2.4 Create Moodle Categories and Courses

Now that we have a list of users, we are ready to create our Categories and Courses. The term Categories is a bit confusing. The common term for a related group of courses in US schools, colleges and universities is Departments. However, in Moodle Categories means categories of related courses. First, we create our categories and then we place our courses in these categories.

Moodle Orange School Demo Site Categories and Courses
On our default Moodle website, there is only one category called Miscellaneous and there are no courses. To better understand what Moodle Categories and Courses looks like, let’s log into the Orange School Demo Site as a Manager. Here is the log in link:


Click on Site administration, Courses.


Then click Manage courses and categories.


From this page, you can create a new category. Then in each category, you can create new courses. The number of courses in each category is shown on the right column of the Course Categories table. The Orange School has 24 courses divided into 7 categories.

Click on the Settings wheel for the Languages category.


Then click Edit. There is no Category ID and there is no description for any of the categories. Also no roles have been assigned to any of the categories. Click Create new category:


The only required field is the Category Name. Go back to the previous page and click the category called Languages, Then click on the course English with H5P. Then scroll down the page.


The long and short name for this course are the same. The course is divided into three sections or classes and uses four modules, H5P, Book, File and Label. Click View. This takes us to the course Welcome page.


We will review some of this content in the next chapter. Click Back. Then click Edit. There is a Course Full Name and short name. Then a search drop down arrow is used to place the course in a course category. This is why we need to create our categories before we create our courses:


You then click on calendars to set the course start and end dates. Then write a course summary. Then scroll down and add a course image. At the bottom of the page are 8 additional course settings:


Click on Course format.


Format options are Topics, Single Activity, Social Format and Weekly format. The default Format option is Topics. Course layouts can either be all sections on the same page or, if you have a lot of content in the sections, then select Show One Section per Page.

Then click Appearance:


You can choose a particular theme with different themes for different courses. You can also choose different languages for different courses. Next click Files and uploads. Here you can set the site upload limit. Then click Role renaming:


Here you can choose a different name for each of the Moodle roles. Then click Tags. Here you can note if this course is Basic, Intermediate or Advanced. Then click Course Custom Fields. The only custom field on the Demo Site is called Module Credits:


We will create a couple of additional custom fields when we create our own categories and courses. Log out of the Orange School Demo site and into your own default Moodle Site (or the Moodle Sandbox Demo site).

Create Your Own Course Custom Fields
Click Site administration, Courses, Course custom fields.


There are no custom fields or categories. It is best to place fields in field categories. We will therefore create a new field category:


The default new category is called Other fields. Click on the edit pencil and change the name of the category to Course Information. Then press Enter on your keyboard. Then click Add a new custom field.


There are five field options. We will use Short text. Given the field a Name, Short Name and Description:


Then click Save Changes. Then click Add a new custom field and create a field called Course Sections.

Create Your Own Custom Categories
If you have been teaching for a while, it is likely that you have already developed your courses and are interested in using Moodle as a platform to share your courses with others. But you may not have given as much thought to placing your courses in categories. Certainly, you can just use the default category or create a single new category. For our example, we will use our 10 courses at College in the Clouds.


Our first four courses are essential prerequisites for our other courses. We then have three courses on using the Joomla Content Management System. The final three courses are Applied Courses that each teach a different set of skills. We have already built the content for all of these courses on a Joomla website called College in the Clouds dot org. Our goal is to offer all of these courses on a Moodle website called College in the Clouds dot com.

We will therefore divide our 10 courses into the following three categories:

Information Sharing Essential Skills

Joomla Information Sharing Skills

Applied Information Sharing Skills

Once you have defined your own categories, click on Site Administration, Courses, Manage Courses and Categories.


For the first category, we will edit and rename the Miscellaneous Category. Then type in your new Category name and a short description. Then click Create Category.


Then click Create New Category. Uncheck the parent category. Then type in a name and a description and click Create Category. Repeat for the third category. Here are our three categories:


Create your Courses
Now that we have created our Moodle categories, we can create the courses in each category. Select the first category and then click Create new course. Use the Course title for the Course Full Name and short name. Add a brief description. Then scroll to the bottom and click on Course Information.


For course chapters, type 9 and four course sections, type 36. Then click Save and Display. This takes us to the Course Home page:


Click Enroll Users.


Click on Search. This brings up a list of all Moodle users. Click Student 1 and Student 2.


Then click Enroll Users.


Then click Enroll Users again. Change the role to Teacher and select the two teachers. Then click Enroll users. Repeat to enroll the Teacher-Adviser and Student-Mentor to their roles. Then repeat this process to add your remaining courses, students and teachers.

Finally, go to your logged in Home page to see the courses listed at the bottom of the page:


Click on the Course Name go to the new Course Home page:


Here we can change the names of the courses topics to our own course topics and then add Announcements, Activities and Resources to each topic.

Visit your Moodle Courses Page

Here is a link to your Moodle Courses page:




What’s Next?

In our next chapter, we will review how to add a plugin to better organize our course topics. We will then cover the options Moodle offers for adding content, activities and resources to our new course topics.