Course settings

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 2.7. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version of Moodle may be available here: Course settings.

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Settings > Course administration > Edit settings

Settings.gifCourse settings control how the things appear to the participants in a course. It is the first page viewed after creating a course. This page has links to other pages that may describe a setting in more detail. Different versions of Moodle may not have all the settings listed below.


General settings


The site administrator may have created course categories to help teachers and students find their courses easily.

The capability moodle/course:changecategory controls whether a user can edit the course category.

Course full name

This is the name on the course link and reports.

Short name

Many institutions have a shorthand way of referring to a course, such as BP102 or COMMS. Even if you do not already have such a name for your course, make one up here. It will be used in several places where the long name is not appropriate. In older Moolde versions, it appeared as the navigation link to what is now referred to as "Home".

The capability moodle/course:changeshortname controls whether a user can edit the short name field.

ID number

The ID number is an alphanumeric field. It has several potential uses. Generally, it is not displayed to students. However, it can be used to match this course against an external system's ID, as your course catalog ID or can be used in the certificate module as a printed field.

The capability moodle/course:changeidnumber controls whether a user can edit the ID number.

Course summary

The summary appears on the course listings page.

The capability moodle/course:changesummary controls whether a user can edit the course summary.


Format section in course settings

See Course formats

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.


Course start date

This setting affects the display of logs and the weekly format topic dates.

If you use the "Weekly" course format, the start date will appear in the first section of the course. For example selecting 27 July, will display "27 July - August" in the first section (when default display is selected for that section).

This setting will have an effect on the display of logs. This will be the earliest possible date the log activity will display.

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

TIP: If your institution runs on a weekly schedule, you may want to consider setting the start date for courses on the first day of the week, like a Monday.
TIP: In general, if your course does not have a real starting date then set the date to yesterday and use the availability setting to reveal the course to students.
TIP: See self enrolment course settings to prevent students from entering the course before a certain date/time.

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 cannot actually see the hidden activities and texts. This is particularly useful in the Weekly format, so that non-class weeks are clear, or if you have quizzes you don't want your students to see.

TIP: If you choose, these non-available items can be completely hidden, so that students do not even know that sections or an activity in the course are hidden.


News items to show

How many news items should show the Latest news block. Set it to 0 and Latest news block will not appear.

Show gradebook to students

Many of the activities allow grades to be set. By default, the results of all grades within the course can be seen in the Grades page, available from the main course page for students and teachers.

TIP: If a teacher is not interested in using grades in a course, or just wants to hide grades from students, then they can disable the display of grades with this option. This does not prevent the teacher using or setting grades for an individual activities, it just disables the results from being displayed to students.

Show activity reports

Activity reports are available to each student. These reports or logs show their activity and contributions in the current course. These reports include their detailed access log.

Student access to their own reports is controlled by the teacher via this course setting. For some courses, these reports can be a useful tool for a student to reflect on their involvement and appearance within the online environment, but for some courses, this may not be necessary.

Teachers always have access to these reports. Teachers can use the button or tab visible on each person’s profile page or use the Reports link in the course administration block.

Your site administrator may ask you to turn this feature off. Showing activity reports can place a load on the server, slowing it down at times. For large or long classes it may be more efficient to keep it off.


Maximum upload size

Maximum upload size setting

This setting defines the largest size of file that can be uploaded by students in this course. The site administrator can determine sizes available for the teacher to select. Teachers should be aware of a course's file structure.

It is possible to further restrict this size through settings within each activity module.

Force theme

If the site administrator has allowed the teacher to set a course theme, this pull down menu will appear with a list of themes on the site.


Guest access

Allows any authenticated user (i.e. logged in) to access the course (as a guest), including those who have logged in "as guest". You can choose if they need a password to enter the course or if they may enter without a password. This password is a password to the unit, not the users password to gain access to Moodle.

People can log in as guests using the "Login as a guest" button on a login screen, where that feature is enabled for the site. When the user tries to enter a course, they will see the login screen. If you only need people authenticated via your normal authentication method to access courses (as Guest or not) it is probably wise to disable "Login as a guest" for a slight improvement in site security. See Manage authentication.

Guests in a course ALWAYS have "read-only" access - meaning they cannot leave any posts or otherwise mess up the course for real students. No user information is stored for a guest.

TIP: 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 enroll.
TIP: You have a choice between two types of guest access: with a password or without. If you choose to allow access for guests who have the password, then the guest will need to provide the current password 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 access to guests without a password, then anyone can get straight into your course.


Groups settings

Group mode

Here you can define the group mode at the course level by a pull down menu. "No groups", "Separate groups" and "Visible groups" are the choices. The selected setting will be the default group mode for all activities defined within that course. The group setting can affect what users see in the Participants list.


If the group mode is "forced" at a course-level, then this particular group mode will be applied to every activity in that course. This will override any activities that may have a special group setting.

TIP:The force setting is useful when the teacher wants to set up a course and not have to change each activities group settings.

Default grouping

If groupings are enabled, a default grouping for course activities and resources may be set.

TIP: You may leave it set to "No groups" and still have specific activities use groups. In this case the force setting below should be set to "no". For example, the teacher can use a group setting to completely separate cohorts of students such that each group is unaware of the other in the course.



Availability settings

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.

TIP: The Start Date of the course can also affect course visibility.


Language settings

If you force a language in a course, the interface of Moodle in this course will be in this particular language, even if a student has selected a different preferred language in his/her personal profile.

Student progress

Has settings for Course completion criteria, a new feature in 2.0. This is only visible if it has been enabled by the administrator. Completion tracking can be either Disabled, not shown in activity settings, or enabled.


Role renaming

Role renaming settings

You can rename the roles used in your course. For example, you may wish to rename the Teacher role as "Facilitator", "Tutor" or "Guide". These new role names will appear within the course. For example on the participants and the override permissions pages.

Please note that the site administrator or a course manager may have changed the names or added new roles. These names will appear and the teacher may rename them.

Tip: Do not worry about changing every role name. Only change the site roles which are used in your course. For example, you may want to ignore renaming roles such as the Administrator role or the Authenticated user role.
Tip: To include new role names in a course backup, users should be included in the backup.


Note for people upgrading to Moodle 2.0 from an earlier version: Enrolment settings can now be found in Settings > Course administration > Users > Enrolment methods.


If Paypal or Payment Gateway is set as the enrolment plugin, then the course cost can be set in the cost field.


Admin settings for Default course settings

*Settings > Site administration > Courses > Course default settings

An administrator can set course settings defaults in Course default settings.


See also