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Restrict access

There are two ways to restrict access to a resource or activity in Moodle: The Hide/Show function or by applying access restrictions.


The simplest way is to manually hide the resource or activity using the Hide/Show icon (the eye) from the dropdown edit menu until you are ready for your students to access it.

You will be able to see and edit the item but your students will not. You will need to manually show the item when you want to make it available for your students by repeating the above process.

Access restrictions

You can also apply various criteria to make your item available to students depending upon specific criteria. These menus are accessed from within the individual activity or resource Edit settings menu. You will need to click on the Expand all button to see them.

In the Common module settings section, the Availability dropdown menu will allow you to Show [the activity or resource] on [the] course page; Hide [it] from students or Make available but not show [the activity or resource] on [the] course page. This is particularly useful if you want to add links to activities (such as quizzes or assignments) to Moodle Books or Pages. The activities need to be stored somewhere but you only want the students to access them from a specific location.

The ID number enables you to identify gradable activities (this mostly applies to assignments) in the gradebook. Rather than using the activity title which can sometimes be quite long as the column title, the gradebook will show a shortened ID number that you choose instead.

Group mode has three settings No groups, Separate Groups and Visible groups. If you choose No groups all of the students will submit their assignments to the same assignment dropbox (this is the default setting). If you choose Separate groups the students will submit their work into separate group-based dropboxes that you have created. This is really useful for large groups with multiple markers. If you choose Visible groups the students can choose which dropbox they submit their work to. You still have to set up the group-based dropboxes but students can see all of them and will need to choose the correct one to submit their assignment to.

Grouping simply allows you to combine sets of groups together. If you wanted multiple groups of students to use the same assignment dropbox you would select this option. The groups would remain distinct but they would all use the same assignment dropbox.

The Add group/grouping access restriction will become available once you select a group mode or grouping and will appear in the Restrict access section. You can choose to give access to a particular student if they match or do not match a particular group membership. You can also add extra restrictions using the Add restriction... button:

  • Date - prevent access to the resource or activity until (or from) a specified date and time; this will apply to all students irrespective of their group or grouping unless you use the Restriction set criterion below..
  • Grade - require students to achieve a specified grade before being given access to an activity or resource.
  • Group - allow only students who belong to a specified group, or all groups to access an activity or resource.
  • Grouping - allow only students who belong to a group within a specified grouping to access an activity or resource.
  • User profile - control access based on fields within the student’s profile such as their email address or their location (it is unlikely that you will use this one at Warwick).
  • Restriction set - add a set of nested restrictions to apply complex logic (i.e. a combination of the above options - be warned you need to make sure your logic is correct or this is very easy to get wrong).

Once you have made your choices choose to either Save and return to the course or to Save and display [the activity or resource straightaway]. It is always worth switching role at this point to check that the item you have hidden is really hidden. Click on your name at the top right of the screen and choose Switch role to... from the drop down menu. Choose Student from the list you are presented with and make sure that the item is hidden. Click on your name again and then choose Return to my normal role to reverse the process.