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Remote RSS Feeds Block in Moodle

RSS feeds are an easy way to automatically bring new content into your course from outside websites such as blogs and newspapers.  Feeds are especially useful if you want your students to be up-to-date on news or events that are relevant to your course.  The Remote RSS Feeds block can be configured to retrieve the most recent updates from multiple websites and have links and short descriptions for each post listed on the side column of your course.

  1. Turn editing on and, from the Add a block drop-down menu, select Remote RSS feeds. A new block will appear at the bottom of the right column.
  2. Click the Configuration icon (Moodle Update icon) in the new block. The Configuring a Remote news feed block page will open.
  3. If you have previously set up RSS feeds you can select a feed or feeds from the Choose the feeds you would like to make available... menu and skip to Step 8.  
  4. If you do not already see the feed(s) you wish to use listed in the Choose the feeds you would like to make available... menu,  click Add/edit feeds (below menu). The Feed page opens.
  5. Click Add a new feed. The Add a new feed page opens.
  6. On the Add a new feed page, in the Feed URL entry box, paste the URL for a feed or blog and (optional) provide a custom title for the feed, then click Add a new feed. You will be returned to your Feed page and the new feed will be listed.
    Note: Moodle will not allow you to add an invalid link, so if the link you try does not work, check again on the feed's website and look specifically for an RSS feed link (Usually found toward the bottom of most pages), or look for the orange RSS symbol (rss icon). You can also try enabling auto-discovery of feeds: Click Show more... then for Enable auto-discovery of feeds?, select the checkbox.
  7. Navigate back to your main course page, find the RSS Feed block, then again click the Configuration icon (Moodle Update icon). The Configuring a Remote news feed block page will open.
  8. For Choose the feeds which you would like to make available in this block, select which feed(s) to include in the block by clicking and highlighting the name of the feed. To select multiple feeds, hold down the CTRL Key (Command for Mac) and right click on each feed name.
  9. To configure the additional options on this page:
    • Set the Display each link's description? option to Yes in order to have a short description for each link (usually the first few sentences of a post).
    • Set the Max number of entries option. Less than 5 is recommended to conserve space on the course page.
  10. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save changes.  The main course page will open.

Troubleshooting

After returning to the main course page, if the RSS feed block is empty, repeat steps 4 and 6.  Ensure that the feed URL is valid and that feed names are highlighted on the Configuring a Remote new feed block page.