1.2 A Tour of the Moodle Back End

In this article, we will first take a look at the structure of a Moodle Demo website with content. We will then look at a Moodle Demo website without content to see how it will first appear when you install Moodle.

Moodle Demo Website with Content
Here is a link to log into the Moodle Demo site with content: https://school.moodledemo.net/login/index.php


For username, type the role manager. For password, type moodle. Then click Log in. The log in takes you to the Dashboard for the Manager. If you were a student, you would see the courses you were enrolled in here. The theme being used to control the appearance is called Boost which is the default Moodle theme. We will later learn how to supplement Boost with a theme called Fordson which is a child theme of the Boost theme.


The Moodle left side menu is in the Boost theme is called the Navigational Drawer or Nav Drawer. In other Moodle documentation it is called the Nav Bar. We will refer to it by its descriptive name of the left side menu. Click on the hamburger menu in the upper left corner to hide the side menu. This will give your Dashboard more room. Then click on the Hamburger menu again to make it reappear. Click on Site Home to see the Home page.


The Site Administrator can choose to have either the Site Home page or the Dashboard appear when a student logs in. Click on Calendar to see the Calendar


Click on Content Bank to see that there is no content. You can click on Add or Upload to add content. Click on Add. There are about 40 types of content that you can add. Click on My Courses and there will not be any courses this manager is enrolled in. Click on Parent and Citizen Council to see more content plus an expanded left side menu.


Click on Site Administration to be taken to a very complex page:


On the Site Administration tab, you can manage or change the settings for Content Types, Languages, Appearance and the Front Page. Click on the Users tab:


Here you can define roles or add a new user. Click Define roles. Here you will see a table of 12 different roles.


You can add a new role by clicking on Add Role at the bottom of the table. You can also delete a role by clicking on the trash icon next to the role. Go back to Site administration and click on Courses.


Here you can add a new category or add a new course. Click Manage courses and categories. This Moodle Demo website has seven categories of courses.


To add a new course to a given category, click on the category. Then click Create a New Course. All courses must be in a category. Go back to Site Administration and click Grades.


Next click Plugins. This Moodle Demo site is not using any plugins. Last, click Reports.


There are 10 kinds of reports. Next click on the hidden Moodle menu in the upper right corner:


Then click on the Profile link.


Click on the Settings wheel to see more actions:


Then click on Grades:


Click on Messages to see messages sent to and from the manager. Then click on Preferences.


Click Event Monitoring where you can subscribe to any of several courses. In the left side menu, click Add a Block:


Click HTML. This will add a new box called HTML to the Manager profile page. Click on it to add a Title and some text. Then click Save.

This completes our tour of the Demo with Content. Now let’s take a brief look at the Demo without content. Here is a link to log into the Moodle Demo website with no content:


Type admin for the username and sandbox for the password.


This log in goes to the Home page rather than to the Dashboard. Click on the Dashboard menu item


The dashboard has lots of information. Click on Site Administrator:


There are three additional tabs called Appearance, Server and Development. Click on the Appearance tab:


This is where you can change logos, course colors, navigation and themes. Click on the Server tab:


This is where you can set tasks and email. Click Development.


Click Make Test Course to see a screen where you can create a course with several sections, activities and files.

What’s Next?
This completes our tour of Moodle. In the next article, we will review how to create a Moodle website with the Hestia Control Panel.