Also check the Known Issues page for identified problems and workarounds if your question is not listed below.

Table of Contents

Fall Gradebook User View

The Gradebook user view was changed for this Fall. Many faculty said they didn't want their students seeing all of the items listed in the user view. Instructors can customize their Gradebook to display what they want students to see. Please view the Gradebook for more information.

My Courses Have Check [ ] Boxes

Starting Fall 2017, Completion Tracking has been turned on as default. This tool allows students to see what items need to be completed and also allows instructors to quickly see which students have completed which items. To learn more, please see the tutorial.

the checkboxes are displayed on teh course home page

TeX Notation ins't working

The TeX Notation isn't working with PolyLearn (Moodle 3.3). We have added MathJax which fixed the Tex Notation equations and allows you to add additional equations with MathJax. To enable MathJax, please review the Filters page.

Links within the course not working

The text within the course page can link to Activities or Resources in the course. The Filter "Activity name auto-linking" creates links to activities. You can enable the Filter so links will appear.

Gradebook Feedback Options

The ability to provide Grades and Feedback onto the Grades sheet was added before Spring 2017.

If you would like to remove that option, please go to...

  1. In the Administration block, click on the Gradebook Setup link.
  2. Click on the Setup tab > Preferences: Grader report tab.
  3. Under General, choose NO in the Show quick feedback pull down list.
  4. Scroll down and Save changes.

I Can't Find My Questions Bank

Unfortunately question banks are not accessible between courses. Even when you Course Copy / Restore / Import the bank will not come over to the new section. You can Export and Import the bank from one course to another.

Overridden Gradebook Items

The override is created when users populated the Gradebook and not the Assignment grading space.
If you would like to quickly grade the assignment, click on the pencil icon on the right of the assignment name to view the “Single view” and grade on that page. Then Save.

Download all submissions creates folders

If you choose to download all submissions in the Assignment tool, you will noticed a ZIP file that when opened has a folder for each students' file. This creates a folder structure that supports audio feedback grading. Since 11/6, there is a new option to "download as separate folders" at the bottom of the View all submission page. So if you do not want folder, do not check the box.

Running Total in the Gradebook Doesn't Work

As long as you are using Categories (weighted mean of grades OR simple weighted mean of grades), the running total should display. Make sure that the Aggregate only non-empty grades is checked for the course and categories and check the first box for the Aggregate including subcategories. Please see the Gradebook tutorial for more information.

Gradebook averages are not correct

Each PolyLearn course shell is populated with students via PeopleSoft. When students enroll that data is sent to PolyLearn. When a student drops a course, that data is also sent to PolyLearn. PolyLearn doesn't remove dropped students from the course shells. After 72 hours from the dropped data feed, PolyLearn will add the students name to a list which allows the instructor of record to "delete" the students from the PolyLearn course shell. Until the instructor deletes these students, they will be listed in the Gradebook and will affect the activities' average.

Course Copy Wizard Doesn't Work

If the Course Copy Wizard doesn't work, the Backup and Restore tools do. First Backup the original course, then Restore the the file into the current course.

Can't edit or save copied Assignment - !

Old Assignments may have the .MPP file as a file option and will prevent you from editing or saving any changes to your Assignment. Remove the .MPP file type from the list to fix the problem.

I can't find a past course

PolyLearn will maintain two academic years of past courses. After two academic years the courses are deleted.

If you are using the Import tool and can not find the course you want to copy the files from (taught in the past), then it could be that the course is not located on that server. Using the Course Copy Wizard tool would allow you to copy course content from past years into the current quarter. For more information, please see our support site.

Problem requiring data from server

If PolyDATA is down, then courses will not appear in the My Classes portlet on the Portal. People can still access their PolyLearn courses by clicking on the PolyLearn Home link.
screen image of PolyDATA My Classes

Can't Drag and Drop / Can't Upload File

Troubleshooting tips….

1) Try a different browser.
2) Quit and Restart browser.
3) Hard Refresh - https://fabricdigital.co.nz/assets/How-to-hard-refresh-browser-infographic.jpg
4) Use the same browser (Safari, Firefox, Chrome) and clear ALL cache/cookies, quit, restart and try again.

Recommended browsers:

  • Firefox
  • Safari
  • Google Chrome

PolyLearn courses not appearing in the Portal (My Classes)

PolyLearn courses should be accessible the Portal > My Classes link. You can also look at PolyLearn course shells within the PolyLearn system. Go to the PolyLearn Home link at the bottom of the My Classes channel.

screen image of Portal Home
...once in PolyLearn, click on the My Courses link in the Info Block. The page will display a page with your courses listed by quarter in a tab format.

Info Block, My Courses

If you still can not find your course shell, then it may be that your department scheduler has not assigned you to be the "Instructor of Record" for that course in PeopleSoft. Please contact your Department Scheduler who would notify University Scheduling and the course shell will be added the next day in the morning data feed.

Number of Sections

With the upgrade to PolyLearn (Moodle 3.3) this Fall 2017, faculty can edit section numbers via the course page. Scroll to the bottom of the course sections (Topics/Weeks) to add.
Screen image of section options

The Portal doesn't show that my course is ON

When you turn on the course in PolyLearn, it will take a while before the icon in the Portal will change.
Students will not see the "p - PolyLearn" button next to their course right away.
It may take 4 hours for the- Portal displays the P - PolyLearn.
Portal, PL on

In the mean time, students can always access PolyLearn via the PolyLearn Home link.

The course name will be BOLD when it is available (Show).

This is how the name of your course appears when it is not available (Hide).
screen image of Nav bar

Students are unable to submit exams after "submitted before time" expires

If the "Close the quiz" time is set, the option for "When time expires" was defaulted to "Attempts must be submitted before time expires, or they are not counted". With this setting, students will not be able to submit their quiz after the time has expired and there will not be any questions to grade. Please make sure to use other options when the Quiz settings. Please see your tutorials for more information.

When using the File resource only one file displays

The File resourse only is set up to allow one file to be viewed, no matter how many files you upload into the tool. If you would like to have multiple files available, try using the Folder resource. In addition, files can be dragged and dropped into any content section, this can speed up your course development process by not using the file tool.

AY_2016-2017 gray bar covers top of quiz question

While creating a quiz, do not choose the "Browser Security" option. This will place a AY_2016-2017 gray bar on the top that will cover the quiz question.
browser security bar screen image

How do you merge course sections?

You can now merge your own course sections. After the course is merged, students who are not enrolled in the main course will see the "PolyLearn" button in the the PolyLean Access - You are NOT officially enrolled in these classes, space.

screen image of Portal My Classes

If the student had "waitlisted" the course during the enrollment period, they may see the "PolyLearn" button within the "WaitListed" section.

Student MyClasses channel view

Students are unable to use QuickMail

After our last update to Moodle 2.3.6, the QuickMail tool is not allowing students to email outside of their groups. This is being worked on, but in the mean time the Instructor can create a group for the whole class (including the instructor) to allow the students to use the QuickMail tool fully. To create a group for the whole class, please see the support page for groups.

My Private Files are missing in PolyLearn

The My Private Files information is located in the PolyLearn system AY 2011-2012 (last academic year). Private files in the AY 2011-2012 (Fall 2011 - Summer 2012) system can be exported and imported into the AY 2012-2013 (Fall 2012 - Summer 2013) systems. BUT, before you import all your files over, you may be interested in the NEW PolyLearn (Moodle 2.3) tools that allow you to drag and drop your files into your course as well as the My Private Files tool.

The File Picker and Private Files tools look different

The NEW PolyLearn (Moodle 2.3) sytem allows you to drag and drop files into the course and into the Private Files. The File picker for the course and Private Files is also different.

Students not enrolled in my class are in Groups and Grades

When a student drops from your course in PASS, they are suspended from the PolyLearn course. Suspended students cannot access the PolyLearn course, but their names are still listed in the downloaded gradebook file and placed into groups.

The instructor can delete these suspended students if the students has been suspended for 72 consecutive hours. Deleting these students will remove them from the course.

To learn more about this tool, please view the Users tutorial.

Downloaded Grades only shows 10 students, why?

Please view the online tutorial. If you try to open an OpenDocument Spreadsheet (ODS) file in Excel, you will only see 10 students. If you download the Grades as an Excel Spreadsheet file (CSV), you will see all the students' grades.

I can't find a block that was previously on my course page, how do I get it back?

The Settings and Navigation blocks cannot be deleted. If you can't find either of these blocks, you most likely "docked" them (other blocks can be docked and/or deleted). For more information, please see the Blocks page.

Images are SLOW to load

When placing an image on a web page your image should be only as large as it needs to be to display correctly on the page. If your image is too large (800 x 600) and you resize it on the web page editor (using something like PolyLearn), the file size is not reduced, just the image size. If you reduce the image size in Photoshop to display the correct size on the web page you can save file space/size and allow the viewers to view the image quicker. Please see the Photo Optimization page for more information.

Files can't be opened from my students

It may be that your student has uploaded a file that has an incorrect file name, such as; "l1.2 Research Document.pdf". In this case the extra period in the file name confuses the computer system and so then the computer is unsure of the file type (i.e., in this case, PDF). This problem may cause the file not to open. People sharing files outside of their own computers can prevent these types of problems by following the naming conventions as shown under the "Correct" column below:


  • Dog.doc
  • theDogRan.doc
  • thedogran.doc
  • Dog1.doc
  • Dog_1.doc
  • Dog Ran.doc


  • dog-ran.doc
  • dog&ran.doc
  • Dog#1.doc
  • dog/ran.doc
  • dog.ran.doc
  • the dog ran over the road to a field and chased the cat to the park.doc

How do I add more topic blocks/sections to my course?

By default, your course shell has 10 topic sections on the main course page. For more information, please view the Edit Settings page.

How do I add a course banner to my course?

A course banner is simply an image you insert into the first content section within the Edit Summary section of the course. To do this, follow the guide on the Support page.

I want to display the description next to the link on the main course page

This feature will be available in Moodle 2.2. We are currently running Moodle 2.1 and will update to Moodle 2.2 in the future (TBD).

How do I drop the lowest score in Grades?

You must have your gradebook set up with categories (accomplished through the Categories and items tab, see Grades). Once you have categories set up, you can drop the lowest 1-20 grades in each category. For more information, please see the Grade page.

Grades are overridden or excluded which effect the grade totals

The instructor can chose to exclude a student grade so it doesn't count against their total, but sometimes this "exclude" setting is picked on accident and effects the grade totals (less than earned). The instructor can fix the setting, please see the support page on excluded grades. It is also possible to override grades and it can also effect the grade total (less than earned). Please see the support page on overridden grades.

I can't enter grades for a category I've created in Grades

Categories are only used for organizing and weighting your PolyLearn gradebook - they cannot have grades entered into them in the Grader report. You must add a grade item to the category to enter grades into in the Grader report. For more information, please view the Grades page.

Can I upload Quiz/Survey questions from Excel into PolyLearn?

As long as you can create the questions as a GIFT or XML file, you can import them into Polylearn. Though questions from the Question bank can be exported in various formats (i.e., GIFT, Moodle XML, etc.), these formats are only intended for transferring questions to another PolyLearn course where they can be imported. The export formats cannot be edited outside of PolyLearn.

Students can't view PDFs on their iPad or iPhone

If you would like your students to view your PDF files on their iPad or iPhone, make sure to set the "Display" option of the file to OPEN. The Display pull-down menu can be found in the Appearance area of the "Update File" page. With editing turned on, click on the edit/update icon (little hand with a pencil) next to the file to get to this page.
screen image of the options area of update a file

iClicker: Can't use the PolyLearn roster

You go to Grades, then Export. Select a plain text file with tabs and download. Change the "First Name" to "Surname". Follow the iClicker guide provided by the vender.

I can't see PolyLearn courses in the My Classes channel

If you are using the IE 9 browser, you may not be able to see the PolyLearn courses in the My Classes channel on the Portal. In order to see these courses, the user can enable the compatibility mode of the browser. To do this, follow the guide on the Tech Requirements page to activate the compatibility view for PolyLearn.

I can't find the Settings block

Blocks can be docked and appear to be missing from your course page. You can undock the block so it will appear on the right or left of the course content. See the Add Blocks page for more information.

Not working, Browser issues

Some browsers are not fully supported by PolyLearn (Moodle). Most features will work in all browsers (Firefox, Safari, Chrome) but if your browser is failing for any reason, click on the Browser Checker link to see if your browser is supported for PolyLearn.

Troubleshooting tips….

1) Try a different browser.
2) Quit and Restart browser.
3) Hard Refresh - https://fabricdigital.co.nz/assets/How-to-hard-refresh-browser-infographic.jpg
4) Use the same browser (Safari, Firefox, Chrome) and clear ALL cache/cookies, quit, restart and try again. (Google for instructions)

Also, view the Tech Requirements page to see a full breakdown on supported platforms and how to get PolyLearn working in the various browsers.

The file picker in Safari will not load files

While using Safari on your MAC, you may find that the loading wheel will spin and the file doesn't ever load. If this happens you can either pick the Creative Commons in the Choose License pull-down list or use Firefox to download the file. See File Management for more information.

Students can't view my file on their iPad

The Display option for the file can prevent your students from viewing the whole file on their iPad or other mobile device. Instructors can change their file Display to allow mobile users to view the file. See Add File for more information.

Quiz: Immediate Feedback

A student can "check" their answer during the quiz attempt. Checking an answer is the same as submitting only that answer for grading. When the quiz is set to only one attempt, the student can't go back and change the answer. When there are multiple attempts, they can just attempt the quiz again knowing the right answer or at least that their answer was wrong. Even though there is a message at the end of the quiz that you can review and change your answers, checked questions cannot be changed.

Quiz check button

File upload error using Firefox on Android

When uploading a file from Firefox Mobile, the file names will be wrong. The instructor will need to rename the file after uploading it by clicking the page icon next to the file and choosing Rename. The file extension will also need to be changed as it will currently be null. Change the extension to whatever it was in the original file, such as .docx, .xlsx, or .ppt. Click Rename once the correct file name is input.

Students can't access my course

PolyLearn course shells are automatically created and unavailable for students to view. To turn the course on for students to view, set the Viability option in the Edit Settings tutorial.

I forgot my password

All users (Cal Poly faculty, staff, and students) login to PolyLearn through the My CalPoly Portal (http://my.calpoly.edu).

  • Visit the Cal Poly Password Manager if you have forgotten your My Cal Poly Password.
  • If this doesn't work, visit Password Help.
  • Cal Poly Passwords expire annually. If your password has expired, visit Password Help.

How to login

All users (Cal Poly faculty, staff, and students) login to PolyLearn through the My CalPoly Portal. Please view the How to Login tutorial for additional information.

Latest news always sends email to students

When posting to the News forum, remember that the content is immediately emailed to the student, regardless of what time frame it is addressing, so try to include a date in the topic in order to lessen the confusion over news. Since the Latest News / News forum will send email that day to students, due dates in the message will help to avoid misunderstandings on deadlines.

Forum doesn't send emails to students

Forums subscriptions will send an email for each forum post. The Instructor can set the forum to allow students to choose if they want emails or force the email subscription.
NOTE: Only Standard forum for general use: Optional or Forced subscriptions works. This bug is being addressed.

I can't delete a page from a Wiki

To delete a wiki page created by an instructor or a student, click on the Wiki activity. Then, click on the Administration tab, and an "X" beside the name of the wiki page will appear. Clicking the "X" will remove that page. See Deleting a Wiki Page for more information.
NOTE: You can only delete the page if you are currently not on the page you are trying to delete.

I can't find a file that I uploaded previously

The easiest way to find a file within your course is through the file picker. Although unconventional, the file picker will display all the files currently on the site, separated into folders according to the activity or resource that each file was added to. The downside is that you will have to blindly search through folders if you have no idea where the file is. In future versions of PolyLearn, a search function for the file picker is planned; however, at this time there is no date for when it will be implemented.

To find files via the file picker:

  1. Click Turn editing on.
  2. Click the Add a resource pull-down menu, and select File.
  3. Note: There are many ways to access the file picker; this is just one example.
  4. In the Content section, click the Add... button.
  5. On the left side of the file picker window, select Server files.
  6. Notice there are folders for each activity and resource in your site. Click the folder that you think would most likely contain the file, and navigate through any subfolders if necessary. Repeat until the file is found.
  7. screen image of course folders in file picker
  8. Once the file is found, make note of where the file is located. This is easily done via the breadcrumb trail:
  9. Screen image of a file in the file picker
    Note: The breadcrumb trail provides a "path" to the file. Using the image above as an example, the path to the Kiwi.jpg file is as follows: System, current academic term (Miscellaneous), name of the course (Dennis-Test-Course), name of the activity/resource (Wiki Kiwi), name of the section in the activity/resource (Description).
  10. If it is necessary to download the file, go to the file location (through the course site, not through the file picker) and select to edit the activity/resource. There should be an option to download the file.

Note: If the file still cannot be found, check if you uploaded it to My Private Files, as these personal files do not appear in the Server files section of the file picker. If the file is not in My Private Files, you may have accidentally deleted it, or did not confirm (clicked "Save changes") the file upload.

Students can't see my syllabus

When adding content to a resource, it is important to remember that there is a text box that is designated for resource content. If the instructor accidentally adds the content to the description text box, the students will not be able to easily see this. Therefore, make certain to add the content to the correct location in order to make it as easy as possible for the students to make use of the resource.

Import added extra content

When importing in PolyLearn, the instructor has the ability to select what is being imported. If the instructor chooses to simply import all the content, there will be some duplicate items being added. In order to clean up that content, look at the tutorial for cleaning up imported content.

Quiz results are not displayed in the gradebook

If student quiz scores are not displaying in the gradebook, it may be caused by the fact that the quiz has its maximum points set to zero. To check if this is the case, perform the following check:

  1. Click on the quiz activity.
  2. From the Activity Menu, click on Edit Quiz.
  3. Screen image for editing quiz through settings block
  4. A Maximum grade category is shown. If it is set to zero, change it to the maximum possible points for the quiz, and click Save.
  5. Screen image of setting the quiz maximum grade
  6. Go back to the main page, and click on the quiz activity again.
  7. Click on the Attempts: ## link.
  8. Click the Regrade all button.
    Screen image of the regrade all button for quiz
  9. Go to the gradebook. There should now be a column for the quiz, as well as the student scores.