Course homepage

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 2.0. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version is available here: Course homepage.

Standard view of a blank course

Our examples will be for a course homepage that is the standard default for a new install on a site. There are many course options that determine a course's appearance and make it look very different from our examples. The example course has a header, a footer (both content largely determined by a theme) and 3 columns in the middle.

Here are basic elements of a course page and links to Moodle documentation.

Example of Weekly format, teacher view, edit off - full resolution here

Parts of a course homepage

Using the above image, here are the parts of a typical course homepage. It is possible to move and hide parts of the page and different themes display blocks in different regions, so not all courses will look like this.

Column left Course sections - Center Column right
*1 Course full name *6 Section header & News topic *9 Login information
*2 Navigation bar *7 Current week - First section *10 Turn editing on button
*4 Navigation block *8 Future week - Second section *11 Latest news
*5 Settings block *14 "Show only this section" *12 Upcoming events
*15 "Switch role to" *13 Recent activity
*16 User profile settings
*17 Site Administration

Moving elements on your course's homepage

There are some variations in how you move things around on your course's homepage. Moving whole Blocks (the regions to the side(s) of the screen) is different from moving Sections (the central stack of regions in Topic or Weekly format where the main content is displayed) or their individual resources and activities.

To move a Block

Blocks appear at the side(s) of your course area. To move one,

  1. Turn Editing On and *click and release* the Block's crossed arrows icon. Place holders - zones with a dashed border - appear on the screen indicating the possible areas where your Block can appear.
  2. Click the placeholder where you want the Block appear. On course area homepages, you can move Blocks from one side to the other, but not into the middle.
  3. The block should now appear in the location you chose.

To move a Section

To move a Topic or Week section:

  1. turn editing on
  2. click the up or down arrow to move the section

To move a Resource or Activity

To move an individual Resource or Activity within or between sections:

  1. click the up/down arrow
  2. Empty boxes will appear and your chosen item will temporarily disappear from view.
  3. Click into an empty box where you want your item to be moved to and it will reappear in its new location.

Moving by dragging and dropping

If the administrator has enabled Ajax for the site and course editing in Settings > Site Administration > Appearance > Ajax and Javascript then the icon will appear as a crosshair which may be dragged and dropped to wherever you want to move the section or individual item to.

Displaying activity descriptions on the course page

Moodle 2.2

In Moodle 2.2 onwards, activity and resource descriptions can be displayed on the course page just below the link to the activity or resource by clicking the 'Display description on course page' checkbox in the activity or resource settings.

Tips and tricks

Make your course home page look more like a regular webpage

Often when a course has a lot of content, students and teachers find the long scrolling tedious and would prefer a 'neater' appearance with hyperlinks to sections in a similar way to the way pages on websites work.

  • Anchors/section links can help. But the course page can still be long.
  • Hiding the activities shortens the list for students, but then they can not be selected by students.

One method which might be useful is to put the activities into sections which are then made 'unseen' to the student.

Basic Example

  • Set the number of topics in the course setting to 1 more than students will see.
    • For example, you plan on the students being able to see 6 topics, set it for 7.
  • Add activities in topic 7, such as a quiz (in our example)
  • Get the url of your quiz
    • Copy it and keep it somewhere (such as notepad) for later use
  • Go back to course admin>settings and change your topic/weeks to 6
    • Or one fewer than you had before
  • The section with your quiz will no longer be on the page that the student sees
  • In another section, make a hyperlink to the quiz using its url
    • You can also put it in a topic summary, label or
    • as a resource (link to a file or website)

You will find that the quiz is accessible to students even though the section does not physically appear on the course page for the students. You have shortened the page.

More advanced example

  • There is a youtube video that gives an example of how to do this hereThe video is of a Moodle 1.9 course but the principle still applies.
  • You can actually set up your whole course using this method.
  • Set your course to have two topics (or more if you wish)
  • Ignore topic 1 - do not place anything in it.
  • In topic 2, use the resource: Page to make pages relating to your units of work/topics
  • Add all your resources to topic 2
  • Copy the resources urls into the relevant webpage as hyperlinks
  • In topic 0, the course summary make hyperlinks -or better- images hyperlinked - to each webpage which contains the activities of that unit/topic
  • Go back to course settings and set the number of visible topics to 1.

The teacher will see the hidden sections as "orphaned" items on their course page. However; the student will only see the top of the page. When they click on a link in the header, they are taken to the hidden webpage resources, where they select the resource or activity they wish. This creates a very short visual page but keeps all the course material within the course.