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Create and use a glossary

The glossary activity allows participants to create and maintain a list of definitions, like a dictionary. Its main function is as a collaborative tool where students work together to build a bank of key terms, though the teacher can also create the glossary independently.

  • Search entries alphabetically or by category, author or date.
  • Add multimedia files to an entry.
  • Auto-link glossary entries to where they appear throughout the course.
  • Use as a bank of key terms, as revision resource of facts, as a file sharing space, to collate handy tips, or a ‘getting to know you space’ for students to add information about themselves.

Add a glossary activity

  1. Enable Edit mode .
  2. Click Add an activity or resource.
  3. Select Glossary from the list of activities and resources.
  4. Under General, give your glossary a Name and Description. You can also select whether to display the description on the course page.
We have described some key settings below which you may wish to review. If you prefer to keep the default settings, click Save and display at the bottom of the page.
  • Under Entries, the default Approved by default is set to Yes. This means entries do not require approving by a teacher before they are viewable. If you want entries to be approved first, change this selection to No.
  • Under Appearance, the default Display format is set to Simple, dictionary style. This means no authors are displayed and attachments are shown as links. Click the question mark icon for details relating to the other options.
  • Under Ratings, the default Aggregate type is set to No ratings. This means that the activity will not appear in the gradebook. If you want the activity to appear in the gradebook, select one of the other options to determine how ratings are combined to form the final grade. Find out more about each option by clicking the question mark icon.

Create a glossary entry

      1. In the glossary, click Add a new entry.
      2. Under General, give the entry a Concept. This is the glossary term.
      3. Give the entry a Definition, or an explanation of the term. Include an example where relevant.
      4. In Keywords, enter any words by which you want this glossary entry to be searchable.
      5. In Attachments, upload any files if relevant.
      6. Under Auto-linking, check the checkbox if you would like the entry to be automatically linked wherever the concept appears throughout the course. Please note this is case sensitive and will match whole words only, e.g. a glossary entry named "construct" will not create a link inside "constructivism".
      7. Click Save and display.

      Watch the video below for a visual demonstration (03:20):

      The information on this page relates to Moodle v3.11 and was last updated November 2022.


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