Making a course available to students

Making a course available to students

By default, courses are not available to students. Courses that are available to students are listed in red and courses that are not available to students are listed in grey in your course listing. To make a course available, go to Settings Tab (under the course title).  

Find Settings Tab
Find Settings Tab

In the top section labeled General, switch Course Visibility to "Show".

Moodle Guests versus Moodle Users

All Swarthmore community members (employees and students taking courses at Swarthmore – including Tri-Co students, UPenn students, and high school students) are Moodle users.  In some cases, an instructor would like to grant someone without a Moodle user account access to a course.  If the person needs to see the content of the course, but does not need to have a unique identity in the class (i.e. does not need to submit papers, have a gradebook entry, or post to forums) then the best way to allow the person/people to access the course is through Guest Access.  See below for enabling Guest Access in Moodle.  On the other hand, if the outside person will need to have editing rights to the course or will need a gradebook entry or will need to post to a forum under his/her own name, then the person will need a Swarthmore account.  To get a Swarthmore account, email with your name, the outside person's name and email, the course number, and a short explanation of what level of access is required, and for how long.

Making a course available to guests

Opening up your course to guests means anyone on the Internet can access your course without needing an account.  It is possible to set an optional password for guests. To enable guest access:

  • Go to the Participants Tab (under the course title)

Find Participants Tab
Find Participants Tab
  1. In the pulldown menu labeled Enrolled Users → select Enrollment Methods

  2. If Guest access is not already listed, select Add Method → Guest Access.  

  3. If Guest Access is listed but greyed out, enable it by clicking on the eye icon.

  4. If you wish to set a password, click the gear icon and type in a password in the text box. Most people who turn on guest access set a password because the course may have fair use copyright materials or because they don't want anyone on the Internet seeing the contents of their course. 

You can now copy the URL of your course main page and share it with non-Swarthmore users.  It is also possible for non-Swarthmore users to browse through the course catalog in Moodle and find your course.  

When you make a course available to guests, anyone on the Internet will be able to access your course. If this is an issue, see "Adding a guest password" below to limit access to the course.

Adding a guest password

To add a password to guest access, go to the Participants Tab (under the course title)

  • In the pulldown menu labeled Enrolled Users → select Enrollment Methods

  • To the right of Guest Access  select Gear Icon, enter a password → Save.  

To allow a guest to access your course, email a copy the URL of the course and the guest password to your visitor or write the password on the board in class and ask non-enrolled students to browse through the Moodle course catalog to find your course.

Ways you can contact ITS or find information:

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