How do I Change My Course Settings?

Valid for Moodle 2.8.  Updated on 7/20/2015.Course settings allow you to control how your course looks and behaves. To modify the settings, go to your course and then in the Administration block go to the Course administration → Edit Settings link. The settings page is divided into sections. Only the first is normally open but you can expand any section by clicking on the title or you can open them all by clicking on the Expand all button in the upper right.

There are a lot of settings that you can change for your course but most of the time the default values are fine. There may be slight differences in spacing and coloring between the images below and what you'll find, but the fields are all correct. Fields that are frequently changed are indicated with a * in the description.

General Settings Section

  • Full Name: The name of your course as it appears in Moodle. You shouldn't modify this.
  • Short Name: Name used in some displays. While instructors can change this, we recommend against it as it can confuse users and administrators.
  • * Visible: This setting determines whether students can see the course. Set it to Show to allow student access and Hide to prevent it.
  • Course start date: This is automatically set to the start of the semester. It only has value when using a weekly format and can be modified to create sections before the start of the class.
  • Course ID: Of no importance at Amherst.

    Course Description Settings

The description settings isn't very useful since it is rarely displayed given the way Amherst has configured Moodle. There is a block that can be added to a course to display the description, but in general this section can be ignored.

Course format settings

  • *Format: Select how you want to use the “sections” of your course page. Common formats are Topics and Weeks. Note that additional options may appear depending on the format selected. See the formats page for more information.
  • Number of weeks/topics: How many numbered sections show up on your course page.
  • Hidden sections: By default, a header appears to students even when the content of the section is hidden. This option allows you to completely hide the section.
  • Hide tabs bar: This is a Onetopic format specific option.
  • Course layout: If the alternative, Show one section per page, is selected, an abbreviated form of each section will be show.  The title of each section will act as a link to a new page with the content.

Course appearance settings

  • Force Theme: Allows you to set the theme to be used with your course. The theme determines the layout and colors used for your course. The default, Do not force, causes the college's default theme to be used and allows students to choose their own theme.
  • Force Language: This controls the language of the Moodle interface.  At the moment only English, French, Spanish, German, Russian, Greek, Arabic, Chinese and Japanese are provided.  If not set, the user can set their own language. This setting only impacts text provide by Moodle, not text entered by students or instructors.  Not all blocks, activities and modules in Moodle support all these languages. Other languages can be added if requested.
  • News items to show: Determines the number of items in the news forum to show in the latest news block.
  • *Show gradebook to students: Controls whether students can see their own grades in the Moodle gradebook.  If the gradebook isn't being used students shouldn't be allowed to see it.
  • Show activity reports: With this turned on students can see their activity in the class through a link in their profile.

Course file settings

  • Maximum upload size: Limits the size of files that can be uploaded by students. Most activities that involve uploading files can lower this setting. It does not effect the size of files that can be uploaded by the instructor which is set by the server and is currently set at 400MB.

Course completion setting

The completion tracking feature has been disabled and is no longer available. If you need it, request that it be turned back on through

Course guest settings

  • *Allow guest access: Determines whether non-students can see the resources in your course. Guest can never participate in activities.
  • Password: If guest access is turned on you can assign a special password that the guest will need to know in order to access the course.

Course group settings

  • Group mode: Determine whether groups can be used in the course and if so what type of groups. Group options include visible in which groups can see, but not participate in, the activities of other groups and separate in which case the activities of other groups can't be seen. The group mode can be reset for many activities, but if No groups is selected here you wouldn't be able to define groups in the course.
  • Force group mode: If this is set then group settings for individual activities are ignored and the course value above is used for all activities.
  • Default grouping: A grouping is a collection on one or more groups. Normally an activity is available to all groups but if it is assigned to particular grouping, students who are not members of the grouping wouldn't have access to the activity.

Course role renaming settings

Role renaming allows you to change the term displayed for each possible role. For instance, if you use Professor as your word for instructor, professor will show up as your role in the participant list. This is purely aesthetic and has no functional value.