Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 3.2. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version of Moodle is probably available here: Metacourse.
A meta course is just like any other course except that it automatically enrolls participants from other "child" courses. Meta courses inherit their enrollments, (and other role assignments(*), from these other course(s) instead of having students added manually. This feature can populate many meta courses from one course with normal enrollments or one meta course from many courses with normal enrollments.
For example (Scenario 2, below), a normal course can be used as the central enrolment point for a programme of study composed of several meta courses. Each time a student enrols in (or unenrols from) this course, they are automatically enrolled/unenrolled from any meta course(s) associated with it, which would contain the programme's teaching activities.
Please note that meta course enrolments do not preserve groups and enrolment does not happen immediately, but occurs next time the cronjob runs.
(*)Note: By default all role assignments from child courses are synchronised to meta courses. However, the "Roles that are not synchronised to metacourses" setting in Administration > Users > Permissions > User policies enables administrators to exclude particular roles.
Creating a metacourse
To create a meta course, set "Is this a meta course?" to yes in the course settings. After saving the course settings, you will see a list of child courses to choose from. The students from any that you choose will be added to the meta course automatically.
In Moodle 1.5 and 1.6, if a meta course is chosen, the students page changes from listing/searching for students to listing/searching for courses. In Moodle 1.7 onwards, "Child courses" appears in the teacher's administration block.
Note: It is not possible to add individual students to a meta course, as meta course enrolment is controlled by child course enrolment only.
Meta course examples
Meta courses may be used in a variety of ways:
- X is a meta course with Course 1 through 4 as normal courses with standard student enrollments. Students enrolling on these courses are automatically enrolled onto Meta course X.
For example, a math teacher or department has 2 algebra and 2 geometry courses. The teacher or department wants course for each of these subjects. But they also want a generic space where they can post things for all of the students in all of their courses, perhaps including compulsory work for all students. By making algebra 1 & 2 and geometry 1 & 2 as each as part of a Math meta course, they achieve this goal.
- Meta courses 1-4 are linked to Y which is a normal course. Students enrolling on Course Y are automatically enrolled on Meta courses 1-4. This would be used, for example, when all five courses are intended to have exactly the same students.
In both diagrams you can see students being enrolled normally into standard courses and then the entire student list of a course being added to the Meta course.
- One or more meta courses are used as a library of resources and activities. For example, the English department has collected material useful in writing papers. Teachers can direct or embed a link to a specific reference about citations, or how to select a topic for a paper or suggested reading compiled by students.
- The meta course feature can also be used "in reverse." Say you have a Diploma program that involves courses D1, D2, D3, and D4. In this case, you would create a "Diploma" course as a normal course (non-meta course). You would then designate programs D1 through D4 as meta courses (plus completing the student enrollment task under Course Administration). When a student enrolls in "Diploma", he or she will be automatically enrolled in courses D1 through D4.
When restoring a metacourse with the option "deleting the course first", you will notice that the enrollments that were used by the course previously are now gone. In order to re-link the child course, navigate to the new course and select the link "Child Courses" from the "Administration" block on the main course page and re-link the course to its parent.
- Related courses block - contributed code that shows meta or child course relationships
Using Moodle forum discussions: