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Add a Checklist Activity in Moodle

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The Moodle Checklist module allows teachers to create a "to do" list for students to work through and provides an easy visual representation of what has been accomplished so far. Teachers can use the Checklist to monitor progress as students complete items on the list, and students can see a progress bar showing the percentage of the items they have completed.

The Moodle Checklist has a number of useful features, including:

  • List of items students should complete, with the option to include course activities and resources.

  • Progress bar that shows what percentage of the list a student has completed so far.

  • Option for students and/or teachers to check-off items.

  • Option to allow students to add private items and notes to a checklist.

  • Due dates for checklist items.

Ways to Use the Checklist

There are three major uses of the Checklist activity, as described below. Any individual checklist could offer a blend of these uses.
  • Teachers can add tasks that students may check off
    In this option, teachers manually add items to a checklist.  Depending on the settings for the activity, students and/or teachers can then manually tick off each item on the list as it is completed.  The teacher can monitor the resulting progress, and the checklist will also display a progress bar to the student.

  • Teachers can create a Checklist and allow students to add tasks to it
    In this option, teachers allow students to add their own items by adjusting the settings of the checklist.  The tasks a student adds will be visible only to that student, not to the others in the class or even to the teacher.
    Note: Student's will only be able to add sub-tasks to a task or headings the teacher has already created.

  • Have Moodle automatically populate the Checklist with activities and resources from the course
    In this option, teachers automatically create a to-do list on a checklist's Edit settings page.  The Show course modules in checklist option will create a list populated either with all activities and resources from the whole course, or just those from the section the checklist is in.

Add a Checklist to a Moodle Course

Follow these steps to add a Checklist to your Moodle course:
  1. On your course page, click Turn editing on
  2. Locate the Section where you want to add the Checklist activity. If the section is collapsed, expand it.
  3. At the bottom right of the  Section, click + Add an activity or resource. The Activity chooser will open.
  4. In the Activity chooser, select Checklist and then click Add. The Adding a new Checklist page will open.
  5. On the Adding a new Checklist page, in the Checklist field, enter a name for the activity (required). 
  6. In the Introduction field, provide instructions or background information for your students.
  7. Under Settings adjust the settings for the Checklist.
    • User can add their own items:
      Lets you choose whether students can create sub-tasks under the items you add to the checklist.
    • Updates by:
      Determines who can manually update a checklist. Note: The Student and teacher option requires teachers to confirm student input.
    • Add due dates to calendar:
      Adds due dates to the Calendar for any items created manually within this Checklist.
    • Teachers can add comments:
      Allows teachers to add personalized comments on students' individual checklist items.
    • Maximum grade:
      If you want to make the checklist ungraded, set this value to zero (0) and make sure the grade category doesn't aggregate by Mean.
    • Email teachers when checklist is complete:
      This option send an email to the student and/or teacher when the checklist is marked as complete. Note: We do not advise you to rely on this feature.
    • Show course modules in checklist:
      Adds activities and resources (other than labels) from the current section or entire course and adds a link to each item. Note: If you later add additional activities or resources to the section (or course), the new items will automatically be added to the list.
    • Check-off when modules complete:
      Detects certain student activity in a course and automatically checks items in the checklist. This feature is complex to set up for the first time, and we recommend you contact the Instructional Media Lab before using it (545-2823 or
    • Lock teacher marks:
      When this setting is enabled, once a teacher has saved a 'Yes' mark they will be unable to change it.

      Note: If you do not see these options, click Show more... at the bottom of the Settings menu.
  8. Click Save and return to course or, click Save and display to open the Checklist activity for additional set up (add manual items, hide selected items, etc.).

Add, Remove or Edit Checklist Items

If you set Show course modules when you create a Checklist activity (see above), Moodle will add activities and resources to its list. You can further edit a Checklist as follows:

(click to enlarge)

  1. On your course page, click the link to the Checklist. The activity will open.
  2. Click the Edit checklist tab. The Edit checklist menu will open.
  3. To manually add an item to the list, in the blank text field (at bottom), enter a name and click Add. The item will appear on the checklist.
    • To allow dates to be added for manually-added items, click Edit dates, uncheck the Disable box, and use the drop-down menus to set the day, month, and year.
    • To turn a manually added item into a heading, click the required icon (checklist toggle box)  twice. The item will change to look like this:
      Checklist heading
  4. To adjust items already on the list:
    • To toggle between showing an item as required, optional (or for manually-added items, a heading), click the required icon (checklist toggle box)
    • To show/hide an (automatically added) activity or resource, click the eye (click the eye-icon to show/hide a item) icon.
    • To show/hide multiple activities or resources at once, select the checkbox (at far left) of items (select checkbox (to hide/show multiple items), then click Show/hide selected items (at top of list).
    • To change the text color of an item (cycles through 5 preset colors), click the text color () icon.
    • To edit the name and due date for a manually-added item, click the gear (Gear Icon Moodle 2.8) icon.
    • To Indent the item or move it up and down the list, click the arrows (Arrows Moodle 2.8).
    • To delete a manually-added item, click the Delete (Delete This Item Icon Moodle 2.8) icon.
    • To insert a new item immediately below the current item, click the green plus (Green Plus Moodle 2.8) icon.

Manage a Checklist


Students can click on the checklist on your course page and tick any items they have completed.  If you have allowed them to do so, they can click Add your own items then click one of the green plus (Green Plus Moodle 2.8) icons to insert their own, private sub-tasks associated with particular items on the list.


On your course homepage, you can click on a particular checklist to edit it or to view your students’ progress so far.  If the checklist settings allow it to be updated by teachers (either exclusively, or in addition to students), it can be updated by doing the following:
  1. Click the View Progress tab to see a chart of how the students are currently progressing through the checklist.
  2. Click the Magnifying glass (Magnifier Icon Moodle 2.8) icon located into the right of a particular student's name.
  3. Choose Yes or No for each item, then click either Save or Save and show next.