Help and Support (Staff)

This is one of many help and support pages that are available about the University of Nottingham's Moodle online learning environment. If you have any questions or queries concerning Moodle then contact information is at the bottom of every page.

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Moodle Help & Support 


Refers to Moodle 3.11 from August 2022 onward

Module settings explained 

There are a lots of settings to choose for a module.  Noted below is a description of how each can be used.

The vast majority of Editing teachers will only ever need to make the module visible to students. All other settings can be left as default. Defaults may vary slightly between Schools, but are set by agreement with each School.

To navigate to the module settings:  navigate to the module, in the module find the 'Cogwheel' icon, drop down the menu and click 'Edit settings'

How to edit settings

In the General Section of the settings

  • "Module full name": Not editable except by request to Learning Technologies. For Campus Solutions (credit-bearing) modules, name and code are taken from Campus Solutions, with semester, year and campus included, If this is wrong it must be changed in Campus Solutions before alerting the Learning Technologies team to change it in Moodle. All modules are named following set guidelines: you can choose the name of your module to a large extent if it is not a CS module.
  • "Module short name": Not editable except by request to Learning Technologies. Uses a set nomenclature so that it synchronises correctly with other University systems and Moodle processes such as archiving.
  • "Module visibility": (See below)
  • "Module start date": and "Module end date"  These are normally fixed as the relevant semesters or academic year. Contact Learning Technologies if you think these appear to be wrong.
  • "Module ID number": Not editable except by request to Learning Technologies. Uses a set nomenclature so that it synchronises correctly with other University systems such as Campus Solutions for enrolment of students.

Module visibility

A setting towards the top of the 'Edit Settings' page allows you to change the visibility for students. The options are:

  • 'Hide' - this means the module is not visible to students. It will not come up in a search of the site
  • 'Show' - this means students can see and participate in your module. It can be found on a search of the site

Making module visible

By default modules are hidden: this means that you need to change this setting to Show before students can access it (even if they’re already enrolled on it). 

To check if your module is visible or not, check the 'Year End and Archive' block (visible only to editing teachers, not students). A hidden module will be flagged up

Module hidden label

If the block does not show this message then it is visible.

In your 'Module Overview' you can also see this message.

Module overview example of hidden module

To make a module visible to students:

  1. Go into your module. 
  2. Find the 'Administration' ('Cogwheel' icon) block and click on 'Edit Settings'
  3. Look for the "Module Visibility" field and click on the drop-down box.
  4. Select 'Show'
  5. Click on the 'Save changes' button at the bottom of the page. 

Making module visible

This setting determines whether the module appears in the list of modules for students.

When this is set to 'Hide', the module is invisible to all apart from staff with appropriate access rights (such as Editing Teachers).

In Description section

The "Module summary" is visible to those who search for or browse to the module via Site Home. It can be helpful in describing the module when you have self-enrolment set or when students are choosing modules.

It is an external description and does not appear anywhere within the module once you have clicked into it.

Adding a module summary

The "Module summary files" sections allows you to upload a hero image for the module, i.e. the image that appears on the Dashboard in Card view for those who are enrolled on it.

See How to add a module overview image for more details.

In Module format section

Under "Format" you can select from a number of possible formats. 'Topics format' or - increasingly - 'Collapsed Topics' are recommended.

Selecting a module format

See Module formats explained

You can adjust the 'Hidden sections' to be completely invisible - or to have only the title showing "in a collapsed form" - this gives students an idea of what is coming, For example, if  there will be a section for each topic, the contents of which will be made available at intervals through the module. Often it is easiest to set it s that all hidden modules are completely invisible.

Hidden sections options

If "Format" of the module is 'Collapsed Topics' is chosen, a number of other module format settings will appear.

In the Appearance Section (The defaults here can safely be left)

In the "Appearance" section, there is a setting to adjust the 'Number of announcements" which relates to the number of items shown in the 'Latest Announcements' block

There is also a setting called "Show gradebook to students." This allows you to choose whether students can see their own grades. The default is set to 'Yes' but you can hide your marks here e.g. temporarily while you are marking or permanently, given that marks are never final in Moodle anyway.  Sometimes showing a "total mark" to students before adjustments have been made can be counter-productive. Make it clear that final marks are always in BlueCastle.

Appearance options that include 'Force language', number of announcements', 'Show gradebook to students' and 'show activity reports'

Other sections

In the "Files and uploads" section you can change the maximum size of files in your module. The default is the maximum 250 MB. Normally, leave as the default.

Files and uploads where you can select the maximum upload size

In the "Completion tracking" section you can choose to track the completion by students of some or all activities in the module. See How to use completion tracking to monitor student progress

Completion tracking settings

In the "Groups" section you can  set up groups and groupings.  See also how to effectively use groups and groupings

Note: if you are going to have a group assignment, it is vital that the assignment is set up to properly use groups and groupings.

Groups settings, including 'Group mode', 'Force group mode' and 'Default grouping'

In the "Role renaming" section where you can change words like "Student" to "Participant" or "Editing Teacher" to "Lecturer", applicable just in your module. Useful when the module is aimed at staff for example, not students.

Similar tutorials

The following other resources are also relevant to this topic: