LearningSpace: Module Settings

Module leaders have a large amount of control over how their module area in LearningSpace is set up.  This guide takes you through the ‘Course administration’ settings one by one, gives advice on changes you might (or might not) want to make.

Throughout this guide I will use the term “UNIT-e Course” to refer to course/module areas on LearningSpace which directly relate to UNIT-e modules and where student enrolment on the LearningSpace course is controlled by UNIT-e enrolments.

We teach in modules, Moodle refers to areas setup for modules as courses but not all course areas are for modules!  When the word ‘course’ is used in this document it normally refers to a Moodle course area which may or may not correspond to a UNIT-e module.

Important information about course settings which most module leaders need to be aware of is shown below in bold text.

Use the links below to jump to specific settings:

Settings -> Course administration -> Edit settings

Category

Course full name

Course short name

Visible

Course ID number

Course summary

Format

Course start date

News Items to show

Show grade book to students

Show activity reports

Maximum upload size

Force theme

Number of weeks/topics

Hidden sections

Allow guest access

Password

Groups

Language

Student Progress

Role Renaming

 

Settings -> Course administration -> Edit settings

Selecting this option brings up a page full of settings. Let’s go through them section by section.

 

Category

This is where the course appears in the course catalogue, which is normally accessed through the “All courses…” link at the bottom of your “My Courses” box on the LearningSpace front page.  You will not be able to change this and as most students are automatically enrolled on courses it is of low importance but if you feel that your module is miscategorised please email lshelp@marjon.ac.uk

 

Course full name

On a UNIT-e course this will be set to (module code):(module title).  You can change this value if you wish but it is not recommended. If the course is not UNIT-e controlled it will have been set on creation to whatever the administrator thought was a reasonable name. Change it if you wish.

 

Course short name

On a UNIT-e course this will be set to the module code. This value is shown in the breadcrumb trail across the top of the page which helps the user know where they are in the system. You can change this value, for example to add an “H” at the end of the code where you want an indication that it is a half module but beyond that, change is not recommended.  For courses which are not UNIT-e controlled it is recommended that you keep this value short and set it to something which students will recognise as being associated with that area.

 

Visible

This settings determines if the course is visible to students. We would advice against turning this to hidden. If you would instead like to hide specific resources from students you can use the ‘Eye’ button next to each resource to make it hidden.

 

Course ID number

You cannot change this value. On UNIT-e courses it will be set to the module code and is used as a link into UNIT-e enrolment data. On non UNIT-e courses it will normally be blank. If you feel that change is necessary please contact e-learning support.

 

Course summary

On initial creation of a UNIT-e course this will be filled in with the summary which exists on UNIT-e (if there is one). It is visible to students on LearningSpace but would not normally be seen by them unless they are looking through the course catalogue. Change it if you wish.

 

Format

This is where you make a fundamental decision about the structure of your course on LearningSpace which should, ideally, be made before you start adding resources to the course.

The choices are:

  • Topics format – where the module is divided into a number of different topics
  • Weekly format – where you prefer to divide the module resources up week by week
  • Social format – the whole course area is a single discussion forum. This is not widely used but may be what you need if you are more interested in promoting discussion amongst students than in providing them with resources or activities. You can still provide resources by attaching them to forum posts.
  • Single activity format – it is unlikely you would need to use this format. It is intended for use where the whole course area is to be taken up by an externally provided Learning Object. Should you have any SCORM or ILM formatted learning objects they can be added as resources to a normal topic or weekly formatted course.
  • Collapsed topic format – where the sections are held within accordian style drop downs, this is a good format for avoiding having one single page of information.
  • Grid format – where the sections are held within pop up boxes, this is also a good format for avoiding having one long single page of information.

Should you wish to change the format of a course in which you already have a number of resources it is recommended that you contact e-learning support for advice.

 

Course start date

This is only directly relevant if you have chosen to use a “Weekly” course format when you should set it to the Monday of the first week of teaching.

 

News Items to show

This is not of primary importance and is only relevant if you decide to add a block to the side of your course area called “Latest news” which shows the title of the last few things posted to the course news forum.  This setting dictates how many posts it shows.

 

Show grade book to students

It is normally best to keep this set to ‘No’ unless you are using LearningSpace to record assignment grades and feed them back to students.

 

Show activity reports

This settings decides if a student is allowed to see a summary of their activities in this course.

 

Maximum upload size

You will be uploading resources to this course. The students may also do so if you set up activities which require it.  This value sets a limit on the size of individual files which can be uploaded and should normally be set to what you believe to be a sensible limit. 10MB is usually good enough to take most word or PowerPoint files. You can increase it to a maximum of 100MB. If you need to go beyond that please contact e-learning support for alternative solutions.

 

Force theme

The default is ‘Do not force’. We do not recommend you change this setting without first consulting e-learning support.  The look and feel of pages on LearningSpace is controlled by a theme.  If a different theme is applied it can look very different.  It is currently possible to switch your course to a different theme but many alternatives will not work very well.  Leave this value at ‘Do not force’ and our standard theme is used.

 

Number of weeks/topics

This is a part of setting up your course format.  If you are choosing a weekly format remember to set this number to include holiday and other non-teaching weeks.

 

Hidden sections

When you hide a whole section of the course materials from students using the eye icon on the right hand side of the section this setting decides if the the student sees nothing  or a box with the words ‘Not available’

 

Allow guest access

If guest access is enabled, users who are not enrolled on the course are allowed to look at it, read the news forum and download documents.  When deciding whether to allow guest access you may wish to take into account 2 factors:

  • Access to LearningSpace is not just confined to University Students and staff. Large numbers of teachers throughout the South West have access via group accounts.
  • If your course links to CLA resources these are normally only provided for the benefit of students enrolled on the course, others should not have access. Guest access must be turned off.

Unless you have good reason to allow guests it is recommended that you switch guest access off or consider the use of a password to control guest access.

 

Password

It is possible to set up guest access only to those users who know a password.  If this option would be useful to you set “Allow guest access” to “Yes” and enter your chosen password under Users> Enrolment methods > Guest Access. See our Guest Access guide.

 

Groups

Unless you are going to divide the enrolled students up into different groups for one or more of the course activities set this option to “No groups”. Creating and managing groups can be a complicated process or it can be very simple depending on what you want to do. For more information please read our guide on Groups and Groupings.

 

Language

This value is not relevant in our installation and will normally show “Do not force”. It is for use in systems where tutors may want to choose a different language in which to teach a course.  LearningSpace only has English installed as all our courses are taught in English.

 

Student Progress

Normally you would leave this disabled unless you are teaching a course where detailed progress tracking via LearningSpace is desirable.

 

Role Renaming

It is not likely you would want to change the names used to refer to different types of course members within a UNIT-e but this may be useful for some course areas outside the control of UNIT-e.  If you are interested in this then please note that we normally use the following roles:

  • Module Leader – the tutor in charge of the module who has full control of it in LearningSpace
  • Module Administrator – for full control access to the module by admin staff.
  • Tutor – can manage resources and activities but is not able to change most of the settings discussed here.
  • Course viewer – A role we use for non-medical helpers.
  • Student – Standard student role.
  • Participant – Often used in non UNIT-e areas instead of student as a standard member role.

 

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