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A Quick Tour of Moodle for Students

This page provides a quick introduction to Moodle in the Cloud, a Learning Management System (LMS) at UMass Amherst used to deliver course content and host online learning activities.

Log In and Log Out of Moodle

  1. In your web browser, navigate to Moodle:
  2. In the Login block, click Log in with NetID. (The login button is at the top-right corner of a large screen, but on your phone, you may have to scroll down to find it.) The UMass Amherst Web Login page opens. 
    Note: Do not bookmark the Web Login page. To bookmark Moodle, use
  3. Enter your NetID and password and select the arrow ( login arrow ) or press enter/return on your keyboard. You should see your name and Moodle avatar in the user menu at the top-right corner of the page. 
    Note: Links to help with passwords are on the Web Login page. Students and TAs who cannot log in to Moodle should contact the IT Help Center.
  4. In the user menu at the top-right corner of the page, click Log out to log out of Moodle.
    Note: Be sure to quit your browser after you log out, especially if you are using a public or shared computer. This ensures that no one else can access your Moodle account.

Find Your Courses

Once you log in, select the Navigation tray toggle (hamburger menu , top left), Navigation tray opens. From the Navigation tray, select My courses to find links to your current courses. 

Accessing current courses using My courses from the Navigation tray (click to enlarge)

If you log in and do not see your course in this block:

  • The course may not yet be open to students, so be sure to check again after the first day of class, or ask your instructor.
  • Not all classes use Moodle. Check your course schedule in SPIRE, and click the "LMS" icon ( SPIRE LMS icon ), if available, to go to the correct Learning Management System.

If you are still having problems, contact the IT Help Center and notify your instructor so that we can help you and keep track of Moodle issues.

A few additional ways to get to your Moodle courses :

  • Select the Navigation tray toggle (hamburger menu , top left); Navigation tray opens. Select Home to navigate to your Moodle home page and locate the My courses block (on the right, under the user menu) to find links to your current courses.
  • Select the Navigation tray toggle (hamburger menu , top left); Navigation tray opens. Select Dashboard (speedometer icon) to go to a personal homepage for all your courses. Simply select any course title to open the course. This page also lists upcoming deadlines.


From the Navigation tray, select Dashboard to view an overview of upcoming deadlines in all your Moodle courses. This page lists all of the courses you are currently enrolled in and allows you to quickly navigate to new assignments. You can also customize this page and add additional blocks to the right side, to help you stay organized.

Typical Course Layouts

Courses in Moodle are usually organized in two or three columns. These columns contain the Navigation tray, blocks that are often customizable, and topics where your instructor posts content and assignments for your course. 

Three-Column Layout

In most courses on a laptop or desktop computer, you'll see a three-column layout. The center column is where your instructor posts information about the course, links to resources and assignments, and any other activities you'll be doing in Moodle. This main course content is contained in expandable Sections which may be organized by week, or by topic.

You can use the Navigation tray (on the left side) and Blocks (on the right side) to navigate in Moodle, see upcoming assignments, see calendar, link to library resources, and more, depending on what your instructor has added to the course.

 (click to enlarge)

Two-Column Layout

On occasion, you may see a course page with a two column layout. This works exactly the same as a three column layout except the Navigation tray is toggled in. Select the by selecting the Navigation tray toggle (hamburger menu , top left) to toggle out the Navigation tray.

 (click to enlarge)

Mobile Layout

On smaller screens such as a phone or small tablet, the page layout rearranges for easier viewing: Blocks (Resources, Activities, Calendar, etc.) move to the bottom of the screen below the main course content. Select the Navigation tray toggle (hamburger menu , top left) to open the Navigation Tray

Tips on Submitting Work

  • Submit assignments on time. In Moodle your instructor may close assignments and not allow late submissions, so don't expect to be able to electronically submit an assignment past the deadline.
  • Look for a confirmation screen to make sure your assignment is submitted. (This might look different depending on the kind of assignment.)
  • Know which file formats your instructor will accept (.pdf and .doc are usually preferred).

View Grades

View GradesVia the user menu, you can access grades once activities have been graded and released to students. Click the name of the course you wish to view grades for. For more information, see View Grades and Track Your Progress in Moodle.

Some activities, such as Assignments, also display released grades on the activity page.

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