Home > audience-is-language-learning-center-manager, e-infrastructure > Moodle metacourses, part II: The technology

Moodle metacourses, part II: The technology

One of the most missed business requirements for a LMS in version 1 of Moodle has been lack of support for sharing files across courses. This has been addressed by the e-Repository API in version 2 of Moodle, which, however, we will not have in the foreseeable future. In version 1, metacourses have been the most widely used workaround.

The technical concept behind a metacourse in Moodle seems to be best described like so: “A child course gives its [student -  TBA:teachers need to be added manually, but fortunately do not change as frequently as students] enrolments [= access to] to the parent course” or meta course, which has no enrolment of its own. In practice, this can go either way: Using metacourses, one can “populate many [meta]courses [= building blocks of content (e.g. chapters, weeks, can even be separate, but required courses with different teachers – TBA: then exclude the teacher role from being added with enrolments, in Admin/Users/User Policies , flexibly combinable to make up a specific version of your regular course] from one enrollment or one [meta]course from many enrollments [= many sectional regular courses that need access to the same content]”. Either assign to many metacourses [= building blocks] 1 child course each, or vice versa assign 1 metacourse many child courses [=sectional regular courses].

For base Moodle version 1.9 administration information, simply watch the first half-minute of this screencast, or read this extract from the Moodle documentation:

“To change a course to a meta course, set "Is this a meta course?" question to yes in the course settings.”


(Note that this option will disappear as soon as the course has an enrolment!)


In your metacourse “you can link [=”associate”] to or unlink from (add or delete) "child" courses by the course Administration menu. This icon and link only appears in meta courses: “


How to make a metacourse visible: “Making a metacourse visible before the metacourse is properly setup can cause Moodle to return ‘This course does not allow public access'(…) Verify that the linked "child" course(s) exists. “

Note: Metacourses may be set to inactive and unavailable to enrolled students until the teacher activates the metacourse.

Note: It takes some time for the meta-enrollment to apply (time depends on the setting for the cron-job).

How to handle metacourse teacher role enrollments: Certain roles can be excluded from being passed on as enrollment from child courses to metacourses. For our shared resource courses, this does not make sense (in the contrary, since any teacher from the child course may want to manage resources contained in the metacourses – this does not to be coordinated between teachers of similar child courses.).

TBA: How to handle metacourse enrollments across terms: Our metacourse shells will stay across the term, while enrollment will be automatically dropped with the child courses “going out of scope”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: