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(Last Updated On: August 17, 2019)

The layout of a Moodle course can be broken down into two types of content areas: topics and blocks. The topics appear in the main content area of the page, and blocks appear in the right sidebar.


Some faculty use topics to distinguish course meetings, weeks, units, or themes. Others use topics to group types of materials, such as lecture slides, readings, or images.

Below is an example of a topic area:

Example of a Moodle topic section

By default, each course begins with 14 topics. If you wish to add more topics:

1. Turn editing on using the green box with pencils icon in the top navigation bar.

Turn class editing on

2. Click “Add topics” in the lower right corner at the bottom of your course page.

3. Choose how many topics you would like to add

4. You can rename a topic by clicking on its name with editing on.


The content of blocks is more standardized than topics and is used to display course information, such as the class roster, calendar, blog, and a list of assignments. Faculty mix and match the use of blocks depending on how they use the topic areas. Blocks are helpful for providing quick access to key information.

Below is an example of a block:

Calendar block

To add a block

1. Turn editing on (see screenshot above).

2. Click on the 3 bar “hamburger” icon on the left of the top navigation bar to open up the sliding Navigation Drawer. Scroll to the bottom of the drawer and select Add a block.

Navigation drawer with add a block button highlighted

3. Select the Block you want to add from the menu.

A snippet of the Blocks menu

The Blocks are listed in alphabetical order. If you would like to see what the block does, try adding it and, if it is not what you are looking for, you can always delete it. Two highly recommended Blocks for all courses are the Calendar and Latest News Blocks.

4. When editing is on, you can click on the gear icon in the block to open up block settings, which provide you options to hide the block or delete it entirely.

Blocks editing menu

5. You can reorder the position of Blocks in the right sidebar up and down by clicking on the crosshairs icon to the left of the gear icon and dragging and dropping it above or below other Blocks in your sidebar.