Collaborative Learning Environment (CLE) Overview

This article provides an overview of the CLE, its function for instructors and students, training resources, and answers to frequently asked questions. 

Reading time: 4 minutes 

CLE introduction

The UCSF Collaborative Learning Environment (CLE) is UCSF’s space for online teaching and learning. The CLE is built on the Moodle platform, which is an open-source learning management system (LMS) used by many educational establishments around the world. It integrates with complementary systems, including Media@UCSFilios, and Class Capture.

CLE for instructors

The CLE empowers instructors to manage their teaching effectively. It allows instructors to: 

  • create an online course
  • share course materials
  • add assignments
  • grade assignments
  • provide assignment feedback
  • communicate with students 

CLE for students 

The CLE supports students with learning management needs. Students can: 

  • access online courses
  • submit assignments
  • view assignment grades
  • view assignment feedback
  • communicate with classmates and instructors

CLE training resource: 

1: Foundations in the CLE by the Learning Tech Group. The Learning Tech Group provides support and training for the CLE and works closely with the development teams to keep the systems updated and running smoothly. The Learning Tech Group also designed a self-paced online CLE training course: Foundations in the CLE. Click here to enroll in this self-paced online training.

2: Moodle provides useful documentation and guides for Moodle users. Learn more by visiting, then navigate to documentation.

3: Learning Moodle 3.8 on LinkedIn Learning. UCSF provides free LinkedIn learning access for faculty and staff. Log in through Single-Sign-On and get started!  




How do I request a CLE course?

CLE course shells are created by the category manager in your school or department. Please contact your category manager to request a new course shell, or contact CLE support.


How do I make a CLE course available to students?

By default, new CLE course shells are not visible to students. Once you have completed your development, follow the steps below to open the course to students:

  1. Navigate to the CLE course you would like to make visible
  2. From the gear icon at the top-right, click the Edit Settings link
  3. In "Course Visibility" change the drop-down menu to Show
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save Changes
You will notice that the course name in the Navigation block and breadcrumbs will turn from grey to blue - indicating the course is now available for students.
How do I import/copy a CLE course to use next quarter?

To import/copy content from one CLE course to another, you will need to have the Instructor or Manager role in both courses.

Follow the instructions below to import/copy content from one CLE course to another.

Please note: user data will not be copied over in a course import. If you wish to import user data, contact a Learning Tech Specialist. 

  1. Navigate to the new CLE course you want to import content into
  2. Click the gear icon located toward the top right of your course
  3. Click Import
  4. Search for and select the course you wish to copy content from (use a simple search, like the course short name), select the radio button next to the course name, and then click Continue.
  5. Check the boxes next to the type of content you wish to copy (you can leave all boxes checked, though filters are rarely used in CLE courses) and click Next.
  6. Check/un-check boxes next to the specific activities and resources you want to import – just leave all boxes checked if you are importing the whole course. Click Next when done.
  7. Follow the continue/next prompts - you will see the progress of the course import which can take a few moments, depending on the size of the course. You should see the “Import complete” message when the process is done.
  8. Click Continue to return to the course.CLE_01-01_Overview_08.png


What can I add to a CLE course as an instructor?
You can add assignments, resources and assessments. Click on these links to learn how to add assignments and create quizzes.
What should I do if I cannot play a video in a CLE course on a PC?
The video is likely not playing because QuickTime is no longer installed on your PC. To play the video, try the following:
  1. Open the Firefox browser to play the video
  2. OR install the VLC player, download the video file, and play locally from your computer

We also encourage you to report this to the Faculty of Record so they can move the media to Media@UCSF to avoid this issue in the future.


Have more questions? Contact us