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One-way Syncronisation of your Moodle Calendar with Outlook or Google Calendar

A lot of people find the calendar tool in Moodle very useful. It is a really simple way for learners, teachers and site administrators to schedule learning and training events. More details on the Moodle calendar and its uses can be found on the Moodle docs page – http://docs.moodle.org/20/en/Calendar

Okay so Moodle calendar is great but I can hear what your saying – “Ahhhh, not another calendar to keep track of!” I feel your pain so in this blog post I am going to concentrate on getting your events out of Moodle and into your Outlook or Google calendar and keeping them up to date with your Moodle Calendar.

First of all we need to find out how to get our calendar data out of moodle. To do this we can expose the Moodle calendar to the web. What this basically gives us is a URL for your calendar. The URL opens a file that is in the ICS standard which is a standard way of expressing calendar data. Now lets look at how to export your calendar in Moodle.

  1. Open up your calendar as outlined below

    Moodle Calendar

  2. Click on the “Export Calendar” button. This will bring up a screen as outlined below

    Moodle Export Calendar Screen

  3. Select the options you want and then click on “Get Calendar URL”. The URL generated is your calendar’s URL. If you open this in a web browser it will open an ICS file – this is a text file which tells another calendar program about the events in your Moodle calendar.

Next you will want to import the calendar into your own calendar system. First I will look at Microsoft Outlook and then Google Calendar.

Microsoft Outlook

  1. Go to Tools > Account Settings
  2. Click on the Internet Calendars tab
  3. Click on “Add” and enter the Moodle calendar URL.

    Add Outlook Calendar

    Add Outlook Calendar

  4. Add details about the calendar
  5. You will then see your moodle calendar as an other calendar. Opening it will allow you see your Moodle calendar side-by-side with your Outlook calendar.

    Moodle and Outlook Side-by-Side

    Moodle and Outlook Side-by-Side


  6. Google Calendar

In Google Calendar click in the Other Calendars section click on add > add by url

Google Calendar Add by URL

Google Calendar Add by URL

  • Add the Moodle URL into the pop-up box

    Adding URL to Google

    Adding URL to Google

  • Your Moodle Calendar now appears in the “other calendars” pane and is also embedded into your Google calendar.
  • Google Calendar

    Google Calendar

    Note: It may take a little while for your calendar to update. Google calendar for example can take a number of hours to show updates done in your Moodle calendar.

    June 27, 2011 In: Blog Written by: Mark Melia

    Comments

    • Tim Morrissey
      July 13, 2012

      Hi Mark
      Great post. Worked a treat. Question, Can you create calendars for specific courses in moodle, or just the site. And what is the difference between a “Site Event” and a “User Event” when you create a calendar item?

    • July 16, 2012

      Hi Tim,

      Yes, you can create four types of events:

      • Site events – these are view-able by all users – typically used by the course administrator to announce something to do with the site. Created by admins.
      • Course events – can be set in a course – typically some course event – a class outing, an assignment due. Created by teachers. Users not enrolled in the course will not see these events.
      • Group events – where groups have been defined in a course – typically an event for that group – group presentation due. Created by group members. Users not in group do not see these events.
      • User events – these are your own personal reminders. I see my events but I don’t see other user events.

      HTH,
      Mark

    • August 2, 2012

      Thanks Mark. All clear.

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