[ay 15-16] Moodle - UW Course Information block


UW-Madison has adopted Canvas as its single, centrally supported learning management system. As of 6/1/2018, support for Desire2Learn (D2L) and most Moodle courses has been discontinued. Access to those courses has permanently ended. However, certain Moodle courses that are part of the Adanced Quizzing Content Functional Gaps project are still available on Moodle. Those courses are located on the Moodle Extension site.

Description and usage of the UW Course Information block.

Content and Modes

Content in the UW Course Information block is visible to all users and configurable by Instructors or users with higher permissions by default.

Select 'Edit" int he UW Course block to make changes.
  • Automatic content : Initial mode that each block assumes, which finds user data according to configured options.  This is the only mode the block can operate in if instance configurations are disabled in Site Settings
  • Custom content : When allowed, this mode can be selected by every user with permission.  By selecting to work in custom content mode, the user breaks away from being able to refresh content manually and is responsible to maintain the HTML of the block on their own.  However, in custom mode the block's information is fully customizable.

These modes are available at the block's instance configuration when enabled.

Site Settings

  • Allow instance configurations : If enabled, each instructor can configure each UW course information block as they see fit.  When enabled, all other site settings become instance defaults.
  • Display roles : (Automatic content mode) These are the roles that displayed users will have.  This pre-populates blocks with certain types of course users.
  • Show first name : (Automatic content mode) Whether user first names, or just first initials should be displayed.
  • Name format : (Automatic content mode) Displays names by FIRSTNAME LASTNAME or LASTNAME, FIRSTNAME.

Block Example


Edit controls 

These controls will become visible when Moodle is editing mode.
  • Rebuild  : Refreshes the block's content with an updated version of content in automatic mode.  Note that this will remove all customizations.
  • Edit  : The interface for switching between content modes as well as configuring content in each mode via settings or direct HTML editing.


To the left is an example of automatic content.  Each UW course is separated into it's only content area by <hr> tags.  Cross-listed courses with similar catalog numbers (e.g. 320 in ECE 320), however, are kept together and therefore instructor links and section attribution is combined together in that content area.

Instance Configuration

Initially, all block instances will be in automatic content mode with similar settings to those described in Site Settings.  In order to customize the block's content more than these settings allow, the user must switch the block to custom mode by clicking on 'Custom content'.  

This mode switches the configuration to one with an editable block title, HTML editor to change (or add to) the block's content, and a 'Styling preview'.  The styling preview allows the editing user to see what changes will look like without having to constantly cycle between save and edit.  This preview allows the automatic content to be organized in simple HTML lists, but be styled with CSS according to each site's choosing.  Default CSS floats section numbers to the right of their corresponding section type (LEC, DIS, etc.).

Once in custom content mode, the edit control will skip the initial automatic mode, but can be reverted to this mode by clicking on 'Auto display' and saving configuration options or by rebuilding the content with the rebuild control.

Keywords:course information, roster, 2.1, 2.4, block   Doc ID:23834
Owner:Matt P.Group:Moodle
Created:2012-04-18 08:47 CDTUpdated:2018-02-16 11:09 CDT
Sites:DoIT Help Desk, Moodle
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