The default course in Moodle has three columns. The center column or pane contains sections for topical or weekly content. It's where you will put your web page links, assignments, quizzes, and other activities and resources. The left and right columns are filled with what Moodle calls "Blocks." Blocks may be used for a variety of purposes, including adding links, peripheral content, navigation, a course calendar, and much more. The blocks may also be entirely eliminated, or one may chose to just have one column of blocks on either the right or left side of the page.
Sections appear in the center column or pane of courses using the weekly or topics format. The number of sections displayed is determined on the course set up page under Number of weeks/topics. There is an additional section at the top of the page (course header) generally used for the course name and/or introduction. The rest of the sections in your course are identified by either their topic number or date (weekly format). You may add text and graphics to each section if you wish that will appear at the top of the section.
Entering information into section headings is really easy. And, because it's done with the HTML Editor, the process is the same as for many other entry boxes in Moodle. With editing turned on in your course, look for the edit icon menu, . Clicking this icon will let you access the edit settings for the block.
Users may add, move, delete, and modify the blocks in their course(s). With this tool, teachers may add navigation panels, RSS feeds, and all kinds of peripheral information to their course.
Turn editing on, and look for editing menu icons () in the blocks in your course. A menu will appear when you click the icon and offer several options.
The editing menu icon () allows you to configure the block settings.
The eye toggles between an open eye, and one with a slash through it, , to show if an item is visible to others or hidden. This icon is used throughout Moodle for hiding things (assignments, web pages, etc.).
The icon deletes an item so be careful clicking it. Some items, such as a configured HTML block, are unrecoverable if deleted accidentally. The the top right of the block collapses the block's content. This can be very handy if you have a long block at the top of a column, saving a lot of scrolling time to reach blocks on down the column.
Blocks may be moved to any position in the left or right columns, but not into the center pane. Move your cursor over the title bar of the block until it changes to a crosshair, click and hold and drag and drop it to the desired location.
Before going any further, you may choose to eliminate the blocks on either the left, right, or both sides of your course. To do so, turn editing on, click the edit menu button, and click the delete icon, .
The 'Blocks' drop-down menu for adding blocks cannot be deleted, but only appears to teachers when editing is turned on. With the 'Blocks' menu, you can add back any blocks you wish. If you have just deleted a block, you do have to refresh the page before adding the same block back to the page.
To add a block to your course, turn editing on, scroll down to the 'Blocks' menu located at the bottom of the left column (below the course Settings). (The 'Blocks' menu is not movable.) Use the drop-down menu to select the type of block you wish to add. The new block will appear just above the 'Blocks' menu.
To see a detailed list of available blocks, visit the Moodle Docs Blocks web page.
One special block of note is the course Administration block.
It contains many valuable links, including the 'Edit Settings' link that leads to the course setup/edit page you completed to start your course. 'Enrolled Users ' (see the Roles tutorial) will allow you to let others into your course. The 'Groups' link leads to the set up page for enabling using one course with multiple class groups.
The 'Import' link will allow you to bring material in from other courses you have on the same Moodle server. 'Reset' will clear the student data from courses while preserving activities and resources, clearing them out to use with a new class. The 'Question Bank' link takes you to your course question bank. The 'Grades' link will take you to your course grade book.
For more information about blocks: