In Moodle, courses are the central place of learning. There are many different options available in setting up your course, each of which can improve its usability and function. In standard Moodle, teachers are unable to add courses; administrators, managers, and course creators have this right.
The objective of this article is to provide the information needed to successfully create a new course in Moodle. Using this information, you will be able to create courses with settings configured to best present your content.
Sections/Summary of the Steps
Before getting into the details of creating a new course, please note the following sections/steps.
- Step 1: Creating the course
- Step 2: Configuring the course settings
- Step 3: Assigning roles/Enrolling users
Step 1: Creating the course
Creating courses will allow you to deliver content to and start interacting with your learners.
To create a new course:
Navigate to Administration block > Site administration > Courses > Manage courses
(Note: If you are using a Moodle version lower than 2.6, you need to navigate to Settings/Administration block > Site administration > Courses > Add/edit courses)
On the page that loads, select the category you would like your course to be in.
Click the ‘Create new course‘ link.
You will then be directed to the course settings page.
Step 2: Configuring the course settings
Below is a rundown of the course settings which you will be presented with in creating your new course:
- Course full name: This is the name of the course, and is displayed in important areas, such as the course list on the Front page
- Course short name: This is the shorthand name of the course (e.g. MATH100 for Mathematics 100) that will be used in places where the Course full name is not appropriate, such as in the Navigation block.
- Course category: Select the category that you want your course placed in. It will appear under this category in the list of courses.
- Visible: If you choose to “Hide” the course, it will not appear in the list of courses, and only teachers, managers, course creators, and administrators will be able to access it. You may wish to hide your course until it is ready to be delivered to learners.
- Course start date: If you are choosing to use the Weekly course format, the sections of the course will be created consisting of 7 days each, starting with this date.
- Course ID number: This setting is optional; if you choose to give the course an ID number, it will only be used in matching the course against external systems.
- Course summary: You can provide a brief summary of the course, which will be displayed in the courses list.
- Course summary files: These files will also appear in the list of courses.
- Format: You can set the format to Weekly or Topics format (these are the most commonly used formats) as well as Single activity or Social format (less common). Most courses will work best using the Topics format.
- Number of sections: Select the number of sections/modules you want the course to contain
- Hidden sections: This setting allows you to choose whether hidden sections are fully hidden from students, or displayed in collapsed form.
- Course layout: Using this setting you can choose whether all the sections are shown on a single page, or over multiple pages.
- Force language: It is recommended to leave this setting as ‘Do not force’.
- News items to show: With this setting you can choose how many items appear in the latest new block (located on the course page). If you select ‘0’ the block will not appear on the course page.
- Show gradebook to students: Using this setting, you can decide whether students will have access to their grades in the course gradebook. If this is disabled, students will still be able to see their grade by going into the activity (if grading has been used).
- Show activity reports: You can choose to show learners their activity reports (includes access logs and activity participation). This setting is set to ‘No’ by default because enabling it places a load on the server; it is recommended that you keep this setting as ‘No’.
Files and uploads
- Maximum upload size: You can decide the largest file size which may be uploaded to the site (limited by the administrator)
- Enable completion tracking: This setting determines whether you will be able to use completion tracking in the course. This must be set to ‘Yes’ in order to use the Activity completion functionality.
- Allow guest access: This determines whether users are allowed to access the course as a guest, without being enroled in the course
- Password: Using this setting, guests will have to enter a password each time they access the course
- Group mode: Choose from either ‘No groups’ (group functionality is not being used in the course), ‘Separate groups’ (Members are only able to see their group, not others), or ‘Visible groups’ (Members are able to see other groups).
- Force group mode: This setting determines whether the group mode selected in the previous field is forced for every activity in the course.
- Here, you can choose to use different names for the roles in the course. This changes only the name, not the set of permissions associated with the role. For example, you could choose to rename the teacher role to ‘Instructor’ if this better suits your organization.
Once you are satisfied with the configuration of the settings, click the ‘Save changes’ button at the bottom of the page.
Step 3: Assigning roles / Enrolling users
Immediately after clicking ‘Save changes’ on the course settings page, the page that loads is where you can enrol users in the course.
Note: Moodle has two levels of roles. Course roles and site level roles (site level roles have access to all areas and courses on the site).This page allows you to assign roles in the course.
Note: If you do not want to enrol users immediately after creating your course, you can completely skip this step and enrol users at a later time.
To start manually enrolling users, click the ‘Enrol users button’.
On the ‘Enrol users’ pop-up that loads, select the role you wish to assign to users from the drop-down menu beneath ‘Assign roles’. Then, click the ‘enrol’ button beside the user(s) you want to be enrolled in the course (as the role you just specified).. When you are finished, click the ‘Finish enrolling users’ button at the bottom of the pop-up.