchronous discussion via the web (text only). This is a useful way to get a different understanding of each other and the topic being discussed - the mode of using a chat room is quite different from the asynchronous forums. The Chat module contains a number of features for managing and reviewing chat discussions. Try it.
  • Quizzes: This module allows the teacher to design and set quiz tests, consisting of multiple choice, true-false, and short answer questions. These questions are kept in a categorized database, and can be re-used within courses and even between courses. Quizzes can allow multiple attempts. Each attempt is automatically marked, and the teacher can choose whether to give feedback or to show correct answers. Try it.
  • Choice (Vote/Poll): A choice activity is very simple - the teacher asks a question and specifies a choice of multiple responses. It can be useful as a quick poll to stimulate thinking about a topic; to allow the class to vote on a direction for the course; or to gather research consent. Try it.
  • Assignments: The Assignments module allows the teacher to specify a task that requires students to prepare digital content (any format) and submit it by uploading it to the server. Typical assignments include essays, projects, and reports and so on. This module includes grading facilities. Try it.
  • Journals: This module is a very important reflective activity. The teacher asks the student to reflect on a particular topic, and the student can edit and refine their answer over time. This answer is private and can only be seen by the teacher, who can offer feedback and a grade on each journal entry. Try it.
  • Surveys: The Survey module provides a number of verified survey instruments that are useful in assessing and stimulating learning in online environments. Teachers can use these to gather data from their students that will help them learn about their class and reflect on their own teaching.

ION Home | Pointers and Clickers | May/June 2005 | Resources and Activities in a Moodle Course

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