Life sucks.

I made some promises back when that I’m only now keeping.

Moodle sucks. I suck. Life sucks. I can’t figure out the hierarchy here. I create a course, let’s say, “Algebra A,” does that mean that every assignment created within that course attaches itself to every enrolled Algebra A student? I want to split Algebra A up into teacher sections.

This has gotta happen kinda more or less by tomorrow. Someone is gonna ask me how this is comin’ along tomorrow. Anyone feel like holding my hand?

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I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. He / him. More here.


  1. If I’m understanding, it sounds like you want to make two separate courses. For example “Algebra A Section 1” and “Algebra A Section 2” and then assign teachers however you wish.

    But yes, as far as I know, if you create an assignment for a class, each participant in the class is associated with the assignment. Please someone correct me if I’m wrong.

    I’m am not a Moodle expert (IANAME). In fact, I’m just learning.

  2. That would be a reasonable way to do it. Or if you were a teacher doing multiple sections of the same course you could use something like A, B, C…

    Or you could have fun with it and provide some kooky names for each section… though the school registrar might have you reported for drug testing.

  3. The easiest thing to do is to get a print out of all the courses in your school that get graded. I am sure you do grading online. Every course is already set up with a name/section and a code. Use this as a guideline for your naming convention. I am sure if I ask Chris he will let me give you an account on our system so you can see how SLA is set up.

  4. I don’t do our server side stuff but I can tell you that we set up two levels of categories, the first being department, the second being the teacher’s last name. The full name of each class section is: “CourseName (period #) – TeacherLastName”. We also use the course ID number field.

    If you start adding different teachers and different classes, the home page of the Moodle gets crowded in a hurry. You can see our home page at

    Moodle is a open source alternative to Course Management Systems like Blackboard.

  5. Hey thanks, esp. to Marcie and Steve for the behind-the-scenes peek. I crawled off the ledge of my highrise for a sec and this seems do-able.

    Steve, how do you mean “we also use the course ID number field”? What do you populate that with?

  6. Steve, also, maybe this more server-side but I haven’t done anything with categories and I mean that literally. I have the category field hanging out at miscellaneous.

    Is this what I need to do with that field? Set up categories for department & last name?

  7. Dan,

    If you still need help, I’m administering both school and district level Moodles (Moodli? Moodlesses? Whatever.). I’d be happy to talk you through some of what we’ve done and why and how. budtheteacher at gmail dot com.
    Good luck and hang in there. You will be a hero when you get folks going.

  8. I’d go with Steve’s idea, he sounds like an organized guy. My suggestion was going to be to name the groups after famous mathematicians–OK bad idea. I’m glad Bud shouted out, I’ve got some Moodle issues, too. N.

  9. Enjoy the peek… and in addition to calling on any of us for help, is really well documented and the forums are a great place to search to see if others have had your problems.

  10. dan, we use the course id field, for the course number from the guidance department which is the official number for that course in the program of studies.

    It may seem like this is useless information – does any teacher actually know the course number of their classes? But the benefit of doing it that way is the horizontal “tree” of folders that appears at the top of the page, underneath the banner. It creates another level of organization and makes it easier to move around the course.

    Yes, the categories question is server side, but if I had to guess, the answer is yes.

    Good luck