Course FAQ

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How do I get rid of the teachers' names on my course descriptions?

  • By default Moodle will show names of teachers on course descriptions. If you don't want this, uncheck the role in Administration > Site Administration > Appearance > Course contacts.

How do I add the names of non-editing teachers to my course descriptions?

  • By default Moodle will only show names of teachers on course descriptions. If you want to add other roles, check the role in Administration > Site Administration > Appearance > Course contacts.

Some of my courses have the course summaries showing but some only have an information icon. Why?

  • Categories which have fewer than ten courses will show the full summary but those with more will only show the information icon. If you want them all to show the full summary then change the value of the Courses with summaries limit (courseswithsummarieslimit) setting in Administration > Site Administration > Appearance > Courses.

I can't upload files to my course. I get the message that my 'filetype cannot be accepted'

  • Make sure you are not trying to upload to the course summary files area in the 'Edit settings' area of course administration.
  • This upload area is only for files describing the course and by default only image files are allowed (so that a screenshot may be displayed next to the summary).
  • If you wish to upload files into your course, make sure you are first on the main course page itself, not in the settings of the course.

Why can I only add one hyperlink to a page or label?

You are probably using Internet Explorer 8 or later. Try either switching to Firefox or click the icon to change to Compatibility mode (which is in effect Internet Explorer 7) and then you will be able to make more than one link.

How can I prevent teachers from being able to duplicate course activities?

How can I prevent teachers from being able to add a particular resource or activity?

  • From Site administration>Users>Permissions>Define roles, edit the teacher role and untick "allow" on the capability of the module you wish them not to add - for example mod/workshop:addinstance

Where did the 'Add an activity or resource' link go?

The 'Add an activity or resource' link to the activity chooser can be turned on or off via a link in the administration block. The link only appears when editing is turned on in the course.

activity chooser on link.png

Why am I getting dates in the future on a course I have restored?

  • If you restored a course with user data but set the enrolment date for the present time, then logs, forum posts and so on will still be set at the same time distance from the start of the course. So if your original course began in 2010 and participants posted in a forum in 2012, then if you restore your course to begin in 2014, all those posts will have a date of 2016 on them. See MDL-44961

How can I make my course home page look more like a web page?

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.

  • See Course formats for a way to show only one section per page.
  • Anchors/section links can help. But the course page can still be long.
  • Hiding the activities shortens the list for students, but then they cannot 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.

Note: There are navigation issues with this method. Do not use it if you use the mobile app or activity completion.

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 (the 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.

I am unable to edit a topic summary: the edit icon doesn't work any more (is not clickable)

  • This often happens if something copied and pasted from another source, such as MS Word has corrupted your topic summary. This forum post suggests three possible solutions.

Where can I find a list of all course resources and activities?

You can find a list of resources (ie static pages and folders etc) here:
where x is the course ID number. If you wish to see the list of activities such as quizzes, then use a URL such as this
where x is the course ID number.

Change the activity name according to the activity you need to see listed.

Is it possible to download all files from a course?

It is possible, but not easy. See the following Moodle forum.

I get an error message "paging_bar requires a per page value"

If you go to Administration >Site administration > Courses > Miscellaneous > Add/edit courses and get the above coding error detected message, then see this thread on for how to fix it.

Can I put a course in more than one category?

No. However, there is a workaround. With the Single activity course format, it is possible to add a URL as the single activity. The URL can be a redirect to a course in a different category, thus giving the appearance of a course in more than one category (thanks to How to Moodle Winter Newsletter).

Is there a shortcut URL to a course?

Try this using the course shortname: URL (Moodlesite)/course/view.php?name=shortname to navigate directly to a course.

Check out the tracker item for clean URL's:

What happens to my course content if I change the format from one format to another?

For standard course formats only: If you change from Topics to Weekly or Weekly to Topics, then the only real difference will be in the titles of the sections. If you change to Social format then you will just have a forum and if you still want access to your other activities you need to add the "Social activities block". If you change to the Single activity format you will only see the activity you chose to display, and your other activities will be "orphaned", not visible to students but available to you in a greyed out section. If you then revert back from Single activity to Topics or Weekly format you will need to un-hide those orphaned sections.

How can I move items easily on a course with lots of activities?

See the Tips and tricks section of Course homepage for a method allowing you to avoid scrolling issues when moving an activity or resource in a busy course.