Course settings

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 1.9. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version is available here: Course settings.

Category

Your Moodle administrator may have set up several course categories.

For example, "Science", "Humanities", "Public Health" etc

Choose the one most applicable for your course. This choice will affect where your course is displayed on the course listing and may make it easier for students to find your course.

Full name

The full name of the course is displayed at the top of the screen and in the course listings.

Short name

Many institutions have a shorthand way of referring to a course, such as BP102 or COMMS. Even you don't already have such a name for your course, make one up here. It will be used in several places where the long name isn't appropriate (such us in the subject line of email).

ID number

The ID number of a course is only used when matching this course against external systems - it is never displayed within Moodle. If you have an official code name for this course then use it here ... otherwise you can leave it blank.

Summary

The summary of the course is displayed in the course listings.

Format

A Moodle course may use one of the following three formats:

Weekly format

The course is organised week by week, with a clear start date and a finish date. Each week consists of activities. Some of them, like journals, may have "open windows" of, say, two weeks after which they become unavailable.

Topics format

Very similar to the weekly format, except that each "week" is called a topic. A "topic" is not restricted to any time limit. You don't need to specify any dates.

Social format

This format is oriented around one main forum, the Social forum, which appears listed on the main page. It is useful for situations that are more freeform. They may not even be courses. For example, it could be used as a departmental notice board.

Course start date

This is where you specify the starting time of the course (in your own timezone).

If you are using a 'weekly' course format, this will affect the display of the weeks. The first week will start on the date you set here.

This setting will not affect courses using the 'social' or 'topics' formats.

However, one place this setting will be affect is the display of logs, which use this date as the earliest possible date you can display.

In general, if your course does have a real starting date then it makes sense to set this date to that, no matter what course formats you are using.

Enrolment duration

This setting specifies the number of days a student can be enrolled in this course (starting from the moment they enroll).

If this is set, then students are automatically unenrolled after the specified time has elapsed. This is most useful for rolling courses without a specific start or end time.

If you don't set this then the student will remain in this course until they are manually unenrolled or the clean-up function to remove defunct students takes effect.

If you have selected to manage this course as a meta course, your enrolment period will not be used.

Number of weeks/topics

This setting is only used by the 'weekly' and 'topics' course formats.

In the 'weekly' format, it specifies the number of weeks that the course will run for, starting from the course starting date.

In the 'topics' format, it specifies the number of topics in the course.

Both of these translate to the number of "boxes" down the middle of the course page.

Group mode

Here you can define the group mode at the course level. This will be the default group mode for all activities defined within that course. (Learn more about working with groups)

Force

If the group mode is "forced" at a course-level, then this particular group mode will be applied to every activity in that course. Individual group settings in each activity are then ignored.

This is useful when, for example, one wants to set up a course for a number of completely separate cohorts.

Availability

This option allows you to "hide" your course completely. It will not appear on any course listings, except to teachers of the course and administrators. Even if students try to access the course URL directly, they will not be allowed to enter.

Enrolment key

A course enrolment key is what keeps unwanted people out of your course.

If you leave this blank, then anyone who has created a Moodle username on this site will be able to enrol in your course simply by going in to it.

If you put something here, then students who are trying to get in for the FIRST TIME ONLY will be asked to supply this word or phrase.

The idea is that you will supply the key to authorised people using another means like private email, snail mail, on the phone or even verbally in a face to face class.

If this password "gets out" and you have unwanted people enrolling, you can unenrol them (see their user profile page) and change this key. Any legitimate students who have already enrolled will not be affected, but the unwanted people won't be able to get back in.

Guest access

You have the choice of allowing "guests" into your course.

People can log in as guests using the "Login as a guest" button on the login screen.

Guests ALWAYS have "read-only" access - meaning they can't leave any posts or otherwise mess up the course for real students.

This can be handy when you want to let a colleague in to look around at your work, or to let students see a course before they have decided to enrol.

Note that you have a choice between two types of guest access: with the enrolment key or without. If you choose to allow guests who have the key, then the guest will need to provide the current enrolment key EVERY TIME they log in (unlike students who only need to do it once). This lets you restrict your guests. If you choose to allow guests without a key, then anyone can get straight into your course.

Hidden sections

This option allows you to decide how the hidden sections in your course are displayed to students.

By default, a small area is shown (in collapsed form, usually gray) to indicate where the hidden section is, though they still can not actually see the hidden activities and texts. This is particularly useful in the Weekly format, so that non-class weeks are clear.

If you choose, these can be completely hidden, so that students don't even know sections of the course are hidden.