How to communicate with my professor?

Communicating in Moodle

There are several ways for you to communicate with instructors and fellow students in Moodle. These are refered to as communication tools and they include:

  • Forums
  • Quickmail
  • Email List
  • Messenger
  • Chat

The Chat feature works very much the same as standard chat rooms. However, it isn't one of the most commonly used tools in moodle. For more information please ask your instructor or contact the ISU help desk.


Moodle Forums act very much like a bulletin board or an in class discussion. Because this is a very popular tool it is likely that you will be asked to use it at some point in your education. Please remember that all correspondences within the forums are open for the other participants to see. If you want to send a private message to your instructor, use either the quickmail or the messenger.

Before we learn about using Moodle Forums an explanation of the layout of forums might be helpful. The following graphic will help you to see how the forums are organized, what the different areas are called and how they are used.

Forms Chart

There are essentially three skills that you will need to successfully use the forums. You will need to know how to read a posting, reply to a message, and add a new topic. Obviously there are more skills and scenarios that may require different things from you but these basics will help you get started.

    1. Reading a Posting - To read a posting, navigate to the forum that the posting is in. Locate the posting within the topic, click on the title and read the information.
    2. Replying to Postings - To reply to what you read, use the 'Reply' link at the bottom-right of the message. You will then be able to type in your reply and you will have the option to post a file with your reply if needed. Please note that all Moodle classes have an upload limit. Typically this limit is 20 MB. The file that you attach cannot exceed this limit.
    3. Adding a New Topic - New topics can be added to Forums but please remember that adding a new topic is not the same as replying to a prompt. To add a new topic use the "Add a new discussion topic" button at the bottom-center of the forum page.

As you progress through your course, you may notice that you are receiving emails of every forum posting. This is because you are subscribed to the forum. It is possible to reduce the number of emails you receive by changing your Moodle profile.


If your instructor has allowed you to use Quickmail, you will see a block on the homepage called Quickmail. Using this area you will be able to send an email to anyone in your course. Remember that these emails will go to the recipient's ISU email (outside of Moodle). When they respond to you the message will go to your ISU email.

Email List

If your instructor has allowed you to use the Email List, you will see a block on the homepage called Email List. This tool allows you to email your instructor or fellow students inside of the Moodle environment. These emails will not send to your ISU email. You will have to log into your Moodle course to read emails sent using this tool.

Moodle Messenger

The Messenger Tool can be used to send a message to members of the ISU Moodle community. This means that you can search for and send messages to people outside of your class. If your instructor has allowed it, you will see a Messages block on the homepage of your course. From this block you can send or view messages. When someone sends you a message a pop-up window will appear with their name in bold. To view the message, click on the name. (If the message is sent when you are not logged onto Moodle it will forward to your email account.)

Within the Messages window the tabs will allow you to view your contacts, search for someone, or change your settings. You can use the Contacts tab to see who among your contacts is online or offline. Offline means that the person is not currently logged into Moodle. The Search tab can be used to find someone who you want to send a message to. Under the Settings tab you can change various options including:

  • receiving automatic notification when you get a new message
  • blocking messages from people not on your contact list
  • sending messages to your email when you are offline


For more information please visit these sections of the ISU Student Guide to Moodle (Guide within Moodle):

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