Glossary of common terms

This glossary defines a number of words you will see used often in discussions about Moodle - you'll find them highlighted throughout this course.

If you wish to import this glossary to your Moodle site, you can download this file of exported entries: glossary_of_common_terms_20101214.xml.

Please feel free to add new words here!

Moodle terms

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Martin Dougiamas


by Martin Dougiamas - Tuesday, November 11, 2003, 2:38 PM
Activities in Moodle are educational things to do. They include, for example: discussing a topic in a forum, writing a journal entry, submitting an assignment, or completing a quiz.
Picture of Helen Foster


by Helen Foster - Thursday, March 7, 2013, 11:08 PM

An add-on is an optional plugin for extending Moodle.

Moodle = core code + plugins

Plugins may be either standard plugins (included in the Moodle download package) or add-ons.

For the full list of available add-ons for Moodle, visit the Plugins directory.

Picture of Bente Olsen


by Bente Olsen - Wednesday, November 23, 2011, 6:34 PM

An acronym for Automated Manipulation of Strings, Moodle's translation tool located at

Think I am older now :)


by Chris Collman - Friday, May 17, 2013, 3:42 PM

A Moodle context is a place where permissions are assigned to a user (usually through a role).  In Moodle, contexts are layered in a hierachry.  Some examples: a site is the overall context; each course category is a context in the site; each course is a context in it's course category; each topic/section is a context and the resources and activities in a topic/section are contexts.   Blocks, filters and special pages are contexts that are at minimum part of the  site context.    Permissions are passed down automatically. For example, a user who has a teacher role in a course will be assigned that role when a Forum context is created.   Roles for individuals or groups can be changed in a context. This makes it possible for one user to be a teacher in one context and  a student in another. 

Picture of Jason Grey


by Jason Grey - Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 12:44 PM

Cron is an Automatic sytem in moodle that sends out messages to the system through.

  • EMail
  • Rss
  • Assignement Uploads  (This is normally for the teachers - for notifications that a student has uploaded an assignment).

For more information on Cron check the moodle docs page and your help section in moodle.

Happy Moodleing.

Martin Dougiamas


by Martin Dougiamas - Wednesday, October 1, 2003, 2:17 PM
The place where Moodle can save uploaded files. This directory should be readable and writeable by the web server user but it should not be accessible directly via the web.
Martin Dougiamas


by Martin Dougiamas - Wednesday, October 1, 2003, 2:20 PM
The dirroot is the name for the directory in which you have installed Moodle. It's a setting in config.php that must be entered correctly.
Ben talking on the phone beside a monitor

Flat File

by ben reynolds - Tuesday, March 9, 2010, 8:17 PM

Location: Flat file edit settings link in Administration > Courses > Enrolments

A flat file allows enrolment management (enrol or unenrol) of existing users in existing course. The file is read one time by Moodle then erased. The file is located in the moodle file structure as a text file and Cron provides the timing when it is read.

Dan at desk in Moodle HQ, Perth


by Dan Poltawski - Thursday, March 7, 2013, 12:40 PM
Frankenstyle is a moodle developer term which refers to the naming convention that is used to uniquely identify a Moodle plugin based on the type of plugin and its name.

You can find more information about it on the dev docs wiki.
Ben talking on the phone beside a monitor

Front Page

by ben reynolds - Monday, December 8, 2008, 10:49 AM

The front page is the initial page seen by someone reaching a Moodle site. It is not the home page for a course or classroom, but rather for the whole site.

The site settings determine which user roles can reach it. For example, the allows visitors (guests) to see it's front page and asks them to log in. A user clicking on the course is taken to the "Returning to this website" Moodle login in screen. Other sites may require a login before showing the front page.

Many functions of a front page are similar to those found in a course. The administration block will allow topics to be added to a Front Page.

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