Access for students shopping my course

During the add/drop period, students frequently need to access a course without being officially enrolled.  There are a variety of ways to accomplish this.  The list below is arranged roughly simplest to most complex.  The simplest ways are best for smaller courses or courses without assignments that need to be completed digitally.  

Thanks for Jen Moore for her contributions to this documentation.

Turn on guest access

Moodle guest access lets anyone access your course.  Most courses will need to put a guest password to prevent content from being visible on the Internet due to copyright issues.  If you do not specify a password, anyone on the Internet can access the course.  To enable guest access, see "Making a course available to guests" on Making a course available to students

This method is simple, but won't work if you need students to upload an assignment or participate in activities such as a discussion forum because the student won't have an actual enrollment in the class.  

Students can find your class by logging in to Moodle and looking through the course categories listing on the home page.  

Because Tri-Co students do not have access to Swarthmore's Moodle site unless they are officially enrolled in a Swarthmore course, using Guest Access is the only way to provide Haverford and Bryn Mawr students with access to a course they are not enrolled in.

Manually enroll students

If you have only a handful of Swarthmore students that need to access your course and you know their names, you can just add them to your course manually.  See Adding or removing enrollments for instructions.  This can get time consuming if you have a lot of students or don't remember all their names.  In addition, if the student doesn't actually register for the class you will probably need to remember to remove the enrollment some time in the future.  See the next option for a handy way to automatically remove the enrollment.

Manually enroll students with a limited duration

This is just like doing a manually enrollment, but you can specify a duration of the enrollment so that the student is automatically dropped after 2 weeks.  See "Limited Duration Enrollments" under Adding or removing enrollments

Student Self Enrollment

Moodle allows students to be able to enroll themselves in the course.  This allows you to open your course up to any interested students but not open it to guests or have to manually enroll students.  

Self-enrollment happens only in Moodle and does not mean the student is officially enrolled in Banner. The student still needs to submit their forms to the Registrar's Office to be officially enrolled in the course

On your Moodle course page:

  • Click on the Participants link below the course title

  • From the pulldown menu, select Enrollment Methods

  • At the bottom of the page, select Add Method → Self Enrollment

  • In the resulting page:

    • Custom instance name: enter a name such as "Self enrolled Students"

    • Allow New Enrollments = Yes.

    • Use an the enrollment key (password) if you want to limit who can enroll in your class.  Without an enrollment key anyone at Swarthmore could enroll themselves.  Provide this key to students shopping the class.

    • Enrollment duration: typically this is set to  2 weeks.  It is important to note that this duration is from WHEN THE USER ENROLLS THEMSELVES. Not from today. So at the end, you may want to go back and remove this access once add/drop is over.  If preferred, you can enable and select your START DATE and END DATE.

  • Click Add Method at the bottom of the page

Students can find your class by logging in to Moodle and looking through the course categories listing on the home page.  

Ways you can contact ITS or find information:

ITS Support Portal:
Phone: x4357 (HELP) or 610-328-8513
Check out our remote resources at
Check our homepage at