Lesson settings

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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: Lesson settings.

This page really needs improving. Please see the page comments for suggestions of what to include, then remove this template when you're done.

This page is about lesson settings that can be changed by the teacher. Some settings maybe shown by clicking on "These settings can be changed when in a lesson by the Settings block > Lesson administration > Edit settings. There are excellent help files once Lesson settings window has been open.

When creating a new lesson with the "Add activity" pull down menu, Moodle will first show the lesson settings page.

After reviewing the lesson settings and saving them, you (the teacher) will jump back to the page list with its insert, edit, move or delete potentials. See Building Lesson for more help.


There is a "Show or Hide Advanced" toggle button(s) that is found in many other activities. Remember to click on this button to see features.


Lesson name. HTML code will not work in this field.

Time limit

Lesson Timer.png

Allows teacher to set a time limit on the lesson. Students are shown a count down counter and the time is recorded in the database. The timer does not evict a student from the lesson when the time is up, but does not score a question after the time limit reaches 0:00:00. The time in the database is checked each time a student submits a question.

The Maximum Number of Answers / Branches in a Lesson

This value determines the maximum number of answers the teacher can see and use when editing a lesson or a page. The default value is 12. This is a useful feature in older versions of Moodle that have no collapsed view. This value can reduce the number of screens a teacher might see in the lesson edit mode.

This parameter also sets the maximum number of buttons with descriptions and jumps that can be seen by the teacher in a Content (Branch Table) page.

It is safe to change the value of this parameter at any time. It only affects what the teacher sees, not the data. For example, a teacher starting to enter a series of multiple choice questions with 6 answers, might set this value to 6. Then when the teacher starts to enter a series of questions with 2 answers, they might set this value to 2 because they don't need to see 4 blank answers for every question in the design phase.

In a similar manner, changing the value does not affect what the student sees when they view a content page, nor does it change previous information put in by the teacher.

Password protected

Change to "Yes" and enter the password if you want to protect the lesson

Grade Options

Practice Lesson

A practice lesson will not show up in the Gradebook. A practice lesson cannot be a dependent lesson.

Custom Scoring

This will allow you to put a numerical point value on each answer in a question page. Answers may have negative values or positive values. Imported questions will automatically be assigned 1 point for correct answers and 0 for incorrect, though you may change this after the import.

Re-takes allowed

This setting determines whether the students can take the lesson more than once or only once. The teacher may decide that the lesson contains material which the students ought to know thoroughly. In which case repeated viewing of the lesson should be allowed. If, however, the material is used more like an exam then the students should not be allowed to re-take the lesson.

Handling of re-takes

When the students are allowed to re-take the lesson, the grades shown in the Grades page are either their average grade over the re-takes or their best grade for the lesson. The next parameter determines which of these two grading alternatives is used.

Note that the Question Analysis always uses the answers from the first tries of the lesson, subsequent re-takes by students are ignored.

Display ongoing score

This setting will allow the student to see their current score.

Flow Control

Please see Some flow control scenarios for some examples that use these settings.

Allow Student Review

This will place a "Review Lesson" button on the last screen of the lesson to encourage the student to navigate through the lesson again from the start. Be sure to check other settings to allow them to change their answers.

Display Review Button

This will display a button after an incorrectly answered question, allowing a student to re-attempt it.

TIP: It is not compatible with essay questions, so leave this off if you are using essay questions. Sometimes this setting will override any "display default feedback" lesson setting, where the default feedback will always be displayed when the review button is shown.

The Maximum Number of Attempts (by a Student)

This value determines the maximum number of attempts a student (not a teacher) will have to answer any question in the lesson. Once reached, the student will not see the question again.

The default value is 5. Smaller values may discourage the student from trying different answers about a question. Larger values may lead to frustration when the student "does not get it". For example with a short answer or numerical question, the student is not given an opportunity to try different answer choices. This value provides an escape route to the next page in the lesson.

Setting this value to 1 gives the students just single chance to answer each question. This would be similar to a question in the Quiz module.

Note: this value is student global parameter and that it applies to all the questions in the lesson regardless of their type. However it does not apply to teachers checking of questions or navigating through the lesson. Checking the number of attempts relies on values stored in the database and question attempts by teachers are not recorded. The teacher should after all know the answers! So teachers should switch their roles to that of a student to observe this feature.

Action after correct answer

"Normal", "Show unseen", "Show unanswered"

Action after a Correct Answer

The usual action is to follow the jump as specified in the answer. In most cases this will probably show the Next Page of the lesson. The student is taken through the lesson in a logical way, beginning at the start and ending at the end. (In 2.0 this is an Advanced feature.)

However, the lesson module can also be used as a type of Flash Card assignment. The student is shown some information (optional) and a question in basically a random order. There is no set beginning and no set end. Just a set of Cards shown one after another in no particular order.

This option allows two very similar variants of Slide show (Flash Card) behavior. The option "Show an unseen page" never shows the same page twice (even if the student did not answer the question associated with the Card/Page correctly). The other non-default option "Show an unanswered page" allows the student to see pages that may have appeared before but only if they answered the associated question wrongly.

In either of these Flash Card-type lessons the teacher can decide to use either all the Cards/Pages in the lesson or just a (random) sub-set. This is done through the "Number of Pages (Cards) to show" parameter.

If you want a student to be taken directly from one question to the next irrespective of their answer being correct or incorrect: in the Lesson Settings, set Maximum number of attempts: to 1. Please note, however, that a message "correct / incorrect" will still be displayed to the student upon answering each question. If you do not want this (default) feedback message to be displayed then enter your own feedback message (i.e. "continue", "---", etc.) In case you want no visible message displayed then enter a non-breaking space as feedback, so you'll have to put a # after the answer which may be ~3 and write & n b s p ; after that.(without spaces between these characters) To find out how Moodle works - you may export a sample of your questions with GIFT and check them out!

Display default feedback

Feedback to a specific answer to a question can appear on the next page after the student makes a choice and submits it. The question, the student's answer and the feedback appear on a page with a continue button at the bottom. This lesson setting controls what appears as the feedback response and if the page appears at all.

When this option is set to Yes, the standard default response will appear. In most lessons, when this is set to yes, Lesson first looks for the teachers custom feedback and if it does not find one, will put in the default feedback. It is possible to change the words used in the standard default feedbacks for the entire Moodle Site.

Selecting No, will only show the teacher's supplied feedbacks for each specific answer. If the teacher has not entered a response for a specific answer, then the feedback page is not displayed and the student will immediately go to the page that the specific answer's jump is set to.

TIP: Under some versions of Moodle, other lesson settings may cause the default feedback to appear, even when the teacher has supplied their own feedback. Changing the "Review button" lesson setting to "No" will show the teachers custom feedback.

Progress bar

A simple bar at the bottom of the lesson which will give an approximate percentage of completion. Since lessons vary greatly in their navigation, this works best with lesson that follow the logical order and do not jump around.

Tip: While calculating the percent completed, Content and Question pages that are answered correctly count toward Lesson progress. While calculating the total number of pages in the Lesson, clusters and pages within clusters only count as a single page and End of Cluster and End of Branch Table pages are excluded. All other pages count toward the total number of pages in the Lesson.

Display left menu options

This will show a list of the pages (Branch Tables) in the lesson. Question pages, cluster pages, etc. will not be shown by default (you may choose to show question pages by checking that option on the question).

By setting a grade greater than 0, the user taking the Lesson must have a grade equal to or greater than the grade set in order to view the Left Menu. This allows Lesson designers to force users to go through the entire lesson during the user's first attempt. Then, if a user retakes the Lesson after meeting the required grade, s/he can see the Left Menu to help with review.

Minimum Number of Questions

This value determines the minimum number of questions that will be used to calculate a student's score. It does not force students to answer that many questions in the lesson. When a lesson contains one or more branches, the teacher should normally set this parameter.

For example, setting this parameter to 20, will ensure that grades are given as though the students have seen at least this number of questions. Take the case of a student who only looks at a single branch in a lesson with 5 pages and answers all the associated questions correctly. This student then choose to end the lesson (assuming there is that option in the "top level"Branch Table, a reasonable enough assumption). If this parameter was set to 0 their grade would be 5 out of 5, that is 100%. However, with it set to 20 their grade would be reduced to 5 out of 20, that is 25%. In the case of another student who goes through all the branches and sees, say, 25 pages and answers all but two of the questions correctly, then their grade would be 23 out of 25, that is 92%.

If this parameter is used, the teacher might want to add a statement on the opening page of the lesson. For example, if the teacher set the value to 20 they might say:

In this lesson you are expected to attempt at least 20 questions. You can attempt more if you wish. However, if you attempt less than 20 questions your grade will be calculated as though you attempted 20.

When this parameter is set to a value more than 0, students are told how many questions they have attempted and how many they are expected to attempt.

Number of Pages to Show

This setting only works when "Action after correct answer" is set to "Show an unseen page" or "Show an unanswered page". Lesson will then show a specific number of random pages to a student. For example, setting this to 10, will show 10 random pages and then bring the student to the end of the lesson with their grade. (In 2.0 this is an Advanced feature.)

If this parameter is set to a number greater than the number of pages in the lesson then the end of the lesson is reached when all the pages have been shown. When set to the default of 0 (zero), all pages are shown.


This enables the display of the lesson as a slide show, with a fixed width, height, and custom background color. A CSS based scroll bar will be displayed if the width or height of the slide is exceeded by the content of a page. Questions will 'break out' of the slide show mode, only content (branch tables) pages will be shown in a slide by default. Buttons labeled with the default for "Next" and "Previous" will be shown at the far right and left of the slide if that option is chosen on the page. Other buttons will be centered below the slide. You can also decide on the width, height and the background colour of the slide show. See site administration settings below for more information.

Link to an activity

You may pick another activity link that will appear on the end of lesson page that shows the student their score.

Pop-up to file or web page

At the start of the lesson, this creates a popup window. For example this might be a music file, an agreement or text which the student can refer while in the lesson.See site administration settings below concerning width and height.

Dependent on

A lesson can be dependent upon another lesson. There are 3 possible dependencies which can be use separately or in combination with each other. Time Spent (minutes) refers to how long the student was in the lesson on their last attempt (it is not cumulative). Completed means the student has attempted one question. Grade as a percentage of a specific lesson means just that.

TIP: When dependency does not seem to work when it is set to "Completed" on another lesson, you must have a question for lesson to recognize that it is complete. Put a multiple choice question at the end of the lesson and ask: "In this lesson you learned A, B, and C." Do not put in an answer or a jump. The student will see "Continue" at the end and go to the end of the lesson and fulfill the requirement of completing the lesson. The dependent on lesson can not be a practice lesson.

Common module settings

  • Groupings: Groups must be turned on in the course
  • Available for groups only check box (advanced)
  • Visible (moved from Access Control section)
  • ID number
  • Grade category

Restrict access, Activity completion settings

If the site administrator has enabled Completion tracking (and the teacher has enabled Student review in the course) you will see "Activity completion" settings. If the site administrator has enable [[Conditional access] on the site, then you will see the Restrict access settings.

Site administration settings

The lesson module has additional settings which may be changed by an administrator in Settings > Site administration > Plugins > Activity modules > Lesson.

Slideshow width

Sets the width of the slideshow only when this feature is enabled in a Lesson's "Change settings".

  • Variable name: lesson_slideshowwidth, Default 640.

Slideshow height

Sets the height of the slideshow only when this feature is enabled in a Lesson's "Change settings".

  • Variable name: lesson_slideshowheight, Default 480.

Slideshow background colour

Background colour to for the slideshow if it is enabled.

  • Variable name: lesson_slideshowbgcolor, Default #FFFFFF.

Popup window width

Sets the width of the popup displayed for a linked media file

  • Variable name: lesson_mediawidth, Default 640.

Popup window height

Sets the height of the popup displayed for a linked media file

  • Variable name: lesson_mediaheight, Default 480.

Show close button:

Displays a close button as part of the popup generated for a linked media file

  • Variable name: lesson_mediaclose, Default No.

Number of high scores displayed

Sets the number of high scores to display

  • Variable name: lesson_maxhighscores, Default: 10

Maximum number of answers/branches

Default maximum number of answers/branches per page for site

  • Variable name: lesson_maxanswers, Default: 4.

Action after correct answer

The default action to take after a correct answer

  • Variable name: lesson_defaultnextpage, Default: Normal - follow lesson path

See also