FoxTALE Faculty: Getting Started

What is FoxTALE?

  • FoxTALE, Fox’s Teaching And Learning Environment, is the Learning Management System used at George Fox University by teachers and students to provide options for online classroom interaction.
  • FoxTALE is the open source Moodle software.  For additional documentation, see the FoxTALE Faculty Guides.     
  • What is FoxTALE?
  • Log In and Open your Course
  • Key Course Settings to Check 
  • Visibility to Students
  • Description (optional) 
  • Course Format - Weekly Format
  • Course Format - Topics Format (more flexible)
  • Force Theme
  • Weekly or Topic Summaries 
  • Labels
  • Customize the Course's Home Page 
  • Hide or Show an Existing Block
  • Move a Block
  • Add a Block
  • What Students See 
  • Edit your Profile and Change your Photo

Log In and Open Your Course

  • In your browser, go to  You may also log into MyGFU (, and click FoxTALE in the GFU Resources block.  Log in with your George Fox username and password.
  • You will see the FoxTALE login screen.  

Login Page of FoxTALE

  • Log in using your George Fox username and password.

  • You are in your FoxTALE home page.  Under Course Overview, you will see your courses.  

  • Click on a course title to open the course.  You’ll be taken to the course home page.
  • You’ll see a “bread crumb” navigation trail in the upper left.  Click on a level to navigate to that level.  The course outline and content will go in the center of the page.  This example has several course items added; your course will be empty at first.


Homepage of FoxTALE Course for Clean Theme


Homepage of FoxTALE Course for Boost Theme

  • On your course home page, it is important to Turn editing on before you can add or  make changes to course items.

  • There is a Turn editing on link in the Administration block, usually on the left side of the course home page.

                      CLEAN THEME

Administration Block in Clean Theme

         BOOST THEME

Administration Block in Boost Theme

  • After you Turn editing on, you will see a link to Add an activity or resource in the bottom right corner of each module.  (If you’re ready to upload a file, see the Quick Guide for uploading a file.)
    Adding and Activity or Resource to your Course Page

  • After you add course items, you will see icons to the right of each item.  There are icons for updating, indenting, moving, duplicating, deleting, hiding, or setting groups for each item.  In FoxTALE, hover over an icon to see its function.

Editing Course Items

click the edit drop down to see the rest of the editing tools

Editing Menu for Course Items

Here are the icons and descriptions with some of the items being accessed within a drop down menu, starting from the left:

  • Move  (four-headed arrow) - Drag and drop this four-headed arrow to move the item up and down OR click once to see a list of places to relocate within the course. If you add a new item in the wrong place, it’s easy to move it elsewhere.
  • Edit title  (pencil) - Quickly edit just the title of the item.
  • Edit (gear) - Edit settings for this item
  • Move right  (right-pointing arrow) - Indent
  • Hide or Show -  Click the eye icon to hide or show this item to students.  If you’re working on something that isn’t ready for students, you can leave it hidden until you’re ready for the students to see it.
  • Duplicate (two pieces of paper) - Make a copy of this item; useful when you’ve set up an assignment’s settings and want to use it for other assignments; also useful when you’re going to have weekly discussion forums.  Set up one forum with all of your instructions, make duplicates, and just change the question each week.
  • Assign roles  (person and plus sign) - recommend Do not use.
  • Delete   (X icon)
  • Group Mode (person) - no groups, visible groups, or separate groups.  For more information, see the Quick Guides on Groups and on Using Small Groups for Online Discussion Forums.

At any time, you can Turn editing off to hide all of these icons and see how the course site really looks.  (You can also see the student view.  Instructions are given later in this document.)

Key Course Settings to Check

One of the first things you’ll want to do is update some course settings.

  1. On the course’s home page, go to Administration > Course administration > Edit settings.
  2. You’ll see a screen that lists several course settings.
    • Required fields have a red asterisk.
    • Click on any question mark button for a description of that setting.
    • Update the Course start date if needed.  If you have chosen weekly format, this date is the first date shown in the weekly headers on the course home page.  This course start date is not the date that the FoxTALE course site opens to students.  Opening the course to students is done through the Visible setting.

Visibility to Students

  • The Visible setting controls whether your course is showing (visible) to students.  
  • When the Visible setting is set to Hide, the course is hidden to students enrolled in the course site.  The course shows as greyed out in your list of courses.  You’ll want to use this setting while you are developing your course.  
  • When the Visible setting is set to Show, students enrolled in your course are able to access the course.  The course shows as bold in your list of courses.  When you’re ready for students to see the course, be sure to change the Visible setting to make the course is visible to your students.

Description (Optional)

Write a short course summary.  Students will see this summary on their FoxTALE home page. You can also add files to the course summary. The course summary is only seen on the students FoxTALE home page and not once they enter the course.

Course Format – Choose Topics format or Weekly format

Choose the format for the course outline that displays on the course home page.  We recommend Topics format or Weekly format.  See the screenshots below.

Weekly Format

Each week has a date range that is automatically calculated, and the Course start date setting determines the starting date.  In this example, the Course start date is September 2.
 Weekly Format for Course Homepage

Topics Format (more flexible)

Each topic is numbered.  You can enter text for a summary (heading) for each topic, and this topic could include dates as needed.
Topic Format for Course Homepage

NOTE: In the Course format section of the settings, set the Number of sections for your course outline.  This sets the number of weekly or topic modules.

Force theme

The theme determines the appearance and color scheme of your FoxTALE course site:  background and border colors, heading colors, image shown at the top, etc.  By default, the Force theme setting is set to “Do not force”. This means it is set to our site-wide default of the Clean theme. Moodle supports two themes only, Clean and More.  These themes are designed to be very responsive and work well across mobile devices and all browsers.

Change the theme in the Force theme dropdown box, and save changes at the bottom to see the results.    

NOTE: It is important that you save changes! When you are done, be sure to click Save changes at the bottom of the screen.

Weekly or Topic Summaries

You can enter a title or other verbiage, known as a summary in FoxTALE, for each week or topic.  The summary remains tied to the topic or week header.  In other words, it can’t be moved to the middle of the topic module.

  1. To enter a summary for any week or topic, click the gear icon at the top of the week or topic.  

 Entering a Summary for a Week or Topic

  1.  You’ll see the summary screen.  Enter a summary, and click Save changes.

Tip: click on the text editor icon  to expand the text editor controls.

         Expanding Text Editor Controls     

  1. The summary now shows in the course outline.  You can add a summary to every topic or week.  To edit an existing summary, click the gear icon in that topic or week.

Editing a Week or Topic Summary that already Exists


A label is a block of text that can be placed anywhere in the course outline.  A label can be anything from a single word to several paragraphs of text that include images.  After a label is created, it can be moved anywhere in the course outline as needed.        

  1. In the week or topic where you wish to add a label, go to Add an activity or resource > Label.
  2. Enter the text for the label.  Click Save and return to course when you are done.         

Customize the Course’s Home Page

On the course’s home page, you can choose to hide or show some of the blocks on the left or right side.  You can also rearrange these blocks.  (Be sure that editing is turned on.)  

Hide or Show an Existing Block        

  1. To hide a block, click the eye icon in the block.  (Be sure that editing is turned on.)    
  2. If you want to show the block again, click the closed eye icon.           

Move a Block

To move a block, point your mouse to the center of the block until you see a four-headed arrow.  Drag and drop the block to move it or click on the move icon to see available locations.

Add a Block        

There are additional blocks that you can add to the course’s home page.  See the Add a blocks drop down menu, usually at the bottom right of the home page.  (Be sure that editing is turned on.)                 

What Students See/switch role

You may switch to a student’s role to see the student view.  Note that assignments won’t show you an upload button; the student view isn’t a true representation of what students see in all cases.

  1. From the course home page, Click the triangle to the right of your profile picture to see your Dashboard menu and click on Switch role to..., located at the bottom.

Dashboard Menu

  1. Select Student button

Switching to Student View Screen

  1. When done, click Return to my normal role in the same place in the Dashboard menu in upper right corner.

Dashboard Menu

Edit Your Profile and Change Your Photo

Your profile shows your photo and description in the FoxTALE environment.

For instructions on updating your profile and adding a new photo, see the article titled "FoxTALE Update your Profile. 

Questions? Contact the Service Desk | | 503-554-2569