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The glossary activity module enables participants to create and maintain a list of definitions, like a dictionary, or to collect and organist resources or information.

A teacher can allow files to be attached to glossary entries. Attached images are displayed in the entry. Entries can be searched or browsed alphabetically or by category, date or author. Entries can be approved by default or require approval by a teacher before they are viewable by everyone.

If the glossary auto-linking filter is enabled, entries will be automatically linked where the concept words and/or phrases appear within the course.

A teacher can allow comments on entries. Entries can also be rated by teachers or students (peer evaluation). Ratings can be aggregated to form a final grade which is recorded in the Gradebook.

Glossaries have many uses, such as

  • A collaborative bank of key terms

  • A ‘getting to know you’ space where new students add their name and personal details

  • A ‘handy tips’ resource of best practice in a practical subject

  • A sharing area of useful videos, images or sound files

  • A revision resource of facts to remember

Step 1 Editing

Login to course and Turn editing on, located in the Course administration.

Turn editing on

Step 2 Add

Click on the “Add an activity or resource” Add an activity or resource, there is a pop-up window that will have all the activities and resources listed.

    Add an activity or Resource clickable link

Step 3 General


Give your new glossary a descriptive name. This is the clickable link from the course main page.


Describe the purpose of the glossary and provide instructions or background information, links etc. Click "Show editing tools" to display the rich text editor, and drag the bottom right of the text box out to expand it.

Display description on course page

If this box is ticked, the description will appear on the course page just below the name of the glossary.

Is this glossary global?

Administrators can make a global glossary, with entries linking throughout the whole Moodle site. Any course may contain a global glossary, though the best practice is to place a global glossary on the site front page.

Glossary type

Here you can decide whether the glossary will be main or secondary. The glossary system allows you to export entries from any secondary glossary to the main one of the course. In order to do this, you should specify which glossary is the main one. You can only have one main glossary per course.

General image

Step 4 Entries

Approved by default

If set to "yes" then new entries appear automatically. If not, then the teacher must approve each one first.

Always allow editing

If set to "yes", students can edit their entries at any time. If not, then they can only edit for a certain period.

Duplicate entries allowed

This allows the entry of more than one definition for a given word.

Allow comments on entries

Students and teachers can leave comments on glossary definitions. The comments are available through a link at the bottom of the definition.

Automatically link glossary entries

If the Glossary auto-linking filter is enabled by an administrator, then turning this on allows individual entries in this glossary to be automatically linked whenever the concept words and phrases appear throughout the rest of the same course. This includes forum postings, internal resources, week summaries and so on.

Entries image

Step 5 Apperanrance

Display format

That specifies the way that each entry will be shown within the glossary. The default formats are:

  • Simple, dictionary style - This looks like a conventional dictionary with separate entries. No authors are displayed and attachments are shown as links.

  • Continuous without author - Like the simple style. Shows the entries one after other without any kind of separation but the editing icons if your theme supports it.

  • Full with author - A forum-like display format showing author's data. Attachments are shown as links.

  • Full without author - A forum-like display format that does not show author's data. Attachments are shown as links.

  • Encyclopedia - Like 'Full with author' but attached images are shown inline.

  • Entry list - This lists the concepts as links.

  • FAQ - Useful for displaying lists of frequently asked questions. It automatically appends the words QUESTION and ANSWER in the concept and definition respectively.

Approval display format

It is possible to set an alternative display format for when entries are approved that can differ from the display format on the course page. This could be useful for instance if a tutor wants to see who made a particular glossary entry before approving it but doesn't want the students' name to be displayed for others on the course page.

Entries shown per page

Decid here how many entries to show per page.

Show alphabet links

If set to "yes", users can browse the glossary by letters of the alphabet.

Show 'ALL' link

If set to "yes", users can browse all the entries at once

Show 'Special' link

If set to "yes", users can can browse the glossary by special characters, such as @ and #.

Allow print view

This provides a printer-friendly version link for students. (Teachers are always provided with a printer-friendly version link.)

Appearance image

Step 6 Grade

This setting is collapsed by default) Choose the category in which this glossary will appear if ratings are enabled.

Grade image

Step 7 Ratings

Roles with permissions to rate

Glossary entries can be rated using a scale. By default, only teachers can rate glossary entries, though students can be given permission to do so if desired from Administration>Glossary administration. This is a useful tool for giving students participation grades. Any ratings given are recorded in the gradebook.

The aggregate type defines how ratings are combined to form the final grade in the gradebook.

  • Average of ratings - The mean of all ratings

  • Count of ratings - The number of rated items becomes the final grade. Note that the total cannot exceed the maximum grade for the activity.

  • Maximum - The highest rating becomes the final grade

  • Minimum - The smallest rating becomes the final grade

  • Sum - All ratings are added together. Note that the total cannot exceed the maximum grade for the activity.

If "No ratings" is selected, then the activity will not appear in the gradebook.

Ratings image

Step 8 Group Mode

When course group mode is turned on, the group mode can be one of three levels: No groups, Separate groups or Visible groups.

Common module settings or groups

Step 9 Restrict access settings

The restrict access section asks for the conditions when the activity (or resource) should be visible. This can be based upon dates, and/or score ranges of other activities and/or if other activities are considered completed. Note that ALL access restrictions (date, grade condition, activity completion condition) have to be met in order for the activity to be made available.

Restrict access image

Allow access from

The Access from date determines the day, month and year students may first access the activity via the assignment name link on the course page. To activate this option, click in the Enable check-box to add a tick.

Grade Condition

This setting determines any grade conditions which must be met in order for students to access the activity. Multiple grade conditions may be set using the 'Add 2 grade conditions to form' button. If there are multiples completion conditions applied to an activity, it will only be accessible to learners when all grade conditions are met.

Before activity can be accessed

Before a learner has fulfilled the the Grade Conditions specified above and the activity is still inaccessible to them, you can choose whether to show the activity grayed-out on the course page with the grade conditions listed (restriction information) or to hide the activity from learner view entirely.

Step 10 Save or Cancel

Save and return to course-Allows to save and go back to main Moodle page.

Save and display- Allows to save and display new page/activity.

Cancel- will not save any changes, and send back to main Moodle page.



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