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Add or Remove Sections in a Moodle Course

As an instructor, you can control the number of Sections students see in different ways. You can add sections using buttons at the bottom of the course page, and you can delete or hide/show particular sections from students.
Note: Depending on the Course Format, the names of course sections are referred to as Topics (in Topic format) or Weeks (in Weekly format).

Add Sections from the Bottom of the Course Page

To add more sections to your course page:

  1. In the menu bar at the top of your course page, select Turn editing on (green pencil icon Turn editing on (green pencil icon)). Editing icons and links will appear.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and, below the last section, look for + Add topics or + Add weeks (at right).

    screenshot showing + Add topics link
  3. Click + Add topics (or weeks). The add topics/weeks pop-up will appear. 

    screenshot of Add topics popup window
  4. Enter the number of sections you want to add into your course and click Add topics/weeks to save.

Hide/Show Sections from Students

As an instructor, you can hide a section from students without deleting it from the course page. You can also control whether students see only the section names (headings at the top) of hidden sections but none of the contents, or whether hidden sections will be completely invisible to students.

To show or hide sections:

  1. In the menu bar at the top of your course page, select Turn editing on (green pencil icon Turn editing on (green pencil icon), top right). Editing icons and links will appear.
  2. To the right of the Section name for the section you wish to hide, select Edit. The Edit drop-down menu will appear.
    • To hide the section, select Hide section. The section will be dimmed, indicating it is hidden. 
    • To show a hidden section, click Show section. The Section will appear in normal coloring, indicating it is visible.  
      Note: In the instructor's view of a hidden section, the content will always be displayed (dimmed) rather than hidden entirely, regardless of the settings chosen in the Edit course settings page (see below). For hidden sections, below the Section name instructors will see "Hidden from students"
      Screenshot of hidden students sign

To show the names of hidden sections or hide the sections completely: 

  1. In the menu bar at the top of your course page, select the Course management (gear icon ). The Course Management panel will open. 
  2. On the Course Management panel, under Course settings, select Edit course settings. The Edit course settings page will open.
  3. On the Edit course settings page, locate and open Course format. The formatting options for course format will appear.
  4. For Hidden sections, use the drop-down menu to choose between:
    Hidden sections are shown in collapsed form
    For students, the names of hidden sections show on the course page, but activities and resouces will be hidden. (If using the Collapsible course format, Section summaries will also show.)
       Screenshot of student view hidden section that is collapsed. (click to enlarge)
    Hidden sections are completely invisible
    Hidden sections are completely hidden from students.
       Screen shot of students view of hidden section that is invisible  (click to enlarge)
    Note: Teachers will still see the hidden sections and their contents. This setting only affects the student view of the course.
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save and display. You will be returned to your course page.

Delete a Section

Deleting a section also deletes any content or activities it contains. This includes student submissions and grades in the gradebook associated with the activities, including assignment and quiz grades. To save this content, you must move it into another section on your course page before deleting the section. (Instructors often create a hidden a section to use for storing items they do not want to delete. See Add Sections from the Bottom of the Course Page and Hide/Show Sections from Students (above).)

Important! Once a section is deleted,  it cannot be recovered. Make absolutely sure you have saved and moved all material you wish to keep before deleting the section. Individual resources and activities contained in the deleted section are moved to the Recycle bin and can be recovered within 7 days, however student submissions and grades for deleted activities will be lost. See Restore your Activities and Resources with the Recycle Bin in Moodle.

  1. In the menu bar at the top of your course page, select Turn editing on (green pencil icon Turn editing on (green pencil icon)). Editing icons and links will appear.
  2. Locate the section you want to delete. At the top right of the section, click Edit. The Edit drop-down menu will appear.  
  3. From the Edit drop-down menu, click Delete section. This will open the Delete section page. 
  4. You will be reminded that deleting a section will delete the activities contained within it. If you are certain you have moved any content you want to keep out of the section, click Delete. You will be brought back to your course page and the section will be gone. 

Note: If you are using a grade calculation and delete a section containing activities that are used in that calculation, you must edit your grade calculation to remove those items. 

Edit a Section Name or Summary

You can edit a Section name right on your course page:
Note: Collapsible Topic format can no longer be set to automatically name section titles with dates by week, but instructors can rename topics.

  1. In the menu bar at the top of your course page, select Turn editing on (green pencil icon Turn editing on (green pencil icon)). Editing icons and links will appear.
  2. Next to the Section name to edit, click the Pencil icon (Screenshot of turn editing on pencil icon). An entry box will appear around the highlighted section name.   
  3. Enter the new name for the section. To save changes, press enter/return on your keyboard. 

To edit a Section name and Section Summary: 
Note: For Collapsible topics, if instructors add a Section Summary, it will always show, even when the section is collapsed. Instead of using a Section Summary, we recommend adding summary content to a Label at the top of the Collapsible topic.

  1. In the menu bar at the top of your course page, select Turn editing on (green pencil icon Turn editing on (green pencil icon)). The Edit options will appear. 
  2. To the right of the Section name to edit, click Edit. The Edit drop-down menu will appear.  
  3. From the Edit drop-down menu, select Edit section (or Edit topic, or Edit Week). The Edit section page will open. 
    • To edit the Section name, select the Custom check box and in the Section name field, enter the new name. 
    • To add or edit a Section summary, in the Summary field enter a description of the section contents.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save changes.